The artwork for James’ first album for seven years has been banned from being advertised on street billboards by the Advertising Standards Authority.
The artwork for ‘Hey Ma’ features an image of a baby reaching for a gun, following a story that a ten-month old child had been issued a US fire arms certificate.
In an exclusive interview with Xfm, lead guitarist Larry Gott admitted he’s been surprised by the scale of the reaction, but said the artwork is meant to make ‘people stop and think about the ease of access of firearms’.
He said: “We talked at length about hitting a problem with the Advertising Standards Authority, but it’s such a strong image we decided it go with it anyway.
“The scale of the reaction has been a surprise, but we kind of expected there’d be some ripples. We were looking at lots of ideas with the designers and they came up with an image of a baby and a gun that related to a story in America of a ten month old child that had been issued a firearms certificate.
“Firearms are dangerous, they’re not to be taken likely, and we as a society are becoming over familiarised with the image of gun and gun culture.”
Gott revealed the band may go with a more innocent image to use for the advertising billboards.
“There is a slip case that goes over the album that shows the child playing with a toy gun. It’s like a joke. The toy gun is on the front cover and then you reveal the real album artwork underneath.”
James forthcoming tenth studio album ‘Hey Ma’ will be released on April 7, followed by a tour of the UK kicking off April 8 at Bradford’s St. George’s Hall.