James Walsh speaks to Dan Clay ahead of his gig @ Moho on the 26th February about his solo work, film scores, dreams of working with the Boss and the future of Starsailor.
James Walsh - Starsailor
What have you got going on at the moment?
I'm pretty busy at the moment. I have recently completed writing the soundtrack for the film 'Powder' based on Kevin Sampsons Novel. Which was recorded with 'The Rascals (minus the now solo Miles Kane)' and myself starring Alfie Allen, Liam Boyle and Ralf Little. I am also set to work on another soundtrack for a high profile book adaptation but the negotiations are ongoing so I don't want to reveal too much! I'm also co writing with various people most recently Dutch singer Ilse De Lange and I am going to Norway to record an EP and do a live TV show with the Tromso orchestra.
You said in an interview recently that Starsailor's on hold for a while. What can we expect from you as a solo artist?
Obviously there will be some elements of Starsailor in what I do as a solo artist but I do intend to introduce some other elements. I'm looking to bring some backing vocalists in and create a very mellow soulful sound which was tricky in Starsailor as I'm the only singer.
Creatively, do you feel freer working solo or as part of a group?
There are plus and minus points to being in a group or a solo performer. Being in a group you get to travel the world with your mates which is great and they are there to inspire you onstage. Being a solo artist you have the freedom to take more risks with the set and there is more scope to win people round I think. A band creates a very definite sound which people either love or hate where as acoustically the song is the star almost.
You've been working with Suzanne Vega recently. Who else would you like to collaborate with?
- Date: Friday 26th February 2010
- Event: Good for the Soul Mixtape Sessions at NQ Live (Formerly Moho Live)
- Venue: NQ Live (Formerly Moho Live)
- Artists: starsailor
Working with Suzanne was great and I hope to expand on that at some point. Bruce Springsteen would be a dream collab for me. Or Nick Cave. I prefer writing melodies to lyrics so to work with such masters of words would be a good match.
Your involvement in film sounds interesting. How did that come about?
The film 'Powder' came about because of knowing Kevin from going to watch Liverpool. He also said that as soon as he started thinking about Powder as a film he had my voice in mind as the voice of Keva(the lead singer) which is very flattering.
Is that something you're keen to pursue?
I am keen to pursue a career in doing film soundtracks and I love what Badly Drawn Boy has done in this area. Still writing songs but in a movie setting rather than just incidental music.
If you hadn't been so successful in music, what else do you think you might have done?
I am utterly useless at most things apart from music. I do a coloumn in the LFC programme occasionally so perhaps a very average football journalist!
Hailing from Greater Manchester, your gig at Moho on the 26th Feb is a sort of homecoming. Does that place more pressure on you as a live artist?
It does place a little bit more pressure playing up north. Especially if mates are in the crowd. If they think a song is shite they tell you.
We've seen some big names split recently (Oasis for one). Do you think the Indie guitar group's had its day for a while?
I do think Kasabian are the 'last group standing' in the kind of big anthemic primals oasis esque rock field. Its bands like 'Vampire Weekend' and 'Fleet Foxes' who are flurishing and of course the girls (Florence,Adele,Amy etc)
When can we expect the solo album out and what sound will it take?
A full solo album might take till early 2011 but there will be solo material in single or ep form before the end of the year. The norweigen orchestra project will contain some exciting new music I'm sure of it.
Does this mean the end of Starsailor then?
Its not neccesarily the end of Starsailor it just depends if enough people want us to come back. I enjoyed being part of the hear and now so if there was a clamour for us to make a new record great but if it was just a 'nostalgia' tour of uni's it depends how skint we all are!
Check out James Walsh @ Moho Live in Manchester on the 26th February!
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