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Ghost Canyon

Jim Noir Jim Noir

'Finally Achieving His Goal!'

Our tale begins, like so many others, in an unassuming English suburb. It’s late in the summer of 1982 in Davyhulme, a uniquely uninteresting village famed for its proximity to a major shopping center - the Trafford Centre - near Manchester (which, alas, has not yet been built). The population of this sleepy town has just increased by one: Jacque and Jacqueline Noir have spawned a boy-child.

Jim (as he came to be known) enjoyed a typical childhood, entertaining himself with fanciful notions of becoming a footballer, a racing driver or a stuntman. But he soon realised he had a gift that involved not balls or wheels or fire-proof suits, but notes and treble clefs and whatnot. It was the gift of song. This was the ‘80s, remember, when Casio keyboards were atop every child’s Christmas wishlist. When Jim tickled the plastic ivories on his, a strange magic flowed from each digit, and by the tender age of nine he was busily composing his own songs.

At school, young Jim found a like-minded soul named Batfinks, and the dynamic duo were soon wowing crowds at school talent shows. According to popular legend, their rendition of 808 State’s In Yer Face at a 1991 school assembly had to be heard to be believed.

Here was Jim, making music for the love of it, until a karaoke competition at a holiday camp in 1994 turned his head. Awarded a Batman waterpistol for his rendition of the Grease Megamix, something clicked in Jim’s head. Make music: get rewards. It dawned on him: this was something he could do for a career.

By the time Jim met the founding fathers of the UK’s My Dad Recordings in 2003, he was an oven-ready recording machine. My Dad Recordings knew the lad was special, and, under the pretence of a request for his autograph, signed Jim to a strict and binding contract.

The EPs followed – Eanie Meany, My Patch and A Quiet Man – each as glorious and inventive and colourful as the last. And with them came the trappings of life in the music industry.

Tower of Love was released in the UK in December, 2005 to “so good a publicist must have written them” reviews in prestigious outlets such as Mojo, Uncut, The Times, NME, and so on. Jim has already hit the road in Europe, rendering his awesome arsenal of tunes in the live arena.

Chatting recently with Jim, and I first wondered just what it was about British, '60s-era, psychedelic pop; complete with quirky lyrics that really gets his creative juices flowing?! "Lyrically I'm more interested in the generally uninteresting. I like to talk about things nobody else deems interesting enough to talk about. You can make a coffee table sound interesting if you use the right words and music. All my favorite music came from the 60's and they already did all that talking about love and freedom and whatever. So I like to take elements of that and talk about my computer and such like."

Your album title 'Tower of Love' is an interesting choice, but I'm wondering if it originates from a more personal standpoint? "It couldn't BE a more 'personal standpoint'. nudge nudge."

If there was one track on this new album that truly encapsulated Jim Noir at his musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? "'Computer Song' is my personal favorite. Lyrically it was the easiest to get out, musically its got all the qualities I like in music, ie harmony, rhythm, unpredictable chord changes. And I think production wise it sounds very nice to me, a nice ethereal quality to it."

And whilst we're revealing things, just how did you manage to score the global advertising campaign for World Cup 2006 and that infectious Adidas song?!?!? Man, that commercial was played a thousand times and that lyric "If you don't give my football back, I'm gonna get my dad on you" was just in my head 24/7!! Come on now, you must have made a nice lil' earner out of 'Eanie Meany,' but was it enough to a) Buy you a new suit; b) Buy you a new car; c) Buy you a new house); or d) Buy you a new life?! "Not that I've seen! They gave me 50 quid and a slap in the face for even having the gaul to ask for money. These corporate brands these days don't take kindly to peasants like me asking for things. So I ran away with my tail between my legs, which is the best place for it if you ask me!"

What's with releasing a different version of your album here to the one released in the UK? Are you hiding something from us, perhaps?! "Don't ask me. Labels always like to get their 2 penny's in and this is just one of those ways. Although the tracks on the american version should probably have been included from the start 'cos I think they are good."

Tell us more about those school days spent doing shows with your friend 'Batfinks' ... and why did he have such a weird nickname?! "He gets his name from one of our old album titles, which we got from something his brother wrote in big letters on his bedroom wall, which was 'batfinks hammer gone soft disease'. I didn't know what it meant then and I still Don't now, but I guess it doesn't matter. I've made music with him since I was 9 years old and he is my music soul friend, one of the only people I can truly jam with having some kind of weird psychic connection. We have musical plans for the future so watch this bass kids."

When can we expect your restaurant to open? You know, the one where you only sell the popular UK breakfast cereal, Weetos?!? "We're just having all the finishing touches done at the moment. What is the american version then? Is is cheetoes? Little chocolate rings you know the ones?"

What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "Probably 'Jump' by Van Halen. I think it has all the things you want in a good tune. Riffing, big hair, great lyrics, spandex."

Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "Strangely enough they are actually my favorite animal. I want to get one when I'm rich and just let it sorta hang around the pool smoking cigarettes if it wished. I wouldn't get in the way of whatever it wanted to do. You know. I hear they are quite vicious though, so I'd give it money and stuff if it asked!"

Thanx again for doing this for us today, and we wish you all the best for the future. "No! Thank YOU! Goodnight, America."

Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk

If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Jim's new CD, just answer this easy question: When Jim hit the road due to him having played every instrumental part on every track of the new record, he had to hire a band. Who's band did he borrow members from?!

Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before September 15th with your answer and the subject title JIM NOIR SIGNED CDs' to:

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