Exclusive interview with Jim
January 2009

Music (well, of course)
K&M:  We all are eagerly waiting for your new record. How is it progressing?

Jim:   It is going really well. It is a crazy way to make a record, with so many big gaps of time in between, but the silver lining may be: when you put things away, then come back to them, you see things you didn’t see the first time around. So, making the record this way has helped me identify the directions more clearly.  

K&M: What can you tell us about your involvement in the upcoming MTV Starmaker show?  Is it similar to your work with Rockstar or different?

Jim:  The Starmaker show is similar, but there are distinct differences. The biggest one is that the band is not nearly as much of a focus as is was on RockStar. We are much more of a supportive background. Though without seeing any of the episodes yet, I’m not sure what it will be. Because of the shooting schedule, I will not see it until it airs.

K&M: What do you think about the future of the music business? Fear not – the rest of the questions are not that tragic.

Jim: Well, I honestly wouldn’t be able to give an informed opinion on it without doing some research - if I am talking about the "business" of it. I do think that we are hearing some really cool music right now - though it may not necessarily be the most popular music out there. Technology has allowed people with limited budgets to create great music without spending tons of dough. People are just getting creative - whether it’s in their bedrooms, garages or even on a bus, plane or train - and that is when great things can happen. (Although I wouldn’t recommend trying to produce music while driving a vehicle)

K&M: If you could change one thing about the current music industry (or two or three …) what would it be?

Jim: I just wish people would not approach things from a fear based mentality. If you are in business, you are always worrying about how to keep your job - or to keep the business making mmoney - and I totally get that; the problem is when you let the "bottom line" prevent you from taking chances. For example, if you were in A&R and had the chance to sign the next Radiohead or the next Britney Spears, undoubtably you would choose the Britney, not that she is not a viable artist, but the odds of you making money from a Radiohead type band is much less. It becomes a numbers game, and in a subjective business, it is difficult for people to take risks.

K&M: What is the best thing about your job?

Jim:  Which job? Ha ha.  I would say that working for myself is the best thing. Though I have "bosses" at different times, I am ultimately working for myself. I love the freedom that gives me. If I want to go and tour with someone like Marc Broussard - or try to stay around and do some TV show and work on records, I can do that too. Just simply being able to make music and get paid is pretty special.

K&M: Which of your songs are you most proud of?

Jim: That is tough. I don’t know if there is ONE. The day I write a HIT song, I will be proud of that. There are certain parts of songs that I am proud of. I am always working on song writing. I am proud of the lyric in "Change". That was a growth for me. 

K&M: In an interview you were asked to name your top 5 albums of all time. You couldn’t to it – you wrote a whole essay. (  How about the top 5 songs of all time? Or shall we say the first five that come to your mind in the next 5 seconds with a caveat that there are a gazillion more.

Jim: Off the top of my head - some favorites are:

"Back in Black" - AC/DC
"Hysteria" - Def Leppard
"Thunder Road" - Springsteen
"Yesterday" - Beatles (which segues nicely into your next question)
K&M: You love the Beatles, right? Do you prefer early (“She Loves You”), mid (“Ticket to Ride”), or late (“Hey Jude”) Beatles?

Jim: Funnily, unlike most song people I am not a Beatles nut. I love them and when I listen to them I am always blown away, yet I don’t find myself listening to them a lot. I think Lennon and McCartney are THE BEST pop songwriters ever, but for whatever reason, I don’t have a strong emotional connection with their music.

K&M: On your website, in the Links section, it says "Things I am into: Justin Timberlake (just kidding… or am I)". Can you please explain? By the way – we love Justin.

Jim: There are things I love about him, and things I don’t. I actually think he is one of the funniest entertainers to come around in a long time. And I REALLY like some of his songs. 

K&M: If you could pick one song to be the soundtrack of your life what would it be?

Jim: "You Can’t Always Get What You Want" - Rolling Stones

K&M: What is the last song you sang at the top of your lungs in your car? What are your cruising songs?

Jim: Probably something from Def Leppard’s Hysteria or U2 or Tears for Fears. 
Actually, there is a new song by KEANE called “Spiralling”  that is one of my new favorites.

K&M: You’re a multi-instrumentalist. What's the strangest instrument you've ever played?

Jim: Strange??? Not sure about it.  
K&M: What’s the one thing you always take with you on tour that you cannot live without? (Besides your laptop of course)

Jim: iPhone, iPod and Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones. 

K&M: What's the thing you miss most about home when you're on tour?

Jim: My wife and our dog-ter. 

K&M: When you get off tour, how do you wind down and how long does it take to get back onto a normal routine?

