Exclusive interview with Jim

March 2013

K&M: You were going to release your second album. What happened to that?

Jim: I had signed an indie record deal in 2008, but the company dissolved and the record was basically stalled indefinitely. Also, stylistically, it was a bit of a stretch for me anyway, so unfortunately many of those songs will probably never be released. And though I am mainly writing for other artists, there are several songs that come up that still feel like songs I am meant to sing - and I will be recording them as they come up. 

Do melodies come to you spontaneously, or do you work them out on an instrument?

Jim: Both. Many times, I will hear a melody after listening to music. It may be a variation on something I heard, or a melody influenced by another artists's vibe. Once I am in the middle of the writing process, there are times when I "work out" a melody. But, mainly the melodies are coming from my head.

K&M: How would you describe your own music?

I'd like to think my music combines singable melodies, heartfelt or thought provoking lyrics and soul. I am constantly trying to make sure there is a level of lyrical depth and originality. 

K&M: You play many different roles in your various musical ventures. Which do you enjoy the most?

Jim: Though I truly enjoy all aspects of music, songwriting and production are definitely at the top of the list. Songwriting might be at the top, though the first few days of producing a new project are always pretty inspiring.

K&M: Of all the artists you've collaborated with, whom have you enjoyed working with the most?

I could never pick just one.

K&M: If you could claim credit for any song written over the past 10 years, which one would you pick?

Good question. Hard question. I think Pat from Train writes amazing lyrics. I'm About To Come Alive is pretty great. I also think the new Ed Sheeran song The A Team is incredibly well written.

K&M: Who do you think is the best new band out there now?

Jim: That's a tough one. I really like Chromeo, M83, Neon Trees and Bruno Mars.

K&M: Are albums/CDs still relevant?

I guess that depends on the definition of relevant. An album and CD have a MUCH higher fidelity content than an mp3. People who listen to music solely on mp3 players, are depriving themselves of a large portion of the sonic spectrum. It would be like going to the movies, and only seeing 60% of the screen. You're not getting the whole picture. I hope in the future, we find ways to bring a higher quality to the portable medium. It makes me sad to think how hard I work on producing music, only to have the end product dumbed down when it is presented to the masses.

K&M: Do you think musicians have a responsibility to have a social or political message in their music?

I don't think they have a responsibility - however, the more popular you become - and the more fans you have an opportunity to reach, I would hope that artists take that position seriously - and use their influence as a vehicle for promoting something positive. Music can be an extremely powerful medium, and the artists that are long lasting, usually find a way to let their voice (social or political) come out in song. 

K&M: Have you ever wanted to do something else with your life?

Jim: When I was very young, I wanted to be a baseball player. I was always athletic, but when I got to high school, I shifted to music 100%.

K&M: What is the proudest moment in your career?

Hopefully, it's yet to come.

K&M: Do you miss touring?

There are aspects of touring that I miss. Seeing new places is always cool and the camaraderie of the band is special (especially with the right guys).  But, I don't really miss the physical stress of it.

K&M: After all these years, what still excites or drives you to perform?

Jim: There is an amazing feeling when you are on stage. It's very hard to put into words.

You seem to be a confident performer. What is something that makes you nervous?

Jim: Not sure? I'll let you know the next time I get nervous.

K&M: What do you like best and hate most about performing live?

Seeing a crowd respond to a show can be an awesome feeling. Also, when a band is really on together - and gets in a groove - that can be transcendent. When you lose yourself in the music - that's the best.

K&M: Did you know when you joined Twitter how powerful a communication tool it would become?

No - but, I was curious about what how it would work. I am amazed at what it has become.

K&M: Have you ever regretted a post?

I don't think so - but, I am sure I will someday.

K&M: You live in LA. Choice or necessity?

It started as a choice, but now it might be a necessity. But, after 17 years, I still love it.

K&M: Is there any other city in the world that you could live in?

US Virgin Islands are on the top of the list. If money was no object, I think Paris would be great for a while. I'd also love to live in Italy or pretty much anywhere in the Caribbean.

K&M:  Two part question:  As a new father, how do you feel your life has changed? And if so, how?

I could write an entire book tackling this subject. In the 9 months before my daughter got here, and the 3 months she has been in this world, my life has changed an immeasurable amount. For brevity, I'll say that perspectives have changed dramatically - and I couldn't be happier about it.

K&M: Another two part question: A questions for the Avril fans because they are dying to know!  Have you heard any tracks from Avril’s new record? If so, what do you think of  it?  One fan asked Rodney on twitter to describe it in one word and he tweeted to it as “Rockalicious”.

Jim: I have actually not heard the latest songs. While touring I heard some music towards the end of 2011/early 2012, but I know there is much newer music that I have not heard. So, I really don't have any info on the subject.

K&M: Dave Grohl recently directed an amazing rockumentary entitled Sound City. When the studio closed he purchased the iconic Neve 8020 console from Studio A.  Have you ever visited Sound City Studios and if so, wondering if you could share your personal insights about the studio?

Jim: I never worked there, but I watched Sound City and loved it. I especially love how the main focus of the film (in my opinion) was on the human element of music - and how we have lost some of that.

K&M: As an owner/operator of Purple Tongue Studios, what advice would you give to someone who wants to open up their own recording studio?

Jim: Keep your overhead low and be prepared to work long hours.

K&M: Can you tell us who are the current artists you are working/recording with at this time?

Jim: Right now, I am working on new music for Kate Voegele, Katarina Gleicher and recently completed an EP for Dan Godlin. I also produced an EP for Ryan Fitzgerald and Mikalah, but I am not sure of the release schedules.

K&M: Any chance we’ll hear some new Jim McGorman music in 2013?  (our fingers are crossed!)

Jim: I recently wrote a new song for a project that I should be recording and releasing by this summer.