James of



1. James my good fellow, another fuckin' band - why, oh why, oh why!  Explain what this latest venture is about and how you have ended up here? 

Hello Dave! If you're a musician or songwriter, it's not something you control, it controls you. You have to write and make music, in whatever form it takes. My previous band, B-Leaguers, (and The Popdogs, before that) never officially called it a day, we're still all in contact, we just decided to take an indefinite break for various reasons. The music's still out there and available. But who knows? Never say never. But at this moment in time, The Ego Ritual is where I am and 100% focussed on.

2.  What are your immediate ambitions for the band and do you foresee something akin to longevity - surely you can do it (he says rather sarcastically but with good humour)?

Our immediate ambition for The Ego Ritual is to finish recording our debut EP. It's going well, the songs are coming together. Our debut single, 'Chakra Maraca' is out now, and available as a free download from our bandcamp. It's a departure in sound to my previous bands, but the big drums and big guitars are still there. Regarding longevity, I would hope we have at least a full length album in us, after that, and if the reaction is positive, who knows? As any musician will tell you, a million things can get in the way of a band's longevity, many out of the band's control.

3.  Are you hoping to improve your own sonic skills during this latest venture and hopefully push yourself into niches new?

Yes. When you write a new song, you always want it to be the best thing you've written. There's no point going backwards, or repeating yourself. We're certainly experimenting with new sounds and influences on this record, we're not limiting ourselves in any way. As soon as you label yourself, or your sound, you create boundaries. We just do what we do, the songs go where they need to.

4.  Are there any releases we should know about and what gigs are on the horizon?

Our debut EP 'The Ego Ritual' will be out later this year, on the American indie label, Kool Kat Musik. It'll also be available to download from our bandcamp. And as I've mentioned, our debut single, 'Chakra Maraca' is out now and available from our bandcamp. We will look at playing some gigs after the EP's release. 

5.  What new bands are turning you on at the moment, I always like to keep clued in as ye should know?

I've always listened to a wide range of music and bands, anything that grabs my attention. So I don't necessarily keep up to date with what's new. As long as the musician means it, and is passionate about it, I'm there.  I'm currently re-discovering Killing Joke. 

6.  The techno age and the festival fever - 2 things that grind my gears, I am in the minority?  What are your views as a musician as opposed to that of punter?

I know what you mean, Dave. Unfortunately, if you want your music to be heard (and most of us do) then the festivals are the easiest way to get it out to the masses. However, I do believe a band should work it's apprenticeship in the pubs and clubs first. The DIY, grass-roots nights, put on by the local promoters. No point throwing a band on the big stage, if they're not ready and haven't worked for it. The internet is a double-edged sword, really. You can get your music out there instantly, but everyone is doing the same. So there's huge competition to be heard and stand out. You still have to work hard to be noticed. And of course, you have to have  something worth hearing and buying into.

7.  For me, one of the greatest ways of promoting music is to do split-releases - it builds unity, gets bands working for one another and gets that crucial sound out there.  Have you ever considered this and if you could do 3 split releases what bands would you favour?

Good question. I agree, I think split-releases are a great way to get people listening and open your music up to a potential new audience. My previous band, B-Leaguers, did a split mini-album with the brilliant, Hooligan Crooners (check them out!), and it worked very well for both bands. It's definitely something we would consider in the future. We're always open to new ideas, so if any band wants to get in touch...

8.  John 'Chuff Chunks' Chels is a deviant on the scene who wears latex thongs, has several Hitler tattoo's and always enjoys a good sexual session with a 1960's steam train driver - he says it's his nerves but I blame the breastfeeding that went on into his late teens?  The question - would you kill an engine driver for 35 shekels and would you breastfeed a kipper so as to promote the NHS - Nob Health Society?

I'm always getting asked this question! I sometimes feel like it, when the train is delayed. I would probably break his legs for 20 shekels, killing would be a little harsh, who would drive the train then? Breast feeding a kipper? Not really my thing, though I'd happily give it a pot noodle.

9.  The subject matter of songs is always an intriguing area - what do you deal with in your ditties and have you any general messages for we listening masses?

I've said this before, but it's always more important what the listener thinks a song is about, than what the writer had in mind. I've worked hard on the lyrics this time round, but I've deliberately kept them open to interpretation. You can take them on a number of levels. If you want to dig deeper, you can. As long as you take something from them, I've done my job.

10.  Tangerines and Tosspots'  is a song title - your challenge is to compose the first verse - if you add a chorus a free Jimmy Saville T-shirt will be coming your way - scribble away sir!

Can we use this on our next record?

'Tangerines and Tosspots
Put 'em in your slingshots
You could hit the jackpot
But you still won't find anything that rhymes with orange'

11.  And finally - promote and push thy new band - give us the gen we need to know to investigate deeper?

Anyone who enjoyed B-Leaguers should find something of interest in The Ego Ritual. We still have that DIY ethic (our drummer owns the studio where we record and is engineering the sessions) and the big choruses and melodies are still there, we've just dressed them up a little differently this time. You can keep up to date by checking out The Ego Ritual facebook page.