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This Is Northern New South Wales

James Walsh – solo acoustic!

James Walsh
is touring Australia in a series of  awesome acoustic shows with Elliotts Room and Sarah McLeod (The Superjesus, Screaming Bikini). Sarah has been one busy woman over the last few years, and is currently focusing on her rock band Screaming Bikini. James Walsh former frontman of critically acclaimed UK Band Starsailor has forged out a sterling solo and writing career. We talk to James about his currrent path, up and coming shows, his co-writing adventures and what’s on the cards for OZ.

Sure to be an awesome night with double bang for your buck save the date, Sunday the 18th of March and get your tickets HERE to The Great Northern show. Check out the facebook event HERE. Enjoy the interview and some sneak previews of what you’ll be in for on the night . See you all there !

Q- Hey James, tell us a bit about your history, Starsailor and where you’ve come from leading into your solo career?

J.W- We started out as a band in 2000 and had almost 10 years of successful touring and recording. The first two albums took us around the world in a bit of a whirlwind tour. I guess after so long together, the changing face of our label (EMI) and the industry. We thought it was a good time to explore opportunities outside the band. I believe its important for bands to know when to bow out at the right time. We called it a day at a very respectable level but I could see that attention in music was shifting to the new bands coming through so it was time to move on for a while.

Q-You’re touring in the UK, Europe and now Australia. Is this your first time to Australia? What are you looking forward to getting up to while you’re here?

J.W- It will be the second time I’ve toured in Australia. The first time was supporting Alex Lloyd and a couple of promo gigs back in 2001. That was a great experience but I’m looking forward to coming back with four albums worth of material and of course the new solo songs.

Q- It must be quite a polar on-stage experience from playing to massive festivals and crowds with a full band behind you; to the intimate experience of playing solo to the audience, and acoustically as well….Tell us about this transition.

J.W- I enjoy playing the huge festivals and the intimate gigs. You can really let yourself go when its a small show because you know the fan base is dedicated and wants to see something special. You have to give it everything playing bigger shows too but there are more passing fans to impress who maybe haven’t come to see you specifically so you have to be a bit more disciplined.

Q- I notice your current website is run by Music Glue. What are your thoughts on the way the music industry is now run and the way the audiences now consume music? With so many sites online to release music now, putting full control in the artists hands how have you embraced this?

I think its a great time to be a music fan at the moment. Artists have to be so much more interactive with their fans whether that’s through TwitterFacebook or with youtube videos. Hopefully I have embraced that in a small way. It isn’t as easy to make a living but if you are prepared to put the effort in you can still do ok. You appreciate the dedicated fans a lot more because they are the ones that keep your career going when the ones who latched on to a hit album have lost interest.

Q- There is a long list of collaborations you’ve been involved with. How do you enjoy co-writing with others and for other projects? What have some of your favorite experiences been?

J.W- I love co-writing and working on Film Projects. I could be helping with a developing artist one week then working with a Spice Girl (Melanie C) the next! A great recent experience was seeing Christina Perri in London. She played a song a I wrote with her and she made a point of talking about how we wrote it. Working with her early on it has been great to see her rise. I only wish I’d worked on Jar Of Hearts ! That’s a brilliant song.

Q- You’ve got Sarah McLeod on the road with you. How did this come about? Have you worked with Sarah before?

J.W- The promoter out in Oz is a big fan of Sarah McLeod. She’s come from a successful band and is now forging a decent solo and co-writing career like me. I’ve heard her music and I really like it.

Q- As you’re heading to Byron Bay as just one of your many Oz tour destinations, what is the main thing you are looking forward to coming to our coastal town?

J.W- I’m looking forward to a dip in the sea in Byron Bay. I’m not a big surfer but I love swimming and diving. I’ve heard its a relaxed chilled out party town which is right up my alley! I get my dancing shoes on every now and again but mostly it’s good conversation and a few gin and tonics into the night!

Wonderful, thanks for chatting James, see you at the show ! CG