James Carr is a singer songwriter that is not afraid to pour his heart and soul into a song. He has been the singer in many bands over the years spanning both coasts of the United States. James talks to Tunebubble about occupying himself during Covid with music and shares some of his favourite records.
What first got you into making music? Music was such a big part of my youth. It helped me get through some rough times. I started writing lyrics and found it was a great way to express everything that was inside of me. It also was a way to create landscapes for my imagination. You’ve lots of experience playing solo and with band, how are you coping with restrictions affecting playing live?
I think like everyone, it was pretty disappointing not being able to play. I did a couple of live streams but its nothing like playing to a crowd having a good time. Ultimately I dove head first into writing and recording. I feel very fortunate to have had music to occupy so much of my Covid time.
What’s the inspiration for your latest single “Desert Flower”?
I had written the lyrics many years ago while on a camping trip to Joshua Tree National Forest. I had a very spiritual journey which was the was the inspiration for the lyrics. I found the lyrics a couple months into Covid and the music just flowed very organically.
Tell us about your creative process when you write new music.
I don’t really have a set formula. Inspiration comes from so many places. Personal experiences, a story I hear, or from my imagination. Sometimes the words come first, sometimes the music. I never try to force it I just let it flow. Do you prefer playing live or the writing and recording process?
I like them both. Each one gives me a different satisfaction. Who has influenced your music most?
This is a very difficult question to answer. I like so many different bands and musicians across so many genres. I really love a good lyric. Some of my favorite and inspirational lyricists would have to be Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townsend, Phil Lynott, and Bob Seager.
Which musician would you love to collaborate with?
Most of them are dead or too old. In the living world I think Eddie Vedder or Jack Johnson would be a lot of fun to hang out and make music with. How do you feel social media has impacted musicians?
I think it is a great platform for artists to get themselves out there in front of people. The downside it has saturated the market so that people are inundated with an overabundance of choices.
Give us your top 10 favorite tracks right now...
Other than listening to a lot of incredible indie artists, I listen to my favorite vinyls from start to finish. I also listen to Spotify or Pandora and have some songs I have been digging on lately.
If I was the Priest - Bruce Springsteen
Fighting my Way Back - Thin Lizzy
All the King's Horses - Robert Plant
Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden
Tecumseh Valley - Townes Van Zandt
Turtles all the way down - Sturgill Simpson
Demon Fire - AC/DC
Toys in the Attic - Aerosmith
Back Down South - Kings of Leon
Photo Id - Remi Wolf
Is there anything else you want people to know about you or your music?
I just hope they will give it a spin and take time to listen to the words. I send everyone my best and look forward to playing live again!