INTERVIEW: Jamie Lenman


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We’re here at this years Takedown Festival. Jamie, are you excited to be on the bill?

Yeah of course! I mean I’m just pleased to be invited anywhere, I’m chuffed that I was asked.

Have you seen any familiar faces around?

Dave McPherson from Centiment. He’s a lovely fella, I got to talk to him briefly. The other people I know here are just in the press, so if I say their names it won’t mean anything (laughs). I got to meet Feed The Rhino and my good friends Black Futures are here too.

So what can your fans expect from your set later today?

Well my fans can expect same old, same old. But the people who haven’t seen me before will be confronted, I hope, by crushing metal and so will the fans but the fans will be all blasé like “Whatevs I’ve seen it before”, whereas the new people will be like “What the hell!?”. I hope anyway, but yeah just crushing riffs.

Do you prefer playing your own headline shows or at festivals?

I don’t really like either. I don’t really like playing live at all, but the trouble with me is I’m always so flattered to be asked, that I say yep to anything. So, I am pleased to be here but not so pleased about playing, because it’s quite stressful to play live. I’m not really built for it. I’d much rather write it and put it on a record, but it’s nice to come out and meet people like yourself. I am pleased to be here.

So it’s the writing side of it you enjoy the most?

Yeah and putting stuff together and building it. I get by performing live, but its quite intense.

Your act is quite unique. Where do you get your musical inspiration from?

If you’re talking about the folk and blues elements I’ve sort of ripped them from lots of really great folk and blues artists and I suppose there’s not a lot of crossover to the metal scene if you will. So to say its unique, thanks very much, but in the folk and blues world I’m not doing anything new and in the metal world I’m not doing anything new either. But maybe the combination is something new? So, yeah I get it from established acts that are doing it much better.

jamie-lenman-muscle-memoryAvailable for purchase on iTunes, Amazon & Spotify

As well as writing, recording & performing music, you’re quite involved in illustration too. If you had to chose between the two which would it be?

Do you know what? I think I find making music is easier than illustration. I think I perhaps prefer it, not so much performance. If I had to choose between performance and illustration I’d definitely chose illustration, but I think making music comes easier and is more instantly satisfying than illustration. With illustration you’ve got to spend hours on a drawing until its just right, whereas with music you can just bang out a chord and it can sound lovely. So, I think overall music.

On your Facebook you’ve been posting about record store day. Do you think that’s something people should support?

Definitely! I mean you’ve got to support your local businesses full stop. Lots of sectors of lots of types of businesses have fundraisers and things and record store day is the version for the indie record shops.

In particular, when I was growing up in my hometown there was one indie record shop that was literally a safe haven. I actually used to run in there whilst I was being chased by people who wanted to beat me up because of my green hair and nail polish (laughs).


So your music covers a variety of genres. What type of music do you generally listen to for your own enjoyment?

I listen to very heavy music, folk, blues and jazz depending on what mood I’m in. I think heavy metal is always going to be the core of me. But, yeah I listen to all kinds of stuff. I was listening to Insane Clown Posse, they’re like a bizarre hip hop act from the US that paint their faces like clowns. Have you heard of the gathering of the Juggalows?

Nope. What’s that?

Well, the fans of ICP are called juggalows and its turned into an entire subculture. It’s a bit terrifying actually. My wife has taken it upon herself to buy me the entire back catalogue of ICP, so yeah I’ve been listening to a lot of Insane Clown Posse and I love it, check them out!

Are there any other genres you’d be interested in branching into in the future?

Yeah, well I was trying to write a ska or a dub album. I had a year where I got seriously into not so much reggae, but ska and dub, which is sort of either side of reggae. Reggae sits sort of in the middle. I was really fascinated about a band called Dub Trio who mix dub with metal and I love second wave ska acts, like you know The SelecterBad Manners and The Specials. So, I’d really like to do something with that, the Jamaican style of music, but who knows?

Anything you’d like to say to your fans?

Thanks ever so much for all of your support! I know it sounds corny, but I do appreciate it and  make sure you come to the shows and we’ll have a good time.


 Interview by Natasha Bird