James are a crazy seven-piece from Manchester who everyone used to think were vegan buddhists but weren’t really cos they’re all like really normal guys and they want to talk about the music, right, and not meditation and chunky cardigans etc. With their single How Was It For You? gliding into the Top Forty, Smash Hits slipped into its sandals and spoke to Tim Booth, singer 28, about like the James concept, man.
1. Tim Booth was born in picturesque Bradford but has lived in not so picturesque Manchester for ten years
2. He once worked in a Yorkshire brewery. “That was quite weird, quite aggressive. I don’t have a Yorkshire accent and I had to put one on. Friends of mine who’d worked there before had been beaten up because they didn’t have the right accent.”
3. James came together in 1983 and they thought their name was “very original” then. “But now it’s ten a penny, it’s disgusting.” spits Tim.
4. Touring was once a problem. “Tour promoters thought ‘James’ might be a poet, so I used to go on at concerts and pretend I was a poet, and that the audience had been conned into thinking they were seeing a band. I had to write a poem in the day and narrate it to the audience,” mutters Tim.
5. They’re always being accused of being intellectual. “I think that’s a dead end,” argues Tim. “Intellectuals tend to be people who’ve got overdeveloped brains and underdeveloped hearts.”
6. Seeing James t-shirts has saved them from bankruptcy. Lester in Beats International wore one on Top of the Pops. “We’re going to give us music and open up a retail outlet,” jests Tim. Ho, ho!
7. In the past they’ve meditated a great deal. “When you’re leading the kind of lifestyle that we lead in the band, you just need something to balance you out and you just gonna be off your head all the time.”
8. Tim thinks happiness is not a permanent state of mind. “If it is them there’s something wrong with your hormones.”