Exclusive: Jonathan Jackson and Enation on Their One Tree Hill Connection

18 04 2010

About 200 artists are heard on One Tree Hill each season, according to the show’s music supervisor, Lindsay Wolfington. Of that 200, only a tiny portion are seen on-screen. A few easily come to mind…Fall Out Boy…Kate Voegele…Mike Grubbs. But what made the use of Enation particularly unique is that its first song on the show, “Feel This,” wasn’t sung by the band but by Bethany Joy Galeotti (Haley).

After Galeotti’s character performed the song during the season 5 finale (Episode 5.18, What Comes After The Blues), the band performed onstage with Galeotti as she sang it again in season 6 during the USO concert (Episode 6.10, Even Fairytale Characters Would Be Jealous), which also featured Voegele (Mia) and the band Angels & Airwaves. Enation, which features Jonathan Jackson (yes, that Jonathan Jackson), Richard Lee Jackson, Michael Galeotti, Luke Galeotti and Daniel Sweatt, also had their song “World In Flight” played in that episode.

I recently spoke with Jonathan Jackson on the phone and caught up with Richard Lee Jackson and Luke Galeotti via e-mail. In our interviews, the band discussed the effect One Tree Hill has had on them, their plans for the future and using social media to connect with their fans.

TeenDramaWhore: First of all, I want to congratulate you. I heard you have another baby on the way.

Jonathan Jackson: Yes, I do. Thank you. We’re excited.

TDW: I also have to commend you for the unbelievable job you did not too long ago on General Hospital in the scenes where Lucky confronts Elizabeth and Nikolas.

Jackson: Oh, cool. Thank you.

TDW: We all know that you have an obscene amount of talent but those were just breathtaking.

Jackson: Thank you so much. That’s awesome.

TDW: I don’t know if you can say but were those in your Emmy reel?

Jackson: Well, those are for 2010. If I’m nominated next year, then I’ll be sending those scenes in.

TDW: The cut-off dates always throw me for a loop.

Jackson: The ones [for the upcoming Emmys are from] ‘09 and that particular episode aired in January of 2010. So that won’t come around til next year.

TDW: Oh, wow. So even though you filmed it before January, it matters when it airs.

Jackson: Yes.

TDW: Gotcha. Switching over to Enation, some bands would say being featured on a teen soap like One Tree Hill or even a daytime soap like General Hospital is cheesy or selling out. But Enation has obviously embraced it. Why is this the route you thought was good for you guys?

Jackson: Well, there’s a few reasons. One is we’re friends with Bethany Joy Galeotti and Michael, who’s our keyboard player in the band, is married to her. So it was a friendship and a relational connection that specifically got us excited about doing something for One Tree Hill. And just in terms of the basic idea of placing songs on TV shows, we’ve always been for that. Especially as an independent band, when you don’t have a giant label pushing your music on radio, that’s sort of a different way to reach a wide audience. One Tree Hill has a really strong following and we thought it would be a great way to get our music out there and exposed to more people.

TDW: The fans who were uninitiated to Enation before One Tree Hill, did their enthusiasm surprise you at all?

Jackson: It really did. We had no idea that the music would catch on like it did. It’s been pretty cool. And the song that we did with Bethany Joy was really cool. People really connected with that song. It was a real personal song for me about redemption. It was neat to see people really connect with it.

TDW: For your appearance on the show, what differences did you notice between filming One Tree Hill, a primetime show, and General Hospital, a daytime soap? I know the processes are a bit different, right?

Jackson: Primetime shows that shoot on film are pretty different than daytime. Daytime is sort of a hybrid between theater and film in the sense that on General Hospital you have four cameras that are shooting at once. One Tree Hill usually does one camera at a time, which is more of the traditional film style. You do multiple takes from a bunch of the different angles over the course of the day. On General Hospital you basically do the scene once and they catch it with four different cameras and you move on to the next scene. As an actor, it’s pretty different. But I grew up doing films and other TV shows as well so I’m pretty used to the different styles that people do.

TDW: Was it an added challenge to be filming something with the musical component? Because you weren’t filming something as an actor, like you usually are.

