NORTHERN NOISE VS: Jim Noir

With this amazing summer of sport just coming to a close, we decided we’d be part of the Olympic Legacy. So when we had the chance to interview Jim Noir (musician, gentleman) ahead of his album launch at The Deaf Institute in October (get tickets here) we decided it was time to add a sporting element. Armed with a travel sized Connect 4 (we couldn’t find a bigger one) we trooped into Manchester. After a few stretches and a warm up, the games began.

Here’s the highlights of the epic battle of hearts and minds with the full interview below.

The album’s been quite a bit in the making hasn’t it?

Yeah, not intentionally but there’s stuff on there that i’ve have for 10-12 years.

Doing the whole Jimmy’s Club thing has meant I’ve been able to put out some old tracks before. But it’s all come together and I’m dead pleased with the results.

Jimmy’s Club is where fans would receive an EP every month for the last 16 months. Was that a way to force you to produce material?

Well it never really started as a plan. The first one I gave away because, well, it wasn’t that good (laughs) and then just kept doing it every month as a sort of challenge, which was, it turns out, challenging.

But I thought with the album I’d make a more coherent type of thing and I like it. The important thing is for me to hear it on vinyl, but then that’s the last time I’m ever going to listen to it. It’s time for more stuff.

So will you be touring the album soon then?

Yea I think January 2013 is penciled in for a tour, little venues around the UK. I suppose I have to wait till the album comes out and see what happens, there’s no point touring if nobody gives a shit.

Have you had much of a response from those in the press who’ve managed to have a listen so far?

Well I get emails every so often with reviews from the press people and I tend not to read them. Except I’ll get a bit drunk and go “ah fuck it let’s read ‘em”. They’ve been generally alright.

They’ll say it’s really good and then give it 3 stars which I don’t get. If it’s really good then surely it’s 10 stars or something? All of the stars.

But yea, if everyone says it’s really good then that’ll do me. I think. Keeps me able to buy sausages, which is the most important thing.

You’ve said that the album has sort of two sides to it.

That just a sound thing really. I wanted to put them all mixed up but this was the best way of arranging it without people wanting to switch it off. I think the best bit is the end bit anyway, it’s more interesting anyway.

Some people think the music can get a bit too indulgent in it’s own sweet ways or whatever. But I know what they mean because it’s like “no here’s another stupid fucking song over and over again”. But that’s the point, I love that.

If a band can’t think of any ideas they’ll spend 20 minutes doing nothing. Why is that better? I understand there is a lot of artistic ways of making noise long and beautiful, but you have to be good to do that (laughs). I’d rather stick to what I know.

Are there any songs off the album you’re particularly proud of?

Not proud, there’s one’s I think sound alright. I tend to always be off onto the next thing. I’m stuck between constantly worrying if the last thing I’ve done is alright and going “don’t worry the next one will be great!”.

It’s strange… but honestly, one day I’ll make the best fucking album if it kills me (laughs), which it probably will.

So what can we expect from the live show on October 6th?

I think we are contemplating some visual elements but we’ll see what happens. It’s difficult really because The Deaf Institute is really nice anyway. Plus it’s not big enough to fit in Jean Michel Jarr style lasers or anything. Which is what I really want (laughs).

Hopefully it’ll be alright. We’ve not had much time to rehearse but we’ve had the set down for a while. It’s been difficult as most of the band, y’know, work. So it’s tough getting everyone together. Hopefully we’ll all become millionaires after this album though.

Do you find the song writing quite easy, or does it take a bit of work?

It find it difficult to write a lot of songs, nowadays, just because you’re trying not to repeat yourself. I much prefer to have a big old think and then come up with like one good song.

I’ve noticed that the more equipment I get, the less I write. I’ve got a much nicer studio than I ever had and I just sit there whistling going “…this is nice, what’s on the telly?”. There’s a lot to be said to having not a lot to make a lot. So now I’m surrounded by this Vangelis style science lab, you lose a bit of why you’re doing it.

But as far as musicians go all I need is a pat on the back and a “well done” and I’ll decide to do another album and the whole process starts again.

Old Man Cyril is a really interesting song. How did you come up with a man who makes tables out of discarded chewing gum?

I don’t know, I really don’t know. It’s not based on anyone. I just looked around the street and thought “Who might get rid of it?” and it’s come out of that. It’s almost like a weird rap song, which is embarrassing. I nearly didn’t even show anyone that song.

And does the Queen really enjoy hoovering?

I’d like to think so. She must have done it once. She must sometimes just go “oh everyone just fuck off, I want to do it.”

The lyrics are the last thing I do anyway. I really enjoy making the music and then I get to the lyrics and I just go “well I have to write something otherwise it’s just an instrumental”.

words by Daniel Savage (@nosauceplease)

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