Joshua James concludes his spring tour this week after releasing his new album My Spirit Sister in April. It's a record with some lofty thoughts to share and some quirky backstory, and now audiences can take the plunge with just a handful of concerts left. AXS connected with James to talk about his impressions of the newest record as he gears up for his final three tour dates of the month. A teaser for the record is also available here.
AXS: There's a lot going on in My Spirit Sister. How do you describe the new album?
Joshua James (JJ): My Spirit Sister is the most autobiographical piece of music I have ever recorded. I have, in the past, pulled from personal experience, but never to this extent. It is a vulnerable state to keep yourself in and so I have to detach myself, at least as much as I am able, from the experience from which I wrote the song, lest I auto-destruct. God knows that there are those that are more prone to this than others, and I truly do believe I am found in that gang of humans. The thing that I enjoy most about the record is its feeling of hopeful helplessness. Stockholm syndrome with a break in the box inside which you are captured, a chance to reconfirm that life and her experiences, that she so willingly gives us, are only blips on the radar of your living/breathing entity.
AXS: Those are some fairly large statements, so how was the creative process of making the record?
JJ: [My] creative process spans from late night self-talkings to early morning risings. It seems to constantly be changing, although it has been semi-consistent throughout the years of how I arrive at a song. I am a person who, though enjoying social interactions, often prefers to be alone, especially if the outcome desired is creation. I write alone (most of the time), nocturnally (usually) and without much of theme attached to my end goal. With all of that, I am usually aligned with the place where creation is constructed.
AXS: Is there anything, in particular, you want audiences to come away with from the album or your upcoming live shows?
JJ: Enjoyment is paramount, I think, in any (at least most) listening environment or experience, and so that is the goal. But the thing I'd want someone to take away from the record is that experiences that we go through, however dark and difficult they may be, are just that, experiences, and we can overcome anything. We are resilient. I am trying to release music I believe in, get it to those that believe in it, and promote [it] by singing with conviction, vulnerability [and] honesty. I don’t really know what else to do.
Below are the remaining tour dates for Joshua James:
June 18 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
June 20 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
June 22 - Livingston, MT - Pine Creek Lodge
My Spirit Sister is now available on iTunes.
For more on Joshua James, visit his artist page at AXS.