We talk exclusively to singer James Bowers about his music, his latest offering “Creep” and what he’s got for us yet!
Only last week did we feature the singer James Bowers and profile his new single “Creep”, a cover of the Stone Temple Pilot’s 1993 hit. And as we were talking to James, it seemed like a good opportunity to ask him about the song, what drives him musically and what we can expect from his forthcoming EP. And here’s what James told us…
TAPM: Firstly congratulations on “Creep” and the ‘creepy’ video! How did this all come about and is “Creep” a favourite song of yours?
JB: Why thank you very much! I’m really proud of the project. It all came about several years back, Paul came up to me and said he had an idea for a EP, in which every song’s instrumentation and overall vibe was influenced by “Eleanor Rigby”. I’ve always been a huge fan of the song and The Beatles, so I was instantly sold. As far as “Creep” specifically, Jon Sadoff and I were in his studio and I told him I thought it would be a really good cover considering the project, so we gave it a shot. Stone Temple Pilots had been a huge influence on me growing up so I really wanted to attempt to respect the song while taking a different approach. It wasn’t easy but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
TAPM: Who are your musical heroes and who do you aspire to emulate as a singer…or maybe anyone you would love to perform with?
JB: Some of my biggest influences are Paul Simon, Ray Lamontagne, Damien Rice, The Beatles and Leonard Cohen. I’ve always been inspired not only by their musical abilities, but by the true poetry of their lyrics. A badly placed or worded line can completely ruin a song for me, so I really love their commitment to thoughtful lyrics. I wouldn’t say I emulate anyone specifically as a singer, I certainly have a lot of singers I highly respect, such as the ones listed above. I would love to perform with so many people, Stone Temple Pilots being high on that list.
TAPM: You have a new EP coming in the new year, what can we expect musically and how easy was this to conceive and bring to reality?
JB: You can expect an EP that has a lot of different elements, sounds, and structures, but all remain within the scope of the original inspiration. Having the specificity of Eleanor Rigby really freed me in ways I didn’t think would happen. The small, or in many cases, large diversions really allowed me to maintain a steady focus while having a lot of fun during the collaboration process. Some songs were easier than others, Creep was one of the longer ones, we shelved it for a brief time and came back to it, the second time around it all clicked into place.
TAPM: So tell us about the “Celia” EP and what the background to its conception was.
JB: The “Celia” EP was a project I had originally started prior to working with Paul. I recorded several songs (Celia & Nothing) that I sent to him and he, apparently, liked them, and we entered into the partnership we are still in today. We took the songs I had recorded and some newer ideas and came ups with a great sound with the help of Frederick Errikson (Grizfolk) as the producer. It was a very personal EP to me, as it was a combination of songs I had originally written in Chicago as well as some in Los Angeles, so it was almost a bridge between my two lives and how each city shaped my songwriting.
TAPM: Do you enjoy performing live and if so, do you have any gigs or tours coming up in the near future?
JB: I’ve never met a stage I didn’t like! I love performing, I am someone who definitely feeds off of the energy of a crowd. We are currently working on scheduling some tour dates for the near future, so please stay tuned for those announcements.
So keep your eyes on us as we will be following James and his every move over the coming months and will bring you the lowdown on his forthcoming EP and tour dates as soon as we know!