The second that James Kohler sent over his new single “Lights Out”, I was captivated and inspired. From the overall unique composition of the track that felt familiar yet oh so other wordly to the span of genres heard throughout the track that ranged from an indie-folk vibe to an arena-ready rock sound, this track was all over the place and I wanted to know so much more about the man behind it so, as I usually do, I spent some time asking James questions about a little bit of everything.
What’s your go-to coffee order?
Whichever is the strongest one.
How would you describe your music to your parents?
I would describe it as being a kind of evolution of punk in attitude, sentiment and subject matter.
Favorite lyrics of all time?
Dusted by Guided By Voices ‘Ever trudging through the aimless forest we explore/In our boots and money chains/Misfitting cloaks we can’t contain/Hidden hates of urgency/Declaring our emergency.’
If you were to rob a bank, what would be the song playing in the getaway car as you escape?
‘I Fought the Law’ by The Clash
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
Iggy Pop has to be up there. The Mint Chicks in their early days.
If you could compare yourself to an animal, what would it be and why?
A greyhound. I’m wiry, but I’m also feisty and full of energy.
If you could have dinner with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
There’s a saying that you will regret meeting your idols. I’ve taken that wisdom into account.
What’s your favorite method of listening to music?
Vinyl is my favourite, but it takes a lot of passion, devotion and money to keep a good collection.
What’s one thing I should know before listening to “Lights Out”?
That it’s going to be on my 2023 album Will and Way. Also that Time Won’t Be Kind, my previous also, is really great and didn’t get the attention it deserved.
I thoroughly enjoyed everything about “Lights Out” when I listened but it was the lyrics that really drew me in! Out of all of the lines of words in this track, which is your favorite?
‘Because there’s always someone better/more righteously assertive/a rags to riches story/to help you feel inadequate’ – you’ll always fall short in this circus show of late capitalism.
Where can we sign up for your master class featured in the video?
If I get enough comments in the comments section asking for it, I promise I will set up the master class.
In all seriousness though, this track is brilliant with all of the influences heard throughout the song. Is this going to be an album where you will dive more into those influences?
Yes the album is called Will and Way and it’s set for March 2023 release. It’s quite a diverse album, this is more on the rock side of things, but I also explore balladry, some more bluesy elements and more diverse expressions of alternative/indie rock and pop. I’m also most of the way through another and planning for a third.
I am personally counting down the days until James releases ‘Will & Way’ in March. Until then, I plan on just listening to “Lights Out” on repeat. Join me on binging this amazing track with the links below and make sure to show James some love on his socials (also linked below). Also please comment asking for the master class because, I for one, absolutely want that in my life.
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