Jim James: The Jambands.com Readers Interview
To your mind what is the main difference in terms of the songwriting and the sonics of your solo album and a MMJ album? Ted P.
It is hard to say, really. There is a special genetic coding deep within the DNA of a certain song. You see, every song’s shape is contoured to fit within a certain wrinkle of my brain. When a song finds its wrinkle, it nests there and transfers information and coding into my mind’s hole, where the coding is read by special instruments in my “lab” once the results are gathered information is then sent to my data processing centers, where this information is then transferred into the beginning stages of song.
How did it feel to share the stage with Roger Waters at Love for Levon? Any good stories from that night? Karen N.
I will tell you a special secret, and Roger would probably kill me for telling you this, but the ringtone on Rogers iPhone is “blues.” Roger is a master. I mean, what the fuck can you say? There were certain ideas he had, and he would throw them out there, and at first I would question them, and then I would say to myself: “That’s’ Roger Fucking Waters,” and then I would think about his idea a little bit more and realize that it was indeed a great idea.
Name three albums that I should hear but I likely don’t know about? Hank
Floating Action- Fake Blood
Roy Ayers- Daddy Bug
Ghetto Brothers- Power Fuerza
On MMJ’s last tour, you solicited fan suggestions every night and changed your setlist a good bit each show. What did you take from this experience and do you think it is a concept you will try again? Steve P.
Yes. It was a lot of fun we really enjoyed hearing from fans in this way and it helped us keep it fresh.
What are the five best books you’ve ever read? Rene
That is really hard. How about five of the best I’ve read lately:
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K. Dick
2001, Arthur C. Clarke
Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami
Awareness, Anthony de Melo
The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck
What is your ideal song? What would you consider the songs that are the most you? Carol
That’s a tough one. One of my favorite songs of all time is “Be Thankful for What You Got” by William de Vaughn. Perhaps after some processing in the lab this question could be answered.
Will we ever see New Multitudes again? Album/Tour?
That was a lot of fun and I’m super proud of the album we made. It has been a fun journey and hopefully we will ride again!!!
Previously your non-MMJ recordings were billed as Yim Yames. Why did you decide to release your new album under Jim James instead of Yim Yames?
Because I thought “Yim Yames” was really funny, but most people didn’t think it was as funny as I did and kept asking me about it over and over, and I realized then that I had fucked myself because I didn’t wanna talk about it all the time!!! So I just went with Jim James. It is already a fake name anyway!!! [His real name is James Olliges, Jr.]
Your new live show is great. Why did you choose to play the album in its entirety instead of in mixed order? Do you feel like it tells a chronological story?
Thanks!!! It just feels right and fun to present the album in its sequence. We will probably mess with that in time, but there is something special about playing an album in the sequence—it is a beautiful feeling.
You have talked about Jerry Garcia in interviews. Did you ever see the Dead live and, if not, do you have a favorite Dead recording?
I never had a chance to see the Dead. My favorite Dead song would perhaps be “Candyman” from American Beauty. There was one night long ago and I was on the beach—Manhattan Beach—and I had my headphones on and just danced by myself in the moonlight to “Candyman” on repeat over and over again in the sand and the waves it was wonderful. Jerry had a beautiful spirit. You can really feel it in his voice and his work on the pedal steel like in “Laughing” by David Crosby.