Jim: It usually takes a few weeks to really feel back to normal. It has been crazy these last few years, because when you know that you are leaving again in a week or two, you never fully feel back to normal.  

K&M: What's the weirdest thing you  have done on tour? Stemming from that, what’s the most rock’n’roll thing you have ever done?

Jim: Not sure about the "weirdest" but Devin and I stole LL Cool J’s van once after the Fashion Rocks party. Bit of a long story. That was pretty fun!

K&M: Do you have superstitions or good luck rituals before a performance?

Jim: I try to pray before every performance. I am thankful for my life and the opportunities that I have been given.

K&M: What has been the biggest disaster you’ve ever experienced on stage?

Jim: I was playing with Cher and she got off of the beat on one of the songs - usually when a singer gets off, we can find them again - make an adjustment, or they can adjust back - but we never got back together. It was the most uncomfortable 3 minutes of my life. 

K&M: What's the craziest thing that has ever happened during one of your shows?

Jim: In China, the government does not allow the audience to get too excited. During our last show with Avril in Beijing, the police chief stopped the show after 3 songs because too many people rushed the stage and were having too much fun. They stopped the show, he came out on stage and spoke to the crowd and made everyone return to their seats. They did - and then we finished the show. But that was definitely WEIRD. (photo)

K&M: Do you go to concerts? What have been your best concert-going experiences?

Jim: Of course, not tons. It takes a lot to get me out of the house. I saw U2 in 2001 and that was pretty amazing. I also got to see Springsteen a year ago and the Boss does not disappoint.  
Jim up close and personal
K&M: Jim, Jimmy or James?

Jim: It varies. Most of my guy friends call me Jimmy - but then again - a lot of people call me Jim. I also have many other nicknames - but those are another story.

K&M: You are a really great writer, are there plans in your future to ever write a book? If so, what kind of book would you like to write?

Jim: Thank you. I wouldn’t say I am a great writer. Occasionally I can squeeze out a nugget of entertainment. Not sure about a book - maybe a screenplay or something would be fun.

K&M: You did a couple of reality shows (Rockstar) and you’re currently filming another one. But, would you be a contestant on a reality show?

Jim: No. Not after seeing what goes on behind the scenes. 

K&M: Mick Jagger is still rocking out at age 65? So, what do you reckon you'll be doing 30 years from now? 

Jim: I don’t know. Hopefully something to do with music, but in a more stationary way. It’s hard to imagine anything past the present.  

K&M: You’ve travelled a lot and that’s an understatement.  Is there anywhere you haven’t been that you would really like to go to?

Jim: I would like to see the Pyramids. 

K&M: What dangerous or adventurous thing would you like to try?

Jim: I am not a fan of danger.

K&M: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Jim: Incompetence and hypocrisy.

K&M: Who’s your favourite comedian?

Jim: Here are 3 - Seinfeld/Larry David - Chris Rock.

K&M: Favourite movie quote?

Jim: Too many favorites. 

K&M: What’s your favourite book?

Jim: Again with the favorites. As far as authors, I like Sam Shepard, Dave Eggers, Chuck Klosterman. Lots of others too. 

If you could be a superhero, what special power would you like to have?

Jim: It would be sweet to fly.

Do you have any hidden talents?

Jim: Quoting movie and Seinfeld at opportune moments. I also think I could be a sports commentator for NFL football. hehe

What are you NOT good at?

Jim: Tons of stuff. Not showing emotions is a good one. I wear them on my sleeve.  

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Jim: Legally Blonde and 80’s pop.  

What is your ring tone?

Jim: Old School ring. 

Who does your hair?

Jim: Me.

Is there any kind of food you don't like?

Jim: My friend Steve Ferlazzo and I HATE mayonaisse.


How did  you celebrate Christmas this year?

Jim: Just staying at home - no travel. Chillin' on the couch. 

What did you want for Christmas this year?  (other than your two front teeth :cP)

Jim: Contentment.

Eggnog or hot chocolate?

Jim: Hot chocolate.

Real Christmas tree or an artificial one? Or a pole for Festivus?

Jim: Real tree.

When do you usually put up your holiday decorations?

Jim: A little after Thanksgiving - that way we get to enjoy them for the whole month.  

  What is your favorite holiday movie?

Jim: A Christmas Story - and Chistmas Vacation

  Do you make New Year resolutions? If you do – do you keep them?

Jim: I don't usually make resolutions. I try to live the same all year round.

  What are your wishes for 2009?

Jim: My wishes for 2009 are: good health for those I love and know, 
acceptance and contentment