Int : That was Really Hard, your choice to play as a track from the new album. Why Really Hard, Tim?
Tim : I sung the vocals on my birthday. Because it was my favourite song at the time
Int : Yes
Tim : I think that’s one of the most complete songs on the LP
Int : Many things have been said to typify James. One – vegetarianism.
Tim : Gavan’s drumskins are all made out of the finest leeks. We’ve really taken a stand on this
Gavan : Very expensive
Tim : And we come on dressed in vegetables as well, because we don’t believe in wearing animals against our skin.
Int : Yes, I thought that artichoke was rather fetching actually. Buddhism. Does that still come into it
(Band do lots of Buddhist chanting and meditating sounds)
Int : Ok, I think we’ve answered that one. Message then
Jim : Hello Mum
Int : Yes. From Jim of James. I saw you playing at the Anti-Reagan Rally
Tim : It just happened we were busking in Albert Square and then this march came round the corner
Jim : Oh, fucking hell
Tim : And we were standing there playing and thought well what are we going to do now. Maybe we can get some money out of it so we carried on playing for a few songs
Jim : Passing the hat around
Tim : But they soon told us to shut up
Int : Playing something like Albert Square. I mean that’s quite something in itself. Slightly different to your average venue.
Tim : It’s a weird game. Playing Albert Square. I prefer Monopoly.
Int : Is there a big difference with an audience without alcohol
Tim : A soberier audience? Usually the sober audiences just stand there and gawp and look really embarrassed and don’t know what to do with their hands.
Jim : Oh God, I’m really paranoid. Everyone’s looking at me, but I’m not drunk. Oh God.
Tim : And they don’t know how to handle it. Whereas a drunk audience.
Jim : Just fall over
Tim : Just forget it and take no notice of us and jump on each other and things like that. It’s easier to fool a drunken audience.
Int : Pop interviewer question number 227 – what are your influences?
Tim : What are our influences?
Int : Mancunian Doors? How do you take to that label?
Jim : There’s one
Tim : That’s really corny. The Doors were always out of their heads. And we’re never.
Gavan : Jim was. I don’t know about the rest of them
Jim : Speak for yourself
Gavan : Not as bad as he was
Tim : None of us need alcohol or drugs to fuel them. One of the ideas is that we don’t need it live.
Int : This energy, where do you get it from? Why do people resort to alcohol? Just to replace or imitate that sort of energy that you manage to get live?
Jim : Lightweights.
Gavan : I don’t think the drugs replace energy unless you’re using specific drugs such as speed or something. It gets rid of the inhibitions so you can do what you want. But I think drink, it saps your energy.
Tim : At the beginning when you go on stage, everyone’s really frightened and so if you have a few drinks, you can hide from that fear and a lot of bands do that. They never get past the stage where you actually stand up there and tell if you’re brave or strong enough and are as good as you can be.
Gavan : So that’s what you did with the artichoke was it?
Int : Finally, the deal with WEA.
Jim : Sire
Int : Sorry, what is it and why are you doing it as opposed to staying with Factory?
Tim : We never signed with Factory. We just did 2 singles with them. That’s all the agreement, that was done on a day-to-day basis. But we liked them a lot, we got on well with them, but we just got to the point where we felt our records were just not being distributed. We were doing a tour with The Smiths and in each city we would go into the record shops and none of them would have a copy of our records even though the record had just come out and we were doing a tour to support it. And we just felt we needed better support really.
Int : And you’re going to get it?
Tim : I don’t know. No, we hope so.
Int : So a very serious band then
Tim : Very serious.