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Jim Noir Interview

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Manchester-native Jim Noir’s recent solo release on Barsuk is the culmination of many great things. Ultimately what shines through however is Noir’s tremendous ability to excel while undoubtedly hiding within his music. Many examples within Tower of Love prove that Noir allows much of his lighthearted songs to take precedent over his individual talent. Jim Noir’s music is everyone’s music; people can recall it without ever having heard it, it is almost as though he channeled a spirit that lives inside mankind. His track “Eanie Meany” playfully bounces about a primitive tale of a duel of childish wits, “If you don’t give my football back, I’m gonna get my dad on you.” With that, Noir follows by displaying his instrumental prowess by providing more of a soundtrack to the quarrel that develops. Likewise, in the following Noir playfully discusses this universal story of childhood dilemma, his adolescent musical success, peddling his music off in Wal-Mart stores across the nation and more.

Tower of Love seems to be the culmination of a lifetime of influence. Barsuk Records’ explanation follows the lines of a “Wurlitzer jukebox stacked with the hits of ELO, Super Furry Animals, Pepper-era Beatles, The Beta Band, The Beach Boys, early Pink Floyd and Supertramp” while I believe it’s a freak hybrid between Simon and Garfunkel (mostly Simon) and mid-90’s electropop within the context of 2006-based rock.or something along those lines. What is Tower of Love?

Jim Noir: To me I guess it’s just a diary of where I was at the time in relation to my music tastes and knowledge of what I was doing with instruments and recording equipment. The stuff I’m working on now sounds more polished and I’m slowly working in more of my electronic influences.

What significance is there within the Jim Noir pseudonym? Has it allowed for separation between art and self?

Jim Noir: It’s just the other side of my personality really. Although I write all the music with my normal mind, I call it Jim Noir ’cause he is the opposite of what the music sounds like. Jim Noir is just my name I gave my darker side which I’m sure everybody has. Does that make me sound odd? Ok, good.

Did your parents play a key role in your enjoyment of music at an early age?

Jim Noir: Not at all. I never had any encouragement in the musical department. They obviously gave me time to try and do it when they realized this was what I wanted to do, but at the start I had to go and find it for myself. I acquired most of my musical knowledge with my friend Batfinks, who had lots of stuff to play with in his house.

How did your experience at last years SXSW help expand your presence in the States?

Jim Noir: It helped a lot. We did a few gigs and managed to quite quickly do a deal with a lovely label called Barsuk. I’m not sure what they thought of the actual show ’cause I was very hung-over at the one they came to watch. We did a very good show the night before and duly celebrated our success. With much, much tequila.

What was the inspiration for the “Eanie Meany” video and what has been the overall reaction to its playful theme?

Jim Noir: The idea for the video was Tim Pope’s, the director. I always leave all that to whoever is directing it ’cause it’s not really my bag. But the finished thing looks quite cool, and I forgot that I could play football to a degree as well, which was a bonus. Everyone seems to like that track. I’m sure every kid in the world has experienced that story. Although I’m sure it would be your funny egg shaped balls the kids in America kicked over their neighbors fence.

Do performing live and recording serve as separate emotional outlets for you?

Jim Noir: Yeah, they are both equally as frustrating. No, they are definitely different feelings for me. I prefer to actually make the records than sing them in front of people. But after the last 8 months I’ve started to get into it. I like the fact that it sounds different – but in a good way. The singing sounds a lot more beautiful live I think.

Will you be touring in support of “Tower of Love”?

Jim Noir: Yes I’ll be traveling around all the Wal-Marts in the USA and singing my songs live from the other side of the counter, throwing copies of my album into peoples shopping carts so they buy it without wanting to.

If you had one final show to play, who would you most like to share the stage with?

Jim Noir: The Audience.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]