An Interview With Jamie Lenman At Takedown Festival 2014

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Former Reuben front man and now current genre mixing solo artist Jamie Lenman’s addition to the 2014 Takedown Festival was one of the highlights of an impressive line up. Our very own Lisa Fox managed to catch up with the man himself backstage before his performance for a short interview.

Hi Jamie how are you?

I’m very good, yes. Nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you too.  So how have you found the day so far? Have you been doing lots of press?

Yeah that’s really all that’s happened.  We got here and got the gear sorted and had a bit of a snack and then I’ve just been doing press and following Ali [Andrews, Duff Media] around.  People might think  she’s my sister.  I just follow her around everywhere, I could be her plus one who knows.  I’m still going to find people like yourself to talk to.

Are there any bands you want to check out today?

I want to see Feed the Rhino and The Hell. I managed to see a bit of Blackfoot as well which is cool.  I’m looking forward to hearing Baby Godzilla because I’ve never seen them before.  Yeah, those are the ones that stick out.

What can we expect from your show? Obviously its a solo show rather than with Reuben.

Yes it is yeah.  Well it’s a solo show but  I’m with my band so you can expect lots of crushing metal really is what you can expect.  In the theme of the day I think most bands here are of the Heavy persuasion. And we’ve brought our heavy hits, but no banjo’s today I left the banjo at home.

Oh no I like the banjo on the album.

There’s just not enough time, thanks though.

I wanted to ask you about the album artwork.  On one side you’ve got the heart and on the other side you’ve got a brain. Is that a heart over heart symbolism?

No, well there is some symbolism, it’s not about the heart and the head or the head and the hands is the heartless metropolis.  No what it was, someone asked me which I preferred, whether I prefer the heavy music or whether I prefer the soft music? And I thought long and hard about it because it’s a big question because I made both, and in the end what I had to say was that I like them both, they represent different needs don’t they? So like the heavy music is the more visceral pleasures of life like eating and fucking and fighting and then the soft music is like the more sensual pleasures, like fine wine and poetry and love, do you know what I mean?  So pleasures of the mind so to speak and then pleasures of the body and I represented them with the mind with the brain and the body with the heart and that’s muscle and memory.  So the whole thing is this big theme of what you need as a person, you need both.

So you’ve got the two sides to you that drive you, what brought you to that? Is it what you’ve grown up listening to versus what you love as an adult?

Well I think most people do listen to a very wide range of music.  I don’t think it’s unusual to find someone that has, you know, Heavy Metal albums in a collection and Jazz records.  I think most people with an interest in music as a whole will have a wide selection of stuff. I was very, it’s always struck me as odd that not many people reflect that in their musical output and so I just thought it was a good opportunity to do that you know.  I’m just doing it by myself, I’ve got no band to worry about so I have the time and the space to make that sort of musical statement.

We’re out of time I’m afraid. Thanks for talking to me.

Thanks for everything.

No problem.

Stay tuned for more coverage from Takedown Festival 2014 including a full review and lots of other interviews. Jamie Lenman’s debut solo album Muscle Memory is out now on Xtra Mile Recordings.

I'm a thirty something music journalist, I specialise in the rock and metal genre. I live in Edinburgh and when I'm not listening to music I'm writing about it, when I'm not writing about it I'm dancing to it..... Music is life. That and cats.