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'I don’t really feel like a festival artist': Julia Jacklin struggles with Texas heat at ACL 2019

Julia Jacklin talked to KVUE about the music industry, being on tour and what it’s like to be a musician.

AUSTIN, Texas — Australian indie-folk rocker Julia Jacklin performed at the Austin City Limits 2019 Music Festival and later sat down for an interview with KVUE.

In a theme that seems to be universal with the performers of ACL Weekend 1, the Austin heat seemed to cause her some trouble.

“This heat has, uh, broke my guitar string,” said Jacklin, who was brought a replacement guitar. “This is the first time this guitar will be played on stage. What a moment for everyone.”

Jacklin told KVUE she thinks the guitar being in a cold plane and then being exposed to the Austin heat may have caused the difficulties with the string. She said being from Australia allowed her to be semi-prepared for the heat.

“It’s been punishing, but yeah, it’s a bit hard on stage in this kind of weather,” said Jacklin. “There’s no cover between you and the sun for 45 minutes. It’s a bit intense.”

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Jacklin has been touring for the better part of the past four years and said being on tour isn’t a healthy way for a person to live.

“It’s very destabilizing and, you know, there's things you can do like try and drink lots of water, or like, try and like, do yoga, like, once every month,” said Jacklin. “I think the biggest thing is humans, we need routine; we need, yeah, routine, to stay physically and mentally well, and touring is the antithesis of routine.”

She said she tries to play her louder songs at festivals and is able to play her softer songs at her own shows.

“I don’t really feel like a festival artist, which is probably not good,” said Jacklin. “I should probably get my head in the game.”

Jacklin related being a musician to a small business in the way that it requires investment.

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“It’s just a huge risk, I guess,” said Jacklin. “It doesn’t always work out but it’s working out for me, so that’s good.”

Jacklin said that the record label she’s with, Polyvinyl Records, has been very artist-friendly, which isn’t always the case in the music industry.

“A lot of labels try to get their fingers in the creative process, which I think is like, super dumb, because they signed you for a reason, because they like the music you make,” said Jacklin. “Polyvinyl, they’re just like, ‘Do what you do and we’ll back you,’ which I really appreciate because it’s not always like that.”

Jacklin’s latest album, “Crushing,” came out in February 2019 and was met by critics with positive reviews, including a four out of five by Rolling Stone and a five out of five by the Independent, with a 7.7 out of 10 on Metacritic. Despite the positive feedback, Jacklin said she doesn’t like to read reviews.

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“I think any sort of criticism is scary because you know that it can always turn on you,” said Jacklin. “I definitely read them, but I wish I didn’t, and the only reason I read them is that they're positive.”

When working on the album, Jacklin said that she didn’t let anyone from the industry hear any of the demos.

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“I just knew I don’t want any opinions on these songs from industry people,” said Jacklin. “Sometimes they don’t even know what they want.”

Jacklin said she’s been thinking a lot about what she’ll do when her tour ends.

“I think I need some time off,” said Jacklin. “I’ve been going pretty hard for the last year and, yeah, I just don’t really know what I’m going to do next. I think I need a bit of reflective time.”


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