Indie Gods, survivors and thoroughly nice blokes, James are back with a new single, album and tons of great stories about trying to be gay and going with hookers. Tim Booth and Saul Davies talk to Eric James
So, there are seven of you in the group, any benders?
Tim : We wanted to make sure you knew beforehand that there weren’t. We’re honoured that you want us in your magazine, but I thought we should make sure you know there isn’t anyone.
Have you ever tried it?
Tim : I’ve tried it a couple of times, but it wasn’t my thing. I had two men who I was very close to and I thought I must see if I can sleep with them, and it just wasn’t the thing. We had a bath together and got into bed and it was like ‘Sorry’
Were they gay and you weren’t?
Tim : One of them was gay and the other was pan
That’s the best one to be.
Tim : It’s weird, but when we called one of our records ‘Laid’ our libidos went up a lot. Then we called the next record ‘Whiplash’ and I ruptured two discs in my neck so we thought this time let’s be very careful what we call this record. I wanted to call it ‘Millionaires’ cause I wanted us all to make a lot of money.
You should have called it Laid Again
Tim : We know what your agenda is
Saul : I’ve slept with Jimmy, the bass player, now I come to think of it.
Saul : He was amazing actually
Are you for real? I can’t tell because you’ve got shades on.
Saul : You don’t want to see these eyes
Tim : They’re very beautiful eyes actually
You’re having a homoerotic moment right here and now
Saul : No, he was great, we did it a couple of times.
Who did who?
Saul : There were no givers and takers, it was just a shared experience. We’re really good mates but sometimes it spills over into this really weird area and it’s great.
Shall we talk about how the band got together and all that?
Tim : No, let’s give you some more homo stories.
OK, Have you ever snogged each other or anything?
Tim : I’ve only ever done it in plays. I was Jean Genet in a play. It was partly to test myself out, to see what it was like.
And what was it like?
Tim : He had a moustache. With bits of food in it. It didn’t taste very good as far as I was concerned.
So, what sort of girls do you go for?
Tim : Oh, this is fantastic. I love it. Personally, I’ve met the love of my life so I’ve been faithful for the last three years. A woman called Kate. We have a blast.
What about you? Hooked up?
Saul : I find it very difficult to have a relationship with anybody
So, a girl in every port
Saul : There have been times when it’s been like that, but recently I’ve cleared the decks. I’m trying to get rid of all extraneous things from my life.
Shags are never extraneous
Saul : I’d rather fuck myself, do you know what I mean? It’s quicker.
Do you get good girls being in a band?
Saul : Naaaasty girls. Erm, I suppose the answer to that is that being in a band you’re in a situation where you’re more likely to get whatever you want, whether that’s drugs, money, women, whatever you want. But you know what’s it’s like. You can get so wrapped up in someone sometimes, you begin to miss your own faults, cause you’re in this person, not in your own head.
So you just phone up for hookers now?
Saul : I have done. Just to see what would happen
And what did happen?
Saul : A hooker arrived…. Hello room service. I was more intrigued about what you would get for your money, how it would work, was it fun or frightening….
And was it fun or frightening?
Saul : It was really frightening. I tried to cancel the reservation, but she was already knocking on the door of the bloody hotel room.
She was probably out there waiting. She was probably some groupie.
Saul : No, I specifically asked for a six-foot black woman and that’s what was standing there, and I was like ‘Oh no, this is madness, I don’t want this.’
So you sent her back
Saul : No, I sat her down and said ‘Do you want a drink?’ And she was thinking ‘Oh no, a talker’
So you did fuck her?
Saul : No, she fucked me, completely actually. It was great
What do you mean?
Saul : I encouraged her to do really weird things, and she was totally obliging. And the next night we went to a late-night movie together and then she went home. She was really cool.
Tim : I had a friend once who was on the streets in New York, a woman, for a couple of years and she was getting so many men that just needed to talk she gave it up and became a therapist. She’s a healer now. That’s what most people want.
Saul : Sexual therapy
Yeah, a shag
Tim : I’m not sure about the shag thing. In the end, it’s better if it’s connected with your heart.
Yadda, yadda, yadda
Tim : It’s not all yadda, yadda, yadda. In the end, you just think ‘Oh no, I’ve just been shagging around. THIS is what I’ve been looking for’
But say you stay with Kate for the next 25 years, it’s bound to fall off a bit….
Tim : Check back in 25 years
Don’t straight people think that to be in a long-term relationship you have to be monogamous?
Tim : In straight relationships, there’s a lot more dishonesty about the nature of the male, about what a man needs. When there’s two men in a relationship, it’s easier for them to be honest, because they both have a direct experience. I see people and want to shag them and me and Kate talk about that and laugh about it and play with it, but I know that’s a short-term thrill that would damage something long-term for us.
Tim : Because, sex, to me, is not just a physical act. Something goes on in sex that is much more profound whether you like it or not. When you have an orgasm, I personally believe on some psychic level you become entwined, you become connected to that person. What is an orgasm? What is that?
It’s nature’s way of making you want to shag
Tim : I believe in a more mystical aspect. You’re energetically connected.
Did you connect with your hooker?
Saul : Well, we ended up going to the movies together, doing something normal after extreme and odd circumstances. There’s a nice confusion there.