13 April 2009

UNKLE Update

Hello. I have finally succumbed to the wonders of modern technology and thought it would be a good idea to start my first blog, especially as we are starting our new record. I thought it would be a good way to let you know what is going on in the wonderful and weird world of UNKLE.

We have been writing demos for the new record over the past four months, in our studio in London. Currently it has been myself, Pablo, James Griffith our bass player, and my brother Aidan so a pretty similar set up to how we did the End Titles record. We started the writing process off by recording some tracks in Henley in September last year whilst members of our band were still in the UK as an experiment to see how it would be to record in more of a band way than our typical previous sessions. Out of these sessions which consisted of myself, Pablo Clements, James Griffith, Joel Cadbury, Gavin Clark, Matt Pierce and Mike Lowry we came away with about nine tracks that definitely seemed like a new direction for potential new album material. We then came back to London and worked on the Redux record and finished touring etc and ended the year in a massive high doing the Heritage Orchestra show at Union Chapel – definitely my favourite show to date. The orchestra and visuals created by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones were just fucking awesome! We just posted some video footage on UNKLE.com, check it out.

So we started the New Year by writing as many new tracks as possible not thinking too much other than what felt right at the time. Last week we sat down and found that we have about 30 ideas that are worth pursuing in one form or another. I think the plan for the next few weeks is to start whittling the ideas down, getting more definition out of the tracks so that we can start the lyric and collaborative process. We are still trying to work out who we are going to work with but I think we all agree that we want to work with a batch of new artists as well as new songs by myself, Gavin and Lisa Lindley Jones who joined us towards the end of our tour last year.

It feels really exciting as we have a blank canvas to work from. I think after doing all the different records from the past two years which range in so much different style it allows us in this record to be very free. The main thing that I really want to try and achieve in the music is something that feels more uplifting and optimistic than previous records. An eclectic psychedelic trip is what is going around my head. Demos are a real mixture of styles ranging from more electronic influences to heavy rock grooves. It is also important that we make something we can take out live.

So there you go, I will keep you posted on how we progress. Pablo has been going mad as usual buying shit loads of analogue gear so there are lots of new toys to play with in the studio which is adding a lot to the recording process, even though I feel sometimes we spend more time trying to work out how something works than actually recording, but hey it all adds to the fun!

Really happy how the Heaven video has been going down. Working with Ty and Spike on that has been awesome and the response out there is great. The recent remixes have seemed to make a positive impact in the clubs as well.

I’ve also started a column in URB Magazine in America. My first in a very long time, not since writing with Straight no Chaser and ID Magazine in the 90s, it’s called ‘Living In My Headphones’ which will come out quarterly over the next year.

So there you go, that’s what has been going on in my world. I will keep you posted as to my progress.

Thanks for all the support.


  1. Great to have the updates James. Good luck with the new record. Will you be doing anything more with the footage and the recording from Union Chapel? It was such a sensational gig and I'd love to see the full film.

  2. So much thanks for the good news, I was listening to you no more than one hour ago ;), after reading I think I can say, I'm so excited about the new album :)

  3. Bien y es un blogspot. Encuentro eso muy cool por alguna razón :o

    No puedo esperar al nuevo album.

  4. excellent news!! this has made Dermie's day ...Thank you sir :) much respect!

  5. Yeah good news re: the new album, can't wait. Loved the video for Heaven as well. Keep it up. Look forward to catching you when you next come out to Australia, whenever that might be.

  6. Hi James,
    What JOY, you back making new music. I hope the inspiration flows.
    You are a gift to music.

    God bless,


  7. this is really great!!! welcome to the blogsphere, looking forward to reading your updates!

  8. congrats because of your new blog ;) Already bookmarked! Luv ya!

  9. Great to know where I'll get the info now. Looking forward to your next great album.

    Best band in the world,
    I love you, keep going \o/

  10. this made my day! keep up the good work james! your music inspires my artwork like nothing else!


  11. thanks james
    u r great
    keep going on

  12. This is great news. I came into UNKLE a little late in the game with NNL and I think the best artists constantly try to push, test, try to constantly evolve. And it seems like this is exactly the direction you have been and will be going in.

    And in regards to the optomistic tack, thats kinda ballsy. Any band can mope and whinge, it takes a certain self-assuredness to find the pleasure amonst the misery, in an earnest not shallow way.

    Keep your eyes and your ears and your heart open, and I'll always be along with you for the ride!

  13. Jan-Willem : http://unkleofficial.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

    Brilliant James, looking forward to reading your thoughts. Each album has got better & better and has been pretty important to me.

  14. any news re new vids?

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