James Stevenson is back with his second solo album, ‘The Other Side Of The World,’ set for release through Pink Gun Records on 9 July 2021. The album follows the critically acclaimed ‘Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over’, which was released five years ago.
The title track is about James’ brother David’s fight against the terminal illness Picks Disease. James told MetalTalk: “Not many people have heard of the disease – it’s a nasty one. The first lockdown was hard for us all, but losing my brother in the middle of it truly broke my heart.
“The other side of the world is a reference to him living in Australia and also, because it’s a neurological brain disorder, that he was on the other side of the world mentally.”
James first remotely recorded all the guitars, bass, and lead vocals in his studio to a drum machine recorded remotely in lockdown. James then sent the tracks to Alarm drummer Smiley, who added drums in his studio. Finally, he passed them to Peter Walsh (Simple Minds, Peter Gabriel, Scott Walker), who added keyboards and mixed it in his studio.
James says, “It was a long process – but it may be the way the world is going to go.”
There are upbeat themes too. James told us that “the instrumental ‘New York 10023’ is about a crazy night I had with model Paula Hamilton in New York in the mid-’80s.”
James wrote all the songs except ‘Take A Little Love’, which he co-wrote with Adam Masterson and ‘Point It To Your Head’, by his friend and Rich Kids guitarist the late Steve New. James says, “I loved Steve. ‘Point It To Your Head’ was a song he wrote that I always loved, but it was never released. So I recorded a version of it as a tribute to Steve”.
Guest musicians include Henry Badowski (saxophone), Jessica Lee Morgan (backing vocals), Terry Edwards (saxophone), Elizabeth Westwood and Tracie Hunter (backing vocals), Mike Peters (Harmonica), Rana Rains (female voice) and Harriet Stubbs (Piano).
James has been a member of Gene Loves Jezebel since 1985. He also plays the guitar and sometimes bass in The Alarm and is part of the punk rock supergroup The International Swingers with Clem Burke, Gary Twinn and Glen Matlock. He has also played with Chelsea, Generation X and The Cult.
James says, “Journalist Mick Mercer once cited me as having played in 72% of all known bands, and it does feel like that sometimes. It can be a bit of a juggling act. I love playing in bands but creating your own record is fantastic too. Though I do have 72% etched on my guitar picks!”
‘The Other Side Of The World’ can be pre-ordered at jamesstevenson.info