The Jackson Code

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The Jackson Code
Origin Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Genres Rock
Years active 1989 - 1996
Labels Waterfront Records
Ra Records
Citadel Records
Hi Gloss Records
Associated acts Chad's Tree
Decoder Ring
The Blackeyed Susans
Love Me
The Triffids
Past members refer members list

The Jackson Code are an Australian rock band, formed in Perth in 1989.


The Jackson Code were formed in 1989, following the breakup of Mark Snarksi's earlier band, Chad's Tree.[1]

It actually started out one night when Mathew De La Hunty asked me if I'd support Tall Tales and True as a solo act; and I thought 'Ohh, no, what I'll do is rope in Jason (Jason Kain) and Kenny (Kenny Davis Jr).' and I rang Mathew back and said 'pay us a little more money and I'll do it as the Jackson Code.' It was actually Jason, Kenny and myself who played the first nightand we roped in Kathy (Kathryn Wemyss) for the second night.

— Mark Snarski[2]

For the band's debut album, Snarski utilised the services of Amanda Pearson (vocals, percussion), Barry Turnbull (bass) and Mark Dawson (drums). The album, Del Musical Del Mismo Nombre was released in August 1989 on the Waterfront label (available only on vinyl) to critical acclaim,[1] although it was re-released on CD in 1993.[3] The main influence on the album was songwriter Snarski's trip to Spain, thus the title which when translated means "From the Musical of the Same Name". The band recorded the album in four days on a budget of $1000. The lush romanticism of the songs had critics searching for superlatives. Writing in Rolling Stone, reviewer Jon Casimir called the album one of the minor masterpieces of 1989. As Casimir put it, the band took inspiration for its 'self-styled urban Romantic Cabaret' from German writers such as Brecht and Weill, as well as Tom Waits.[1] To promote the record they toured nationally twice, playing successful shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Rather than capitalise on such acclaim however, Snarski chose to take a break, spending two years travelling in Spain and the USA.[1] Snarski revived The Jackson Code in 1992 and recorded a new album, Strange Cargo. Snarski was joined in the recording studio by Pearson, Turnbull and Dawson, together with string, brass and 'hand-clap' sections.[1] Strange Cargo was released on the Citadel label in August 1992. 1993 also saw the band sign to RooArt and produce one of that years (sic) finest,[4] Draggin' The River. The album was released in December 1993. The band's last studio album was The Things You Need, which was released in September 1995. After touring with American crime writer James Ellroy in 1996, Snarski left Australia for Europe finally settling in Madrid.

'There was this one afternoon where I'd dropped everyone off and I was carting this amp up the stairs of - what's that theatre we played in St Kilda? I just put it down and decided, I've had enough of this.'[5]

The Jackson Code's drummer Mark Dawson plays with the Blackeyed Susans (he also worked with Ed Kuepper). Kenny Davis Jr and Kathryn Wemyss also played, albeit briefly, with the Blackeyed Susans. Wemyss later performing with Midnight Oil at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics in 2000, since then she has formed her own band called Wemo. Davis went on to join Decoder Ring. Barry Turnbull and Mandy Pearson went on to form their own band, Love Me.[6]

The Jackson Code's retrospective album of 1998, The Second Greatest Story Ever Told, a two disc compilation album (the first disc consists of tracks from the four studio albums and the second disc is full of rarities) was released in September 1998.[7] In 2003 Del Musical Del Mismo Nombre was re-issued on a CD format by Citadel Records.

In June 2006 Snarski travelled to Belgium to sing with a specially reformed Triffids lineup for ‘An Evening With The Triffids’ – an exhibition and show in remembrance of lead singer David McComb.[8]



  • Mark Snarski - vocals, electric & acoustic guitar
  • Kathryn Wemyss - vocals, trumpet, castanets
  • Mark Dawson (aka Bongo Fury) - drums
  • Jason Kain - electric & acoustic guitar
  • Kenny Davis Jr - piano, hammond organ, accordion
  • Barry Turnbull - electric & acoustic bass
  • Mandy Pearson - vocals, percussion



  • Del Musical Del Mismo Nombre - Waterfront (August 1989)[10][11]
  • Strange Cargo - Citadel (August 1992)[12]
  • Draggin' The River - Ra (December 1993)[13]
  • The Things You Need - Ra (September 1995)[14]
  • The Second Greatest Story Ever Told - Hi Gloss (September 1998) - (compilation album)[15]


  • "Who's Watching Who?" - Ra (September 1993)
  • "Poison Berries" - Ra (January 1993)
  • "Bring Yourself Home to Me" - Ra (January 1994)
  • "The Things You Need" - Ra (July 1995)



  1. ^ a b c d e McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'The Jackson Code'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 18 April 2004. Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
  2. ^ Mark Snarski interview 20 June, 1991
  3. ^ Citadel Records - Del Musical Del Mismo Nombre
  4. ^ "Jackson Code". Australian Music Online. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 6 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "Bands of brothers". The Age. 2 September 2005. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Love Me website
  7. ^ Music Australia
  8. ^ Australian Times (26 November 2007)
  9. ^ Heartbreak High music listing
  10. ^ Rate Your Music - Del Musical Del Mismo Nombre
  11. ^ Citadel Records - Del Musical Del Mismo Nombre
  12. ^ Citadel Records - Strange Cargo
  13. ^ Oz Indie Music - Draggin' The River
  14. ^ Tag Tuner - The Things You Need
  15. ^ CD Database
  16. ^ Rate Your Music - Rockin' Bethlehem
  17. ^ Rate Your Music - RockArt

Bevan Reed (saxophone)

External links[edit]