Melbourne acoustic solo artist JMS Harrison has just put out his latest single from his upcoming album. Tomatrax caught up with JMS Harrison to discuss his music.
What does J M S stand for?
Those are the initials to my first and middle names. As well as if you take the A and E out of my first name (James). Kinda rolls off the tongue nicely.
You have been working on your first full length album how has that been going?
I’ve completed everything in the studio. There will be 12 tracks, all recorded and mixed at Crosstown Studios by Josh Whitehead. Artwork is almost complete so a release shouldn’t be too far off.
How will your forthcoming album compare to your previous work?
There’s a lot more reverb for starters.
I also put a lot more focus and time into writing harmonies which was fun. Driving around singing along to yourself then pulling over to record the parts so I didn’t forget.
There’s also 2 instrumentals, which you won’t find on previous work. Titled Good Ship #1 and Good Ship #2.
Where did the album title Tales Surround The Lighthouse Lamp come from?
I wrote a lot these songs around a time where I’d bought a 1920s made lighthouse lamp, from the vintage store NOOK in Clifton Hill. So, many of the songs were written whilst gazing upon this new hand crafted piece of work I’d purchased.
What made you pick Tightrope as the first single?
It’s the song I was most excited about after collaborating with a good friend Rossco Harvey, who plays solo as Cabin Inn. He brought these haunting sounds to the song that fits perfectly.
Also my buddy Philly Pop (Blaqpop) happened to film me recording a full take of that song in the studio, so we had a video clip at our disposal.
What was the inspiration behind your video for Precious Company?
I also wrote a lot of these songs around a period of going through a number of changes. One of them was moving house so I decided to get my friend Timothy Casten in to film me playing these songs in the front room as a preview for the album. It looked so good I gave him the finished recording of Precious Company to put to it. Another accidental video clip!
The hard copy of your debut EP was hand crafted in your kitchen, what made you decide to produce a hand made release?
Being self sufficient with the production side was really appealing. I can just print up new batches whenever I run out and it saves on cost. Plus it was all very sudden and spontaneous to even do a solo EP so I had to be quick with whipping something up for the launch.
Will you be doing anything similar for your album?
Not this time. I think it works for the EP but I’ve already got a place lined up for doing the album. If I was better at screen printing then I may have!
You also play in the bands Charm and Old Etiquettes, how does performing in a band compare with performing solo?
The main difference I find with both is being able to play a wider range of venues and at different nights of the week with a wider range of lineups/acts. And being in a band as well as playing solo is a benefit to all of that.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Mostly during the process of recording for the sake of writing parts and just after something is completed.
What music do you listen to?
There’s a lot of Melbourne bands that I’ve been listening to a lot lately. Toy Boats put out an album Wedding Town last year that I love. Another band Have/Hold put out a really great EP called Calm Your Blood which gets a lot of spins.
I spent a lot of last year listening to a 90s Australian band called Glide. I put on a couple of 15 year anniversary shows last year in Sydney and Melbourne to the singer William Arthur who passed away in 1999.
What do you plan on doing once the album is out?
Aside from the obvious promo well, I’ve almost finished writing a second solo album so I may even start recording that before the first one comes out.
Also very keen on finishing the first Charm album asap as well. We’re looking for a drummer!
Check out JMS Harrison’s Facebook page to find out more!