Artist, musician, and entrepreneur – Jacob Bannon continues to express his creative nature through the arts with his new book, Dunedevil. Bannon defies the typical standards of a book by including photography, journal entries, abstract paintings, and an album of the same name to go with it. Bannon created his book and album while spending seven days in isolation along the coast of Massachusetts. The journal entries and pictures allow the viewer to experience each day as it comes, while the album is able to capture the rawness and simplicity of every moment.
JACOB BANNON INTERVIEW
TESS (HIGHLARK): Hi Jacob, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I really enjoyed looking at and reading your book Dunedevil, as well as listening to the companion album of the same name by Wear Your Wounds. Was it your intention from the start to create a musical component to go along with your visual artwork – if so, why?
JACOB BANNON: My intention was simply to create visuals and music. I didn’t have a final form of anything in mind when doing so. It was about the isolation and the freedom in that more than anything else. If I spent a week out there and had nothing to show for it, I would’ve had to accept that as well.
TESS: Dunedevil was created during your 7 day period of isolation along the Massachusetts coastline. It includes several different artistic mediums – paintings, writing, photography, and a musical component. What about being isolated in nature inspired you to create such beautiful pieces of work?
JACOB: Like any person who creates things I can be inspired anywhere. That specific environment posed a variety of challenges that were new to me. I enjoyed that aspect of things for sure. I just tried to capture the environment more so than anything else.
TESS: Both the photography and journal entries in your book suggest that the beach is a safe space for you. What do you find to be special about the beach?
<JACOB: I don’t know if I consider it a safe space, it’s just a peaceful place to me. Not only is it a beautiful environment, but it is also metaphorically the end of the line in many ways. To venture past it is thrilling to some and terrifying to others. I could go on about the headiness of it, but that’s the basics of it.
TESS: The paintings in your book appear textured and abstract – what is it that draws you to that particular style of painting?
JACOB: I enjoy color theory and how color can evoke mood and emotion. I enjoy building things with depth, etc. As for the approach, it was just something that I experiment with from time to time, and it seemed like a great place to explore some of those visual ideas.
TESS: Given that you are incredibly passionate about art, it is very fitting that you chose to cover your body in many different tattoos. What appeals to you about the art of tattooing? Have you ever considered taking up the art form?
JACOB: It is just something tied to the counter culture that I have been a part of since I was a teenager. As for the appeal, when I was younger it was something far less socially accepted. Back then I suppose it was a statement of sorts, some sort of rebellion. It’s a great art form with many extremely talented artists that exist within it. As for taking it up myself, no not really. I’ve tattooed a few friends here and there for fun, but nothing substantial.
TESS: Your album Dunedevil has 7 songs – one for each day of your retreat. While the songs tell their own stories within the music, the song titles do too – starting with “Invitation” and ending with “Be Still My Heart”. The first six songs do not have any lyrics, but the last song does. What was the reason behind only using lyrics in the last song?
JACOB: I just recorded what came out while I was there. I was limited in terms of solar power. It would take over a day for me to get a full charge, and that would only get me an hour or so of power for the set up. It was much faster and efficient to record music using my small midi piano as it didn’t draw as much power as the recording interface, etc. As for the sequence, I recorded a rough idea each day and that’s what you hear. I didn’t want to alter that. I wanted to keep both the art and music as raw and true to how it was captured with minimal editing, etc.
TESS: Your book includes very personal and honest, handwritten journal entries from each day of your retreat. What is it that you find gratifying about keeping a handwritten journal?
JACOB: I thought it would be a nice touch to things. As I mentioned, I had no idea what I’d encounter or make there, so it was just another way of documenting things. When I decided to put together a book of the project, it felt like a good way to organize the work and allow people to differentiate between days.
TESS: While you love to write and paint in a calm and isolated environment, you also love to perform in front of loud and wild audiences. Do you prefer one environment over the other?
JACOB: No, they are the same for me for the most part.
TESS: Lastly, you are immensely talented and creative – you seem to have discovered your love for the arts at a young age. How has your creative nature helped you grow as a person? Has it ever impacted you negatively?
JACOB: I don’t think I’m either. I just work hard at pushing my work further with everything that I do. I discovered a need to make things at a young age. It gave me a sense of purpose, and still does. I am very thankful that it has put me on this path. As for negative aspects of it, I’m not really sure how to answer that. All positive things in my life have come from making art and music in some way. Someone on a different path in life could say the same thing about their chosen path. I’m just thankful that I have the chance to do something that if fulfilling that I find value in. Thanks for your time, it is appreciated.