I love this time of year; in fact it’s probably my favourite season. After a long hot summer in Melbourne, I’ve really needed the change.
All those pretty colours that seem to tango in the air & leaves that crunch beneath my feet, it’s really quite beautiful and refreshing just to walk around Melbourne right now.
The air feels crisp and the cool brushes my face with the motherly sun kissing my cheeks. That’s my autumn affair.
I’m writing from the over crowded lounge room of our new rental, we just moved houses 3 weeks ago. We’ve still got stuff all over the place. We really need to get this sorted; I’ve been contemplating the local op shop honestly, maybe a midnight drop when Nabsters sleeping. I really can’t believe how much stuff we’ve accumulated. Most of it belongs to the Mrs though! I am but a simple man etc [har har]
If you haven’t noticed I’ve been under the blogosphere radar this year, please excuse me it’s still January in my head.
No but in all honesty I’ve been in transition this year; I’ve been filtering through my life, sorting through the thought chamber that keeps me ticking and rolling like a Penny-farthing.
I think it’s like cleaning out your computer hard drive and getting rid of all the junk.
Anyway I’ve just decided I’m letting go a little more this year, or perhaps I’ll try to; No I’m not turning into a dole bludging musician, I’m just going to take things as they come. No expectations!
I’m tired of trying to stop myself trying to premeditate life and my career, or perhaps where I’ll be in 10 or 20 years. Ridiculous. My higher self in no way subscribes to that kind of thought process but I’m human and sometimes it just creeps up on ya.
I want to take that side of it easy, as I usually have done. What will be will be, my mother used to say. Right as ever mum.
I know I’ve put pressure on myself over the last year, expecting more return from my efforts…like some fucking banker or something! Sometimes these trains of thought creep up in your head like a bad smell and you have to deal with it.
There is a shortage of good gigs around. There is a shortage of good discerning agents. Hell there’s a shortage of everything everywhere in the world right now. What there is never a shortage of is supposedly wise, helpful and in-the-know people telling me that I’m not doing enough for my career, or that I need to be out there ‘on the scene’ more to be seen and heard… I know it’s all meant well, but I really get tired of it.
I used to think ‘maybe they’re right’, but you know what? I’m actually doing enough, I’m doing it… I’m living life and this is my journey.
The only thing I do regret is that you can’t get festival slots as a singer unless you have a big profile or a big agent representing you. I regret it because I love playing to lots of people and festivals are real fun.
Some bloody brilliant news though, I’ve just told Robin to free up his flaming calendar. I’ve just booked my flights to London and I’m going in August. It’s going to be excellent and I can’t wait to catch up with everybody. Who knows what may flow from the creative juices this time.
I’m sure most ordinary people like me would agree that it’s been pretty upsetting reading the news over the last week. The ongoing massacre of innocent people in Syria is simply unbelievable and unacceptable. The recent devastation in Bangladesh – The Nabster’s motherland – has, of course, particularly hit home. It’s very difficult to find the right words. I still find it hard to stomach every day that I have it so easy and they have nothing.
All this, as usual, has me thinking that perhaps I have a greater calling; I feel it’s almost my duty as another human to help those in need, people in crisis and devastation. I feel powerless in this crazy world but I owe it to them. Something more than just a donation, but then I think what could I possibly do? That must be such a common dilemma. What does inspire me is that so many people, particularly young people, are getting out there and making incredible contributions, efforts and sacrifices for the world’s most oppressed people. I laugh out loud when I hear, see or read older people talking about ‘today’s younger generation’ as though they are all little scumbags. They are our one great hope.
Before I wrap up, I just wanted to thank those special friends and fans that keep encouraging me to keep doing what I do. I know it’s been a quiet start to the year on the gig front, but I’m feeling seriously re-inspired and re-invigorated as ever and I can’t wait to get back on stage and play again.
And there’s a special treat for reading all that.
Here’s a new tune of mine called ‘Time is on our side’ enjoy!
Until next time.
Eran James xoxo
Laughing all the way to the bank? Not quite
Something strange happens when you write a song. While you’re in the middle of it, the world that song is talking about is the centre of your world. The feelings the song is conjuring up are your feelings at that moment. The burning issue, the desire or the little philosophy are what you are living and breathing at the time.
