Exclusive interview with Blackwater James!
We caught up with vocalist & guitarist Chris James and drummer Todd Schlosser…
Hello! How’s things?
CJ: Things couldn’t be better! We’re getting in the swings of things with our new EP, performing with bands like Tantric & Framing Hanley, and pushing the EP hard. We’re kicking ass and taking names…in a very southern, sweet and cordial way of course.
To people who haven’t come across the band before, how would you describe yourselves?
TS: We like to describe Blackwater James’ sound as straight ahead rock n roll. It’s something that makes you smile, shake your ass, and have a good time. If you were looking for sob-story lyrics and a shoe-gazing stage show BWJ isn’t your band…we would throw a beer in your hand, tell you to live a little, and get your ass moving!
Who would you say are your main influences?
CJ: Every member of Blackwater James have our own personal influences, but there are a few bands that all four of us pull from. Some of those artists would be The Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Buckcherry, and Silvertide. Pretty much anything that’s straight ahead rock that’s a but raunchy and sexy. Rock music today is not sexy what so ever…and Blackwater James would like to officially reclaim rock n’ roll’s sexiness!
What are your feelings on being named as one of the bands in the current re-surge of the classic rock sound and blues influenced music?
TS: As far as we’re concerned it never went away, it’s stayed alive in bands like The Black Crowes, Buckcherry, and Silvertide. But I would have to say we are proud! That music is called ‘Classic’ for a reason, and not just for it’s age. And blues is where it started for jut about everything, so why not pay a little homage.
In this modern social networking age, how much do you think sites such as Twitter and Facebook contribute to artists breaking into the music world?
CJ: Its amazing what technology has done for independent artists! It’s given us the ability to reach audiences around the world at virtually no cost and build a fanbase in locations previously untouchable by American bands without a major label. It also gives us a way to communicate with our audience and build lasting relationships with our fans. Twitter and facebook have also given our fans the ability to be involved in our success by running their own fan pages and accounts. On the other hand it also has a slight detriment, in the fact that there is so much indie music available online (in addition to our ever growing short attention spans) it’s easy to get lost in the noise…unless you’ve done your homework as an artist, separated yourself from the pack, and defined your audience.
After the critical success of your debut album, what are the plans for your second? Do you feel any form of pressure?
TS: We hope to take this new EP and present it as a commercially viable international product. We want to take the success of our first album and double it! Performing on an international level is definitely on the table, and we think this new EP is the vehicle to take us there. As a band we don’t really feel pressure since we make music we love and have a great time performing live. Don’t get me wrong, Blackwater James is a hard working band and we are very driven, but we wouldn’t call it pressure. We have goals and we want to meet and exceed those goals.
Can we expect to see you in the UK anytime soon?
CJ: As things look now, a trip to the UK is definitely in our near future. We may hit Australia first then head over to the UK, and possibly western Europe…but who knows! We are assembling a killer team to get us overseas as fast as possible. We’ll just has to keep you guessing for now.
Where you can find Blackwater James:
Hailing from Nashville, America, Blackwater James are a combination of straight up rock n roll infused with the blues and a dash of swagger to complete their musical cocktail. Stating influences such as Guns N’ Roses and The Black Crowes, the bands combination of genres works to create a captivating hard rock sound. The heavy riffs mixed with the raw vocals of Christopher James perfectly compliment each other drawing you in from the opening notes.
Their self titled debut album was met with great enthusiasm and gained them exposure in Classic Rock Magazine. First single Blackheart, captures the bands exciting sound and proves their future is nothing but bright.
Yet again, another new band contributing to the revival of classic rock, something that makes us extremely happy!
Songs I’d recommend: Closer To Free, Blackheart, Midnight Train.