Jackson: It was cool, actually. It was fun. I had never really experienced it from a different angle like that. It was cool to be part of the filming but not be one of the actors, per se, and just be one of the musicians. It was cool to see it from a different perspective and it was fun to partner with Bethany and see what happened. The USO thing was really cool, too, because the people were amazing. Just to be able to support something like that meant a lot to us.

TDW: I know Enation and [Galeotti’s band with Amber Sweeney] Everly recently booked a gig for August at the Corn Palace. Will other joint dates be announced?

Jackson: As soon as we get ‘em, we’ll announce ‘em. That’s definitely a possibility. It works out perfectly for us just because we’re all really good friends. Our music is different but it sort of complements each other well and there’s crossing of audiences with One Tree Hill and General Hospital. So I think it’s possible we’ll do more dates.

TDW: When you guys perform together, do you collaborate on-stage, too? Like, do you perform Feel This together?

Jackson: We’re sort of talking about that right now, how we’re going to arrange all that stuff. We’ve done small acoustic shows where we’ve done that but this is probably the first full-on, full-length show that we’re doing together so we’re talking now about how we’re going to execute everything.

TDW: In Enation, you & Richard are brothers and Michael & Luke are brothers. What is the benefit of working with your siblings?

Jackson: Well, for Richard and I, it’s awesome. Most of the creative things we do in our lives, we do together, whether it’s writing scripts or playing music. All that kind of stuff. It’s great. He’s an incredible drummer and producer. We work really well together. And I think it’s fun for Luke and Michael as well. It’s just nice when you’re traveling and touring to have your brother there and feel like somebody’s got your back. But we feel like that with Dano as well. We’re sort of a band of brothers.

TDW: I like that phrase. How do you find time for everything? You have the music, you’re doing other projects with your brother, you have two kids, and you have an immensely popular but very time-intensive daytime series. How do you fit it all in?

Jackson: It’s pretty tough. It’s pretty crazy. I don’t know. You just do your best to prioritize. For instance, I’m not working on GH this week so I’m up in Washington and we’re working on music. When I have downtime at night, I spend a lot of that time writing screenplays and books and stuff like that. Whenever I’m not doing one of those creative things, I’m doing another. Also prioritizing time with my wife and kids is something I work really hard at, trying to put that time before all the creative stuff.

TDW: You guys have increasingly been using Facebook and Twitter to interact with fans. It’s one more thing to do but it’s opened up opportunities to have relationships with fans that you didn’t necessarily have before.

Jackson: I know. It’s been a transition, probably, over the last five years to incorporate more of that stuff. It’s really important, especially, like I said, as a band when you’re doing some stuff independently. There’s a fun creative process of just dreaming about how you can stay connected with people and let them get to know what you’re about and what the music is about. We’ve been doing an online magazine, Enation Magazine. I think we’ve done five or six issues, and that’s been really cool because it gives people a really in-depth picture of some of the music and some of our experiences. But Twitter and Facebook have been great.

TDW: Last question, and I know it might be an impossible one to answer. If you had to choose one for the rest of your career–doing TV, making movies or playing music–which would you go with?

Jackson: Yeah, that probably is impossible. I think between the three, I’d probably try to hold on to a combination of making films and still playing music with the band. Maybe we could make films and then score the soundtracks. That would be cool.

Q & A with Enation’s Richard Lee Jackson and Luke Galeotti

TeenDramaWhore: How has the association with One Tree Hill changed your “knownness” factor?

Richard Lee Jackson: Being on One Tree Hill has increased our exposure in a big way. Not only were we able to play in front of the live USO crowd of over 3,000 people the night our show was filmed, but we were also seen by the millions of fans who watch the show once it aired. We’ve had over 100,000 people download the version of “Feel This” we did with Bethany Joy, which is now our biggest-selling song. There were also over 100,000 people all over the world who watched a YouTube video focusing on the lyrics to “Feel This”––which as a co-writer of the song makes me feel pretty great! We want that message of hope, beauty, and redemption to get heard, and One Tree Hill was a big part of that happening.

Luke Galleotti: Well for me, playing on One Tree Hill was the first time I’ve really been around “Fame” and I got an interesting new perspective on why I am playing music. Fame is very overrated but at the same time it can be used to influence a lot of people. So, I guess what that whole experience showed me was that what I really want for me and my music is to be content being me and bless a lot of people along the way.

TDW: What was the most surprising thing about filming your appearance on One Tree Hill?

