Timberland: What attracts you to the blues?
Jamie: I love that the blues focuses on the emotion in the music beyond any other element. I think what makes a song stand the test of time is a real humanistic truth - whether that means it talks about something that all people can relate to or creates a performance that has a really strong emotional core to it. The blues has an almost animalistic conveyance of what you’re trying to achieve.
T: What song are you most proud of?
J: Always the last one I wrote. You always feel each song is the best one you’ve
done for a few hours or days after you’ve finished it. Then reality sets in and it’s back to the grindstone.
T: You’ve got some pretty famous fans, including Elvis Costello. What musicians do you admire?
J: Jack White is a really inspiring character. A lot of people would have taken the money he earned during The White Stripes and retired, but Jack is still busy doing things like attempting to bring back vinyl - which seems to be working. He’s obviously extremely passionate about music, not just his own but other peoples as well. He’s one of the few people whose actions speak louder than words.
T: Other than music, where do you take inspiration from?
J: I’m inspired by loads of things. Location definitely affects my writing. If I’m in a rural setting I tend to write slower music, but in the city it’s more exciting stuff. Different cities also affect the music. In LA it’s really sunny and peaceful, whereas when I’m in New York or London I tend to write things that are more upbeat. I take a lot of influence from early Delta Blues and American Folk in general, which mainly stems from my father’s record collection. I’m also a big fan of the writer Paul Thomas Anderson. Everything he does seems to affect my storytelling.
T: Having spent time in Chicago as a kid, you moved to London when you were 18. How did that influence your music?
J: Moving to London played a really big part in my musical development. When
I first moved here I used to draw graphs and plot where the open mic nights were and then pester all the bookers to let me play. Sometimes no one turned up, but it didn’t really matter. I just wanted to play or go to a show every night. I still do that now, because you’re always learning. You can always be better.