Chewin’ The Cud With Jim: Notes on An Interview

Much thanks to Kathy Bates for transcribing this interview!

Jim Cuddy

Where?  Airport – 15 min – plane in 20 min – off to?  Calgary  slave lake tomorrow Calgary Friday night

Connections in Calgary?  No – company hiring my band to play  – gas or oil 

Touring the album – start beg of nov – Newfoundland – jan 5 nanaimo work way east

Going?  Great – smaller shows nfld – violinist – guitar player – always worried with a new record

Anxious to hear blue rodeo – not once did people call out for blue rodeo songs.. so far so good

Couldn’t have been better –

Jim Cuddy – legend – part of an elite group of cdn songwriters – do you recognize?  Associate? Think about?  No – never believe your own press – do think we came along at a fortunate time – neil young – leonard cohen – Gordon lightfoot – cdn music became what cdns wanted – bands honest working bands – your town – your university – strong loyalty – audience – certainly recognize that – reason we’ve been around for so long 

Keep on doing that – private parties – smaller venues –   500,000 people – get a charge of whatever we play – success not guaranteed – contest winners – nothing wrong with going to a small place – some of the best we’ve had – 100th anniversary Inverness – what it’s like to live in that particular place – applauded for what’s good for us

Success guaranteed now?  No – older – still making music – never want to rest on your laurels.  Not happy band if tribute.

Collaborate – jeff tweedy – identify? Parallels – how did that work?  So simple – in town – long time ago.  Jay Bennett – jim cuddy – know him – come on over do a song – bringing jeff and jay over – do country song.  Didn’t exchange phone numbers – never really seen them since.  Jay passed away last year.  Bob in blue rodeo was in that band.  Pretty rough for him.

Inspired by person playing with – give and take?  Hope they’ll be reasonably nice people – do something quickly – hope musical talent is real – can sing or play.  Always instruments around – vocal suggestions.  All really easy. 

Bad experience collaborating?  Asked to do something on someone else’s record – just looking for association with our name or not interested in what i do.  Rarely happens.  These days i pretty much work with friends.  How do we know them?

Songwriting changed over the years?  Nostalgia familiar elements – contemplating more as you get older.  Circumstances changed since band – kids now in 20s – talked about this record alot.  Imagining something – make it real – add details of my life or people around me.  I am an empty nester.  I am 56 – thoughts about my own mortality.  Early times with my wife.  Put in what i know. 

Confessional – don’t know that it’s confessional.  So much is imagined.  Greatest danger – this song is about you.  It’s all imagined.  My brain works in a particular way.  Song form.  My truth. Want to be moved, be close to the bone.

Heroes?  Listen to right now?  2 different things.  Decemberests – national

Leonard cohen, Jackson brown, paul mccartney, the boss

National obtaining legendary status – music industry changed ?  Interesting question.  Long and winding road to leonard cohen.  Circumstances of industry will allow to last for a long time.  National show – all same age category.  Their life being represented.  Identity among people – talented facility with words. 

Internet – wilco – stream albums?  We do everything – all sorts of methods – streaming is like radio play.  Radiohead – don’t think that went very well – next traditional.  Make some money with record sale or paint houses on the side.  Song on radio – everyone listening to.  Everyone heard – handful of stations.  Now a lot more diffused.  Outlets.

National – most people in Toronto never heard of them.

Cancon?  Without cancon don’t think cdn bands would survive.  New cdn bands wouldn’t get the same opportunity.  Radio less relevant.  Know broadcasters – somebody else has paid to be popular.  Proof always in record sales – don’t force to go buy a record.

Rush – only – never heard them on the radio.  People don’t want less cdn music – they want more. 

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