We were lucky enough to sit down with the irish newcomer Gavin James, right before his first headlinig show in Zurich. If you want to find out what he would name his pet pig, keep reading.
After Gavin James was done admiring my phone case (for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, it’s a bright pink and pretty large shark case 😀 ) we dove right into the questions:
Using only 3 words, how would you describe your music to someone who doesn’t know you?
Souly, irish and ginger… Ginger? Hmm no, that’s not really a theme, is it? It should be though. No I’d say, souly, irish and folky.
Starting out playing in small pubs, now that you’re playing bigger shows, is there anything you miss from the good old „pub-days“?
I sometimes still play small pubs. But the thing is, in pubs, when you play for really “tough“ crowd, when they’re not interested at all. It’s really hard to win them over. But if you get to the point where you do and they sing along, that’s a really great feeling – it’s the best thing ever. I mean it’s still the same today, when you’re supporting someone. There can be tough crowds there too. But I guess that’s what I miss the most, really winning them over.
If you could be any other singer (dead or alive) who would you want to be?
Frank Sinatra definitely… Oh wait no, Dean Martin – I love Dean Martin. WIth the looks and everything. The fake drinking at all!
If you could choose any artist to go on tour with, who would that be?
Coldplay probably, I don’t know how I would be able to deal with that though because I love them so much! I’d freak out. Chris Martin is amazing, he’s one of my favorite songwriters ever.
Your song „22“ is about your personal experiences during school, especially being bullied. Is there any advice you can give to kids out there experiencing the same thing?
Yeaaaaaah, that’s really sad actually. I had a terrible time in school from like being maybe 8 until about being 15yrs old. I’m good now, but it’s hard to gain your confidence back after going through stuff like that. But I wrote that song because I have a lot of nieces and nephews and wanted to show them that this is something that isn’t being talked about enough I think. As for advice, I would definitely say: tell somebody! Tell a teacher, mom, dad. People are actually very embarrased talking about it, because I guess it’s just such a random thing. Or get real funny. When I was like 16, I just got better at back talking. I was lucky, I had good friends and then kinda fell into music. But yeah, definitely tell someone!
Do you have a favorite song on your album? I know it’s kinda like picking your favorite child, but if you had to pick, which one would it be and why?
Probably „Nervous“ – I don’t know, it’s such a weird song. It’s definitely not a song to go on the radio, but it was one of the quickest songs to write too. It was done in like 30 minutes – it just came out straight away.
Do you have any fun or impressive encounters or stories about your fans? Cool presents or something that stands out.
I get some gifts here, and in america they tend to give more gifts. I once got a pillow! It was cool, it had like my face on it – just me, all over. It was a bit strange, I couldn’t really use it to sleep on, because it would probably freak me out „this is me, I’m sleeping on my face“. But it was really nice present. One of the funniest things that have happened though, I did this gig with Ed Sheeran in Croke Park. When I got off stage and Ed just got up on stage, this massive group of girls come running to me like „omg it’s you, it’s you!“ and they thought I was Ed Sheeran – even though Ed was literally on stage that very moment singing. I kinda went with it, I though it was funny. While they were taking pictures with me, Ed was on stage singing his songs. I don’t know, I’ve got a much bigger head than him, and way shorter hair, his hair is like all over the place. It’s strange, I don’t think I look like him that much… But it was fine.
Talking about fans… We’ve asked some of our followers to send in questions to ask you, we’ve picked out two:
Question from @GavinJamesFans: Is Carolina an original song or a cover?
Carolina is my own song, I wrote it ages ago. I haven’t really played it in a long time. I was actually asked to play it a couple months ago and I did… And I forgot all the words to it.
Question from @CraigFans: How do you know Craig?
I know him from school. We didn’t really know eachother until the last year of school. I was just totally into music and I really wasn’t in school much. I don’t know why they didn’t get mad or anything, like nobody cared. I used to cycle from my house towards school but then pass my school and go into to town and go to music shops. But yeah, me and Craig pretty much met the last week of school. He was the only other person playing the guitar in that year, so we kinda jammed. He’s great, me and him did gigs together for 5 years at home in Dublin, it was fun. He’s a good lad, amazing voice.
So, at the end of all the interviews, we have these sentences that we’ve started. You’ll have to finish them as spontaneaously as possible.
The weirdest place I’ve ever written a song in… a cave. Oh wait, like literally? Oh ok, I’ve never written in a cave before, could be fun though. No it was actually on a roof top of a hotel in a caravan! No idea how they got the caravan up there. In Dublin actually. Really cool, but a little strange too.
If I had a pet pig, I would… name it Carl. I think Carl is a funny name, it shouldn’t be a pet’s name because it’s a persons name, right? I’ve had a goldfish whom I called Carl. But it got really sick at the end (it was 18 years old!) so my mum actually brought it to the vet – a goldfish! He actually said; yeah, he’s going to die.
In my wildest dream I… would be a dolphin! They’re so majestic… I’d be the ginger dolphin though. Red dolphin, I’d love that.
When thinking about eggplants, I… think of, what the hell are eggplants? What are they? Like a fruit, or a vegetable? Ooooh wait, yeah, eggplant, like the emoji. So that’s what I think about, the emoji.
After I’ve finished this interview, I will… go take a nap for 20mins and then wake up and warm up and do a gig. I’m really good at those powernaps. I can sleep anywhere, I could sleep right here.
Oh actually one more question… I saw a picture of you with another Gavin… Gavin DeGraw, what’s going on there, can we get collab-rumors started?
Ah yes, Gavin DeGraw – I love him. We actually played the same festival there. He actually knows a friend of mine from Nashville. Marc Scibilia – really nice guy, great voice he sounds like Bruce Springsteen, really great guy, great hair, poofy hair too. He’s supported me in Europa and the US.
Yeah, so that was it. Thanks so much for taking the team. Really looking forward to the gig tonight.
Yeah, thank you, it was fun. I’ll see you later then…
A little while later, the venue (Neo, Zürich) filled up pretty nicely. The show was sold out after all. Craig Gallagher opened up the show. Really cool guy, quite the storyteller too. You should check him out.
Gavin James’ gig was pretty cool too. That man has quite a voice. The audience loved him. Considering the size oft he venue, the atmosphere was great. Everyone sang along and had a great time. I’ll definitely be back to see him again when he comes back. Just like Craig, Gavin is a little storyteller too which made the show pretty entertaining. Anyways, here are some pictures for you: