I Need You - Interview (TOTP)


Isn't that your uncle singing backing vocals on your new single, "I Need You"?
Taryll: Yes. He wasn't planning on singing it, but he had come down to the studio to help TJ out with his vocals and the producer asked him if he wanted to sing something. Uncle Michael said,"Sure, I'll give it a shot," And it sounded perfect.
Taj: TJ couldn't hit the notes. It was too high for all of us, but Michael hit it right away.

Have you ever watched Michael recording his songs?
Taj: Oh yeah, he always lets us come in his studio and watch him work. It's a huge treat for us because he's such a genius. He's also a real perfectionist - he just keeps doing it until it's absolutly right.It's the same with us, and that's why his last album took four years to make, and ours took three!!

So, is there anyone in the Jackson family who isn't musiclly talented?
Taryll: Yeah, our cousin Ziggy is into football. Another cousin, Jimmy, wanted to dance, but now he's into acting. The Jacksons have many different dreams, it's just that singing is the most common!
TJ: I think music runs in our genes. At one point, even Ziggy wanted to do music!!

How young were you when you started writing songs?
TJ: At first we played other people's songs - we sang our Uncle Michael's songs a lot, plus others by Van Halen and Led Zeppelin. However, our family stressed that at some point we'd have to start writing our own, so we began about 10 years ago. I was only about eight - so I had to do what my older brothers wanted or else they'd hit me!! I write my own songs now, though.

You've talked about having a hard time from the media in America. Is that still the case?
TJ: Yes. Sometimes it feels like we're going up-hill all the time it's like a constant battle - whereas when we're in Europe, it feels like we're cruising!
Taj: In the American press you don't always get the truth, you get what the press wants to call the truth. When they don't like you in the States, they write things about you and try to destroy you.

Were you trained on how to give interviews?
Taj: Yes, every group in America is. We had an interview-trainer for one day. He told us, for instance, never attack the interviewer, even if he's attacking you because in the end he's typing away on the computer, and he has the power.

You don't sound particularly satisfied at the moment...
Taj: No, not satisfied exactly, but we're generally very happy. Sometimes on stage I feel really satisfied, but I also always have to be setting more goals, that's just part of my personality. I often think about two sayings I've read:, "Being satisfied means you're falling," and,"The only time you should rest is when you're dead." So, no I don't think I'm satisfied, yet.

How do you escape the pressures of being pop stars?
TJ: I like to play sport or hang out with my friends. I have three or four very close male friends and a couple of close female friends. The fact that I'm away such a lot hasn't really affected our friendship a lot, because they know what to expect! Even at a very early age, I was working all hours in the studio.
Taj: When I have a day off I like to do regular things like clean my room - I've just cleaned it up for the first time in ages! I'm also into movie-making, and I've been shooting lots of things on video!

Will you be making a behind-the-scenes film about 3T, then?
Taj: Yeah, either that, or directing one of our videos. I tell you, I'd love to direct a 3T video.

What would you like to be doing in ten years?
Taj: I'll definitely still be working with my brothers. We'll always be a group, we just have that strong bond. But we also want to expand, so I might be doing films and TJ and Taryll might be acting in them!
Taryll: I don't really see myself acting. Music is everything to me, so I'd like to be the person who writes the film music. I'd rather spend time writing music than taking acting classes.
TJ: I'd like to act, but I'd also like to have my own record company and have my own baseball team. I'd like to live in the city and be able to go to any baseball game I want. That's my ambition and that's how it's going to be.
Top Of The Pops, 1996

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