Q&A Scene: Jimmy Coghill

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?

 My latest album is “Songs For The Species” and it’s a surprisingly “straight” album for The Jimmy C. I usually have twenty song albums with tracks segueing into each other and a wide range of genres covered – often within the one song – but Songs For The Species is a classic 10 song album with a mostly pop Beatles/ELO flavour – and with gaps between the songs! That’s new for me …

What’s your favourite work at this point in time? 

I’d have to say (boringly) that it’s my new Songs For The Species album. Once again I play, sing, record, produce, mix, master and design everything – The Jimmy C are 100% self sufficient DIY music!

But the reason (hopefully less boringly) Songs For The Species is my favourite work so far is because it’s the closest thing I’ve done to making a classic seventies album. So many of my favourite albums are from between 1967 and 1987 – the era of the vinyl record. Songs had their own distinct groove and visual place on each side of the record. When I listen back to Songs For The Species I get such a distinct picture in my mind of those tracks in the groove. I really must press some records!

How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 

I think I must sound like a children’s birthday cake. There’s the cake, lovingly crafted, moist and rich. Then there’s the icing, tastefully spread evenly for an elegant finish. But then the birthday boy has busted in to the kitchen and stuck entire Chokitos on it and doused it all in skittles, M&Ms and Jersey Caramels. I’m basically pop with all the trimmings and an air of childish derangement.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?

I think I must sound like a children’s birthday cake. There’s the cake, lovingly crafted, moist and rich. Then there’s the icing, tastefully spread evenly for an elegant finish. But then the birthday boy has busted in to the kitchen and stuck entire Chokitos on it and doused it all in skittles, M&Ms and Jersey Caramels. I’m basically pop with all the trimmings and an air of childish derangement.

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

There’s so many stories from when I went on tour with The Devilrock Four in Spain in 2008. I’m the  drummer in that band and we had many eventful nights but the one that sticks so clearly in my head was the day we were due to fly from Barcelona to Paris. We’d only just managed to avoid having our tour van towed by running up as the tow truck was backing up to it and attempting to explain with the very few Spanish phrases we knew that we were from Australia and didn’t realise that when we reversed down the one way street at 4am that we were parking in spots reserved for scooters and now, 3 hours later we’re really very sorry and can you please unhook our rented van. After an expression that can only be described as “Stupid gringos, this is all too hard and your mothers were goats with loose morals” the guy got back in his truck and drove off.

After that we headed to the airport to discover our flight was cancelled then booked a far more expensive flight with a less recognisable airline leaving shortly after that. The flight ended up being basically that scene in Almost Famous when it looked like the were all going to die and started confessing that their slept with each others girlfriends and the drummer stands up and shouts that he’s gay. Sadly we’re all too sexually boring to do that last bit but we all genuinely thought we were going to die. It’s no comfort to watch the airline staff strap themselves in, close their eyes and make the sign of the cross … but we didn’t die and we all kissed the worn carpet on the terminal floor when we arrived at Charles De Gaulle. Now at the end of a tour you often have to get creative with your packing and I’d cleverly packed some clean t-shirts and my toiletries in my cymbal case and due to the rough flight I was met by the sight of my cymbal case rounding the corner of the baggage carousel with white clouds of shaving foam billowing from the seams.  Being in a touring band is fun. I highly recommend it. Inspiring too. I wrote the song “Born Without A Brain” about it.

What, or who, inspires you?

I love 60s and 70s music, mid century modern design and early 70s Italian thrillers. I guess as a songwriter my greatest inspiration comes from my musical heroes: Jeff Lynne, Andy Partridge, Kate Bush, Gruff Rhys and the Super Furry Animals, Ween, The Pretty Things, Graham Day, Pugwash … and you can hear their influence in my music.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

There are so many! Sometimes I love a song so much I practically Rutle it (see The Rutles). Here’s a short list off the top of my head and I’ll try not to shout: Colleen by Dirty Fences, Beggars Day by Crazy Horse, Without You by Pugwash, Easter Theatre by XTC, Army Dreamers by Kate Bush and …. (this is so hard!!) … More than He’ll Have To Give by John D Loudermilk. And so many more! An easier question might be “What band’s entire catalogue do you with you wrote?” … Oh crap, Couldn’t I Just Tell You by Todd Rundgren!

What’s next for you?

I’ve been working on music for a soundtrack for a guy in LA. Brides Of Satan, a grindhouse/Faster Pussycat Kill Kill type exploitation genre thing. Low budget but lots of passion and knowhow. I’ve recorded a bunch of songs and I’ll be writing a bunch more for a few new scenes next. But I really just live my life and when a song pops into my head I just go and record it. That’s the benefit of being a one man band.

What’s your scene?

 I’m probably a mod. I identify more with mod culture than most others. But I look like a hippie or a metal dude. It’s confronting to some people because they think I’m something because of the way I look. It’s all about the music anyway. The culture detracts from the music sometimes so I avoid it and just stick to the music.

Humourous, up-beat, catchy, power/pop/psychedelic/rock … the Melbourne one-man-band The Jimmy C opens a can of earworms that burrow deep and leave you smiling.

The Jimmy C is Jamie Coghill, a self-taught multi-instrumentalist who loves the music of the late 60’s and early 70’s.  Some know Jamie as the drummer from Luxedo, Fez Perez and The Devilrock Four, others know him from his own music as The Jimmy C. He records everything at home in his spare room.

Songs For The Species is a humorous collection of songs whose creator says is sonically influenced by  Super Furry Animals, The Kinks, Jellyfish, Supergrass, ELO, Pugwash, Beach Boys and The Beatles.

The album opener is Everybody Shits. “Imagine Jellyfish playing your favourite up-beat 70s sitcom theme,” Coghill enthuses. “[It’s] a bouncy pop song reminding us, “It doesn’t matter how cute you are, you still have an asshole.””

Another album highlight is the jangly Foot In My Mouth, “an ode to those of us who never fail to say the wrong thing every time we speak.” Coghill describes the song as, ” a slow plodding rocker with up-beat choruses and a chaotic split personality ending.”

Alt-country meets sunny pop in the harmony-filled “ASAPples”, which rides on some, “silly modern-life influenced lyrics” –the inspiration of texting, emojis and our technology-filled lives.

Born Without A Brain is where the drummer makes fun of drummers. “They’re my people!”, Coghill protests. Power pop guitars, lush Beach Boys harmonies and upbeatvibes makes this tracka catchy and enjoyable album standout.

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Songs For The Species is out now on Foghorn/MGM.

See all SIX BRAND NEW VIDEOS from The Jimmy C here:

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About Mary Boukouvalas 1082 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.

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