THE U.S. musician Jimmy Sweet…
gives me some time to discuss his latest cut, You Say You Don't Love Me - in fact; it is his debut release! It is brave, in the sense that the song was originally recorded by Buzzcocks. I ask Sweet whether the band is big to him and when he first encountered them. He talks about his next moves and the music he was raised on; whether there are gigs coming up – and playing with his covers-band, The Goodtime Boys.
I learn more about Jimmy Sweet’s musical tastes and why he is a fan of Glam/British music; what he has planned for Christmas; if a U.K. tour is a reality – and why, this week especially, he is need of relaxation and a break.
Hi, Jimmy. How are you? How has your week been?
Not bad. Taking a vacation this weekend to Santa Barbara, California. I’m looking forward to some relaxation…
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Jimmy Sweet. I was born in San Jose, California - but I have been living in Los Angeles for nearly eighteen years.
I guess I can call it home, now...
You Say You Don't Love Me is your debut single. What was the reason for picking that song for your introduction?
I wanted to do a cover song to hopefully grab people’s attention, and being a Buzzcocks fan, it seemed like the way to go?!
It was originally performed by the British band, Buzzcocks. As an L.A. artist; how did you come to discover the band? Why did that song stand out?!
I’ve been a Buzzcocks fan since I was a teenager...
I remember seeing them live in Santa Cruz when I was sixteen-years-old. I also had the chance to open for them in Los Angeles about ten years ago - while I was playing in Hot Hot Heat at a festival. I’ve always loved the lyrics to this song.
It’s such a great love song - so it inspired me to slow it down and try sending the message in a different way.
Your take brings new aspects to the song! Can you see yourself tackling other artists’ tracks further down the line?
Absolutely! I’d love to eventually make a 1970s Punk cover album of all my favorite songs - and give them the melancholy treatment.
Is there any more material coming soon? What are you working on right now?
I’m actually working with producer Mark Rains (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club); finishing a string of original tunes to be put out every couple months in 2018. We just finished a song called Burning Like a Fever (that’ll be released on Valentine’s Day).
You perform with your covers-band, The Goodtime Boys – which contains members of Fleet Foxes, Hot Hot Heat and The Growlers. How did you come to meet those players – and is there any possibility of an album from the band?!
We were all friends previously. A club in Hollywood, called Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, asked me if I’d put a cover-band together - and I asked them to join.
That’s where the name came from...
L.A. is your base. What is the city like for an artist who favours the exciting and ambitious? Do you feel fulfilled there?
There are so many places to play here: it’s definitely worth living here if you’re a musician or an actor.
It never feels like you can’t fulfil your dream.
I'm interesting discovering the musicians you grew up on. What are your earliest recollections of music?
I used to sneak into my older sister’s room and steal her Misfits albums. But, I remember when she left a V.H.S. tape with no label - and I popped it on and it was a New York Dolls concert. I was thirteen-years-old and my life changed at that moment. The world was no longer a safe place...
I fuck*ng thrived on that.
You have played on the circuit with Roland Bolan (son of T. Rex legend, Marc). Is 1970s Glam a genre/time you are inspired by?
100%! I absolutely love the British 1970s Glam movement. It only lasted from about 1970 – 1975 - but so many great songs.
Who are the new artists you recommend we check out?
My wife’s band, The Wednesday Addams.
IN THIS PHOTO: The Wednesday Addams
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
The Stooges – Fun House
It’s gotta be one of the nastiest-sounding records I’ve ever heard (in a good way).
Pulp - Different Class
Every song is a hit! I’m a huge Jarvis Cocker fan.
The Velvet Underground - Loaded
I’m always trying to recreate that album. Perfection.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Being in a band is just a very expensive hobby. Hahahaha.
What tour dates do you have approaching? Where can we see you play?
I’m doing a residency, in March, at Harvard & Stone in Hollywood. I got some incredible bands that agreed to play as well. We have U.K.-based BONES; Love Zombies, Jesse Jo Stark and more.
It’s gonna be a fun month.
Christmas is not too far away. Do you have plans already - or will you be busy working?
I’m working, unfortunately - but, it never feels like Christmas in L.A. It’s sunny and warm all year!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Lemming - Lucifera
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