5 Minutes With… Jamie Beau

Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Jamie Beau has just released his Alt-Folk debut album entitled ‘TALES OF THE EARTH, TALES OF THE SEA…’ (4th Dec.) on Bearded Basket. Produced by Beau with Dan Gallagher (Get Cubs) and drums by Pete Reisner (Max Raptor, Hassle Records), the album is a creation of a 2 year journey that saw him share the stage with artists such as The Magic Numbers, Dan Reed and Amy Wadge (co-writer for Ed Sheeran) as well as being featured by BBC and appearances at YNOT Derbyshire, Willow Man, Lechlade and Milton Keynes International festivals. His mature sound comes from a diverse selection of influences; his parents 70s soul and rock records to the likes of Guy Garvey, Sigur Rós and Jeff Buckley.

We caught up with Jamie Beau to talk music and influences.

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?
Ummmmmmmm Very well thanks. I’ve been writing a bit of new music, promoting my current album and doing a bit of graphic design work today.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
Angry, acoustic indie folk. Its quite melancholy in places and celebratory sounding in others. I really like recording music that fills the sonic space up. but fundamentally its just me hitting an acoustic guitar.

Can you the name albums and artists that have influenced you the most?
Jeff Buckley – Grace is a flawless album.
Foo Fighters – the colour and the shape doesn’t have a bad song on it.
Ben Howard – Every Kingdom really inspired me to further my acoustic solo career.
Soundgarden – Superunknown was listened to once an month when I was growing up.
Smashing Pumpkins – Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness, a majestic album.

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
Thomas Leeb – Because if it weren’t for him, I’d have quit music altogether. seeing that guy play gave me the epiphany to start again.

I’m loving John Grant – his lyrics are honest and pure and I love that.

Guy Garvey for a similar reason – he’s something of an influence both solo and in Elbow.

What would we find under the category of “Guilty pleasures” in your music collection?
Loooooots of things haha!

The Carpenters are a favourite of mine – reminds me of mum (and my dog likes it)

Coldplay – I really like, I think they get a bad press sometimes but they just write catch music and whats really wrong with that?!?!

U2 – I think they’re incredible

The UK music scene is certainly always changing. Some might say that at the moment it’s more electronic oriented. Do you think this makes it more difficult for indie/alternative acts to get recognition that it would have done ten years ago?
One thing I’ve realised is that the world moves in cycles. So what is getting attention now may not in another ten years time.

The truth is I love electronic music and I think its great that it’s getting the mainstream attention it is. It’s kind of developed in tandem with accessible technology really, the kids in their bedroom who were using ripped off copies of logic and cubase a few years ago have now become really great musicians making great music and that’s awesome. no matter what style you make, as long as its awesome to listen to, for me, keep, making it!

I think the only thing it makes difficult for indie/alt artists is fighting for a fair share of press space … but that’s always been a challenge for indie / alt music anyway. That said from my side of the coin, I play to a very different audience anyway, its not really main stream or even very “cool” I don’t think … it just is what it is. It has a sound that appeals to some and not to others and that’s really awesome I think.
If not the popularity of electronic music, what would you say some of the challenges indie bands face today in the music industry today?
It’s a very big controversial one but (and I know many people will spit at this but ) … financing their career is the single biggest issue the bands I know are facing.

You have to invest in the music beyond artistic input to get it to self finance and become a real career opportunity. And I just don’t see that it’s happening for anyone who doesn’t have a generous benefactor or very supportive family.

Where do you gather song writing inspiration?
In life and dreams. Sometimes when listening to others music watching films, when I’m doing the dishes and sometimes it appears from the mystical realm of “WTF where did that come from?!?!” at the most random (and usually inconvenient) times too haha!

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?
I’ll always start with music and melody, I’ve just always worked that way. For a very long time I didn’t really know I could sing so was just a guitarist and worked with others. Then I’ll play the music over and over for about a week or two and start seeing where the feelings are taking me then lyrics flow though from that. I’ve got a stock pile of scraps of paper that I’ve been scribbling on for many years now so I’ll usually look at them for filer inspiration if I’m ever stuck in a lyric.

Then I’ll usually record the whole thing and scrap it for a year haha!

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
I’ve got a number that spring to mind. One of my favourites was at YNOT festival a could of years back. great crowd, great day and everything just came together.

And the worst?
There are too many to count haha! Without naming names you can have a gig that is spoilt by tech, performance or a few audience members spoiling it for the many, and believe me, I’ve had them all happen (sometimes in the same night) to me over the years.

I think the worst one though was when I was in my old thrash metal band, they all used to think I sang better when I was drunk (I didn’t) and they decided to buy me lots of whisky before the show. The problem was that we were all quite drunk and when you put your foot on the monitor, miss, then fall off the stage … it doesn’t make for a great gig.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?
Glastonbury. I’d love to play there, its been an ambition of mine for a time and I genuinely love the festival. My family and I got every year we can get tickets, (I’m talking mums, dads, Nana, uncle, aunt, sibling, the full works)

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?
I’d love to have performed alongside Jeff Buckely when he was still with us. Incredible vocal and I’d have just learnt so much from him.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
Yep, My Debut Album comes out on the 4th of December 2015 and if you want info just come see me on my website www.jamiebeau.com

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