James Cook: "30% of the music that ends up on my albums comes from dreams."
The guy who dreams songs, memorizes them, writes them down in sleeping coma - and some of them actually make alive in real world. A truly talented stranger who is recognizable as a guitar player for a lots of young Czech hipsters iconic band IAMX and also friend and semi-producer of a few songs for the domestic band Sunshine.
He is coming back to town this Friday with his drummer to perform as a live act of the legendary party called Bounce! Bounce!, also with blond devil-angel Terezie Kovalová (Calm Season) watching his back and playing cello. Here is a sneak peek of what's going on in his world at the moment and a few other thoughts.
James, how are you been and what's new?
My two new albums!
You said there will be two new albums, explain why and tell something about each of them.
The first album is finished and it's a mini album of cover versions of my favourite songs from late 70s/early 80s. Covers include songs from DAVID BOWIE, TEARDROP EXPLODES, XTC, ULTRAVOX, KRAFTWERK, FUN BOY THREE. I will be releasing one song as a free download every month for the next 7 months. I am also planning to make a video for each song. This is in build up to my second SOLO record proper, called 'AUSLAND'. which is sounding great and will be released at the end of they year.
Do you remember how many times you've been in Prague?
I have really lost count. More than twenty times I think.
You used to be close to Sunshine back in the day. For what reason?
Well we met through IAMX and became friends through a mutual contact (to say the LEAST) in LOS ANGELES. I had the pleasure of co producing their fantastic award winning 2008 album 'DREAMER'. We have been friends ever since.
In the Czech Rep. the band IAMX have still huge following, can you explain why? you use to be in the band and know Chris well, what you think about them and him personally?
Chris is one of my best friends, he is a musical and artistic visionary. It was a life changing experience being in IAMX, it opened my musical world and I have never looked back. I think the music made an emotional connection with the underground electro/indie fans at a time that the world was starting to make less and less sense.
Do you miss the Nemo days? (Nemo was his previous new wave band back in England)
I am very proud of what NEMO achieved and have a special place in my heart for those times, but 10 years and 3 albums was enough for us. I think we were ahead of our time, but I am much happier and more creatively fulfilled to continue to develop as a solo artist and push my own boundaries. I feel much freer now and am enjoying even more international acclaim from my new work.
Your ultimate choice - London, Berlin or Prague?
THE RIGHT PLACE
Is it hard to explore as a musician in UK, where is almost everything just about the music? Is Berlin any better and why you think if so?
Every location has a time and a place. You just have to find the right place for your creativity. The 10 years i spent in London with NEMO was the most prolific time of my creative life, it would not have been possible to have done that anywhere else. Likewise, the last 5 years in Berlin have been essential to my rebirth as a solo artist. The world is a big place. You seek inspiration where you can find it.
Is two albums and 8 videos not enough? (laugh)
Do you still dreaming music/songs?
Always. At least 30 percent of the music that ends up on my albums comes from dreams.
Your current top 3 records you're into:
DAVID BOWIE 'The Next Day'. IAMX 'Unified Field'. JAMES COOK 'Ausland'.
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