By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Despite what 2020 has thrown the music industry as a whole, Australia-based pop-punk band Wishful Thinking are still fresh off the momentum of their return from a 13-year hiatus, as they recently released the lyric video for “The Wrong Team,” which features John “STEVO” Stevens from AREA 7.
The song will be featured on a five-track EP ‘One More Time’ that’ll be released later in the year, which caps off the journey that began with a reunion tour in June 2019 that saw them play around Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide and share the stage with bands like The Porkers, For Amusement Only and Antiskeptic.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk with singer/guitarist Carl Jackson about their recent happenings and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
Carl Jackson – When I was a teenager, I saw the name on a boat.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Australia to someone who has never been there before?
Carl Jackson – Pretty much the best place on Earth.
Music Bugle – Which of your music videos is your personal favorite?
Carl Jackson – I really love our new video for “Time To Be Alone.” None of us in the band live in the same place, so when we’re on tour is one of the few times we get to hang out. We’re all really good friends and we have a really fun time on the road. Last time we toured together, we shot this video, right before the virus ruined everything. I think the video captures how much we like playing music together.
Music Bugle – How do you keep yourself occupied while in quarantine?
Carl Jackson – I live in Queensland and we’ve not been in lockdown for some time. My other job is in an essential service, so during lockdown, I worked and homeschooled my kids. When I see people talking about how much free time they have, it makes we wanna barf. COVID has been one of the busiest and most full-on times in my life.
Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder to stand out as a band these days?
Carl Jackson – I don’t think it’s changed, really. I think it’s just as hard as it was 20 years ago, it’s just hard in a different way. I’m pretty sure it’s always been five percent talent and 95 percent luck.
Music Bugle – What are some challenges that come with being in a band with four different members?
Carl Jackson – The main challenge we face as a band is the distance between the members. I used to love getting together and jamming in a room somewhere. We don’t get to do that these days, as I mentioned.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about pop-punk?
Carl Jackson – There’s no concert experience better than seeing a punk band. There’s no downtime, it’s just fast and heavy and awesome.
Music Bugle – What are some differences you find in the music scene between the time you formed and nowadays?
Carl Jackson – I think music was both more real and more special. When we first recorded in 1998, digital music was brand new and most bands still recorded analogue, which meant that there were mistakes, unplanned tempo changes and background noise. Now, everything is note-perfect, almost robotic. Music was special, because bands you loved would only put out an album every one-to-two-years. Now, you have to do something new every week or you slide into irrelevance. If you were a music fan, you had to leave your house to find new content, which meant looking through record stores, staying up late and watching obscure television shows and hitting play or record on your cassette deck while the radio was playing.
Music Bugle – What do you miss the most about performing in front of a live audience?
Carl Jackson – The reason I make music in any form is the chance to play it live. If there was no live, I’m not sure I’d bother. It’s the cornerstone of it all. With that being said, I miss pretty much every aspect of live music, even loading and unloading.
Music Bugle – If you had the opportunity to go back to this past New Year’s Eve, what would you tell yourself about 2020?
Carl Jackson – The band reforming last year was an unexpected gift, so up until COVID, we were pretty much living life to the fullest. I think we pretty much grabbed 2019 by the balls, so I don’t think I would have done or said anything different.