Kate Garratt spoke to James about the new single ‘Getting Away with It’, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer…
Tim Booth, lead singer of James and not in fact James as one might suppose, is a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Actually, I’d go one further – he’s a connoisseur. When he reveals he’s a Buffy buff, he looks at me knowingly and says, ‘I’m talking Series 2 and 3, of course’. Of course. Personally I thought Series 4 a terrible let-down.
By why, you may well ask, was I discussing American soaps with the man known for his ‘reedily angelic’ voice (Paul Davies)?
James are poised for the release a new single, ‘Getting away with it’ on the 25th June. The song itself is razor sharp and aggressively delivered beneath Tim’s smoother tones of passionate resignation.
The subject of Vampire Slayers came up when I asked Tim about some of the lines in the song. He attributes the line, ‘Are you aching for the blade?’ to the fact that ‘I was watching too much Buffy’.
The guitars on the single are brilliant, gritty. Saul Davies, guitarist/violinist with James and the man responsible for the guitars agrees. ‘The guitars are gritty. The song originated in a demo session we did prior to recording the album, and that comes across’.
The process of demoing songs, trying them out live and rehearsing a lot was important to the band when they wrote the album, ‘Pleased to meet you’, which is set for release on the 2nd July. They decided to ‘bash out songs’ live to perfect them.
Tim states that the actual recording process that followed only took three or four weeks. The band believe they’ve got the process of making an album right. Bands’ first albums are often better, Saul reckons, ‘because the record is the end product of performance’. Such is ‘Pleased to meet you’. It promises all the energy of a first album.
The six performances James have got lined up for the summer should be impressive. It’s not as if they’re out of practise at playing live… Dates can be found here. Live dates in December pretty much stitch the year up.
James are feeling ‘very strong, very cavalry charge’ right now, says Tim. Their new music reflects this. The single and the album are strong, with a sonic movement that takes the listener on like the rush of horses hooves. If there are sentimental moments, they are quashed by ‘twisted punchlines’ (Tim). James, good album. No punchline.