Hey Jim, how are you?
Aye, not bad not bad!
Good! How's your day going? What are you up to today?
We're just loading into the Liverpool Academy for tonight's gig… well other people are, I'm not, I've broken both my legs so I'm just sort of hobbling about instead.
No way! How have you managed that?!
(Laughs) Well we were filming the video for (forthcoming single) Eeany Meany the day before yesterday, and I pretty much played football non stop for twelve hours, my fucking head hurts and my legs are just wrecked! I really can't walk!
Tonight's the first date of the tour, you've got quite a busy schedule coming up…
Yeah! We certainly have! It looks pretty… hectic!
Looking forward to it?
Yeah! Well I think so… its gonna be a bit of a break, y'know having done videos and stuff lately so it'll be nice to be er… free again!
Have you got any festivals lined up on the agenda for the summer? Do you look forward to the festival season?
Yeah I think we're doing V… and Bestival… and Orange Revolution… and some secret garden party which I know nothing about… I'm definitely looking forward to it though, hopefully this time I'll get chance to enjoy it instead of just work, but hey… we'll soon find out eh!
Do you think doing festivals is important as an artist?
I dunno really… I wouldn't have thought they'd be that important… then again it depends what stage you're playing, if you're quite a big artist… it gives people a chance to maybe go and watch someone they've never thought of watching before, and coming away liking them, buying the record and stuff… so yeah I'd say its probably quite important! (laughs)
You made your whole album at home by yourself, and now you're out on the road with a band. Were they difficult to find?
Ah man! At first it was really hard I mean I didn't find anyone! But then I just thought the next logical thing to do was basically ask my mates, who already had their own band sorted, and they were all up for it, so that was cool… I just wished I'd saved myself the hassle and done that a lot earlier, but yeah it turned out quite easy in the end!
Having spent so long doing everything yourself, did you find it difficult handing control over to other people?
(Laughs) Nah not at all, I found it very easy! I'm not really the controlling type when it comes to fellow musicians, I just hang back and let em get on with it, they all know what they're doing… it makes my life easier anyway… they probably know my tunes better than I fu**ing do! (laughs)
"Tower Of Love" has gone down amazingly with the critics too, was that a surprise?
No I dunno really… its been quite surprising the amount of actual attention its had… but y'know, I thought it was good so I wouldn't say it came as a surprise (laughs)…
But I mean especially as you've kinda appeared from nowhere, that's pretty rare…
Oh I've been around… I've just been waiting in the wings! (laughs)
There's obviously a hell of a lot of influences to be heard on there, is there anything that you can really pinpoint? What gets those creative juices flowing?
Ah I mean I change from time to time really… y'know, every month I just go through periods of listening to one thing constantly… but I suppose The Beatles has stuck around with me pretty constantly, I can just listen to them any time, any where, and it'll always prick me ears up (laughs)… other than that I like everything really… there's a whole heap of shit in my record collection! (laughs)
There's something else from hearing it too… you're from Manchester, which as a city has a massive musical pedigree and scene, but you seem to sit way outside any kind of scene. Was that a conscious decision?
I dunno, no not really… I really don't know, I mean I've been asked this quite a lot, and I'm still trying to work it out myself, but… so I've kind of decided it must be a subconscious thing… I mean,… my life's basically one massive contradiction, anything that I see, I seem to automatically try and make the opposite. So I suppose living in rainy old Manchester, with its dull colour… I've just tried to make the total opposite sort of sound really!
Even in appearance though, I mean when you think of Manchester bands you think big sunglasses and floppy haircuts…
(Laughs) Oh I've got one of them!
Yeah but not everyone puts a bowler hat on it and carries a brolly!
(Laughs) No that's true… but neither do I anymore… I think I've actually given up on that… yeah, it's holding me back!
How did you decide that music was what you were going to do for a living?
Erm… well it was just by accident really… y'know, I've always wanted to make records and release them and make money and just sit on my arse doing that, but I was just doing sort of electronica, and then had a couple of tunes on a cd that I'd done in a sort of singy-songy style, and just sent 'em out for a laugh more than anything! But then I got a phone call, and now it's all this! I don't know what I've got meself into!… (laughs) well it's better than sitting on the dole I guess!
The media attention is really building up now since the album release. Are you feeling under any pressure because of it?
Nah it's not putting any pressure on me at all, I don't think it could! Y'know, I'm pretty sure, not trying to sound big-headed, but I'm pretty sure of meself & that I could write another song or whatever and know that it's alright… anyway I'm just gonna keep doing it till it's rubbish (laughs)… but as far as pressure goes I mean that's the name of the game, y'know… but yeah I'm convinced that I won't ever release anything that's proper gash. (laughs)
I saw you on channel 4 the other night headbutting a giant chicken… Was that fun to do?
(Laughs) Yeah that was fun… if not cold and horrible (laughs)… I mean it was fun for about the first twelve hours, but you know what video shoots are like, pain in the arse… but no I think by the end of the day it was freezing, they had me lying in the middle of the road with fucking egg all over me, and feathers, just freezing my balls off… I wasn't a happy man at the end of that shoot! (laughs) …but I suppose the results were good so its ok…
Do you come up with your own video ideas?
Nooo (laughs)… I always just leave that to the directors, it's not a part of my thing that I'm that bothered about. As long as it's different and daft then I'm into it… I'm not gonna be doing any serious miming-to-the-camera stuff anyway (laughs)
Do you actually enjoy the whole press side of things, like the interviews and promos stuff?
Not really… er… well no… oh I don't know (laughs)… I just find it hard to know what to say sometimes really! I suppose the amount of interviews I've done by now I should have a script (laughs)… but no it's just strange, y'know… it's all new to me so I'm still getting the hang of it, all that stuff… But as far as what people have written, I don't think I've been angry about anything thus far, its all been well!
That's good, that's a relief for me then!
(Laughs) Yeah!… but I mean so far, everyone who does like it (the album), seems to get it, which makes all this cool for whoever buys it or reads it so…but then again, with Key of C, that was the like the first song where there was a couple of reviewers who just didn't get it, or obviously didn't even bother listening to it and just taken it a bit too seriously I think! I mean it's just one of them tunes that when you hear it, you really should realise that it's meant to be a bit tongue in cheek… maybe it's a bit gay (laughs)… but y'know, I know that's the only tune I'm gonna do like that so it's "never mind", and just move on to the next idea.
God, er… I dunno yet! I haven't really had time to sit down and write anything for ages… so after all the touring and that, im hoping to have a brief break, and then concoct the next, well the debut I suppose it is…
I was thinking maybe Jim Noir the movie…
(Laughs) Jim Noir the Movie?! (laughs)… not yet… it's an interesting idea! But if it's anything like doing music videos then f**k that I'm not interested (laughs)… too hard, too much work… I'm just gonna stick to the music!
Higher Than Here [Live]
Kiss Me Quick [Live] From The Gramercy Video