Then the song gets finished and in a way you give it away. you hand it over to others to listen to. You let them make their own stories, their own feelings, their own lives feed in – you give them ownership…and that’s great.
But sometimes your own song can come back to bite you in the arse.
I posted ‘Laugh out Loud’ a couple of weeks ago. I was in a hurry hustling to get a gig organised. Then today I thought ‘you know I haven’t really thought about that song since I wrote it’ and I sat with a cup of pretty horrible supposed-to-be-good-for-me tea I got suckered into buying online – and gave it a good listen.
Shit Eran, you need to start taking your own advice man! ….
I guess being human we don’t always practice what we preach & I for one tend to forget from time to time. It’s a part of life & the daily grind but when I do stop and think about it, I’m always happy and grateful for even being alive.
Here I am today, worrying if I’ll keep my job next year. We’re all really starting to feel the crunch & things are shaky here. Raising funds for Deaf Children has never been a greater challenge, I actually hope things pick up for the children’s sake. It’s not really about my job though I would be lying if I said that wasn’t a part of what’s on my mind – but as they say today it’s those first world problems.
Apart from all that stuff something much more important has really been on my mind recently you know … all the unrest in Syria. It’s not the only place of devastation in the world of course but I couldn’t help but cry at work when I saw the pictures on the office TV – 4 young and innocent Syrian girls murdered, left in white sheets & tied in pink bows! What the fuck! How dare anyone do that to anyone for any reason whatever? Absolutely unforgivable. No excuse. No mitigation. No just cause. Monsters.
I’m angry my heartache’s every day. Like a lot of us, I suspect, I don’t quite understand what’s really going on in Syria it’s complicated, but like many I’m left feeling helpless & wondering how I can help?
I heard just the other day a young Aussie bloke was caught in the cross fire doing aid work in Syria, it’s all so very sad and upsetting. I really hope there is a way out of all this tragedy in the world, one day … what a ridiculous childish naïve fantasy that statement looks when I read it back … and what does that say about the human condition?
I’ve taken on some extra baggage the last few months, it’s family. My older brother recently pulled through a whole heap of trouble. I really do worry for him. Jeez we make some pretty stupid choices at times … but he really is a great guy & I love him dearly. I keep telling him how lucky he is to have a second chance & start all over. So I’ve been around more often, trying to support and encourage him to make better choices this time. I’ve been stressed just thinking about it all, I know it’s his own life but I hope he doesn’t ever go back down that particular path again.
But back to ‘Laugh out Loud’ Eran and enough of this looking at your feet man! I’ve had a really fun time gigging this year & I’m grateful to every single person who has turned up to my shows & made it special. You are the best … and believe me it’s unbelievable when people come and listen and tell me how much they love it – and that’s another thing which sounds shyt when I read it back by the way! Trying not to sound phoney is even more difficult than sounding phoney … oh shut up Eran.
It’s really amazing to think… almost this time last year I was touring with Elton, seriously where has this year flown off to? Crazy I know, but I’ve been feeling a little flat as the year is almost closing in, the summer is almost here but my plans haven’t been quite as successful as I first painted in my own mind [dangerous stuff. Listen to the song mate….] . I really wanted to play a whole load of festivals this summer, but it turns out I was a little late for some submissions or promoters were simply too hard to reach. I guess it’s one of the many things I’m wising up to more about being an independent artist. Like for instance I’m finding it really difficult to get some business folks’ attention sure I’ve got some great people around me but I’m trying to gain traction in other areas & get the ball rolling. Sheesh’ I’d better finish writing my Turkish Gangnam Style track, that’s what my friends keep telling me! Seriously I think it’s probably harder to come from being a teenage pop singer to being an adult singer songwriter than it is coming from absolutely nowhere. I really believe that ‘the industry’ would probably already have made its mind up about what it thinks Eran James is and what he’s capable of. Of course in a way I was reborn. I started again. I learned my craft and now i’m rebuilding – or building again – from the ground up, or maybe actually from a little below ground.
No problem with music lovers, fans, friends. When they hear it they get it.
