Interview: Eksteen Jacobsz

2011-03-02 08:59
Eksteen Jacobsz is the face and mind behind Pretoria alternative / rock project The Sick-Leaves with him being responsible for the music, lyrics, guitars, vocals and bass on all the albums.

Eksteen traditionally performs all the vocals and instrumentation on Sick-Leaves projects himself, with occasional guests.

The Sick-Leaves has just completed the recording of a new EP titled Breaking Away, which was produced and mixed by Darryl Torr, who also produced their album Last Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The Sick-Leaves is essentially one person, what do you find to be the advantages of being a solo artist compared to when you were part of the London rock band The Infidels?

Creative freedom is quite high up on the list. You don’t have to make compromises. The decision making process is much faster as a solo artist and you can’t break up while a band can.  Songwriting is much easier and faster and there aren’t any egos to deal with.

You are currently recording a new EP to follow from third album Last Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, what would you describe as the mood or theme of these songs?

The mood for these new songs can be described as "jubilant". As always there are dark and sinister undertones in the lyrics, which contrasts nicely with the music, but as a whole I would say it is very upbeat. The theme I had in mind when I wrote these songs was “music for movie soundtracks”. The sound is very expansive and I always wanted to record a batch of songs that would be classified as massive and epic.

Were these songs left over from Last Dance?

All seven songs are new and were written after “Last Dance…”. This is the first time it has happened. Usually 20% of the songs would be old songs that didn’t fit with the others on the previous albums or there wasn’t space left for them. It’s also the reason that I think they fit so well together, as they were all written in the same six-month period.

How did you select the seven songs that would be included on this EP?

Not much time has passed since Last Dance’s release last year, so I only had 12 songs from which to choose. There were a few acoustic tracks but they just didn’t fit in with what I wanted to do on this EP. It is interesting how the song selection come about if you only have 7 spots open instead of the usual 11 or 12. All killer, no filler.

What are your interests besides music / The Sick-Leaves?

I have developed quite an interest in photography in recent years and it is something that I want to pursue a bit more. I love aviation and a dream of mine to one day obtain my PPL. I hike in the Drakensberg every now and then and I also love to play any sport that involves a round ball.

If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream occupation?

Being a commercial pilot could be quite interesting as you would travel and see the world while doing what you love and you get paid for it.

At the moment, which band would you most like to see perform live?

AC/DC or Muse.

Eksteen is active on Twitter as @thesickleaves, the Facebook fan page is: and Soundcloud:
The Sick-Leaves are also on PING & myspace.

Eksteen Jacobsz is the face, voice, hands and mind behind Pretoria alternative / rock project The Sick-Leaves.
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