Monday, 30 June 2008

interview: jeremy warmsley

sweet photo by joe dilworth

Jeremy Warmsley's The Art of Fiction is one of my favourite album's released in recent years. It's aged pretty well, when you consider it was released around the same time as Larrikin Love's album, and pre Klaxons also. It is a record loaded with emotion and aggression, but still with moments of tenderness and poise. The highlight being the brilliant opening track, Dirty Blue Jeans, which hurtles out the blocks at a million miles an hour in its string-laden, glitchy-folk produced tale of the trials of early adulthood. Performed brilliantly in Paris here in Montmartre (near Metro Abbesses), this is my favourite video from the lovely people at La Blogotheque. I sometimes go for breakfast just across from that church, it's about the only place in Paris to get bacon and eggs and a mean cup of hot chocolate.

So any cobwebs which may have been lurking should well have been expelled. I caught up with Jeremy for a brief Q&A about his upcoming album,
How We Became.

J: What is your earliest memory of music?

J-wo:Um... playing the recorder lessons aged four? I once had a synaesthetic vision whilst listening to Handel's Messiah aged 7 and decided I could see the future... and I got really into Graceland when I was 11...

J:So the new album is called How We Became? In what ways would you say it differs from your debut? I read you were planning a double vinyl LP…is this still the case?

J-wo: Yes it is. It is very different from The Art Of Fiction... the songs are a lot stronger. There is more consistency between the tracks - I don't mean to say that they all sound the same, but there is a definite "soundworld" that they all inhabit, together. I think. I was never planning a double LP but there was originally a very complex plan for the album that has since been abandoned.

J:In terms of backing vocalists / guest instrumentalists, do you have as many colloborators as before?

J-wo: There are no backing vocalists on this record - it's all me, this time round. Plenty of other players though, some familiar and some new.

J:Is the record more / less electronic than before?

J-wo: I would say that the split is almost exactly the same as last time. There's one song with entirely electronic music and one song that's just solo piano, and the other tracks range freely between those extremes.

J: I found that the first album had really strong themes and images in it – lying / self deception (a bit Sartrean I suppose) being quite an obvious one, the single bed image is another, are these images present on the new record or do you feel you've moved on from there? If you have, what images / themes would you say are present on the new record?

J-wo: For me the first record was a real document of myself at the time that I composed it. In fact, it represented things about myself that I wasn't even aware of at the time. Presumably the same thing will happen with this album! But in general the lyrical themes are a lot more... open. They're about things that people can relate to.

J:Which song do you like most off the new album?

J-wo: Probably the last song, Craneflies, which anyone who has seen me live over the last two years will have heard me play...

J:What was the last lie you told?

J-wo: I told someone that my new single, "The Boat Song", a duet with Emmy The Great, was being covered by Rod Stewart and Charlotte Church.

J:Do you prefer playing live / working on stuff in the studio?

J-wo: I like to do them both! Working in the studio is great because it's very detail-oriented and you can just geek out about things and make everything sound perfect. Playing live is just a massive rush. Completely different things.

J: How would you describe your relationship with Transgressive?

J-wo: Cordial. No, we're very very close (shortly after signing, I even lived with one of my label bosses for a while). There's a lot of mutual trust and recognition.

J: Best gig you've been to in the last 3 months?

J-wo: Adem at ATP - vibraphone, harp, drums, harmonium, strings, 7 people singing... just wonderful!

So there you have it. Jeremy Warmsley laid bare. Sorta. He's on tour around the UK headlining the Transgressive Hot Summer Tour. His non-album super-hyper-rare as fuck (there's 500 copies) single, The Boat Song (B-Side is Temptation) is available now. Lose My Cool, the awesome next single, is out end of July. Check an acoustic version out on my first Dot-to-Dot post.

Jeremy Warmsley - The Boat Song
Jeremy Warmsley - The Boat Song - Single///transgressive HQ

More interviews to come shortly. A Kotki Dwa interview is sitting on my desk screaming for a write up. And Dot-to-Dot and Primavera write-ups to come this week.

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