A one of a kind waiting artist, South London local, Jamie T has been on and off the charts with his hip-hop/punk music ever since his debut album, Panic Prevention launched in 2007. Sleep Pile had the pleasure of talking to the talent just before his Australian tour.
What do you think is the biggest difference between Carry on the Grudge and your new album, Trick?
I suppose they’re very different albums to me. COTG was definitely a moment of time for me and this album was very different in that it had a lot cheap NFL jerseys of momentum when I was writing it. I usually stagnate for a while before I write anything, so it all came about kinds of quickly for me and I tried to move with that momentum and keep going which was a kind of weird thing for us. A few people have said to me, ‘wow with this one you sound a lot happier’! So yeah I think it comes from a different place but I’m happy to always turn things up a bit.
What about the use of stories in your songs? Do you think this is a good way to make it more evocative?
I think probably, yeah. When I was growing up listening to music, the songs that cheap MLB jerseys I always initially were drawn habe to were songs with some kind of story in them that you could follow. But also it kind of helps me when I start writing a song if I can imagine the kind of atmosphere or some kind of a scene and that helps me and makes me excited when I’m writing it so I actually finish it! A lot of the stuff that’s a little less narrative based, I start and then I kind of get bored and I don’t finish them.
One of the tracks on your new album Trick, called Solomon Eagle, is based on a Quaker musician named Solomon Eccles, who became infamous for spreading apocalyptic doom with his warnings on the streets of London during the Bubonic Plague. Do you try to find stories like these?
I think I’ve always just been a bit interested in stuff. I don’t kind of go out and search for things but I kind of tend to spend a lot of time watching documentaries and I’m into history and stuff like that. So, I came across (Solomon) by mistake. I try and read quite a bit. I find that helps with writing songs because you get to read the way people put together words to mean something, which is interesting as a songwriter.
Your tracks have always used lots of samples – you’ve even used one from a self-help CD on Panic Prevention- what is some of the more unusual places you’ve sourced some of these from?
You know, I suppose the most unusual thing that I end up doing is that I kind of ending up walking around town. On the last album just wondered round hitting random things and holding a dictaphone. I made a drum kit out of hitting random things in the street – hitting lamp posts, electricity pylons or whatever. I suppose that’s the weirdest thing but the best place to find things I always end up in charity shops and buying vinyl there. You never know if you’re gonna get something – you just sort Lexington of have to buy loads of random stuff. There’s no real way to do it – it’s just sort of educated guessing if you know what I mean. I’ve got loads of random bits and pieces and they’re kind of always there. It’s cool because over the years you get sort of a library of unused bits of pieces that kind of never quite fitted. The great thing is that if it doesn’t work for me and I can always give them to my friend and we all share samples.
You’ve been quite open about your gap between albums and struggle with anxiety. Do you feel like a lot of creatives have suffered like this?
People often ask me this question and they ask it as if it’s a big deal to talk about it. Now I’ve never felt it was a big deal to talk about, but I think it’s used (by the press) in a sensational way when I hear it’s written up like, (sarcastically) ‘He talks deeply about his anxiety’!
Yeah, I have problems with it and that’s just a day to day thing. It’s not a sensational issue.I’m not sure I like it printed like that – like I’m coming out – you know what I cheap mlb jerseys mean? It’s just something that’s in the front of my mind all the time – with performing and that – and it’s complicated for me. I’ve seen some people write some pretty nasty things about (me talking about my anxiety) to be honest in the past. And I think, well fuck off, if anyone’s got a problem with me talking about having issues standing up in front of thousands of people and feeling slightly uncomfortable doing it you know I think they should try doing it for a living and then get back to me.
A track from your new album, ‘Power Over Men’, features the visual story of a suburban dominatrix with a ball-gagged businessman in her basement…who enjoys having tea and biscuits poured on him. Now whose idea was that?
The tea and biscuits idea was my friend Tom Beard who directed the video came up with that aspect. I came up with the dominatrix kind of scene and he took it to the tea and biscuits level so it was a collaboration … yeah I’m not sure what happened there (laughs).
Do you think anglophile symbols (like tea and biscuits) are a good way to connect to your audience?
Yeah, it was one of those things we didn’t mean to do. It’s this thing in England that kind of annoys me but I kind of like playing with – it’s the kitschness, isn’t it, of the English culture? The way that when English people portray England About they portray it in such a kitsch way. I find it kind of one-dimensional and a bit stupid, but I think there’s something quite fun about playing with that but yeah, I don’t know why we do it! I think that I’m getting a bit bored of it now. (what do you think you’ll move onto?) I don’t know really. I think there’s things that are more…well like in that scene with the dominatrix you’ve got the tea and biscuits but there’s something more than just tea and biscuits (laughes). It’s something underneath it.
You’ll be performing at Falls over the New Year – anyone you’re particularly keen to see?
I’d love to see The Avalanches. Catfish and the Bottlemen I’ve never seen – I don’t know about in Australia but they’re kind of a big deal (in Britain) these days. The London Grammar lot I’ve never seen but am weirdly kind of relate to them as we have the same management so I’d have to make sure I check them out. It looks like a good line-up! We’ve done the festival before, we did it a few years before and I’ve wholesale jerseys got really good memories of it.