Jamie Clayton made himself known on the Birmingham music scene as frontman of the brooding and angular Dirty Soul but is now rapidly garnering respect for his touching and powerful solo work.
He has recently completed a number of tunes at Blue Whale Studios one of which, the much acclaimed ‘The Architect’ can be found in the player below. Also, as with all of our artists, we asked Jamie to tell us more about his catalogue of gripping songs.
How do you find things working as a solo performer compared to your Dirty Soul days? Is it easier to achieve your desired results on your own or is it easier working with the friction of band relationships / dynamics?
“In all honesty it is a lot easier, there’s no other input so I can totally go with what I’m feeling. Getting to gigs is easier, there’s no smokey lock up and no compromising which is nice. That’s not to say I wouldn’t want a band now though, I miss the gang mentality of a band and the noise I can create with others but to be quite honest I’ve found it difficult to find people to jam with me with my current stuff, its not regimented it’s all about the mood and what is going on there and then. I did a few shows with Pete from Dirty Soul on drums and a friend on bass, that was fun so I am actively looking for band members so if there is anybody out there interested, do get in touch.”
Although you show glints of optimism in your lyrics, you can turn quite dark at times – would you describe yourself as a tortured soul? Where does the darkness stem from?
“No not at all I don’t think anybody who gets the ‘tortured soul’ tag title is it or thinks that of themselves. I write on my mood and emotions, I guess you can hear in my songs that sometimes life can sometimes have its downsides, but I can hear the optimism in there.”
Would you agree that your solo material of late has a similar feel to Johnny Cash’s American Recordings with Rick Rubin? Is that a conscious influence to your sound? If not, what is influencing you at the mo?
“No not at all, apart from admiration for Rick Rubin’s beard there is no conscious influence, that’s not a bad comparison though! I have my big five, Ryan Adams, Jeff Buckley, Dylan, Springsteen and Tom Petty. Generally there’s always a CD in the car from one of them.”
You came into Blue Whale stating that you wanted to achieve an ‘intimate feel’, do you think you’ve got that sound, or has working with Ben progressed it into something else?
“We could have got carried away and almost did, but like you say the intimate sound of me and a guitar was what I was after and I think it worked. The track ‘December’ sounds so intimate its untrue.”
Do you plan on releasing the recordings?
“Yeah, I have a few plans to release it but nothing concrete just yet. But hopefully towards the end of the summer something should be out.”