Michael Green: Can you let us know a few of the Bowie songs you’ve selected to cover for your performance?
Jeremy Jacobsen: Much of Low and also much of Let’s Dance, some other things as well.
MG: Why these particular songs?
JJ: Well, Let’s Dance is so familiar and my versions are super mutated from the original. I can let my style coast over the well-known songs. Also the tunes on both of these records are slightly simpler . . . a benefit to performing them as a one-man band, which you might guess is most challenging.
MG: Are there specific Bowie periods you are most drawn to?
JJ: Yes. The 1980s, Scary Monsters, Low, etc. But I love it all.
MG: Has Bowie influenced your own work in any way? Either as a musician or performer?
JJ: Yes, totally. I was listening to Low daily as I first began doing the Lonesome Organist back in 1996. I’m pretty sure no music on that record crept into my tunes but I am also sure that my idea of persona was solidified by Bowie’s many manifestations. I had hoped that the Organist would prove more malleable in terms of persona but at least my music achieves a certain variety.
MG: You played the 2002 Meltdown Festival that Bowie curated at the Royal Festival Hall in London. What was that experience like? Did you meet Bowie?
JJ: Bowie was having a baby at the time, so no, unfortunately for me I did not get the chance to meet him. It was just a gas to get called on to do it though.
MG: Were you surprised to get the call to participate in Meltdown? Were you aware that Bowie was a fan of your work?
JJ: I was totally surprised by the whole thing and was blown away that Bowie had heard something as low profile as my releases. It’s a credit to him that he is actively looking and listening for new music.