MWN: I guess we can jump right into questions about your new album which is entitled: The Blackberry Train. Where did the name of the album come from?
James McCartney: A dream. Literally a cartoon train was coming down a mountain from left to right. It had blackberries as tender in the carriages. It’s also a lyric at the end of ‘Paralysis’, which is a song off the album.
MWN: This album is put together so well. All the instruments sound so clear, the sound flows beautifully. I saw you had the chance to work with Steve Albini who has worked with Nirvana and other great artist now including you he actually engineered the album how was it working him?
James McCartney: It was great. It was all very matter of fact. Quite clinical and sterile in a good way. The sounds felt as if they were Prison Sounds which was a little scary but Free in a way. The sounds were very good. And felt very good. He helped me re-assure myself that the decisions are up to me. Notebooks. Individual. Personal.
MWN: For this album in particular. What did you pull from to write the material? (Was it more personal or did you have inspiration from other things).
James McCartney: Mainly words. Singular and plural. My journal, diary. It was more personal. I drew from personal experience. But there is an element of imagery to me and pure fiction. ‘Unicorn’ is obviously mythology but again there are elements of fragmented, refracted words, in my opinion.
MWN: I feel like as creators we learn certain things about our craft and identity as we work at something for long periods of time. With this album what is one think you feel you learned about your sound? Did you experiment in any ways?
James McCartney: I experimented in all ways and will continue to do so, specifically, more with cool amps and blending. More electrically. With Feedback! Emotional sounds. But also keeping it simple and just doing it.
MWN: Speaking of sounds. What would you say is the boldest thing you have done in terms of sound?
James McCartney: Probably being minimal with sound. Less is more. Being sparse. Trying too hard to be desolate. Contrast.
MWN: I know sometimes musicians grow fond of instruments such as a certain guitar and they pretty much use it throughout the entire record. Was this the case in this record? Has it ever been in the past?
James McCartney: Not really. Funny you wrote that ‘cause I kind of wished it had been more the case with this record. So in other words, no. Neither in the past, in all honesty. Partially. But not totally. No.
MWN: This is always a hard question for me to ask because I am very undeceive person, but one of my favorite songs off the album is “Prayer.” I think it is a beautiful romantic song and your vocals are spot on with the melody in the background. I particularly like how it starts off with the guitar alone, then your vocals get added, and then the other instruments. What was the inspiration behind this song?
James McCartney: It’s basically a love song. The inspiration behind the song is it being a love song that has all connotations. So not relating to one individual romance, but all. Being in love. A unique, personal thing. A song meant for every way of looking at it.
MWN: Also with all that in mind what would you say your favorite sort of love song is?
James McCartney: Conventionally: Consoling, re-assuring, fun, up-lifting ones. Unconventionally: Not songs at all but more sounds of life and nature.
MWN: I feel like sometimes certain songs resonate with us more than others. For you which song off the album is your favorite to perform live?
James McCartney: ‘Ballerina’. Because it’s melancholic yet hopeful.
MWN: I know you are embarking on a tour in the states. How do the crowds differ from Europe to America?
James McCartney : It depends where in Europe. The UK is smaller, totally different, more cynical, steeped in history. More blanker. More open. The United States of America is warmer, but I prefer to focus on the similarities. So, to summarise Europe and America are different crowd wise by Europe being more cynical and America being more open-minded. The similarities would be people who want to learn and experience.
MWN: Let’s do a few fire round questions! Who was your inspiration growing up?
James McCartney: Myself. Everyone. All wise people. Friends I connected with. The idea of Native Indian elders and Spiritual people. Kurt Cobain.
MWN: What is one of your favorite songs at the moment?
James McCartney: I don’t really have one but one of them would be ‘Peace In Mississippi’ by Earth, maybe. From the past that is. Currently ‘Snakes Vs. Rats’ by The Bug and Earth.
MWN: If you had a chance to perform with any artist dead or alive who would it be and why?
James McCartney: Robert Johnson, because I love the blues.
MWN: What is your favorite cover art of a record?
James McCartney: The front cover of ‘Seventeen Seconds’ maybe by The Cure. Again, I don’t have a favourite but in all truth ‘Abbey Road’ by The Beatles. But all The Beatles cover Art for me, were equal and the best!
MWN: Finally as we come to the end of this interview. I would like to thank you once again for taking the time to answer them. Lastly, I like to end on thanking. So what is one things you want to say to those who have stuck by your side and supported your music?
James McCartney : Learn.