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instantly looked at the names of the people in the band and collectively decided they’d use my name. No one ever calls me James, I was Jimmy when I was young and everyone calls me Jim now, so even though technically they’ve used my name it’s never really felt like my name. It’s odd, because people sometimes say to me “Oh you’re Jim from James’, and the two seem very different to me, Jim’s my name and James is the band I’m in! When you were first together you played the Hacienda and released a couple EP’s on Factory Records. Did you feel like you were a part of the Madchester scene? We weren’t really part of that obvious Factory sound but the

good people there heard something that they liked. We didn’t fit their mould but they wanted to work with us – Tony Wilson was a massive supporter of the band. We were so difficult to work with back in those days, we were a right pain! We managed to get two records out with them but I wish we’d done an album with them, it’s a real regret of mine. We didn’t trust anybody, though, and we saw them as being Te Business, which we were worried about, but in fact they were so far removed from that. It’s only looking back with experience that we can see they were just really huge music fans and it would have been a fantastic part of our legacy to have done an album

with them. You’re from Manchester – how has the city affected your resulting music? Manchester’s had a huge influence on our music, and bands like the Fall were a massive part of my upbringing in music. I mean we toured with Te Smiths, we toured with New Order, those things impact on your sound. During our early days we struggled in the music industry as any band does, it’s hard to find a place and doors to open for you, and Manchester supported us. We played, people came to shows and we got bigger and bigger and it’s all based around Manchester, it was where we got our foothold and were able to build a career on it. We were playing two nights to 10,000 people at Manchester G-MEX before anyone really knew about us, and before we’d had any hit records out. We were called Manchester’s best kept secret, and that then gave us the chance to jettison out across the UK and then worldwide, but it all started from playing to 200 people in Manchester. And even though we’ve moved away from there now we will always be a Manchester band, it’s just part and parcel of who we are. Are you bored sick of playing Sit Down? We don’t always play it. We’ve got a tonne of songs and the nature of James is that we don’t always do what people expect from us. Tat’s kind of what we’ve become; we’re not the easiest band for people to follow in that respect but we’re there at every gig and if you end up playing things you don’t want to play you’re just going to get jaded and fed up. We rest songs, like we didn’t play Sit Down for a year, or

“We will always be a Manchester band.”

won’t play Laid. We don’t want to get bored with them, and sometimes when what you’re doing becomes dictated by other people’s expectations it’s a slippery slope. We need to be sparked and enjoying what we’re doing. Can you remember the first time everyone sat down for that song? It was in Paris at La Locomotive, a club. It was spontaneous and we had no idea what was going on. Ten people started sitting down in nightclubs all over the world, on the beer stained floors. It became a beast that was outside of us! How did your reformation come about, and was it meant to be a one off tour that just grew into a proper ‘getting back together’? It’s funny ‘cos the tour was secondary to the fact that we were writing songs together. Myself and Larry the guitar player were jamming together and Larry called Tim and asked him if he fancied trying some stuff out with us, he agreed and loads of songs started appearing from those jam sessions. We wanted to turn them into an album but we didn’t think further than that really. It’s all about the new music to us, not to sound too arty but we’re creative beings. It’s a bit like an author stopping writing and just going around doing book signings. We love the buzz and challenge of making something which didn’t exist previously. So your new album Girl At Te End Of Te World came out in March, and it’s a belter, really electronic and strong. How did you come up with that title and how does it sum up the album’s themes? It’s based on Tim’s personal experience of living in California. He lives near a lake in a foresty bit near LA and the roads are really windy. Cars often overtake in really stupid places and end up going off the / May 2016 / 11

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