Brothers Jonathan and Richard Lee Jackson began playing music together as kids. Their first experience with music was performing on stage with their father, Ricky Lee Jackson.
Once Jonathan (then 11) convinced his reluctant older brother (then 14) to jam with him in their parents’ basement, sibling cacophony led way to harmony — and that formed an unwavering foundation for ENATION.
Originally from the Northwest, the brothers moved to Los Angeles in their early teenage years and began cutting their teeth on the Sunset Strip - playing iconic venues like The Whiskey A-Go-Go, The Roxy and The Viper Room before they were old enough to indulge in the free drinks offered to the other acts on the bill.
“Those initial gigs were amazing for us,” Jonathan says. “They really taught us a lot about fighting for a crowd to give you a listen. The music has to be good enough to win the room. There’s something you learn in that process that stays with you, even when you have your own fans at the shows.”
Jonathan is known as an enigmatic, introverted frontman. Sit with him for any length of time and you’ll realise he is a well-read, deep thinker. You’re more likely to catch references to Dostoyevsky, an obscure monk from Greece, or the Russian revolution of 1918 in his lyrics than the more superfluous themes in todays pop music.
“We’re more interested in the deeper themes in life, the bigger questions, the stuff beneath the surface,” Jonathan says quietly.
Prior to joining up with the Jackson Brothers in ENATION, bassist Jonathan Thatcher, was a member of the U.K. based rock band Delirious?, a band the brothers were into.
The trio were friends for many years before a note of music was played together. “We first met each other at a Delirious? gig in Los Angeles,” Jonathan says. “We became friends and eventually flew over and spent some time visiting Jon in the U.K. Years later, we eventually, somehow, all ended up in Nashville, which was great for our friendship. So when the time came for us to need a new bassist (after former bassist Daniel Sweatt left the band on good terms), he was the first person we wanted to have a conversation with.”
“Jon Thatcher has been an artist we’ve respected for a long time. The idea of him joining ENATION was very exciting for us.” Richard says.
“We‘ve always had great discussions about life, music, art,” Richard continues, “So in a cosmic sense his fingerprints have been a part of ENATION from the beginning.”
When asked about the band dynamic, Jonathan says that, ”In some ways the DNA has changed, but it also feels like the foundation of the music and the artistic trajectory is the same.”
What’s ahead may be looking back. Their new music is described with references to “alternative, post-punk, early new wave” with bands like Echo & The Bunnymen, Talk Talk, and Simple Minds grabbing ENATION’s attention and dominating their intra-band conversations.
“It’s difficult for us to be casual music fans. So when we get into a band, we tend to really delve in and get a sense for their whole catalogue,” says Jonathan.
“There’s something missing in so much of the music that’s out there right now,” Richard says. “Audiences are hungry for something genuine and different.”
ENATION have landed on the Billboard Top 10 (“Live From Nashville” DVD, #9) and have garnered numerous radio and TV appearances including live performances on The View and VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live. The first US single “Everything Is Possible” climbed the Hot AC charts to #43 and helped propel the band to play to sold out audiences, earning high praises from critics and fans. Rolling Stone says ENATION is …”Filled with electric guitars, chest-beating vocals and swirling synths…” while Billboard Magazine calls it “…anthemic rock… Tomorrow’s Hits… (ENATION is a) rock band on the rise.”