James Williamson, a legendary guitarist well known as the former Stooges guitarist and a co-writer of all the songs in 'Raw Power', announced the launch of his new band 'James Williamson & The Pink Hearts' in March and the release of their debut album in June. Fans were surprised at that positive news.
NIKKEI RADIO (Tokyo) put James Williamson's interviews on the air in last August and April in the special radio shows featuring Iggy Pop and The Stooges. In the latter he talked about his new band "James Williamson & the Pink Hearts" and its new albmu "Behind the Shade". He raised the keywords "wide range" and "listenable" for the sound of the album. He also mentioned his desire to play in Japan.
You should check out the James' interview below aired in April.
In that radio show on April 30th the radio station broadcast 'Riot on the Strip'(full-length version) for the first time in Japan. The listeners' reactions were interesting;
from listeners - reactions to 'Riot On The Strip'
"This guitar sound is nothing but James Williamson's! I want to see him in a live show before I die. I had seen the Stooges in 2004 but never seen "straight" James."
"'Riot on the Stip' is baddest ass! I'm so happy to listen to the James' new band. I'll definitely buy one. Of course I'd love to see him in Japan."
"The Pink Hearts' 'Riot on the Strip' is a so cool song that I can't help but want to listen to it with Iggy's vocal. I'll buy its vinyl."
"I love the oover design of 'Behind The Shade' pretty much. The new song is dope, going against my expectation in a good way."
"Frank Meyer's voice fits the band sound. Petra did a really good job. I'd want to listen to her playing instruments, too."
"It is really emotional that James started the band after the Stooges' done."
INTERVIEW broadcast on April 30th
*NIKKEI RADIO (NR):
After you released the album "Re-Licked" in which you re-made lots of The Stooges' songs, you made Three singles with MAIA, Lisa Kekaula, Petra Haden in 2016. Then you completed "ACOUSTIC K.O." EP with Deniz Tek. All four were in "duo" style. On the other hand you made the band "THE PINK HEARTS" in this time. Is it an important difference between duo and band?
Why did you decide to form a band?
In terms of the band it just made more sense to me because people who have been playing with me are pretty much the same people - Michael Urbano on drums, Gregg Foreman on keyboards and Jason Carmer on bass. So it a kind of became a band if you will. And singers, both Petra Haden and Frank Meyer are people that I had worked with previously. So I knew how good they were.
When I decided to make a new record I needed someone who could write lyrics and also sing. Frank Meyer was really good at them once we started working together. So I was able to write the music with him. He sang a lot of message which he wrote, and Petra also sang incrediblly well in many songs of the album. I think you would be quite impressed with their singing.
Since there were so many singers involving the album "Re-Licked" it was almost impossible for us to tour. But we did a taping for the TV show called "Last Call with Carson Daly Show" and performed a couple of songs. When we did the taping then I had a number of singers there. So we decided to do a live show (in LA). I asked Frank Meyer to sing one of the songs ('I'm Sick Of You') and live with us.He did such a great job and I was very impressed with him. He also showed us a good stage presence. In the course that I had worked with Petra Haden before I knew very well her capabilities.
Could you tell us what kind of sounds/music your new band "THE PINK HEARTS" intends to show?
It's variety of things. This band has quite a wide range capability. It's not just one style. We of course know that people like some up-tempo numbers so we do have some of those, such as 'Riot on The Strip'. On the other hand there are quit a number of medium-tempo numbers. So the record has a balance and a wide rangeof material. I think even though one song is quite different from the next on the record, it's whole together as a whole very well. I think at least from my point of view it's very listenable. So you can listen to our new album time after time and you don't get tired of it. The record is a kind of really unique in that way.
In your previous interview in our radio show last summer, you said that you were not willing to have live tour any more but were pleased to work in the studio(recordings). Now you seem to change your mind and THE PINK HEARTS announced two live shows in June, LA and San Francisco. What changed your mind?
Ha ha ha, actually I haven't changed my mind but... I'm not the only one who concerned it here. I know the other people would like to play live. So I decided "OK" and we compromised that we would have some live shows. We see how it goes and see how everybody feels about continuing...
We are planning to play at least through out summer and fall. But so far all dates are in the US although ...
I'm open to anything and it really has to do with what the promoters are interested in doing. We got some agents working on it. It's just according to what realistic to do and possible to do.
Do you have a plan to visit Japan and have some live shows? Could you give us your message to our listeners (fans in Japan!)?
Well I can tell you this much. I planed to visit Japan for sure whether it's touring or just tourism (laugh).
I love Japan. I've been to Japan over fifty times. I've been missing Japan. So I do plan to come to Japan for sure next spring I guess.
But in terms of the band it's all about promoters who make offer to us. We'd love to play for you guys. It's just really all about possibilities. So I'm open and to that and I hope somebody contacts us and trys to make it happen.
Certainly in terms of listeners I want you to listen to the album 'Behind The Shade'. I'm totally happy with this record. It contains amazing efforts by everyone in the band. I'm looking forward to you guys listening to the record which will come out on June 22. And also I hope to makes it possible for me to come and visit Japan.
James Williamson & The Pink Hearts releases their debut album 'Behind The Shade' on 22nd June.