Vegetarian. Vinyl enthusiast. Classically trained violinist. Lover of books. This edition of Fistful of Questions goes out to Jackie Green guitarist and vocalist of Reverend Mother.
What is your full name?
Do you have any aliases?
I don’t think so.
If you had an alias what might it be?
Jackie Kill-Two-Birds-With-One-Stone Green. I like efficiency. I am also a vegetarian so I’m not killing any real birds FYI.
What bands are you actively involved with?
Right now, just Reverend Mother.
What was the first instrument that you played?
I played classical violin pretty intensely from when I was 4 years old until I was about 18.
Tell me about one of your first musical memories?
My first musical memory I have is of my dad putting on his The Doors greatest hits album. He played “Riders on the Storm” for me, and as far as I can remember gave me a little bit of a background on the making of that song.
What was the name of the first band you were in?
Tell me about the genesis of Reverend Mother.
I started writing the songs that became RM songs (and are on our upcoming full-length record) in 2017, I think. I basically started writing music as a way to learn how to play guitar. The songs were written by me to challenge me, and conquer a (sometimes specific) skill. At some point, I realized I needed a drummer and bassist to make the ideas/guitar songs into fully fleshed out songs. I decided I would sing in the band - even though I had no experience, because I didn’t want anyone else singing my feelings, my lyrics and stories.
What inspired the name Reverend Mother?
Frank Herbert’s book “Dune.” The premiere science fiction novel of all time! Reverend Mothers are high ranking women in a sisterhood called the Bene Gesserit. They’re intellectually, emotionally, metaphysically, and spiritually inclined women who seek to bring humanity to enlightenment with their deep knowledge about pretty much everything.
The band was formerly called Priestess. What inspired the name change?
There are just too many bands out there with Priestess as their name, or part of it! It was a good name to use to get my thoughts about my music in order under, and a way to kind of cultivate the meaning of this music. But ultimately, it wasn’t sustainable to go by that name in the long run.
How long did it take you to write and record your self-titled EP?
“Let it Live” is a Fuzz cover, but it took me quite a while to be able to play that song well - as I really only started playing guitar five years ago. I told myself I wouldn’t call myself a guitarist until I could nail the solo in that song. “The Muse” is an original track, and was written in quarantine in March/April of 2020. I think we spent 2 days recording those tracks.
If you could insert yourself into any one band what band would it be and why?
Black Sabbath but they’re so perfect as is I would just go back in time and go on tour with them and stand off to the side and scream/sing/air guitar along. I wouldn’t want to mess up that supreme force of nature by inserting myself in any other way.
Have you ever heard a song and immediately wished you had written it? If so… What was the song and artist?
There’s probably a million of those for me. One that immediately comes to mind is “For the Turnstiles” by Neil Young.
Do you have any non-metal musical inspirations?
SO many. Jefferson Airplane, Warren Zevon, Dead Moon, Queens of the Stone Age, Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Grandfunk Railroad, Arctic Monkeys…. I mean this list is VERY very long. I’m just trying to spitball here. A lot of my friends’ bands inspire me daily, too!
Non-metal song that you'd like to do a cover of.
SO many here too. I’m dying to do a Lana del Rey cover. We did a *super* special non-metal song cover for our upcoming record. I wish I could tell you what it is, because it slaps, but it’s a surprise.
What band have you played with that has really impressed you with their live show?
Thelma and the Sleaze !!!!!
Do you have a favorite venue to play at?
We were playing TV Eye quite a bit before the pandemic shut things down - playing there is AWESOME.
Do you have a pre-show ritual?
Yes - some of which I’ll disclose, some of which I won’t ;) I always paint my face - I started changing up the way I did it just before the pandemic hit. I need to rethink that design. I always carefully select 2 brand new guitar picks that I end up just running around holding in my hand while talking to friends for no good reason, hoping I don’t somehow lose them by the time we get on stage. I could easily just wait until we get on stage to pick them out, but maybe they wouldn’t get all filled up with good energy that way.
What is your favorite thing about touring?
The energy is just SO good. I love road trips in general, so that’s a plus. There’s just really nothing boring about it - being in a different place almost every night, meeting new people every night, and getting to share and receive a new energy every night.
What is your least favorite thing about touring?
When I get overtired I become basically dysfunctional and very grumpy. If I didn’t get a good night’s floor sleep, it feels like a little part of me dies and I just hate that.
Is there a city that you love to hit while on tour?
I like the entire state of California very much. I once did a tour of only California with a different band, and basically just lived in California for two weeks. That was a big shining moment for me. So I guess anywhere in California.
What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had on the road?