But agents, promoters, managers? I’m invisible. I’m wearing a cloak of invisibility. I don’t exist…I’m in a parallel universe where Adele and Mumfords are the biggest selling artists in the world – credible, no beats, no pop gimmicks. They are selling more than Justin Bieber but the industry isn’t listening. Isn’t noticing. I’ve gone where things are going and they are stuck in the past clinging on to where things were. I’m connecting with real people about real things, they are watching the X factor and thinking that’s where music begins and ends…..oh bollocks, .
Take a line from yourself and Laugh out Loud Eran! It’s all industry standard, from what I hear, but like many of us I’m sure we get tired of playing the waiting game?
Oh shit, I’m a musician. That very very clever American bloke William Buckley said ‘central to every good musician’s life is disappointment’. How did he know that? He wasn’t even a musician … but he was pretty spot on. Patience Eran patience!
Reasons to be cheerful? Well I guess I could say I’m already gearing up for next year & I’m excited to see what it all brings.
Nabila & I just celebrated our third anniversary together two weeks ago; I’m really grateful to have her in my life. I love her to bits & she really is the best thing ever. She keeps me humble & pulls me through. By the way she makes some killer curries to. Yumm!
Nabila surprised me with a gift to celebrate, she bought me the Neil Young & Crazy Horse ‘Psychedelic Pill’ record & Neil’s book “Waging Heavy Peace”. I’ve got the album on high rotation on my car stereo every morning to work, best gift ever.
And by the way….Go Mr President & well-done America. One huge sigh of relief this week after hearing President Obama was keeping office for four more years. I never tread deep into politics, but I think it’s fantastic news for all. Honestly you don’t see many kids’s screaming Mitt-Romney & what really pulls at me is the enthusiasm youth of America & the world have for Obama. The Generation & the voices of tomorrow love the guy; I think that’s saying something. Or it may just be the presidents-taste in music, who knows? I think the mans all right.
So I’ll shut up now …. off to read some Mr Young, until next time Salaam Namaste. (well that’s if you haven’t tuned off already)
Love to all, I’m always yours and you’d better believe it! I know I always send gushy tweets thanking everyone for coming to every gig but if you want me to be the sulky tosser instead and thank no-one for anything I’m sure I can do that one too! Just let me know…and if you’re the person who wrote to me saying you were going to tattoo some lines from Laugh Out Loud somewhere on your body? Very nice flattering tribute mate … but maybe avoid the line “What am I living for, What am I living for”?
Or maybe not?
You broke my lens cap
Hotter than July? If any of us had thought Stevie Wonder was an Aussie that track title said either he came from Darwin – yeah right! – or he weren’t from down under…
Winter is a time for getting your work done, getting the heating going and cuddling up… assuming you have someone to cuddle up with. It’s also a time for going and checking out new bands, new movies and apparently the peak time for relationships to bust up.
The song ‘You Broke My Heart’ has been living with me for two years now. Breathing in my ear. Looking at me over my shoulder. Nagging at me. I still find it hard to sing without choking…even alone…that is very weird indeed. It’s not even really autobiographical. It’s about you…it’s about me feeling what you are going through….and you is anyone going through that pain of being separated from the one you love, either by circumstances or because the other has just gone gone gone, as the righteous Brothers said.
So I challenged myself to put images to what happens when I sing the song. I love singing it and I love the depth of feeling it brings out in me. I love the way it makes me feel and taste the world. It’s very black and white imagery but very strong. It makes me love my lover even more. It makes me want to hold on and cherish everything I have and it makes me cry…
So out comes the video camera. Makeshift tripod [don’t ask!], makeshift lighting [don’t ask!] wait for the right sky/mood/girlfriend/feeling…and do it hungry…like I was when the song was written…bloody starving, and I don’t even remember why…i think we just didn’t have any food and I wasn’t about to stop.
What I like about this particular version of ‘You Broke my Heart’ is that it was sung the same day the song was written so everything is absolutely raw…i’m experiencing the emotion for pretty well the first time. I sang incredibly quietly [really really quietly, couldn’t do that in a live show] and had to work real hard to control my voice at that volume…which made the whole effort of singing it about ten times as draining as if I’d been belting it out in an arena…very weird.
