Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start a band / become an artist?
For me, it was learning the guitar and then really getting into bands like Suede, Manics, The Smiths and The Jam about the age of 17/18. I always knew I could write songs and the better I got at it the more I wanted to become an artist. I was probably 21 when I really got the bug.
So tell me a little bit about you and what you like doing for fun? Its me James Parkinson, One Cure for Man is my solo project. Other people play on recordings sometimes, like my brother Ben played drums on my new single (Humble) but it’s mostly me. With playing live, it really varies depending on who’s available to perform with me. Apart from music, I like to go for walks in the country and I enjoy photography/filming and drawing too. I made my new music video, which I don’t do that often and I’ve forgotten how much I love editing film to music.
How do you think the government have looked after the night time economy / live gig circuit? I don’t think they have really, have they? They don’t seem to value it or understand the knock on effect it has. When you think of the amount of art, culture and music this tiny island has produced, you would think it would be more valued and respected.
Whats one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed? I can’t think of one sorry, I get a bit frustrated people think I’m a band but then that’s my own fault really with a name like One Cure For Man ha ha! I also get very fed up writing about myself, I don’t think artists should write about themselves, that’s for other people to do.
What’s your favourite song right now from another band? The song I’ve been enjoying the most recently is a song by Laura Marling called Held Down. It’s a really achingly beautiful track.
Who is inspiring you at the minute? I just recently started getting back into Roddy Frame again from Aztec Camera. His lyrics always inspire me to better myself. I think he’s one of greatest lyricists ever. Obviously he’s a brilliant guitar player and songwriter too so that helps. I’m also enjoying Tame Impala too, he’s (Kevin Parker) a very clever guy.
If your fans could remember one thing about you what would it be? That I’ve always tried to tell my version of the truth in my songs and I that haven’t compromised my art form.
What useless talent do you have/ party trick? I can do a pretty good Donald Duck and Kermit the frog
What was the most fun you have had on stage? It’s a strange one but I put a gig together at a local festival for my dad. He died on stage in my hometown of Barnoldswick whilst playing with me and the following year, I assembled musicians he’d played with over the years and we did a full show in front of about 2000 people and it felt incredible. It was a very emotional day but I was so pleased and proud to have put on such an event. It will probably always be my favourite gig. Oh and I supported The Darkness once, that felt pretty awesome too!
What was the worst experience on stage? My second gig in a proper band. I was living in Leicester at the time and I was playing a club called The Attik. We were supporting Ed Tudor-Pole (of Swords of a Thousand Men fame) and my amp wasn’t loud enough on stage and for some stupid reason (I was so young and naive), I just left it instead of turning it up and tried to get through it, barely hearing a note. I still think, “why the hell did I not turn it up?”, I wouldn’t hesitate in a second now! Ha ha
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about? I only learnt to sing at 27. I spent 10 years writing and playing in bands before I decided to start singing my own songs.
Best drink to have on stage? The sensible side of me would say water but I do like a Timothy Taylor by my side.
Who is the biggest named band you have played with? I think either The Darkness or The Feeling.
Tell us a funny story from backstage? Sorry but I can’t think of one backstage to be honest but the funniest thing (looking back) that happened on stage was when I was playing in Leicester supporting an Irish band called The Raglans in 2013. There were some very noisy and irritating people at the front. I told them all to shut the f••k up but I managed to do it rhythmically in time with my song. I’m quite good at doing it now, you’d be surprised how many people try to talk to me while I’m singing or in the middle of a guitar solo!
What advice would you give someone going into the music industry? Erm, I try not to as nothing about the industry makes any sense at all and that’s coming from someone who’s been in it since 2004. I think you should be yourself and make music for yourself. Forget about pleasing other people and then you can focus on fans who are really into what you do, even if that’s one person.
What makes you stand out as a band? My lyrics firstly, I write about real things and challenging subject matter in my own language. My unique guitar playing, choice of melodies and my artwork (which I produce myself).
Right now, whats pissing you of the most? (Cant say the virus 🙂 Not being able to play live is definitely the most upsetting thing. It’s another form of expression and I usually gig every week or every other week and it’s now becoming a distant memory.
Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh while you were all together? I do have a great laugh with my brother Ben who played drums on the new track. He his always a constant source of amusement and sometimes he’ll change the words to songs (always rude words) to throw us off. Or he’ll break in to Hot For Teacher by Van Halen in the most inappropriate moment in a song.
Whats your favourite song to play live and why? My favourite song of my own to play live is a song called ‘When I’m Gone’ from my third album, it just rolls out of me. My favourite cover to play is ‘One More Cup Of Coffee’ by Bob Dylan. I bloody love it.
I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it? Humble is a very ‘songwriters’ song for me. I normally write riffs and arpeggios but this one is a bit more “get the acoustic guitar out and strum.” Although it still has a very strong guitar and bass riff/hook that propels the song. It’s about trying to move on after death whilst remembering and learning from the past. My dad died in 2017 and I now live in his house and follow in his footsteps, teaching guitar in the very same place he did. I was decorating one day and it just felt all weird and strange and that’s when the song came flying out of me. I recorded it with engineer/producer Matt Heap again (like my last single ‘The Haunted’) and we went for a more vintage, Jangly, Americana vibe using 12 strings, Fenders and Vox AC30’s. The video features my four year old son walking and playing amongst many local places I grew up around, one of them being the church were my dad and my grandparents are buried. I’ve also dedicated the video to my grandad who was an incredibly humble man. He was held captive as a Japanese Prisoner of War during world war 2 so it all seemed to fit in and add another dimension to the song.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world? I hope when we get out of this situation we start to value music and art more. I hope people go to more live gigs and invest in artists so they can continue to do what they do best and for the future generations.
Thanks for doing us today folks, all the best and keep in touch.