Hi James, welcome to VENTS! How have you been? Very well thank you, enjoyed a bit of time off over Christmas but excited to be jumping in to the new year.
Can you tell us more about the story behind your track ¨Own Way Home¨? It was a bit of an “out of the blue” song with regards to writing it. I had been chatting to a friend of mine whose partner had left him to go travelling. One thing he said that stuck in my mind was, “she knows her way home if she changed her mind”. I came up with an altered hook line for the chorus and tried to imagine myself in his position. Then funnily enough a few months later, the same thing happened to me, so the song became even more relevant and personal. Funny old world isn’t it….
How was the film experience? The video shoot was great. We shot in one evening in the centre of London, in a Ford Dorchester funeral Limo of all things!? Luke Pilbeam, who filmed and directed, came up with a great narrative and story board for the song. It was a very long day, shooting from 5pm until 3am, but so incredibly pleased with the end result.
The single comes off your new album A Light For The Fires – what’s the story behind the title? Ah, not many people know where the title of the album comes from. But its actually from a small 4 line poem I wrote a few years back.
How was the recording and writing process? The recording of the album was great. It was a tiring, full on 10 day stint in the studio in the middle of winter in Cornwall. The album was recorded at cube with a guy called Gareth young, who was just fantastic to work with. Extremely professional but very demanding, which was great as it drove me to give the best I could on each track. Kevin Jefferies, who played bass on the record also produced it and what he brought to the table, was priceless. I was very lucky to be surrounded by great musicians.
What role did Jason Isbell, Mumford and Sons and other influences play on this album? There are a couple of tracks on the record that have a country sound/feel to them, which were influenced by listening to people like Jason and Mumford & sons. Mumford’s sound and feel as well as their lyrics influenced me when I first started writing. I’m also a big fan of Dallas Green (City & Colour) and how he writes very personal songs. Many of my songs are stories about experiences and things I’ve gone through as well as people around me.
Any plans to hit the road? I am hoping to play as many gigs as I possibly can around the UK in support of this record, so at the moment im focusing on getting as many dates in the diary as I can. I toured the UK back in 2014 in support of my last EP, which was great fun and good eye opener. We have dates booked and more coming, so hopefully ill be passing through as many towns as possible through the year.
What else is happening next in James Shead´s world? Lots of writing at the moment. I seem to be fortunate right now and have lots of new songs pouring out, to which I’m making the most of. I think I’ll go back into the studio later in the year and get a few new tracks recorded for an EP, but I’m not entirely sure yet. There’s going to be some more filming/music videos published too. Between all that, hopefully a few surfs at home too.