Interviewer : Before the break you heard, well it was going to be the A-side of the new James single until the boys asked me to flip it over. I did in fact play If Things Were Perfect which is the b-side from Hymn From A Village and I’m delighted that James have popped in on this unearthly hour and well, as I’m sure they’ll explain they’ve got a busy time ahead of them. So welcome Gavan Whelan, Tim Booth, Larry Gott and Jimmy Glennie.
Jimmy, this is a boring question but you didn’t contribute to the name, did you?
Jim : Erm, not really. It was the old guitarist who thought it up. We’ve also got another James over here actually because Larry’s first name is James as well
Interviewer : Ah, one of those complicated set ups where one has to change their names. If you were all Scotsmen, you could all call yourself Jimmy anyway
Tuesday in fact, your tour supporting The Smiths starts. Is that correct?
Jim : Yes
Interviewer : So how many dates is that. Twenty odd dates?
Tim : Twenty-six dates
Interviewer : Oh, you must be looking forward to it, you’re going to be playing to a lot of people.
Tim : Yeah
Interviewer : More than one word answers fellas or we’re going to throw you straight into the studio.
Now this track, we played before, If Things Were Perfect, you did in fact record it live at Strawberry, is that right? No overdubs, nothing?
Tim : All the songs are recorded live but I was singing in a separate room. We did do overdubs for backing vocals because the studio couldn’t handle it.
Interviewer : So is that the way you record all your stuff?
Tim : We like to record like that but it’s very hard to find studios that will cater for it because they’re so into doing like great drum sounds and individual instruments. They don’t like the idea of someone coming in and doing it live.
Interviewer : How did the gig go? I mean I saw you last week with A Certain General at the Hacienda? Did you enjoy that gig?
Gavan : Not really. No
Interviewer : Why?
Gavan : Just the atmosphere. It was very cold.
Interviewer : Very cold. You’ve played the Hacienda before, didn’t you? I think I saw you
Gavan : I think we’ve played about six times
Jim : A few times
Interviewer : I mean that’s something we could talk about in the future. I know you’re busy for a few months with The Smiths. It’d be nice to put a Last Radio Programme James gig on and possibly record it. If you know the way you guys go about things live, it might be a good thing for the radio. That’s something we can discuss later.
This is in fact the second time you’ve supported The Smiths. You did some Irish dates with them.
Gavan : Yes. That was good.
Interviewer : Did that go well?
Gavan : Very well
Interviewer : How do you find The Smiths audience? I suppose it can’t be a bad time to support The Smiths with the album at number one. I presume the whole tour has sold out now. Has it?
Gavan : Yeah
Tim : Yeah
Jim : In Ireland it was great, but the audiences are really different over there. People go along to enjoy themselves so they do
Interviewer : Are you prepared for this tour in as much as audiences are going to vary from town to town? And sometimes you’ll go down well when you’ll appear not to go down well.
Jim : We’re used to that.
Interviewer : There again, I suppose Manchester is notorious for that. You think you’ve had a bad night and in fact people love you.
Tim : Yeah, we never seem to play well in Manchester actually.
Interviewer : You don’t?
Tim : No
Interviewer : How far, I mean I presume you’ve played London and places?
Tim : Yeah, we’ve played all round the country.
Interviewer : So at the moment you appear to be quite a fashionable band in as much as you’re The Smiths favourite band and everything. So you’ll have quite a lot to live up to. I mean when we had The Smiths in here, we had Johnny and Mike Joyce in September, October, November time, I can’t remember when, when Hatful of Hollow was coming out, and all they did, instead of promoting themselves, was promote James. So it’s quite nice to know that Manchester’s favourite boys are big fans of yours.
Tim : Yeah, we pay them a lot of money for that actually.
Interviewer : You don’t manage them, do you?
Tim : No, but Morrissey’s our PR man
Interviewer : Is he? I’ve not really studied the NME poll but weren’t you mentioned in Morrissey’s favourite bands in that?
Tim : Yeah
Interviewer : Excellent
Tim : I mean they keep doing this, it’s really nice of them, we can’t understand it either.
Interviewer : Are you embarrassed by it?
Tim : No, it’s alright. If we were just like The Smiths friends, then we’d be put a little bit in the deep end but we reckon people will see something and it will be OK. We’ve got the music.
Interviewer : So what happens after The Smiths tour? Is that too far forward planning?
Gavan : We’ve got three gigs coming up in Paris, they’re maybes.
Interviewer : Have you played Europe at all yet?
Gavan : No, we should have gone over last year sometime to Brussels but that never came off.
Interviewer : Well, I’m sure you’re well prepared for the tour.