Jeremy Warmsley

Bill Cummings 24/02/2009

Transgressive's finest melodic pop songwriter Jeremy Warmsley recently released a free Valentines day themed download single called “Heart” which you can grab here and now: It's a new version of the track taken from his recent album, "How We Became", co-produced by Markus Dravs (Coldplay/Arcade Fire/Bjork) which was released in the UK in September 2008.

So we thought it was high time we caught up with the softly spoken half English, half French West London based Mr Warmsley delving into the contents of his record collection, his new single heart and his future plans including a experimental, collaboration with Tom from Three Trapped Tigers called Green Lights Mean G.o

So, What's in your record collection? Jeremy Warmsley

Hi, how's it going?

Excellent, just been rehearsing for an all-ukulele gig I have next week. (!)

What was the first record you heard?

The first record I remember hearing is a Sam Cooke compilation my parents had. What a voice!

What was the first record you bought?

Haha. Three Lions - Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seeds. Actually a couple of years ago my parents got me a Lightning Seeds album for Christmas. They thought it was Nick Cave's band.

If your house was about to burn down what three records would you save?

Hmmm... in this digital age it's not exactly hard to get hold of anything if it is lost. So I guess we're really talking sentimental value. I have a copy of Daniel Johnston's Fear Yourself he signed for me when I supported him, I'd save that.....

Which albums have had the most musical influence on you?

1) 69 Love Songs by Magnetic Fields. This album taught me a lot about the basic business of writing songs; every lyric is perfect, nothing outstays its welcome...
2) Kid A by Radiohead. And this album taught me about how the way the music sounds can sometimes be just as important as the melodies, chords and lyrics.
3) Hounds of Love by Kate Bush. This album is another one of the ultimates in lyrical and musical perfection. Also, it's perfectly structured as an album; side one and side two are totally different, side one being a set of perfect pop songs and side two being a long sustained narrative over the course of six perfect experimental pop songs. And that taught me a lot about structuring an album, as an album. I think the idea of having the album split into two halves is a really important one. If you look at the classic albums of the 60s and 70s, the golden age of pop music, they all flow really naturally in two halves, because of course everything had to have two halves due to the constraints of vinyl. Anyway I'm currently working on a record that's very precisely modelled on Hounds Of Love, by way of homage - first half perfect pop, second half weird experimental narrative... we'll see how it comes out!

What was the last record you bought?

Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream. Great singles but the rest is a teensy bit patchy. They're named after one of my favourite novels, too.

Any embarrassingly guilty secrets, lurking in your record collection?

Nothing I consider embarrassing, but others might find my deep love of Abba and Fleetwood Mac embarrassing by proxy. And I love a lot of tasteless 80s pop.

Are you looking forward to any releases this year? Have you got into any acts you've played with?

Yeah, I've played with a lot of really good acts this year already; Gossamer Albatross, a folk collective from Hereford; lots of violins, they're very young, and the lyrics are really dark. Good tunes. Stars Of Sunday League, a solo folk chap with very fine lyrics and melodies. Three Trapped Tigers, an excellent, excellent, excellent Rock (with a capital R) band; like a live band covering a Squarepusher remix of your favorite hardcore mixtape. I'm really looking forward to Beirut's new record, the new Grizzly Bear, and that charity compilation Dark Was The Night.

What records have you been listening to while recording? Or on the Road?

Well, of course it's hard to listen to music literally whilst recording. Har har. But whenever I'm stuck for inspiration I slap on a bit of Beethoven. Can't be beat. (Is that a pun?) On the road, we favour slightly harder material; a bit of Bruce Springsteen is good on the motorways. Ditto early Metallica. And Aphex is always good for the drive home.

So tell us about your new free download single 'Heart' when was it recorded? What inspired it? Why did you make it free?!

It's about when you're into someone and then they go off with some ape and you're possessed with a pathetic, impotent rage against said ape that you know you'll never fulfil. It was one of the first tunes I recorded for How We Became (my last record that came out Oct 08)... this is going back to December 2006, I guess, and I remember I wrote it and debuted it on tour with King Creosote in the Scottish Highlands the autumn before that. The album version is bleep-tastic, but then I played it solo at End Of The Road 08 and it went down really well, so I decided to record an acoustic (ish, it's got electric guitar all over it) version for Valentine's Day. It was my record label's idea to release it for free - I try not to worry about that sort of thing!

What are your future plans?

I'm working on lots of projects; a collaboration with Tom from Three Trapped Tigers called Green Lights Mean Go which is very experimental and beautiful.. We'll have a record out this year, fingers crossed. I have a couple of other side projects that I don't want to jinx because they're in the very early stages, but they're both pretty exciting. Then I have my next record... I've written and demoed a "rock" album, but I might wait a couple of years to release that because at the moment I'm tremendously excited about my aforementioned pop/weird record, which is called Wild Thoughts. The pop side is very, very pop, but the weird side is very, very weird.