RLJ: For me, the most surprising part was how involved the USO really was. The men and women on the base there in [North Carolina] were the ones who actually built the stage where the concert was performed on. They were so inviting, so happy for us to be there. We were the ones who were honored to serve them any way we could, but their hearts were so filled with gratitude. They put their lives on the line for us, and here they are thanking us for showing up and playing a concert. We told them, from the stage, anywhere we could, how thankful we were for their sacrifice and service.

LG: I was surprised that the cast and crew were everyday normal people. For me, I had a totally different view on how things worked and how people acted in the industry but when it was all said and done, we are all just people. I really enjoyed hanging out with everyone. There are a lot of great people on that set.

TDW: What’s the one TV show you would love to have an Enation song on?

RLJ: Lost. No question for me. That’s one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. They’ve had some really great music sequences, too.

LG: I don’t watch a lot of TV but it would be fun to hear our songs on the shows I do watch–Lost, Chuck and/or The Legend of the Seeker.

TDW: Who would play each of you in the movie version of Enation’s career?

RLJ: : Oh, man, great question! Okay, let’s see.
Jonathan: Leonardo DiCaprio or Johnny Depp
Myself: Matt Damon
Daniel: Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell or Jeff Bridges (younger)
Michael: Matthew Fox
Luke: Colin Farrell

LG: Hmm, that’s a tough one. I think I would nominate Enation to play Enation. I don’t know anyone who is better at being us than, well, us.

TDW: What’s next for the band?

RLJ: We are continuing to promote our recent albums, “World In Flight” and our first ever live album, “The Future Is A Memory.” We are also working on our next album, which at this point is at the “throwing paint on the canvas” stage. We don’t know what it will look like yet. We have some shows lined up for the summer and we’re still looking to book more. Those dates should be released pretty soon for our fans. We are always interacting with our fans, making our Enation Magazine for the Enation Army members, and we love keeping in touch through Twitter and Facebook. Our biggest desire is to continue to be who we are, making  great music that we hope connects with people. We want to look back and be really proud of the catalogue of music we have.

LG: Well, I hope to work on building a strong fan base in the northwest and seeing what opens up from there. For me, it’s not about where we go or how far we go. It’s about us being together.

Come back next Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index

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8 responses

18 04 2010
Rosalie

You talked to Jonathan on the phone?!

*breathless*

Great article & questions, S!

18 04 2010
Vicki

Awesome, awesome interview Shari! And talking to Jonathan Jackson on the phone had to be so thrilling! Great questions, and I loved how you incorporated GH questions into the interview. The scene you asked him about was definetely Emmy worthy and was one of his best scenes ever, IMO. I have been a huge fan of JJ since he first started as a young boy on GH and I am so glad to see him back as Lucky Spencer.

The Enation part of the interview was great and very informative as well. “Feel This” is an awesome song and one that the band should be very proud of which it seems they are.

Loved your intro and all your questions, great article, thanks so much, and keep ’em coming! 🙂

Vicki

18 04 2010
Alyssa

Awe, Jonathon Jackson! Been a fan ever since I first watched Tuck Everlasting 🙂

18 04 2010
Jamie

I couldn’t have said it any better myself, Vicki. I also thought that was one of Jonathan’s best scenes all year so far. I’ve always loved him. Ever since he first started playing Lucky on GH back in the day, and I was so excited to see him come back. What a great interview, and I’m really happy for Jonathan and Lisa, because I know people were speculating last year whether or not she was pregnant again.

19 04 2010
sanen85

I am another one who has loved Jonathon Jackson since he (well, really we) were young. He is the reason I started watching GH and I was so excited after he came back. I also live in Washington (I didn’t realize he did until a couple years ago) and have always hoped I’d run into him.

19 04 2010
sanen85

Oh, and I think we have yet another connection to GH (with his bandmate being married to Bethany) whenever that comes around again on Six Degrees.

19 04 2010
Lexy

I completely forgot about him being in Tuck Everlasting! I loved him in Deep End of the Ocean and was so excited when I heard he was coming back to General Hospital. GREAT INTERVIEW.

20 10 2010
DonnaJo

Let’s get this Liz and Lucky reunion going. This Irish stuff is dumb.

Love Enation and all of the boys!!

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