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Q & A: Jim’s Panache

Jim's Panache

Psych-rock with a gloomy undertone, Jim’s Panache has found a much sought after niche in his respective musical market. ‘Wide Eyed’ is the musician’s debut album—which has already spawned amazing singles such as Call It What You Will, Drag and Sleep—due for release 6 April. Before its drop, we pierced the mind of Jim’s Panache to uncover some of the album’s adventurous sounds, how he portrays it on stage and the album’s wild artwork.

Beside mastering, the record was recorded entirely on your own. As a songwriter, do you flourish in solitude?

Yeah I think so, I really enjoy being on my own writing and recording. I’ve only done a bit of collaborative stuff but I think I like just being left to my imagination and having free reign over what comes out. It’s a lot of fun sitting in a room full of instruments and laying one thing down at a time, feeling it all come together, and I don’t think I can be boxed in to one particular sound because I can just do whatever I’m feeling at the time.

Compare that to the live stage where you have four other musicians on stage. Do you see your songs come to life more in the studio or on the live stage?

They definitely come to life in the studio; I don’t take them to the band until they’re ready for release, but they take on a totally different life when we play live. Our drummer Dakota is so good I could never tell him what to play so he just does his own thing, and similarly with Spencer on synth, I tell him what to play on some songs but others he just does his own thing and improvises a fair bit. Which makes it really enjoyable for me to hear them doing their own thing and transforming these songs into something new.

Due to some of the song’s loose and progressive nature, is there an element of improvisation to the live stage shows with the full band?

Yeah definitely, at one point we were playing almost entirely improvised sets. Now we are playing closer to the album but we do some improvised jams between songs and several of the songs structures change quite significantly when we play them live, for example to account for not having saxophone.

How much of the visuals—as seen on Call It What You Will—come into the live show?

Unfortunately none at this stage, although it is something I’ve thought about and would love to incorporate. I’ve still got the paper mâché head so maybe someone can wear it for the album launch. Plus the two other guys up front Paddy and Dan both have enough panache to make up for a lack of visuals.

The word “multi-instrumentalist” gets thrown around an awful lot. Though you did record all the instruments on the album, would you classify yourself as one?

I just consider myself a musician. In a very literal sense, I did play multiple instruments, but I’m most confident on guitar by far. I also must give credit to my very old friend the WildThang who played the saxophone on the album; he’s an incredible talent.

I loved the Forfeit Moon, Forget Moon and Perfect Moon trilogy on the record. How are these songs interconnected, if at all?

The second half of the album, Perfect Moon to Sleep, is what I was calling the Moon Suite as I wrote the album. I had all the titles for the songs before I had written them, and I basically thought about what I wanted each song to sound like and how they would flow through each other. Then I tried to record what was in my head and it pretty much turned out as I had hoped. The song titles and lyrics are referencing a cycle of thinking I was going through at the time that was really bringing me down.

The album artwork, by Julia Sirianni, really stood out to me. What was her inspiration behind it and what make you work with her?

There was never any question Julia would do the art for this album. She’s one of my best friends and I love her artwork, plus she’d done the art for some music I’d done prior to Jim’s Panache as well. I’m not entirely sure what her inspirations were, we talked a little bit about what I was thinking for it and she had been listening to the album quite a lot already. I’m sure Julia would appreciate a bit more direction but I generally just say do whatever you want and I always love it.

Written by Jake Wilton