The former James star sits down to have a chinwag about being a dad, going it alone and that weird dancing
After the success of James, do you expect to have the same sort of following with your solo album?
I’m hesitant to call it a solo album, because worked with so many people on it. At first, I found it awful being out there on my own. I didn’t want it to be my name on the dressing room door. I’m a bit embarrassed by it, really, because always need great musicians to work with and want to honour the people that I work with. James fans will probably give me a shot and if they think it’s strong enough, they’ll hang around. I may not need the same success as James, but I’ve just become a dad again and I have a 15-year-old son, so I need to feed my family.
Is this like going back to start again then?
It’s like a total reversal. When you’re in the juggernaut of a big band, you only make records when the record company turn round and say: ‘OK it’s time to make a record’. Then you release it, promote and tour it for two years before you can make another one. You’re on their cycle, which is not a nice one to be on. Now I’ll make songs when I want to make songs. I never set about writing a solo CD when I Ieft James, but gradually, I just met people in and around Brighton, where I live now, that I wanted to work with.
You always looked a bit ‘out there’ when you danced on stage with James. Are your movement workshops anything to do with this?
Well, I met a woman in New York who was involved in something called The Five Systems. We got on so well, decided to go along to see what she taught. I trained with her and it was a big secret in James, because the rest of the band wanted me to keep it quiet because it was maybe a bit too wacky to be associated with the band. But now I’m doing my own project and don’t mind talking about it, because, well, I am wacky.
So, what’s it all about then?
It basically goes back to that instinct that we have as children to dance for hours and hours. You get completely high and it enhances your creativity. I’ve written lyrics for albums ever since I first started this in 1992 which have come after I’ve spent the day dancing. It’s fantastic.
You get such an amazing endorphin hit and it takes you back to your creative subconscious self.
What are the motivations behind James hits such as Sit Down and Come Home?
Sit Down is about me feeling so alone in my 20s and reading books by a writer called Doris Lessing which made me realise I wasn’t. It was about being awake at 4am and having no-one to talk to.
Come Home was about me walking away from my partner and son and not knowing if I’d done the right thing. That was a painful song. But I think the lyrics on the new album are more consistent than anything I’ve done before, with more humour and more spirit.
Tim Booth’s album, Bone, is out on Monday. Tim plays at T In The Park, Sunday, July 11