So got the camera out…set it up on the Eranopod, trod on the lens cap and broke it into three pieces….thought it was rubber…ho hum…and just pushed at my creative envelope whatever that is. The result is this film which is very personal, very intimate, very naked. I’m incredibly grateful to Nabila for being there, to the sky for being there and to you for being there making me want to write the song, sing the song, video the song, put up the song and pray that it means something somewhere.
I do not like being proud. I don’t like it as a concept and I don’t like it as a character trait in me or in other people. Not at all. But I’m quite proud of this little 3 minutes of me but I hand it over to you to keep.
I remember growing up how often Mum would say “The year’s flown by!”
I never really got it. But now the older I’m getting [creak creak] it’s really starting to hit home what mum was feeling.
This Blog is well overdue. It’s already July! Half the year gone. Where have I been?
It’s no excuse for not talking to you but I hear so much about how artists are supposed to be social media gurus and spend hours online perfecting self-promotion. I will never be that person. I’m a songwriter first. A singer second. A performer definitely. A dreamer far too much. A thinker far too much. A worrier yes. A warrior yes. A marketing guru? Er, not really.
But with half the year already gone, I do think you deserve an update.
The last blog was January. I was fresh off the stage from touring with Elton & high on life with so many things on my list. [I don’t actually have a physical list of course! That would mean I was organised and businesslike.I hear laughter.., the list lives in my head like a parrot on my shoulder nagging me all the time “Do this, call that person, deal with this problem, get that fixed, write to that company” and so on and so on. I don’t feel even slightly accomplished being mid year already.
Anyway that’s not to say I haven’t had a good year so far – I’m definitely feeling great about a lot of things.
I started the year scratching my head a bit, after touring with Elton around Aus in front of 15,000 people a night with my mates Robbie and Dean; that’s a tough gig to follow. Being on such a massive tour for one month is a complete spin out from reality. Amazing it was but so far from my little gigs in Melbourne playing to 30-50 friends & fans.
Going it alone was getting a little too much to handle. Hustling gigs, organising travel, sound engineers, ticketing, humping the gear, putting the ads out for the shows..couldn’t have done this without the astonishing Nabila – The Nabster as Robin calls her!
I just wanted to focus more on than music & my fans. I needed someone who loved my music & completely got what I’m about and who worked in the biz.
I thought I should start by getting in touch with all the “top line” artist agents in Sydney and Melbourne..what kind of stupid idiot did that make me? Been there done that is the story of the last 8 years of my life. 2 minutes into each phone call or email exchange – of course they were all prepared to talk to me because of who I am/was – I remembered why I’d turned down the big record deal in 2010 and turned away from that whole big time showbiz thing.that’s why I was so astonished when Elton called my mobile at work and said ‘Hi Eran come and do some shows with me’. I’ll always answer when Elton calls because you don’t forget your friends. Not ever.
Anyway back to looking for a new supporter who felt me and wanted to let me be me and show me to the world..God that sounds awfully arrogant but that’s what I felt honestly.
It wasn’t easy, but eventually Brian Hender my friend & soundman put me onto Deb Herbert at Rude Bookings.
Deb loved what I was doing and wanted to help so so much. I’m sure some of you might have already bumped into her at a gig or two. She is such a cool chick.
Deb has been great, she booked me a small tour & a few radio interviews to start things off. I met her in March and by April I was playing Melbourne, Sydney & Perth. I had such a great time playing again in different states.
You people remain amazing.& for the first time I started selling copies of my latest EP – Down the Road. That was quite a weird and surreal feeling asking people to support me and buy something which was entirely under my control. No A&R manager, no sleeve designer, no stylist, no fancy new York studio. Just a bunch of my songs done simply. Direct.
Lot’s more gigs to come & I can’t wait to play some Festivals in summer.
I have to ask did anyone get down to see Bon Iver in concert this year? I saw them in Melbourne at the Myer Music Bowl in March.
Honestly folks, it was probably the best gig I have ever been to, I reckon there were at least 15,000 people standing with their jaws on the floor, mind blown.
