Simon Jaymes ‘Wild Life’
The debut album Out Now on all major online Stores iTunes, Amazon and many more!
Hi Simon, you recently released your debut single ‘Sailboat’. What has the reaction to that been so far?
The response has been really encouraging and I think people are really enthused by it. The only trouble is trying to reach new fans on a shoe string budget so I have been targeting new ears through placing adverts through Facebook, Last FM, Jango airplay by getting my songs placed along side more established similar sounding artists which already have a large fan base. You pay for the privilege but I think it’s been worth it.
Your debut album is released at the beginning of July 2010. How was the experience of recording the album for you?
The experience was a real milestone in my life and at the completion of this product I still truly love and will always cherish it. This really has been a tough thing to do to say the least as this album has been achieved by self-funding through family, close friends and myself only and when there is little/no money every thing takes forever! But I have kept on it and now I have a result that I could not be happier with as it is truly what I wanted and how I wanted it to happen.
Do you work with the same musicians when recording as you do when performing live?
Yeah at the moment I am blessed to have the energy and support of the awesome musicians that played on the album. I am going to enjoy them for as long as they are happy to be involved. It’s just hard for them as I cant afford to pay them what they more than deserve if any thing at all.
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you?
What can your fans look forward to in the next 12 months?
More releases, music video coming soon for the song ‘Monsters’, an animation by the album cover artwork artist Galen Wainwright. He is fantastic and whom I am trying to work with as much as I can before he becomes too big and too expensive for me. Also in the pipe line a music video which hopefully involves a well known music video director of whom I cant unveil to you yet as its not confirmed but I am in talking’s with for making it happen……..so watch this space and fingers crossed.
Which instruments do you play?
What made you decide to be a solo artist and not want to be in a band?
I can be in control of what is going on but at the same time still be getting help from friends and other industry professionals……it works for me at the moment but am totally up for being in a band at a later date. Just seems easier to start of with just me whilst I am finding my feet, that way I can make my journey at my pace do things the way I want and only have one ego to contend with, myself.
Did you always want to be in a musician/singer when younger?
No I wanted to be an archaeologist but what I seemed to be naturally good at was the dance, singing and acting so I went with being a performing monkey for peace and peanuts in the end.
What music did you listen to while growing up?
Shaking Stevens was my first record ‘this old house’ which I heard again only the other day, which put a big smile on my face. But in my early teens I was really into Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Pink Floyd.
How long have you played your instruments?
I started to play for fun at 17 when I was still training as a dancer at The Rambert School of Ballet & contemporary. I was given a Tangle wood guitar as a present on Xmas day from my late uncle Martin Rex who was a record producer and who ended up being my mentor in music till he passed away. I played and played until my fingers were red raw and near bleeding…I really wanted to be able to play Amazing Grace in the first day.
What was your first music making experience?
About 6-7 years ago with my Uncle Martin before we lost him to Lung Cancer we were recording my music up to the last days of his life. He was also Mixing/co producing one of Ray Davies’s albums at the time and on he side he was giving me studio time to try out some of my new songs. He was an established Producer and sound engineer who was really good at would he did. Really miss the guy and I wish to do him proud.
Are you self-taught or did you have lessons?
Self taught with out really learning much ……it sounds strange I know but I play what I play I don’t know what any of the shapes and things I do are called. Just the basics but I’m good at what I do.
Do you have a set routine when writing and recording or does it depend on each track and the inspiration?
I write and days go past. Once I’m locked in I become the biggest dreamer ever. I forget to eat and drink sometimes. Some times I sing some thing round the house and then try some guitar to it electric or acoustic and some times I have a riff and or whole musical arrangement on the guitar and then I start to make noises until something works its way out of my sub conscience or maybe I will have a short poem. It’s never the same. I hate formulas to start with but end up falling in to one in the end. Every thing has been done before in one-way or another. I like being difficult ……makes me feel like I deserve the result more.
Would you sign with a major record company?
If it was the right deal for me. But I have a feeling that I wouldn’t like what they would offer. Who knows? I’m always open-minded towards those big industry sharks.
Do you have any new recordings planned?
Yeah but working on the money flow to come back in order to afford to record again. You buy the music and I will make more. It’s a shame that the general public are constantly forgetting the fact that they should be paying for music and not stealing it. Especially for the independent artists that are just starting out and are without big endorsement deals and sponsorship deals to help keep them going and afloat.
How much involvement do you have with the arranging and production of the songs when recording?
I am also the producer of my album along side guitarist Adam Drake and Key player Richard Bundy whom has just finished doing a mix for Lady Gaga.
Is the production side of things something you’d like to get involved more in the future, maybe working with other artists?
Yeah sure why not? The more I learn along the way the more I can contribute to others.
Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do?
I think it’s a great thing I love it. Sometimes you can get red light fever but when you have shaken that off it really is a beautiful experience, recording down a moment in time for others to enjoy. Great stuff!
Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans?
There are no rules with this but with this debut album I did my takes live in one go on my own and sometimes with Adam. When we did the drums and bass that was together in one take as well. We wanted to keep it as live as possible with minimal overdubs as I really wanted to make a vibey album with a real soul even if there were mistakes captured. Keeping the sound real and full of life.
Do you have any favourite tracks on your album?
River people, Sailboat, Ready, Dreams of Flight…….. They relax me.
Do you write songs/tracks only about personal experiences?
No I like to mix up reality and fantasy. Makes the fantasy more real.
Do you find song writing easy or difficult?
