“It’s crazy, I mean it’s only just starting for us” – An interview with Jim Lockey.

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We were lucky enough to have a chat with Jim Lockey before his show at the Joiners in Southampton. The rest of the band were busy eating pasta so we left them in pesto peace.

So you’ve just announced that you’re going to America. That’s pretty amazing.

It was really surprising, we only found out like 2 weeks ago. They just sent us an email saying here are the shows, do you want them? I was like YEAH! We’re not going to say no to something like that right. But now it’s been a frantic rush to try and get visas and everything done in time. So it’s been hell at the same time as it’s been amazing. I’ve only got one experience of playing to an American crowd and I really enjoyed it so it’ll be nice to do it for a longer time.

What venues are you looking forward to playing on this tour?

Well Joiners is definitely one for sure, Moles in Bath should be cool too.

Have you heard about the financial trouble that Joiners is facing?

Yeah Frank has spoken to me about it.

What do you think the importance of having small venues like this is?

Well we’re really jealous of venues like this; we don’t really have anywhere like this in Cheltenham. We’ve got smaller venues like The Frog but we need one that gets bigger bands in. But they’re crucial; there isn’t a live scene without venues like this. If everyone has to play in pubs where no one really cares what they’re doing, it will ruin the scene. So I urge everyone to go and support local venues for sure.

You own istartedthefire records as well, of which I’m a big fan of Andy Oliveri. Why did you decide to start it?

I started it when I finished Uni. I’d always wanted to do it so I just started it up, got loads of the local bands involved and then spread out further doing other kinds of stuff. And now I’m moving out of just doing folk and moving into full band stuff and hardcore. We’ll see how it goes; it supports itself at the moment so that’s all it needs to do. Hopefully it’s a bit of a stepping stone for the guys on it and hopefully as our band gets bigger, it will get them a bit more attention to what they already have.

What is it like calling this your job?

It’s crazy, I mean it’s only just starting for us. We’re not fully fledged full time but we’re almost there. It’s way harder work when you’ve got a full time job and you’re trying to do it at the same time. When you’ve got to the point where you’ve got enough money, you can have a full crew. You can have someone to comb your hair if you wanted. Ridiculous as it is. But you could if you wanted to.

How was being at the Olympic Ceremony?

Crazy to be honest, the weirdest week of our lives. There’s no other way of really describing it other than just really really weird.

You were on a hill…

The weird thing about it was that we had to be under it waiting to go on and it’s just full of scaffolding. Cool though.

I was in Peru whilst the Olympics were on and so I missed it all. When I came home the, first thing that my Mum did was put on the Olympic Ceremony and showed me Frank’s performance. I was like, “Oh it’s Jim and Ben Marwood”. It was just totally weird.

It was really nice of him to invite me. He actually rang me whilst I was at work and I was like, “I’m at work, I can’t talk right now”, and he was like, “It’s really important so ring me back”. So I rang him back and he was like, “I’ve got something really weird to ask you” and then yeah…

How many people watched it?

I think that it was 27 million live, and then like 10 minutes later it was in the billions, but you can’t have everything.

The first time that I heard you was on a split with Ben Marwood and Oxygen Thief (I was wearing an Oxygen Thief T-shirt at the time of the interview – Represent). Why did you decide to do a split?

We were all fans of what each other did. We all had some new songs and we wanted to tour together and if you want to tour together, it’s good to have something that you can pass on and so it just gives you a reason to tour. We were like, right let’s do three songs and the original plan was to do one together at the end but we just never got round to doing it. We didn’t want to just make it up on the spot so we just left it. Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to do one again.

Your new album, Death, is very different to Atlases. Why did you decide to make it heavier?

We’ve now developed more as a band I think. The Atlases thing was still kind of whole songs, but with a band. With Death, we had bits and pieces and we put them together as a band and it came out as more of a band record. It just naturally got heavier when we brought in all of our influences. Plus I don’t really listen to folk music that much for someone who plays it. I listen to Bright Eyes and Frank I guess.

I find that if you play acoustic guitar, you’re naturally shuffled into the folk category.

Exactly, I probably throw around a bit more than your average indie rock band. I wouldn’t consider us folk anymore but I’m going to keep the acoustic though as it’s fun and I can beat it up a bit more than other guitars.

What are your plans for 2013 then?

We’re going to do all of this touring that has appeared and then we’ve got festival season. We’ve started writing for a new record and we’ve met with our producer to have dinner and talk about our plans for it.

Do you have any festivals that you’re allowed to announce?

Not yet but there is a lot.

You’re like a 2000 Trees house band.

Pretty much! Well our manager runs it so if we’re not on it, he’s got to be the worst manager ever. He does pay us really terribly for it though. But it’s fun, we really enjoy it. I highly recommend it.

A massive thanks to Jim Lockey for talking to us. The Joiners show was absolutely phenomenal.

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