I guess this is kind of sad, rather than weird - but it still makes me mad. I was playing Zebulon in LA with a different band and I was wearing these platform sandals that never quite fit correctly. Everyone decided to go walk to Starbucks, and I decided at the last minute I wanted coffee - so I started to jog toward them. My shoes failed me, and I twisted my ankle pretty badly. I couldn’t walk - and had to play the show standing on one foot with a bag of ice on the other foot. I walked barefoot throughout the whole venue because I couldn’t get a shoe on my foot. A day or two later was my birthday and all I wanted was to go to the Redwood Forest for my birthday. I thought that it was just a place you walk through - kind of a stroll through a nature preserve kind of deal, not a multiple mile walk straight uphill. My mistake. My ankle was still NOT walkable, and I had to hike up a few miles to the top of the forest with it in that condition. My friend Katie was also wearing red sparkly Wizard of Oz type heeled shoes too and almost slid the entire way back down the mountain.
The year is 2013. Where are you at and what are you listening to?
I think that was the year the Arctic Monkeys record “AM” came out. I was in school in upstate New York. I loved and still love that record. Also, my friends had bought me my first turntable for my birthday - so I FINALLY got to listen to all the records my dad had given me that were just decoration in my room up until them. I had Zeppelin, The Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd - all the good stuff.
What advice would you give young musicians that are just starting out in the music business?
Do it because it makes you feel good. Don’t do it for any other reason. Get out what you need to get out emotionally and have fun with your friends. Don’t take anything too seriously because it will suck the fun out. If it comes from your heart, they’ll come.
What is an absolute band killer?
People taking themselves entirely too seriously. You want to be the best musician you can be and surround yourself with other people who want to be the best musicians they can be too. But when you have someone bossing people around, or putting others down - whether inside the band or outside the band - that’s not fun. This whole thing is supposed to be fun. When you stop having fun, it’s probably time to leave.
What’s the longest time you’ve gone without bathing?
I work out (and get very sweaty doing it) 6 days a week and have VERY long VERY curly / thick hair. So maybe - like 2 days? I’m kind of high maintenance because of the hair. Except for in 2012 when I worked at Bonnaroo for 9 days...
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I have a crippling phobia of taxidermy. It’s extremely bad and I’m told “not metal” but I don’t care. I absolutely cannot handle it and have had this issue since I was a small kid. I have a close friend who has the same exact phobia and makes metal music, and it’s actually how we became friends.
What are two things that people should absolutely know about Brooklyn, NY?
There’s a lot of history here. I think it’s worthwhile, if you’re going to visit, to look up some of the history and visit the places that most attract you. Greenwood Cemetery has a TON of famous people buried there and you can go visit all of their graves. It’s also a great place to meet lifelong friends. Sometimes, like a part of any major city, it can feel like people are closed off and not wanting to engage. That may be, and is probably true - but there is also a LOT of collaboration happening here. If you’re planning to visit, plan to make some friends that you WILL see again whether in this city or another.
Give my five local bands that I definitely need to check out.
Old Lady - they’re New Jersey but play in NYC all the time/used to live here
The Nude Party - upstate New York but same deal
Is the Fistful of DOOM show in the top 10 of your favorite music podcasts?
Do unicorns sleep standing up?
I think they sleep flying. It’s pretty magical. Pegasus stuff.
You’re driving cross-country and you can only listen to one album the whole time. What album will it be?
So I have this paranoia that if I listen to an album too much I’ll get sick of it - so I try to change things up. This is a scary question for me for that reason, but honestly “Morrison Hotel” by The Doors. Black Sabbath is my favorite band and that’s probably why I’m hesitant to pick one of their albums. I have to be careful when I drive and listen to music. I get very distracted by how sucked in I get to Sabbath or how fast I drive to Motorhead. The Doors seems safe.
You are writing a book about your life thus far. What is the title of that book?
How the Hell Did I Get Here?: The Life & Times of Jackie Green
What is your favorite song by Lana Del Rey?
Hmm. I think “Cola” off the Paradise album.
Black Sabbath with Ozzy or Dio (if you had to choose)?
OZZY FOREVER. I love Dio, no disrespect to him by any means but OG Sabbath. I don’t deal well with change.
Doobies or Boobies (if you had to pick one)?
The Doobie Brothers.
Waffles or Pancakes (if you had to pick one)?
Chocolate chip pancakes. No chocolate chips, not cool.
Star Wars or Star Trek (if you had to choose)?
Mmmm…. Star Trek. The pilot episode on repeat.
Favorite band t-shirt you own?
All million Sabbath shirts I have. None of them are as soft as I’d like them to be, though which is problematic. Someone find me a very soft Sabbath shirt, please. My Uncle Acid shirt is the perfect amount of soft.
I have a few. “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy is tied for top place with like 5 others.
No Country For Old Men is tied with a bunch. It also happens to be based on a Cormac McCarthy novel that I LOVED.
Again, so many favorites. I’m so bad at picking just one of anything. Sabbath. Let’s just go with Sabbath.
Massive thanks to Jackie for taking the time to answer these questions. I appreciate it. Be sure to check out Reverend Mother’s self-titled release. It makes for a tasty little hors d’oeuvre while waiting on what is sure to be a five-star full-length.