For Shaun Jacobs and his band it was the scoop and the dream of a lifetime - being the opening act for Canadian rockers Nickelback on their first South African tour. The Beat caught up with Shaun as he and the band are getting ready for this unique experience and tells us what his favourite Nickelback songs are. . .
Wow! Nickelback? How do you feel about opening for them? Wow indeed! We are blown away by the thought of it - still pinching ourselves to the fact that it is actually happening. We are so excited, and so grateful for the opportunity.
What can fans expect from your performance at the shows? The main thing we want to make sure of is that we enjoy ourselves. Playing live together as a band is such a thrill, and this is just the best "gig" we've ever had. We're going to play the best we've ever played while having as much fun as we've ever had!
So, how did you get the scoop on opening for them? Kim Saville was brought in by Electromode to do some PR work for me. She immediately sent my album to Attie at Big Concerts who really liked it, and in turn sent it to Nickelback themselves. Once they had given the nod, it was all systems go.
What went through your mind when you got the news? A month before it was all confirmed I got an email from Kim saying that she would be working on my PR, and that by the way I've been put forward to Nickelback to open for them. I was obvioulsy excited in a "wow, imagine if that were to actually happen" kind of way, but I didn't really think it would - once you've been in the industry a while you've had enough let downs for reality to dampen dreaming to some degree, so this seemed like a nice dream you know.....? As the month went by it started looking more and more likely, until eventually before going onto stage at a club I got a message saying that one of the members (Chad) had approved, and they were now just waiting on the other three. As a band we were like "That's cool, we'll believe it when we see it" kind of thing. The next morning I got a call from Kim saying that it was officially happening!! It still feels surreal...!
Who was the first person you told when you heard the news? My wife was in the room with me when I got the call, and I didn't need to say anything to her, she could see straight away by my reaction what the news was
How nervous are you for the gigs? We're not really nervous, we're just really excited. We feel ready for this as a band - we've never enjoyed playing music so much before; we've got a great chemistry together as musicians and as friends and we feel confident in our performance - we feel like we're up to it. That being said, we've never played anything that scale before so I have no idea how we're going to feel on the first night, which is why we just want to focus on enjoying the opportunity!
What has been the biggest gig/crowd you have played for as the crowds at the Nickelback shows are sure to be quite massive? Biggest crowd I have played to is about 2500 people, so this is going to be a big step up. I've always wanted to play in the Dome, and always used to say to friends when we drove past it "Imagine playing there one day". Now it's actually happening!
Do you have any little rituals/things your do before going on stage? I always do a fairly extensive vocal warm up, and Andrew and Craig usually play around with harmonies to my warm ups - sounds quite cool sometimes. Then we'll run one or two choruses vocally to make sure we're in sync and ready to go, and then we'll make a point of setting any technical concerns or anything like that aside in our minds and just going out and enjoying the gig and enjoying spending an evening with the fans.
What is your favourite Nickelback song? Hard to leave "How you remind me" out of the favourites, I mean it's just a great song - it put them on the map for a reason. I also love "Gotta be Somebody" - I love the simplicity of the melody, yet with the songs natural energy I find it really hooky.
Besides opening for Nickelback, what have you been up to lately? The main thing I've been working on is the live presentation with the band as it's hard to focus on that when you're working on an album in studio. We're looking to play as much as possible now - good to be back on the stage again having got the Love Can album finished and out there!
Any new music in the works? I have actually deliberately been withholding myself from writing music for a period after finishing the album just to let the creativity build beneath the surface, and to get a fresh perspective so that when I start up again I progress from where I finished with the Love Can album and don't just stay in the same musical box. It's already paying off - there are some great ideas pushing through to the surface, and some great show ideas we have been playing around with in the rehearsal room as a band. I am always trying to improve as a songwriter, and as a band we are always trying to stretch ourselves with what we can incorporate into the live sets - I know there is a LOT more to come.....