Words and Photos by Adrian Gandara
The word “shit” gets thrown around a lot if you ask Andrew Jackson about his label, Digital Hotdogs.
Everything is shit.
He’s working on some shit. He’s got his own shit, which isn’t any better than anyone else’s shit. And if he sees you play and likes your shit, he’s got the shit to get you recorded and shit.
The way he casually throws the word around is just like his casual approach to running Digital Hotdogs and how he talks about his shit with complete humbleness, despite the label now boasting almost 50 releases.
“It’s not like I go out and scout for bands or some shit, cause I don’t really go to shows that often,” he says. “The point is, friends that I make through the scene and other shit like that — when I see people like that and I’m like, ‘You deserve better (and you’re also not a dick), then fucking get it. I have the shit; I can help you out. Come on, we’ll fucking — we’ll hook it up.’ That’s like, most of what happens with the DGHD stuff.”
He talks about his music hustle as casual. It’s no big deal. Check out his early-on 2013 album — the aptly named Totally Whatever — and on the cover you can see how he feels by the look on his face. It’s arguably his trademark look, heavily present in his profile pics and on stage; eyes half rolled, face giving off the impression of not being there.
Digital Hotdogs marked its fifth anniversary with a birthday party concert at Beerland on Halloween. We got some questions in after the set.
Adrian Gandara for Ovrld: How have the past five years been for you?
Andrew Jackson: Five years means the same as zero years meant to me. It’s nothing. It’s the same shit. We’re just doing it. I do it because that’s what it is. We just keep doing it. I don’t put too much weight on this shit. It is what it is.
My ultimate goal with a lot of this stuff is that — Years after I am dead, some 16-year-old will go through the internet and be like, “Man, look at this great fucking archive of shit from a period of time,” and they’ll enjoy that, and I’m like, that’s great. Somebody can do that. For now it’s just what I do. I’m just into it.
Ovrld: Where do you see yourself in the Austin music scene?
AJ: Honestly, still? Fucking nobody. Same shit as anybody else.
DGHD, for me, doesn’t mean shit. But what I would love is for something else to be created with the friends that I care about, other people that are creatives and know what the fuck is going on. I’d love to create something new with them that DHGD is a part of. And that’s where I’m headed now.
Ovrld: Where do you see your label and what do you hope for it?
AJ: I kind of hope that DGHD gets absorbed by somebody, and not by anybody that exists. What I want is to start a new collective with like-minded people that I know are into doing shit like this. And then we all band together as opposed to doing separate shit. I know so many people that have their own separate labels. That’s great, because we all want to own our own shit, but that doesn’t really help us in terms of what we want.
What we want as musicians, what we want as creative people, is we want people to consume the shit that we create, and I think the best way to do that is to just suck it up and be like, “Hey, what if all of us were just in the same place? If we were all in the same building having the same art show, then everyone who was there could enjoy the same shit that we all made,” and that’s kind of where I’m at.
DGHD stuff started because it was just me trying to split my shit, and next thing I know I’m recording people. But I’m not really a fucking expert at doing this shit. I enjoy the things that I made, but at the same time it could be better. I know people that do shit way better than I do, and I would love to just fold those people in, not to my shit, but I would love to work with those people in the sense that we work in terms of a new thing where I can still have my shit where I make my things. They can have their shit where they make their things. But they are nested under one larger thing that is kind of a bigger collective for us to just continue, a place where we can just continue to make shit. But we can share the audience.
I don’t know enough to know if that’s a dumb fucking idea or not, but at the same time, I feel like that’s the right direction.
Ovrld: So you want to be a part of something bigger?
AJ: With the DGHD stuff, I don’t care too much about running it. I just want it to be a part of something like that.
Ovrld: Do you have anything else you’d like to add?
AJ: I’m not any different from anybody else trying to do their shit. I’m not unique. Nobody’s fucking unique in this shit. Maybe the things that I do, some people like more, but that’s probably just because those people haven’t discovered the other shit that they might also like.
But I’m a half glass empty kind of person. At the same time, sometimes the glass looks pretty full.