Last month, Jackson Stell released “Touch,” the latest single under the monicker Big Wild. Balancing the twang of an old spaghetti western with modern production, the track is a perfect summer soundtrack with buoyant vocal melodies and warm guitars.
To celebrate the new single, Stell sat down to talk Mac DeMarco, The Rock, and Forrest Gump in the latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
My music is me.
It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
I would want my music to be remembered for being honest and authentic, as something that represents me and the energy I put out into the world. Sharing my music with people, and understanding their interpretation of it, is the most intimidating but rewarding part of making music.
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
Morrison, CO, because of Red Rocks. It’s such a beautiful venue and we always work to bring a one of a kind show.
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
I can’t really pin any one singular person who inspired me, but I first got inspired to make music from hip-hop production that was coming out of the early-mid 2000s. Artists like Dr. Dre, Pharrell, and Timbaland inspired me to get Fruity Loops studio and start making beats. They each had their own unique sound and I was really drawn towards that specific aspect.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
I played a show in New Zealand last summer and ate at a little, nondescript spot in Auckland while I was walking around the city and exploring. It was a really simple meal but the flavor and freshness of it was amazing. It was the power of minimalism in a meal: use few elements and make them count. I try (and struggle) to accomplish that in my music.
What album do you know every word to?
Mac Demarco’s 2. Something about his songwriting is really memorable and powerful to me.
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
Anderson .Paak at Forecastle Festival. He’s my favorite performing artist. Not only is he immensely talented, but the energy and vibe he channels to the crowd just feels really good.
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
Something that breathes and has a bit of give. I move around a lot and if something is too restrictive I end up feeling less free on stage. Clothing on stage can be very psychological.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
The Rock. If he runs for president, he’s got my vote.
What’s your most frequently played song on the bus on tour?
We all are pretty musically sporadic and play random things. If it’s a show where we have a gig the next night, we are probably playing something more relaxing. If it’s the last show of a run, we’re trying to have a good time and listen to something fun.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
My email… I’m boring lol.
What album makes for the perfect gift?
That really depends on the person’s music tastes, right? A go-to of mine though would be Tame Impala’s Currents.
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
Wal-Mart parking lot I think tops this list.
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
Ooo, that one’s personal, sorry.
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
I’m a sucker for a good classic rock anthem. Almost anything from that era grabs my attention. Except Journey, it’s just too damn played out.
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
My partner supports me and puts up with my BS lol. That’s the nicest thing and continues to be the nicest thing anyone does for me.
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
Go to more live shows. I only had gone to a couple shows before I started playing them myself and it’s been a learning process along the way. More exposure to shows early on in my life would probably have saved me some time haha.
What’s the last show you went to?
If it counts, Room Service fest online. The day I can enjoy a physical show again will be glorious.
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
Forest Gump, every damn time.
What would you cook if Kanye were coming to your house for dinner?
Aloo gobi, but he probably wouldn’t like it.
“Touch” is out now on Counter Records.