PoPTV – RED JACKET MINE

(Answers by Lincoln Barr, above centre)

1. Why play music?

Quite simply, it’s all I’ve wanted to do since I first picked up a guitar at age 13. There’s nothing else like writing songs – the initial spark of an idea, the satisfaction of hearing it all come together, and all of the hard work in-between.

2. Who are your influences?

Craftsmen – Nick Lowe, Alex Chilton, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson. These guys might not’ve been blessed with Sam Cooke’s voice or Elvis Presley’s good looks, but they found a unique approach to songwriting and music-making and developed it, diligently, over long and winding careers, driven only by what was interesting to them at that moment. That’s what I want.

3. What is success?

See above! Finding a supportive audience, and building it slowly but surely. The ability to travel and experience different cultures through music-making would certainly qualify as ‘success’ in my book.

4. Why should people buy your music?

Well, because we spend a lot of money (not to mention time) recording and delivering it to your ears! All proceeds go toward our continued efforts in that department.

5. Who do you love?

My wife, my family, my bandmates and friends. People that inspire me. Bo Diddley, for sure.

6. What do you hope to achieve with your music?

I’ve already achieved a lot of the things I dreamt of when I started writing songs – I’ve shared stages with some of my favorite musicians (Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, Chuck Prophet, Jason Falkner), made albums with them (Ken Stringfellow), and spent countless hours in the studio and in a van with my buddies, playing music all over the western US. As I approach 10 years trading under the Red Jacket Mine name, I suppose I’d just like continue expanding in all directions – more music, more friends, more travel and shared experiences. Very few people that I know are getting rich in this business, so to a certain extent, that’s what we’re all collecting – experiences.

7. Who comes to your gigs?

Friends and friendly strangers, mostly. The occasional mummy.

8. What is your favorite album (at this moment)?

Can I choose an upcoming one? My favorite new band of the last few years, Toronto, Ontario’s Zeus (themusicofzeus.com), has a new album called Busting Visions coming out on March 27 via Canadian super-indie Arts & Crafts. Their debut album, Say Us, was my hands-down pick for 2010, and something tells me they’ll take the crown this year, too.

9. What is your favorite song (at this moment)?

Well, I’m enjoying the Staple Singers’ Uncloudy Day this fine Sunday morning, and that’s sounding pretty mighty, but my current pick comes from another brilliant Toronto artist – “Caught Me Thinking” by Bahamas (aka Afie Jurvanen, erstwhile guitarist for Feist, Jason Collett, and others). Check out the video, and then pick up his new record, Barchords.

10. How did you get here?

I was born in southeast Missouri in 1982, and moved around a bunch as a kid, spending my formative years in northwest Mississippi (near Memphis, Tennessee). I returned to Missouri for college, where I met my lovely wife (and started releasing four-track recordings under the Red Jacket Mine moniker), and we’ve lived in Seattle for the last seven years.

Red Jacket Mine’s new 7″ single – Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell) is out now! Find out more.