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INTERVIEW: Chris James

Hi Chris, welcome to VENTS! How have you been? 

Thankyou. You know, up and down, ‘life is a rollercoaster’ the great poet once said. Whoever that was!

Can you talk to us more about your single “Stairs Up To The Sun”?

The title is inspired by the William Blake poem Ah! Sunflower. I had the idea when I was on the beach ages ago watching the sunlight reflect off the water. I’ve always found inspiration for songs while reading poems, they are very musical, some of them.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

It’s a song written while falling for someone. Which I guess is clichéd but that’s just actually what it is. And as I said the sunlight reflecting off the water image was key.

How was the film experience?

I’ve loved working with film maker Exceeda (Orbital, U.N.C.L.E.) he’s been doing the visuals for this project. We did an AV show together in Camden recently and it was an amazing experience, looking forward to doing more of that.

The single comes off your new EP Space In The Cloud – why naming the EP after this track in particular?

It’s 5 tracks and Space In The Clouds feat. DM Stith is the lead track because it sums up where I’m at, things have been very cloudy for a long time and I’m searching for some space between the clouds. We also see a lot of clouds in UK, so maybe that’s why!

How was the recording and writing process?

We recorded in a freezing cold barn in the Yorkshire dales. It was me and my producer Suneil Pusari. It was a pretty bleak time of year but an inspiring place. He’s one of my best mates so, we were very comfortable with each other. Which I think made the process more natural. Sometimes in studios you can be up against the clock, which doesn’t help creatively. This was a fluid and enjoyable process (apart from numbness due to cold weather)! I’m very grateful to have some other amazing musicians on this EP too; DM Stith (vocals), Barny Barnicott (mixing), Lorna Rose (vocals), Nick Ramm (piano), Arista Hawkes (Bass), Ben Trigg (cello).

Would you call this departure or a follow up to your previous project?

I guess it’s a bit of both. I’ve been getting really into minimal music the past few years, so I wanted to do something a bit more minimal. I’m still using electronics, but in key  places and in more of a subtle way.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Just when stuff happens in my life and I feel energised in that way, I write about it. I don’t sit down and try and write, I usually have an idea before I even pick up the guitar. My writer friend said to me (and I always remember this) ‘never go to the page blank’. And I kinda agree with that. I also get inspiration from films and poems, and books. Anything artistic can spark ideas. Even mundane things can spark ideas.

Any plans to hit the road?

We will be doing more AV shows with Exceeda, in London to begin with then hopefully down the line we’ll take it further afield.

What else is happening next in Chris James’ world?

Planning the release of the album, and preceding single. I also have the basis of an EP which would come after the album. So loads of music coming soon.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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