On A Red Horse
Music video animated by Ross Butter
Today we meet , James Edge. This is some finely tuned and honed skills going on here. The music part folk part Americana is layered and intricate weaving all around the lyrics with some gorgeous violin playing. I’m looking forward to hearing more from James Edge and the Mindstep.
Meet – James Edge and The Mindstep
for those unfamiliar with your bands history, can you tell us all how you all met up and decided to start a band ?
There’s currently three of us who are regulars, me on guitar, vocals and songwriting duties, Andy Waterworth on double bass and Avvon Chambers on drums. Avvon and I met at school and have played together ever since, really it was him that got me started on the guitar properly – I was all flute and piano before that. Andy joined us when we were recording the first album and the shape of the band was quite different. At that stage we were quite a loose collection of around 10 people, but after that album it was Andy, Avvon and I that took the songs out on the road and started playing new material together.
who would you list as your musical influence?.
They’re kind of all over the place, but the key points are probably the guitar playing of fingerpickers like Bert Jansch, John Martyn and Nick Drake then compositionally I’m influenced by people like Bjork and Radiohead alongside composers like Stravinsky and Reich.
whats the coolest thing that’s happened to you as a band since you started up?
One of the best things for me was getting to work with Robert Kirby (string arranger to Nick Drake, Paul Weller and countless others) on a track from our first album. He was one of my musical heroes.
what are your hopes and dreams as a band for the next few years.
I’d love for our forthcoming album Machines He Made to get heard by a decent number of people and to get started on the next project.
what are some of your favorite albums from the past few years?
I’ve been asked this question quite a bit recently and I keep coming back to Black Star by David Bowie. Its beginning to seem a bit boring to say it, but it has really excited me. A friend also took me to see French-Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf recently and his Illusions album has made a big impression on me.
Do you see any real use for social media , or is it all just a pain in the ass to keep with?
I think it’s undoubtedly been critical in liberating music from the music industry, whether you see that as a good or bad thing. Personally I think it’s a good thing. I like the immediacy of being able to get a reaction to something you’ve created straight away and test things out like that and I like the way fans can connect with bands and vice versa. On the downside it inevitably becomes a numbers game and to get the numbers you have to be good at a lot of things, and spend a lot of time on things, that don’t have anything to do with music. But I guess that’s always been the way to an extent.
Overall though I think what it means is that people can make music they want to make and get it out there without any sort of filter and that’s a great thing.
Do you pay attention to reviews or comments from people about your music or do you just turn that noise off.
They affect me quite strongly actually and I couldn’t turn it off if I wanted to. Negative comments are more likely to knock my confidence and put me off for a bit than to cause me to change anything consciously though – I’m only interested in making the music I want to make and writing what I want to hear. Writing what you think other people want to hear is a pretty sure fire way to something terrible – I always think that people wanting to hear what you want to write has to be a happy accident. Wow that was convoluted, sorry.
Having said that you can get way too close to things and constructive criticism can sometimes really help you take a step back and hear something, like a mix you’ve heard a thousand times, in a different light.
If you could tour anywhere in the world , where would you want to go.
Let’s go with Japan; never been, always wanted to go.
Can music save the mortal soul or is just a good backbeat to your life.
Any last thoughts for your fans?
I think I’ve probably talked enough rubbish for all of us ?