[INTERVIEW] Jackal Discusses "I Want To Destroy Something Beautiful", Creative Influences + Production Strategies

| August 10, 2022

On the heels of his latest release, “I Want to Destroy Something Beautiful” (featuring Roniit), Jackal is solidifying a year of innovative creations after a two-year hiatus. The British producer is widely renowned for his versatility ranging from drum and bass to trap, fathering iconic tracks such as "Shakedown" and "Chinchilla" prior to being signed to Sable Valley Records. Over the past decade, Jackal’s sound has always perched on the precipice of innovation through his incorporation of vocals and direct reflection of his moniker. Jackal dives into the deeper meanings behind his releases, progression of his career during his hiatus, and more.


Read iEDM’s exclusive interview with Jackal below.


iEDM: You’ve recently released “I Want to Destroy Something Beautiful” featuring Roniit. What was your first thought regarding how you wanted this track to turn out? Did the final product represent your original idea, or did it evolve as you progressed?

Jackal: I wanted to hear the granular synth productions that are popular right now (Flume, Quiet Bison) used in a darkwave setting. I haven’t come across that before so thought it would be a unique idea and there’s nothing that compliments that sound more than ethereal vocals drenched in reverb on top.

iEDM: You began a two-year hiatus before returning this past year. Did you find this break to be beneficial to your success and creativity? Did you continue to produce music during this time, or did you direct your energy elsewhere?

Jackal: I’ve had no actual time off, I’m just disgustingly terrible at finishing music. To top it off, coronavirus isolation had a negative effect on my creativity which led me to end up messing around a lot with the same projects getting nowhere. I’m coming back to all these failed projects though and finding the good ideas and revamping them, so it may not be wasted time after all.

iEDM: Similarly to giants such as Skrillex, Sullivan King, and Borgore, you began your musical journey with metal. What are the parallels between bass music and metal? Do you believe there is a cause for the surprisingly common pipeline between the two genres?

Jackal: I think it’s the effect of power you can create with good production. Just like in metal. Pure power. I fucking love it.

iEDM: As the creator of several trap anthems of the last decade, notably “Shakedown” and “Chinchilla”, how would you describe the evolution of your sound since then?

Jackal: I can’t even listen to how badly those tracks are mixed now. I had lots of weird ideas but no real production knowledge to make them sound good. Now, I am a lot more confident in my skills and I really want to keep incorporating musical elements into tracks. To me, "Don’t Come Near Me I’m A Monster" sounds like a much better version of "Carbomb". In my opinion, I’ve just been improving, but I’ve been trying to find my sound for all these years, and I feel like I’m still searching for it, honestly.

iEDM: Your 2019 Sable Valley release, “Christ Person, Woman God” is one of the most intriguing tracks in your discography. What is the underlying meaning or inspiration behind it?

Jackal: I was messing around a lot with trance gates at the time as I felt it was under used in a trap style. There’s so much energy that gating can bring to a track. I was listening to a lot of Rustie at the time and was inspired to make something sparkle and bang at the same time like he does. The title is taken from lyrics to a Pantera track, the theme being self worship, which I love.

iEDM: Some may claim that the popularity of trap music has declined since the 2013-2015 explosion of names such as RL Grime, Badklaat, and Flosstradamus. However, trap seems to have simply evolved with the times. How would you describe the evolution of trap music over the past decade? Would you call the nuanced styles commonly endorsed by Sable Valley and other labels “trap music”?

Jackal: I miss that era a lot, but personally, my influences have remained the same throughout the years. The best artists always say to not be influenced too much by trends that come and go. Just focus on your own thing and keep going in what you believe is good.

I think the Sable Valley sound IS the modern day trap music, and the production standards are much more advanced now, unlike back in 2013. I think this has influenced it the most.

iEDM: By analyzing your collection of music in chronological order, the titles of your tracks begin as simple descriptors of the sound (2013-2016), then descend into emotional and existential phrases (2017-2022). Did you experience any revelations or personal changes that align with the timeline of this transition? Is art often a direct reflection of an artist’s reality?

Jackal: Having success makes you question a lot of things. What am I doing? Do these people like me? Do I like them? What is this music I’m making? Will I be proud of this track in the next 5 years?

I became pretty isolated and depressed. So I guess, yes, it was a direct reflection of a changed/evolved artist. Having fans and people that listen to what you do creatively is a really weird experience and I’m still not used to it to be honest.

iEDM: The jackal has profound symbolic meaning in biblical and mythological stories. Did this play a role in your adoption of the moniker? What is the story behind your alias?

Jackal: Nothing mythological influenced me at all. I wanted to be an animal. Dance music is animalistic, it made sense to me when I started haha.

iEDM: Although you feature a range of vocalists in your music, you rarely collaborate with other producers. Are there any EDM artists you’d like to work with in the future?

Jackal: I am so so so bad at collaborating with other producers. I have some unfinished tracks with some awesome names, but I struggle with the process for some reason. When I’m working alone I know I can’t be judged and I feel more free to do something different. There’s expectations when collaborating with people. I think my creative process is just too different to be honest. I am definitely aiming to finish those open collabs soon though, but I don’t want to rush anything that I really value.

iEDM: You’ve had a great year so far. Are there any upcoming announcements you can share with us?

Jackal: I just have so many half finished projects that I’ve made over the last few years that I’m finally completing and releasing. Everything will be coming out as soon as possible, it’s Jackal season very soon!


Photos Courtesy of Jackal


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