Maine-based singer-songwriter discusses his debut solo album, inspiration, and chopping garlic
Crazy Time may be Greg Jamie’s first solo album, but this is certainly not his first rodeo. Previously, the Maine-based singer-songwriter played with O’Death and Blood Warrior, and his debut solo album possesses similar dark and eerie qualities as seen through the lens of traditional folk and layered over synths and electronics.
The record creates a dense atmosphere, combining the mysterious with the pastoral and calling to mind snowy New England winters below swirling, distant constellations. There is depth within Jamie’s lyrical focus, which takes on everything from disappointment to adventure to mental illness. Crazy Time can be equally enjoyed while trudging through the snow or cozied up next to a fire, and the entire LP possesses a unique wintery beauty.
ARTISTdirect caught up with Greg Jamie to discuss his debut solo album, inspiration, and chopping garlic.
Hello – Please introduce yourself.
Hi my name is Greg Jamie.
Where are you right now?
Im in my apartment in Portland Maine, sitting on a couch and thinking about what to make for dinner.
Please name your fellow band members and their roles… oh, and who has the best dance moves?
I’m about to do a tour as a trio with Colby Nathan and Jeremy Robinson. Colby recorded my album and performs on it doing a ton of things. Live he is playing bass and singing. Jeremy is drumming and playing some Casio and singing live. I don’t know who has the best dance moves but I bet I have the worst dance moves.
Tell us about your new project: Who did you work with? Where was it recorded? What’s it about? Is there candy?
I recorded my debut solo album in Maine with Colby Nathan who also performs as Dimples and fronts a band called New England Patriots. It was recorded at my apartment in Maine, as well as a few other houses in Maine throughout 2016. Then it ended up in LA where Greg Hartunian – also of Dimples – recorded some more and mixed the thing. It’s called Crazy Time. It’s about a lot of things. It lives in a world of confused fantasy. It’s a scared album. No candy.
How do you describe your music to new friends?
New friends! That sounds so promising! I guess I would say “it’s sort of like folk” and then I’d look uncomfortable and sad about it.
How did you first meet, and where exactly did you become a band?
The project isn’t exactly a band but I hope to do a lot of shows with Colby and Jeremy. But I like the idea of being able to play with other people too. Full string sections. Synth masters. Opera singers, etc.
Other than Greg Jamie, what should your hometown be known for?
Being a really beautiful small city close to great trails and the ocean.
Please look around you right now and please describe the first item or person you see that’s significant to you (and that your relationship with it/them). Can we see a photo?
My cat Scout who is sleeping next to me. She doesn’t usually snore but right now she is snoring.
What first inspired you to pursue music? If it was a musician or a specific piece of music, please tell us all about why you find it so inspirational…
You know who inspired me to play guitar – Richie Havens – that’s who. His rhythm just inspired me to try guitar. I hated guitar solos growing up so just that percussive style was really inspiring. And that acoustic guitar could be something aggressive and percussive. Also Velvet Underground. “Black Angel’s Death Song.” Those songs inspired me when I was very young to try to play acoustic music, which I’ve been sort of doing for a while now.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you about pursuing a life in music?
Jeremy’s been telling me I need to play out more and I agree. I think I need to be more confident. Self doubt is a real problem.
Not including your current crew, who (alive or dead) would you love to have in your van for an all day drive from gig to gig?
Someone who is funny and calm and likes to drive.
What song best sums up your life right now?
Satan is Real by the Louvin Brothers
What is the best reaction to your music you have experienced so far?
Owen from Orindal for liking my record enough to put it out. No better reaction to this music.
Take a moment to dream – Where do hope to be a year from now?
Knowing exactly what to make for dinner – spiritually.
What’s your next step towards that dream?
Cutting the garlic.
For more information on Greg Jamie visit the hub on ARTISTdirect