Jackie Chambers is a self-taught guitar player who played in some punk bands in her native Leeds and then in London, before starting to write music with Kim McAuliffe around 1995. She shared a flat for seven years with Kelly Johnson in London and both Johnson and Cris Bonacci helped her in becoming an accomplished lead guitarist, in order to take their place in the band.
Interview With Jax Chambers of Girlschool & Syteria
March 18, 2015
By Londa R. Marks | Metal Music
Published By Tempi-Dispari, Rome, Italy and
Rock Legend News
Lead guitarist Jackie 'Jax' Chambers with London, England’s rock band Girlschool
Rock Legend News: toured with and supported other N.W.O.B.H.M. bands such as the Welsh band Budgie, obviously that era affected Girlschool’s approach to music, but what would you say has been your own personal approach to music?
Jax Chambers: As a band we like to play what feels natural to us and not follow trends, we fitted into the NWOBHM sound at that time but we approach writing new songs and playing with the attitude of being true to ourselves. If we feel it, then we think the audience will too...well we hope so anyway.
Rock Legend News: In 2000 you joined Girlschool. A lot of females are interested in playing rock music and role model after someone like you. What would you like to tell females who are considering playing in a rock band regarding any difficulties you may have discovered?
Jax Chambers: Yes I joined in 1999 but we didn't do any gigs until 2000. It is the biggest compliment ever when someone states you as an influence and I hope we have encouraged girls to take up an instrument and play. I would say if you are going to play, always play because you enjoy it, it's in your soul to do it and not because you want to be famous and make money. If you enjoy what you are doing then nothing anyone says or does to you to you will affect you or discourage you in any way. Play from the heart, enjoy and don't listen to anyone else's opinion if it's what you want to do!
Rock Legend News: Girlschool has been around since the 70’s and is known to have inspired other female bands like Vixen. Girlschool’s single, "Take It All Away,” circulated through the underground scene during 1978, had some radio airplay and caught Motörhead’s founder Lemmy Kilmister’s attention. He offered Girlschool a support slot in 1979 on the Motörhead Overkill tour. Since then Girlschool is often associated with Motörhead. Tell us about this association with Motörhead and is it still a strong association today?
Jax Chambers: Yes Lemmy wanted the band to tour with them back in the day and the tie has been strong ever since. We are often called their younger sisters which we quite like (anything with the word young in it we'll take now). We've played several festivals on the same bill as the boys and have done a couple of UK tours with them too over the past few years. When we released our 30th anniversary album LEGACY we had a few special guests on the album to celebrate and of course first call was to Motorhead, Lemmy, Phil and Eddie all played on the album.
Rock Legend News: Rock and metal festivals have become a constant for the band who have performed in many Open Air arena’s like: Bang Your Head, Wacken Open Air, Hellfest and more. Concerts are a strength for Girlschool more than most bands. Why has Girlschool chosen this path more than spending time in the studio?
Jax Chambers: I don't really think it's a path we chose, it's just that we all love to play live and when we get invited to play festivals it's something we don't turn down very often. We are usually doing gigs to promote whatever album we have just released and when the promotion for that is over then we think about recording the next album. As far as the studio is concerned now, we are planning to record a new album next yr, which will mean touring it to promote it next Spring time hopefully, and then the rest of the yr...can't wait!
Rock Legend News: With over 35 years of Rock and Roll for Girlschool and 14 years for you with the band, would you say that being in the band has been a point of arrival or departure for you in any way?
Jax Chambers: I love being in Girlschool, who wouldn't? It means I get to play guitar in front of thousands of people all over the world, playing music I love and meeting some amazing people on that journey. I hope to be playing for many, many more yrs to come too
Rock Legend News: I want to ask you the same thing I am asking others because it is a profound occurrence now. Why do you think the 80's are re-igniting? I mean, it is like it's 1985 in Colombia, South America; it is happening here in Italy and it is apparent all over the world that the 80’s and even the 70’s rock styles are becoming enlivened again.
Jax Chambers: I believe that in the 70's and 80's we were so fortunate to have such a huge choice of music. There were great songs, great bands, the various images :) the energy, the excitement, the talent, even all the political events to rant about..everything that led to people taking up an instrument playing and writing great music. An amazing era to grow up in. I'm sure most would agree. Now it seems like the best there is, is Simon Cowells pop conveyor belt, churning out singers who get a single or 2 deal and dropped; no longevity any more. I think people want to get back to those times of real entertainment again and bring it on I say. I loved it back then and still love it now, the 70's and 80's we're amazing!
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