Jim White’s 2017 album ‘Waffles, Triangles & Jesus’ proved a hit, with mainstream UK music publication Mojo deeming it one of the Top 10 Americana Albums of the year. Damian Robinson caught up with Jim to talk about the new album as well as his live return to the UK.
A few months on from ‘Waffles, Triangles & Jesus’, how does it feel when you look back on the album with the benefit of hindsight?
I don’t really like hindsight to be honest. Usually, I need to stop playing an album and then leave it for seven or eight years before I can reflect on what was really happening with me when I made the album.
That’s interesting. I really enjoyed the way you described yourself and your experiences…
Thank you. With the record – as well as in everything I do – I’m aiming for celebration. Even if the music sometimes doesn’t sound celebratory, I’m aiming to find a new way to promote a message of encouraging others to feel comfortable in their skin. When I work I’m looking for ways to smile.
You are relentless with your work, tours, books and collaborations. Where does the inspiration come from?
I suffered from severe depression from 18 to 35 and in those years I didn’t get a lot done. When I hit about 40, I started to find ways to move away from the depression, partly by figuring out what I really wanted to do. I feel like I’m making up for lost time.
Part of that work ethic is displayed in your live show, so what can we expect when you play Newcastle?
(Laughing) I love playing Newcastle. The last few times I’ve played I’ve been at the Sage in Hall 2. I’m looking forward to playing intimate shows with regular people on this tour. I’ll be touring with Clive Barnes who’s a wizard on the guitar and plays music for the love of, not for making money. We’ll use cycle pedals and stomp boxes and other instruments to make our sound more like a full band. I play for two hours and you can’t expect anyone to sit quietly for that amount of time so there’ll be highs and lows and happy and sad moments – little bits of everything.
What’s still on your list of things to do?
Make peace with myself which I’m making progress on. If I lay down I want to be happy with myself and the only way to do that is to be honest. There’s a song called ‘Here I Am’ on the new album and that’s who I try to be. I recommend that to everybody.
Jim White plays the Gosforth Civic Theatre on Saturday 8th September. Information about the tour and Jim’s work can be found at jimwhite.net.