Interview with Jackie Petersen of Shadow Storm with Voodoo Queen Digital Magazine
VQDM: First of all, I would very much like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview; I know you are very busy balancing your new project with Shadow Storm, Work, and Family.
Jackie: Thanks for the support in doing this interview. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you guys.
VQDM: After being involved with Chainfist and putting everything in to that and I am sure feeling that it would be the band to take you to the top, how do you decide to try again knowing how difficult it has been in the music industry?
Jackie: Well, when it’s not fun anymore, it’s time to call it a day. I am still proud of the music we did together in Chainfist, but in many points we were quite far from each other, so I couldn’t really see myself playing in this band anymore.
For me it has never really been about getting to the top. It’s all about creativity, being able to express myself, and having loads of fun at the same time. Music is my passion, but at the same time, I enjoy my daytime job as well. Being able to spend time with my family without having to tour all the time, which would be demanding, if you wanted to get to the top in this industry.
VQDM: I was so bummed to hear about the break up with Chainfist, as you know I was and still am a big fan of the album you guys put out. That being said, I was equally stoked when you told me that you were working on some new music with some new guys! Tell us about the members of the band how you guys came together.
Jackie: Shadow Storm is Qvan Just on drums, Bo Møller Kristensen on guitar, Michael Olesen on guitar, Lars Munk-Andersen on bass and me Jackie Petersen on vocals. I met the guys after responding to an add on Facebook. They already had a full line-up, but they’d been working with a singer for some time, which really didn’t work for them. I drove to the rehearsal room and we started jamming some stuff, and it worked quite well, so I was taken in. They already had some material that needed lyrics and vocal melodies, so we started working on that.
VQDM: The new Shadow Storm EP “Dark Times” is fantastic, and I am stoked to hear you sing again! Please tell us a little about the writing process for this album. How did you come up with the name Shadow Storm?
Jackie: Thank you.
The song writing process for this EP has been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with a band.
It’s almost like the songs and melodies write themselves.
Bo, and Michael, the guitarists, are the ones writing the riffs, and Bo, who as a day job works as a programmer for LEGO, arranges the songs in Guitar Pro. That’s pretty much where all our songwriting starts. It sounds like some 8-bit music for a computer game, but it’s really an effective and easy way to work with songwriting. Things can be easily modified and re-arranged, without having to record any instruments. Usually the songs are given a working title and I write the lyrics based on that. Both of them are excellent songwriters with a really good ear for what is melodic, and at the time has some edge.
Sometimes the song titles are then changed to better fit the lyric content.
VQDM: When I listen to the lyrics of songs like Trigger Nation, Blood of Heroes, and Dark times, it sounds all to familiar; are these songs about the things happening in Denmark or are you singing about the world. I think people forget that the “dark times” happen everywhere, not just in the country they reside.
Jackie: There is certainly a lot of “Dark Times” happening in the world these years, but to be more precise, every song on this EP has a general theme. Whether it’s the gun violence happening in the US with mass shootings, or countries going to war without a real purpose and where it’s difficult to see any positive outcome, or people breaking down because of stress and pressure in modern life, where every thing has to look good on the outside. I think most people can relate to these themes, regardless where you live in the world.
You could say that the general theme of “Dark Times” is fear. I think a lot of the world is controlled by fear, and the people leading it knows this all very well and also use it against its people. If we could be less controlled by fear and let it go, I believe we would have a much better world.
VQDM: I always love talking about the Metal scene in other countries and how it differs from the USA; what is the Metal scene in Denmark like?
Jackie: The metal scene in Denmark is rather small, but there is quite a lot happening. Considering its size, we have the largest metal festival in Scandinavia called Copenhell, and then there are lots of other small festivals like Metal Magic, Aalborg Metal Festival, Viborg Metal Festival, Nordic Noise, Royal Metal Fest, and so on.
Whenever you go to metal concerts in Denmark, everybody pretty much knows each other.
There has been a lot of focus on the death- and black metal scene, but it seems to be more diverse these days with bands playing in different metal genres and the festivals actually willing to book them as well.
VQDM: Are there a lot of resources for production and recording in Denmark or do you as a band handle all of that your selves? Who are some of the people you are excited to be working with on the “Dark Times” EP?
Jackie: There are quite a lot of good producers in Denmark, but of course when you put out music without a label behind it, you also have to look at the economy of it all.
I am involved in another project called Tonzer with my good friend Michael Hansen. He was the producer on “Scarred” (Chainfist) and he cut us a really good deal, which helped making it possible to record “Dark Times” at a reasonable cost.
The video for Dark Times, we did ourselves to save costs for other things. So, yeah, there are lots of possibilities to record, but also lots of ways to use your network and do things yourselves with the technology at hand these days.
VQDM: I know you also have a passion for photography and I have seen some of the amazing photos you have taken and posted; how has photography helped you in your creative processes?
Jackie: It’s another way to express yourself and practice being creative with something else and I think it also helps me in terms of song writing. Being able to create something and “nerding” with it afterwards in the post processing triggers my creatively and I enjoy that a lot. The same goes for song writing. There’s a lot of “nerding” with the words, melody lines, and the meaning of the song.
I started out a couple years ago when I bought my first DSLR camera and that opened up another world of creativity. Now, most travel destinations are based on good photo locations ☺ I like to photograph the beauties of nature, and also the people on the streets. I like to visit different countries where the culture is quite far away from Denmark. Have a look at jaxxpetersen.dk and give the page a like ☺
VQDM: What can fans expect in the way of a tour for the new album? Are you guys going to be performing on any big tours?
The band is still very new and there’s a lot of work to be done to put ourselves on the map. We would like to do some gigs in Denmark and maybe Germany to start with, and then we just want to keep writing more material and good songs. We all have family and other duties to take care of, so small steps to begin with, focusing on good material.
VQDM: Having been through the tough times as a recording artist, what would you say to any band that wants to pursue a life in music?
Jackie: Well, first of all, you should do it because it’s your passion. If you’re in it for the money, then there are way easier ways to make a living. That being said, it’s an industry with lots a fun, good friendship, and amazing creativity. If you pursue a career, be ready to put in a lot of hard work and watch out for people trying to plant unrealistic dreams in your mind ☺ Less talk, more action!
VQDM: Will Shadow Storm be adding to the EP to complete a full album or will you be starting a new full-length album?
Jackie: We expect to continue recording more songs sometime around summer. We haven’t decided if it’s going to be a full album or another EP, or if we’re going to merge the songs together and release it as an entire album.
VQDM: It has been a pleasure doing this interview with you Jackie. We will be promoting and following the bands evolution and I know I speak for a lot of the staff here at VDQM when I say that we would love to see you guys tour the US! We wish you and the band all the best and look forward to seeing the growth and evolution of Shadow Storm. Cheers!!
Jackie: The pleasure is mine. Again, thanks for the support. We would love to go the US. Let’s see what happens.
Please check out Shadow Storm by clinking the link below!
VQDM- Dean Taylor Jr-April -2018