What was the first song you learnt? (On guitar) Big Boss Man (Luther Dixon and Al Smith) first recorded by Jimmy Reed, but I listened to the Koko Taylor version. It’s a basic open string blues shuffle song, so not hard to play all three chords and sing at the same time.

What’s your favourite memory of your early musical life? sitting at the piano and making up some music. I learnt classical piano from the age of 7, I mostly found it stressful! but one day I sat there and made up something and felt intense pleasure that I have been addicted to ever since. I also have a very fond memory or singing in the school choir from about the age of 8, and we did a mass choir performance for the bicentenary, and I LOVED IT.

What made you want to play music in the first place? My family were all very encouraging, we were going to start playing music whether we liked it or not :)

How old were you when you started playing? started recorder age 6, piano 7, guitar and singing age 16

Who were your music heroes/idols back then? When I was little I thought my Grandmother was pretty cool, she could play piano and sing really well, then by about 8 I loved Kylie Minogue, Madonna and Icehouse. Big influences throughout my teens included Smashing Pumpkins The Police, Talking Heads, Frank Zappa, Pearl Jam, 

Who are they now? mmm number one hero has to be Sister Rosetta Tharpe. She was an incredible guitar player and singer who basically started doing all the cool electric guitar rock and roll stuff before a lot of the guys. Number 2 is a mix up of artists in the late 70’s who approached music making like artists of other mediums like painters and theatre makers. People like David Bowie, Patty Smith, David Byrne. Favourite guitar players include Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot and St Vincent, and there are so many cool bands at the moment doing what I love - mashing up lots of genres like Tune-Yards, Deerhoof, The Dirty Projectors.

What was the name of your first band? The Rubber Band, and the first time we performed I sang ‘Moondance’ at the School Assembly into the lectern mic.


Jess Green is an Australian guitarist, composer and performer.