As a longtime rock frontman who just launched his first solo tour, Jim James is a busy man. So Fuse got a hold of the My Morning Jacket leader for a rapid-fire Q&A session about his album Regions of Light and Sound of God and which North Carolina band he's digging these days.
Could any of your solo songs have been My Morning Jacket songs?
Sure, maybe in some alternate realm. Two of the songs on [My Morning Jacket's 2011 album] Circuital were supposed to be solo songs: "Movin' Away" and "The Day Is Coming."
Do you see yourself releasing additional solo albums?
If the universe wants it to be so.
You did an EP of George Harrison covers. Why George's solo material instead of John or Paul's?
I recorded them shortly after George died as a tribute to the man. His spirit moves me.
Putting "God" in an album title brings up a lot of emotions and assumptions for some people. Did you have any reservations about that?
The label did but I did not. I try to talk about "god" in a way that is very loose and non-threatening.
If you hadn't been raised Catholic—let's say you were raised non-religious—how would this album be different?
Well, that is kind of hard to even worry about because that's basically like saying, "If I was a completely different person would I still be me?" I'm not sure.
I've read you're into New Age books. Any particular authors or books that stand out as favorites?
I don't like the term New Age. I'm into seeking out spirituality and trying to better understand this life and my place in it. I've been reading Awareness by Anthony De Mello lately.
Did you write "Actress" with a particular actress in mind? If so, who?
It was inspired by a scene in the book Gods' Man, which I am scoring [with my solo album].
Is it relieving to work on material alone in the studio, or is it actually more pressure?
Neither. I try to fully enjoy whatever I'm engaged in at the time.
Are there any new bands you can heartily recommend to us?
There is a great band from North Carolina called Floating Action that I have been really into.