I caught up with James to ask a few questions but mainly to get his own thoughts on the tracks that make up his solo outing.
It's been a year now since the release of the EP "Shapes Of Things To Come". Was it released to test the waters so to speak or as a means to satisfy fans until the album was released?
Just to give people a taste of the flavour of my record - so they'd know what to expect.
The album was released first at The Gathering and is now on general release, where can fans order it from?
The album is available through Absolute Marketing and my own website www.jamesstevenson.info with iTunes and Amazon following soon.
The tracks for the album were written across a long period of time, were any of them destined for other projects first?
Yes, a long period. A couple go back nearly twenty years - a couple of the tracks were destined for GLJ but they never got finished. So I finished them myself!
With such a long and varied career what is it that defines the "James Stevenson sound"?
Fuck me - not sure really. Everyone plays in there own way. I like to create layers of different sonics - different guitars have different personalities and sounds. Discovering what any given guitar is good for important. At the end of the day I use the classic set up of Les Pauls and Marshalls, although all the clean guitar sounds on my record are a Strat through an old Fender amp.
|The Sexpistilettos in action!|
Yes - one day I will do it. I'm building up courage. I've worked out I could reduce it down to seven!
Have you given any thought to your next solo album yet?
Yes - Mark Taylor and I have already been working on a few ideas.
With that tantalising idea to think about what can you tell us about the tracks on the album?
I was in LA once listening to KROQ - a big station there, and they were having this problem phone in show. There was a priest and a shrink on the panel. This girl rang in with her problems and I couldn't believe she was baring her soul so publicly, that she found it preferable to go on the air and talk about her intimate problems rather than discuss them privately with her friends. The sad truth was all she was really doing was providing entertainment for the listeners. Horrible.
Kind of tongue in cheek, an indictment of modern inner city life. It's about the number of traffic cameras in London, and the rest of the UK for that matter - where it's all about making cash for the government with the pretence it's about traffic control. Would have played havoc, at the birth of the blues, with the 30s "crossroads" at the Mississippi Delta - you'd have had to go one way only or get a fine!
About some people I know, and one specifically, who are so deluded they're in the twilight zone! It's to do with Gene Loves Jezebel. To be specific we were served a cease and desist writ by Michael Aston's (Jay's twin brother) guitarist on stage at a gig we were doing in LA. He handed it to Pete Rizzo as we walked on stage. His "name" is Switch, I think his real name is Chris something or other. He plays my riffs every time he walks on stage with Michael - and he serves us a writ to cease and disist! Put up to it by Michael obviously. Unreal how the real world can be.
COME ON PEOPLE
A song about people I know who are very talented but just can't seem to get their lives together - I'm trying to gee them up. They're dreamers - but there's some of that in all of us.
GIVE IT UP
Shallowly disguised dig at Simon Cowell. Can you believe that twat compared himself to Malcolm McLaren? McLaren helped reinvent the music industry. Cowell helped destroy it.
WHY AM I STILL WAITING FOR YOU?
A very personal song about the break up of my first marriage. We both found it very hard to let go. But sometimes in the end there's so much damage you just have to. They were very challenging times for us both, and our son too I'm sure. It's actually a very private and personal lyric but I wrote the song so I can't not share what it's about right? When I sing "so please don't tell me to find somebody, and anybody will do, cos I really need somebody" that's about the collapse of our sexual relationship and my ex-wife saying "well if you're that desperate go and find somebody else to fuck". I've spoken to a lot of friends about the collapse of relationships that they've experienced and the sexual side of a relationship becoming dysfunctional is a common thread. Happy days.
BEEN A LONG TIME NOW
A song about reminiscing about an old relationship, how powerful it all was, how you shared each others dreams. Then it's over and you move on and it becomes just a memory, a figment of the past. I actually wrote it a long time ago about an old girlfriend, the actress Cindy Day.
This is a song about how our lives, no matter what we do, are really insignificant. All the pain, dreams, ambition, will mean nothing to anyone in three or four generations time - just as all the emotions people live through in their lives in the past were immensely important to them - but are all forgotten now. It's not negative - just an observation.
EVERYTHING'S GETTING CLOSER TO BEING OVER
Another song about dysfunction - being in a relationship where the problems are so huge you can't even talk about it - you're so far apart not only have you got the answers to the questions wrong - the questions themselves are wrong!
I'LL KNOW WHERE I'M GOING WHEN I GET THERE
This is a song about all my favourite guitar players - and how insignificant I feel next to them all.
Work out who they are for yourselves! (LOL)
|Chris - James - Pete - PUB!|
Thanks to James as always for his time and for the, at times very personal, insight into the inspiration behind the tracks that make up his superb solo debut. If you haven't already ordered your copy you can do so from www.jamesstevenson.info you will not be disappointed!