James... Little death, major rebirth
Published on June 5th, 2014 | Jonny Abrams
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The legendary James are back with dazzling new album La Petite Mort, so we caught up with bassist and founder member Jim Glennie for a bit of a natter about it all…
You’re playing the Royal Albert Hall in November – that must be pretty exciting. Have you played there before?
It’ll be our third time. It’s a fantastic place, and there’s nothing more ridiculous than walking up to the Royal Albert Hall knowing you’re going to be playing there. It’s surreal, just being some idiot chancer from Moss Side playing at a place like that!
The new album sounds so fresh and full of vitality. What was Max Dingel like to work with as a producer?
We had the songs already so it was more about what we could do with them in the studio. We like the sound of the records Max has done, and we just wanted a bit of weight in there, a bit of beef.
That can be more difficult to get on record than when you’re playing live, but Max is a bit of a boffin in the studio, a bit of a scientist, so he was able to eke something out of it all.
I think it’s got that edge, that power, that bit of rawness that you get live, and you’ve got to be a bit clever to get that on record. He’s done a fantastic job, we’re dead proud of the record and we’re enjoying banging them out live.
You’ve got a busy summer of festivals ahead…
Yeah, we’re playing a ton of foreign ones – Benicàssim in Spain, others in Portugal, Greece, Mexico, Peru… In the UK we’re doing T in the Park, Latitude, Camp Bestival, and we’ve got a big gig in the centre of town in Manchester.
We’ve got a busy summer ahead, but busy in a good way!
One of the most striking aspects of La Petite Mort for me is the synth work. Who’s responsible for that side of things?
That’ll be our keyboard player Mark, we consciously turned him up this time. He’s an amazing keyboard player but constantly turns himself down, unlike most musicians! So we pushed him in the mix and made him much more of a focus.
He’s a funny lad, he really is, although he’s quite quiet. The rest of us are noisy buggers so we’d keep playing over him! We were sure to fix that this time around.
James’s new album La Petite Mort is out now on BMG.