Joseph Arthur - Interview

04 August 2005

Joseph Arthur

Joseph Arthur - Interview

Joseph Arthur - Interview
So how is your day going?

Good thanks, last night was the first night I have had a full night of sleep since I came over to the UK I’m still suffering with jetlag and I’ve been waking up and feeling exhausted. I guess I’ve been over here for three or four days now but I’m still suffering.

How’s are the shows going?

Really well thanks, I’m going in to Rough Trade records to do an in-store signing this afternoon.

How are us Brits treating you?

Well I’d say pretty well at the moment! I guess we will see how it goes.

Our Shadows Will Remain has just been released over here. How long did you spend recording it?

Well it’s been out for a while over in the states, I think it was October last year so I must have finished recording it back in August time. I must have spent about 3 or 4 months recording.

Didn’t you move over to New Orleans to record it?

Yeah I did. I had some material written before I moved over to New Orleans. I was staying with friends and just crashing, I was living like a gypsy for a while. I didn’t have a real place at all. I put all my stuff into storage and got rid of my apartment in New York and was free, I think it was really good.

So have you now got another apartment back in New York?

Yeah, I’ve moved to Brooklyn now. It’s nice to be back but I don’t know really, I think I am always a little unsettled. I’ve actually lived in England for a while! I lived Stratham common for about a year or so. It was alright over here, I did like it but I just knew it wasn’t ever going to be my home.

Have you got any bands particular bands supporting you on this tour?

No I haven’t actually. I just have local bands playing. I haven’t had chance to check out any of the bands that have been playing with me yet.

Have you checked out anyone new recently?

Yeah I have actually a girl called Scout Niblett, She is pretty cool. Also, I like the new Prince Po record that Danger Mouse has produced. I like Danger Mouse’s solo stuff too.

Have you got anything else planned with the time you are over in the UK?

Not really, I have a show in Paris straight after the last UK date then I have a couple of festivals lined up, one being Benicssim, I’m really looking forward to that. I did that about 3 years ago and it went pretty well, it should be nice to go back.

Whats the main message that you wanna drive home through the music?

Usually my music reflects where I am. I try not to go after a particular result I’m just opening myself up and almost splatter painting I guess, you know, not thinking too much. I try not to have any real intention other than to express myself. I don’t think that is really the right description either. It’s just a release for me and also now it’s my work.

Being around new surroundings with the recording of the new album do you think ithelped you draw new light?

Yea I really think it did. A lot of things were really stripped away; as I said my life was packed away it was broken down and very simple. I had a suitcase and a guitar and a hard drive. I didn’t have a lot of interference from the outside world as far as record labels and manager goes.

Didn’t you have a deal when you recorded the album?

No. I didn’t have one. I resigned when the record was almost done. I had quite a lot of interest from different people but I settled in the end. It worked pretty well because it gave me a sort of urgency. I was paying for everything myself so I couldn’t really afford to play around too much.

Was your move to New Orleans to intentional?

Well a little I guess. My friend had a studio over there that he thought I might like to check out. So I kind of intended it but it also just so happened to occur at the same time as this album.

You’re adoration for music is obviously huge! What else are you really passionate about?

Well I paint, I’ve been painting and making music since I was a kid. I love both. For me they are opposite sides of the same coin really. When I perform live I do both.

When did you get your first record deal?

When I was 25, Our Shadows Will Remain is actually my 4 th album. Even though it’s my fourth album it almost feels like me debut album all over again! The feedback I’m getting is pretty good though, I don’t really know anything about how the record is doing but crowd reaction at shows seems to be pretty good.

What song sums up your mood today?

I don’t know really. That’s such a hard question to answer. I think In The Sun is quite appropriate with everything that is going on in the world at the moment. I’m in London at the moment and the vibe is very strange.

When you were younger was music an individual outlet for you?

Yea it was pretty much an individual thing. My grandmother used to play some instruments but she was very casual about it. Neither of my parents was particularly interested in music. I think it was a pretty individual thing for me. I learnt to play the piano first and started writing material in junior high school. My mum used to sing in the car and I remember thinking her voice was quite beautiful. So maybe that’s where it all started from!?!


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