Anyway I love Justin Vernon regardless, but I went home that night feeling like shit. “I’m not good enough!”
I’m still doing my job working for Deaf Children Australia & I’m really really happy that I’m still able to do that work.
They have been so brilliant working around my gigs. I’m determined to really make a difference to them this year. It’s DCA’s 150th birthday this year..I know, incredible! It’s such a brilliant charity and if a musician can’t be arsed to get up in the morning to do some work for deaf kids then I don’t know who can. It’s such rewarding work – plus I get paid for it which seems like a ridiculous privilege to me.
But I’m not ashamed of that and I need to eat.
If you read my Facebook or tweets you will have noticed I went up north with Nabila to Cairns & Port Douglas in June. I know a lot of you were envious but it was my first proper holiday in my whole life…
Wow, I had such a great time up there & yeah basically lived a little. The weather was perfect every day; the whole place was amazing to say the least. We did a lot of the stuff you do up there but I have to admit I did spend a lot of time sitting around the pool with a drink and doing absolutely nothing!
I’d definitely say snorkeling in Great Barrier Reef was the highlight. If you haven’t been to Far North Queensland, your missing out I’m tellin ya.
Now to some great news, I’ve just been endorsed by Yamaha Guitars Australia. So I’ve armed my self with a secondary acoustic guitar, tobacco sunburst absolutely beautiful.& I now have my first ever Electric Guitar. Based on the Telecaster. It’s a Yamaha Pacifica Mike Stern.
Big thanks to Jaclyn Williams for putting it all in place for me. Thank you
Yamaha & look out world, Eran’s going heavy! Not!
I’ve just finished having a long chat to Robin over Skype this evening & I’ve vowed to do some thing about my boring YouTube page. He’s a pain in the arse basically. Always on my case about my blog. He doesn’t give a toss about my career he just get’s bored sitting in the rain in London and wants new stuff to read.
My big project for the next few weeks is to get some really interesting videos of the tunes etc sorted out. Once again no swanky video directors, exotic locations..unless you call my living room/studio exotic! I’ll be experimenting with my video camera with a few ideas over the next few days & eventually get some new videos up. Definitely Eran..
So more music, more videos & more gigs… That’s a promise
Heap’s of love to all my awesome friends & fans. Thanks for reading.
Here’s a little update for my next few gigs:
Melbourne @ The Empress Hotel – July 12th – 7:30PM
Brisbane @ The Dowse Bar at Iceworks – August 2nd 8:00PM
Gold Coast @ The Loft Chevron Island – August 4th 8:00PM
Another new show to report! But firstly I have to say I had an amazing time on my first few shows around Aus, thanks again to all the wonderful people who made it down. Melbourne, Sydney & Perth, you guys were amazing. xx
So plenty more stuff happening, but thought I’d firstly share my next show.
Melbourne: Sunday May 27th, I’m Playing @ The Thornbury Theatre (Velvet Room) + the amazing Sally Chatfield & Special guests.
Tix are $20-$25 on the door & if you pre book online it’s $22 @ http://thornburytheatre.oztix.com.au/
I will be reporting back shortly with more shows.
Love you guys & check out the groovey poster Deb worked up below. Team Rude www.rudebookings.com
I’m super excited about my up coming shows… It’s a start & I know many of you have been asking when am I coming to play, dates below:
- Melbourne (April18th) Gertrudes Brown Couch + Ruth Katerelos http://admin.moshtix.com.au/event.aspx?id=55794
- Sydney (21st April) Notes Live in + Heavy Yen & Bridie O’Brien http://noteslive.oztix.com.au/default.aspx?Event=26236
- Perth (6th May) Ellington Jazz Club + Ruth Katerelos http://www.ellingtonjazz.com.au/index.php/schedule/month/05/show/1828
Huge special thanks to Deb Herbert @ Rude Bookings, thank you for making these shows possible you are the best…
Can wait to see you all there & check out the gig posters below for more info xx
Hey everyone got some exciting news to share today!
My EP “Down the Road” is now available for download on all major online stores.
Here is the Link to the iTunes store, click view in iTunes & then follow through to the store. Having an amazing time on the Elton Tour. I need your support… x