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Jamie Lidell Q&A

Author: Bloom
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Your style has mutated quite dramatically over the years. Have you always had a love of old soul music and if so, where did it come from-

It's all down to my sister's dusty cabinets. Seriously, she was a digger back in the dizzy. Picking up mad wax in the H-U-N-T-I-N-G-D-O-N. Cambridgeshire massive! Well at least she had cash and spent it on Human League, Heaven 17 and Prince. Now I liked it all. Especially the man - Prince Rogers Nelson. My sister started my obsession with the man and then from there I ended up wanting to know what made Prince - you know Funkadelic and Sly Stone... all that. The hunt was on. Huntingdon massive!

How has your audience changed over the last couple of albums- Has your original fan base stuck with you through the changes-

I would say the percentage of sweaty blokes has fallen pretty sharply over these years. This could be because they are aging, ripening perhaps, like me into dandies. Hard to know you see. There's a beautiful front row now at my shows now. It really is easy on the eye. The ch-ch-ch-changes must be surgical!

How much of your show is improvised and how much is pre-determined-

40/60 now. Used to be 90/10 then I went through a quick spell of 50/50 which was cool. I hung about on 60/40 too long. It's enough to make you indecisive!

For the upcoming tour you have enlisted the support of a full band. How has that affected your ability to improvise on stage-

I just have to use my eyebrows. Was thinking to enlarging them actually so the band could see just when it was time to step with me into the musical unknown. I also need to get a big red light to show the crowd when I'm recording the band. These days it's working pretty well but there's always room for improvement. Got this sample gun that's working well. Everyone seems to step up when I point it at em! Boom

Have you added any new equipment to your arsenal recently-

Hmmm. Well yes! I'm a junky. No Amy, I'm not holding... jeez.

I do have the gear habit though. Was waiting about 2 years for this guy to build me a custom sound mangler. It's a Lidell first! Amazing it is too. The bloke really came with the goods. 2 years mind you! He was locking in a cave the whole time. Poor guy. The joy of noise. It's a beautiful thing!

How do you feel about your music being used for commercials and TV soundtracks- Are you precious about what products they advertise-

I do pick 'em yes. You wouldn't believe just how many ask. It is a tough call in this day and age though. Seriously there just isn't a way to make a good living selling records now. God knows I've tried. I mean you can break even maybe but that's not gonna pay the bills. The live thing can make you a little cheese here and there but if you've a band (like I have now) it's basically also gonna loose cash. You have to keep going until the money is big enough and that can take years and only counts if people are still interested in your music down the line and stay loyal. Ho hum. Hence the odd slot on tele is necessary for me to be quite frank. I'd really rather it wouldn't have to be that way but I want to keep making music and it really is that simple! At least for me.

Another answer of course would be to DJ... the easy money gig. Hmmm-

You seem to prefer working in your own space when recording, but are there any plans for collaborations in the future-

I discovered the ultimate place in LA. Little (err not little) spot called Oceanway. It's the sound I've been looking for all these years. The sound that has no walls. That's about all I can say to describe it. That kind of blue sound you know- You can't hear the walls. Simple and garfuckle. You just cant hear the walls. I hope to do something with Nigel Godrich in the place. That'd make me a happy camper... for a while it looked possible. Let's see!

Who impresses