June 2001, © Q Magazine
Q : Who The Hell Is This Guy?
A : His name’s James and, bizarrely, he’s a composite of the band of the same name
“This is about finding a way to represent our collective spirit,” says James frontman Tim Booth, discussing the band’s curious new figurehead. “It deals with the old, Are you James questions, which, yeah, you still get – I still get called James. I suppose people in Travis get called Travis too.”
In order to solve these public image problems, James have cooked up an entirely new public face. Last month, each of the seven members posed for separate portraits, which were subsequently morphed together, with the aid of noted fashion photographer Phil Poynter, design company Blue Source and a good deal of computerised jiggery pokery, in order to create an entirely new person. He’s been christened James, obviously, and will appear on the sleeve of the forthcoming album, Pleased To Meet You. Although he doesn’t play any instruments, he’s so life-like that there’s already speculation about his “personality”.
“I think he looks like he might have a knife in his back pocket.” exclaims Booth. “He has a good edge to him. He’s not idealised.”
As for intra-band arguments over whose bits were used where – did they take place?
“Of course,” acknowledges Booth. “He’s got my knob, and it’s fantastic, obviously.”