Interview with James Roden – The City Lights

We caught up with James Roden of The City Lights as they prepare for the launch of their new album ‘I Just Got To Believe’ this September with shows in Sydney and Brisbane.

:: What track changed your life ::
In The City by The Jam.

:: What is your favourite Album ::
Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones

:: Name a band or artist we should checkout ::
For younger cats, please see The Sunnyboys at Meredith Festival this year. They were incredible at Dig It Up. For older dudes, please see The Straight Arrows or Royal Headache.

:: Favourite Quote ::
Christopher Hitchens in relation to religion and the supernatural – “”That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.””

:: When on tour, you can’t live without ::
Comedies on DVD. Non-fiction Books. Beer. Laughs. Phone.

:: When you think of Australia, you think ::
Fantastic animals. Incredible natural beauty. Some beautiful buildings that are always under threat from ‘developers’. A clash between those that appreciate Australia and being alive and those that want to exploit its resources, its animals and its people. But we are lucky to have a stable democracy given how insanely destructive and petty human beings can be. So in short, I think of the beach and that makes me smile.

:: Worst thing to happen to music is ::
The 80s. We’ve now had it twice.

:: Best thing about the current music industry ::
More young people are into it than ever. When I was very young it was seen as weird or unsophisticated to rock out. It was certainly not a ‘career’ choice.

:: Biggest influence ::
Paul Weller, Joe Strummer, Christopher Hitchens, George Orwell. My Mum and Dad (RIP) and family. My wife. Friends. Some good teachers. Impossible to say the biggest.

:: Childhood hero ::
Tie between Paul Weller of The Jam & Mick Cronin of the Parramatta Eels – Mick posted me a signed poster when I wrote to him. What a top bloke.

:: When you were younger you wanted to be ::
In a band.

:: Last album bought ::
Wild Flag. A bit slack as that was a while ago.

:: First album you ever bought ::
Back in Black by ACDC

:: First concert you went to ::
Either Midnight Oil or The Hoodoo Gurus. I can’t quite remember.

:: Last concert you went to ::
La Huva & Restless Leg in Glebe Sydney the other week. There was a fight 3 songs from the end of the La Huva’s set which was going well until then.

:: Favourite current band ::
Royal Headache – album is brilliant and live they are perfect. His voice is just so good.

:: Favourite drink ::
German beer

:: Favourite book ::
Anything by George Orwell.

:: Favourite actor ::
I am a massive fan of John Cusack and always get a thrill when Michael Caine pops up. I am also a fan of David Mitchell the UK actor in Peep Show TV series. Oh and Steve Coogan of course.

:: Favourite website :: It only interviews the best.

:: The best boredom buster is ::
Playing guitar. I can’t recommend it enough. Learn an instrument and you will never be bored.

:: The best film you ever saw was ::
Alien – the first one by Ridley Scott. The rest are all terrible. It was slow moving. Terrifying.

:: Your ultimate snack is ::
Not a huge snacker – love a coffee though.

:: The first thing you do when you wake up is ::
Sigh or Smile. Depends on so many things.

:: Best piece of advice you’ve received ::
Concentrate on the songs and ignore the trends.

:: Your biggest aspirations ::
My aspirations have become quite modest – to continue to be able to play and record music in The City Lights with the best drummer (Graeme Trewin) and bass player (Harry Roden) in Australia.

:: Best/worst gift you’ve ever given/received ::
A 1972 Lambretta LI scooter for my birthday from one of my best mates who made good! What a top bloke.

The City Lights are playing at:
The City Lights Sydney launch of ‘I Just Got To Believe’ Album + The Slow Push
The Green Room Lounge, Sydney, Australia
Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:00pm

The City Lights Brisbane launch of ‘I Just Got To Believe’ album + The Slow Push
Beetle Bar, Brisbane, Australia
Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 8:00pm

Visit: The City Lights for more tour dates and information.