james

60 seconds with... James Thomson by Kian West

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60 Seconds with… James Thomson

By Kian West

 

THERE ARE THOSE PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD THAT YOU WANT TO HATE, THEY HAVE SO MUCH TALENT AND GOOD LOOKS, BUT ARE ALSO SUPER FRIENDLY AND NICE SO IT IS HARD TO FAULT. JAMES IS ONE OF THOSE TALENTS, WITH A TRUE SONGWRITING GIFT AND INCREDIBLY FRIENDLY AS WELL. HERE AT MIRAGE WE LOVE JAMES AND WE THINK YOU WILL TOO.

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So James, for those that don’t know anything about you, tell us a little something about yourself?

I’m a songwriter and a musician.

 

Who are your biggest influences in life and music?

I’ve loved blues music since I first heard it. It’s powerful music. There’s the modern over compressed, glossy stuff which I don’t much like and then there’s the real deal; It’s easy to them tell apart though. I like Bob Dylan and Neil Young a lot too - both as songwriters and musicians. I think they approach their music in different ways but they’ve both consistently made good (and great) music over many years, they’ve never became irrelevant or a novelty/nostalgia act like so many artists from that era because they’ve never changed their styles to suit the current fad. There’s a lesson there for all artists.

Being around my partner who is a wonderful musician and also my friends who are artists is really inspiring too. We speak naturally and openly to each, about what we’re doing, writing, dreaming etc.

It’s rare because there’s so much fake bullshit you hear as an artist or a musician where people and especially other “ artists” say “ah I love what you’ve created/written/done” but most of the time they’ve got their own motives they’re trying to serve and good luck to them, you just go to learn to weed out the lecherous nonsense.

You have just recorded your second album, what’s different about this one from the first?

Because I’d been through the process of making an album before I understood what was involved once I got in the studio. I was more aware of what I wanted to do with certain songs and also let some of the other songs evolve naturally. This is an album rather than just a bunch of songs all collected together. There’s a common thread, or a mood in the songs but not a common style. My music gets called ‘Americana’ and ‘Alt. Country’ but I don’t like those terms and don’t consider my music that at all. This new record probably shows why.

 

And you are currently running a Pozible campaign to fund the mixing and mastering, can you tell us a little bit about all that and what people can get if they support you? Well all the songs for the album have been recorded, but those tracks now need to be mixed and mastered; I’m looking to raise $1900 to help contribute to that. We’re halfway there in raising the funds and about halfway through the campaign so we’re about par for the course. The mixing and mastering costs are going to be closer to $3000 so the $1900 I’m looking to raise is just to help fund some of that. The campaign works as a pre-order for the new album – people can pre order digital or physical copies of the album which will then be posted out to them. My talented pal Joe Nigel Coleman (http://joenigelcoleman.com) also kindly donated some of his wonderful artworks/photographs to use as rewards for certain pledges too. http://www.pozible.com/project/185803

Where can Novocastrians catch you playing in October?

 

Im playing at the Lass O’ Gowrie in Wickham on the 17th with De’May and The Dennis Boys – it should be a great night. That’s all for Newcastle in October as I’m touring with Robert Ellis and Jonny Fritz who will be out here mid October from the United States on a tour; we’re playing a couple of shows in Melbourne and in Sydney which should be fun.

Anything else our readers should know?

Quite possibly; don’t know if I’m the one to tell them and were already at 59.48 seconds.

60 seconds with... James Bennett by Kian West

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james-Bennett-4_greyIN A PREVIOUS INTRODUCTION FOR THIS MONTH'S MIRAGE, I MENTIONED GETTING AROUND THE OLIVE TREE MARKETS AND STUFFING MY FACE WITH DONUTS. THE ONE FACTOR THAT I DON'T FEEL ASHAMED ABOUT ON THAT DAY IS THE DELICIOUS TUNES ENTERING MY EAR-DRUMS VIA A YOUNG SONGWRITER FROM PORT MACQUARIE. NOW WITH A MOVE TO NEWCASTLE IN THE NEAR  FUTURE, WE THOUGHT WE SHOULD HIGHLIGHT WHAT IT IS THAT OUR COVER BOY DOES.  

By Kian West

So James, tell us a little about yourself? I’m 24 years old, & was born in Byron Bay (at a very young age). I’ve been playing music professionally for 3 years, though I’ve always played around on the guitar with my own songs and random covers for as long as I can remember.

james-Bennett-1_grey I’ve caught you a couple of times at the Olive Tree markets, but for those who haven’t heard you, how would you describe your music? I would describe my music as Rootsy Folk, my best description for this when I tell people normally “just think of a cross between John Butler and Bob Dylan”. I have a huge list of people who influence my music and not just other musicians.

You have a few CDs available, where can people get them? Any new music on the horizion? I have 2 EP’s and a single. All my music is available on iTunes and hard copies are available at any of my gigs, or from my website – jamesbennettmusic.com. I’ve just completed recording for my first album, it just needs some finishing touches and I’m looking to release it later this year or early next year. I am forever writing new music, it’s very addictive to me. I’ve always been that way. I think I’ve written over 100 songs, and it’s a shame that some of them will probably never be recorded as I tend to fall in love with my newer stuff all the time, and the old stuff gets put aside.

Is there any important dates coming up in the rest of this year? My website is updated twice monthly with upcoming gigs. I usually play at least 2 gigs a week. I’ve also got 2 great festivals coming up.. WILDWOOD – Sunday 5th of October in Port Macquarie and LAKESIDE – Saturday 1st of November in Tuncurry.

james-Bennett-2_greyYou have mentioned about moving from Port Macquarie to Newcastle, why the move? I will be moving to Newcastle next year to be closer to Sydney, but not in Sydney. There’s a lot more going on musically south of Port Macquarie than north. I have family in Port, Forster and Sydney so I’ve got more than enough “halfway houses”. I’ve had a great response from the people of Newcastle every time I’ve been there so it seems like the perfect location to base myself.