Both. Sometimes when writing before you know it I have written one song in 15 mins. There was one song that took me 2 years or so. But I find the songs that happened quickly were the Gems!
Who are your favourite songwriters?
Van Morrison, Billy Joel, Nina Simone, Eddie Vedder, John Martyn, There are loads of them!
Which countries have you gigged in?
Japan, Thailand, Sweden (Malmo), UK
Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour?
USA ….I have been told by many that they will like my music there.
How do you promote your music and get your music out to new fans?
Internet radio sites, social networking sites and gigging. I would love to get on to the Radio 2 listeners but it is a hard thing to do. Any Ideas? Without spending more?
Do you use any websites like ‘Reverbnation’ or ‘Soundclick’?
No as I feel they divert attention to there site instead onto my own and I want to increase traffic to my site as much as possible and to have my own mailing system that I own. I use social networking sites like Facebook and Bebo to bring people to my site www.simonjaymes.com
Do you think such sites and the Internet are good tools for independent and unsigned artists?
Yes but be careful to pick and choose the right sites for you and for what you are trying to achieve. Use your spare time efficiently cause if your on your own like myself then you don’t have all the time in the world to be the trendiest person on every music site there is. There are a lot of sites! Put a profile up where you want but always check the terms and conditions, as some of these music sites are dodgy! Oh and don’t post up all your photos on Facebook as you lose copyright control. Just put a couple up and say there are more available on your site.
How do you relax?
Walking Jack in the woods or at Ally Pally. Drinks with my mates in High Gate (the cheap pubs). Getting out of the city. I love my space most of all, its important to me.
What's your best/worst experience at a gig?
The best has got to be a gig I did in central London about a year ago, I came off stage and a small group of the most beautiful girls were begging to buy me beers. I could not believe my luck! Good times!
Some complete Wally chatting really loud right next to me about what I was doing as I was doing it to his lady friend. He was right at the front pretty much shouting and I just wanted to stop playing and tell him to shut it but I was playing my most expensive guitar and did not want it to be smashed over my head or be caked in beer. So when that sort of thing happens I normally just grimace through it and do my best to shut them out of my mind and carry on.
Do you get nervous before a gig- how do you calm down?
It’s all a state of mind and putting yourself in the right headspace. I used to get nervous a lot but have managed to calm it down now a lot. I think it was when I realised it wasn’t worth being such a wreak any more as it was massively effecting my playing and my voice and then I would hate my self for not enjoying it as much as I could have. So I don’t bother with winding myself up any more. Any way life is too short and you shouldn’t take your self too seriously all the time. Gigging is the fun bit!
What else do you do apart from being a singer/songwriter?
I used to be a Ballet dancer but now I just do the odd bit of contemporary dance work and physical theatre. I will be doing another contract with English National Opera as a dancer/actor this august performing in Faust at the London Coliseum. Also cause I don’t do such full on dance any more I have to try to keep Mr Fatty at bay so I go to the gym and go running with the Dog and hanging out with my friends it’s good to hang out with your friends when you can.
Would you like to be a full time working musician or are you happy with things as they are?
The plan is to try and make this a full time thing but that I believe that will be a long while off yet. Who knows?
Has your music been used on any film soundtracks?
Is it something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along?
Oh yes of course it’s great exposure!
Is there anything you'd like to add?
Yeah the launch for the album is coming up so if your around come down but best to buy tickets online as you will then get a free cocktail on entry (online ticket holders only)
Check it out:
Co producer Richard Bundy who has just finished working with Lady Gaga on a remix will be joining on keys along side the Amazing Pat Illingworth on Drums and fresh off tour with Tom Jones Bass player Alex Meadows and the Awesome Adam Drake on guitar. Bringing you an A-Team full electric band to celebrate the Launch of Simon Jaymes Album!
‘Wild Life’ Album Launch! Cool 2 Rock! @ Embassy London 13-Jul-10
Doors open 7pm: door Entry £8 / £6 B4 9pm on artist guest list - or £6 for when you buy your tickets in advance at www.ticketweb.co.uk (booking fee included),
Want a free cocktail on entry?
Have a free cocktail on us when you prepay via Ticket Web
(Prepaid ticketholders only!)
The promoter from Sebcollective said he might throw in some cupcakes for you but I think he was pulling my chain!
A little bit more about the debut album ‘Wild Life’ and Simon Jaymes:
Born in Pembury, Kent, raised in Hadlow Down (East Sussex) and now a North London based Singer/songwriter. Simon Jaymes was recently Indy award Finalist as Best Male Solo Act.
Formerly a world-class ballet & contemporary dancer, Simon is no stranger to the stage. As a live artist Simon has performed his material throughout the UK supporting & head lining at various venues alongside established artists including: Jon Allen, Beth Rowley, The Fix & The Blockheads. Simon has also made guest appearances in mainland European & Far East venues to high critical acclaim.
With influences such as John Martyn, Dave Matthews & Pearl Jam his album is uplifting thought provoking & musically timeless in a highly unique & original way. He lyrically communicates his songs as a storyteller, combining his varied life experiences with fantasy. Simon’s poignant lyrics, vocal hooks & catchy finger picked melodies integrate seamlessly with beautiful full-band arrangements.
Recorded at producer & musician Richard Bundy’s Studio & at ‘Monkey Puzzle House’ using only full live takes with minimal overdubs; this eclectic debut album displays his versatility as a singer/songwriter & guitarist covering the genres & sounds of Soul, folk, rock, melodic rock, acoustic, & blues. Simon has classed his album as Acoustic/Rock.