Hello friends, I'm Jim James of the band My Morning Jacket. I recently finished recording my first solo record, "Regions of Light and Sound of God." I'm sitting here right now looking at my computer screen, just waiting for you to ask me anything.

Thanks everyone for taking time to talk with me! that was insane. oh that internet. isnt it kooky?! i really enjoyed the questions- sorry i didnt have time for all of them but lets do it again sometime. take care of each other and god bless.

Comments: 1366 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

qwerty9989457 karma

How were you approached to guest star in the episode, "My Morning Straightjacket" of American Dad!? What were the cast and crew like?

jimjamesmusic415 karma

mike barker from the show approached us with some really funny and crazy ideas. we were flattered and honored and also a little scared- cuz you are kind of helpless in a situation like that not knowing how it will turn out- but in the end they were really kind and did a really amazing job and we were beyond stoked and flattered!

jimjamesmusic239 karma

Thanks everyone for taking time to talk with me! that was insane. oh that internet. isnt it kooky?! i really enjoyed the questions- sorry i didnt have time for all of them but lets do it again sometime. take care of each other and god bless. -your pal jim

stasz92207 karma

What is in a peanut butter pudding surprise?

jimjamesmusic428 karma

ok. this is super important... so pay attention, because the ingredients are: 1.peanut 2.butter 3.pudding 4.love

creaturefeet207 karma

Is Monsters of Folk still alive somewhere?

jimjamesmusic426 karma

ha ha ha. yes MOF we are alive and well and hiding out in a valley on the southernmost point tip of mexico. we have worked on 5 new songs and also are developing a screenplay to be turned into a full length major motion picture. currently we are looking for a studio to take on the picture and also the album- if any of you are heads of major motion picture studios lets talk.

bigbadbenji204 karma

Jim Im a huge fan and Im super pumed for the solo album. Any chance you will be at Bonnaroo this year?

jimjamesmusic273 karma

thanks! yes!

octoplasm195 karma

This isn’t a question, but I wanted to express my sincere gratitude for you guys bringing “It Makes No Difference” back into the fold. I stood on the rail for the Forecastle show and it was the first time that live music had ever brought me to full blown tears. Thank you.

jimjamesmusic130 karma

thank you.

PerryLJackson150 karma

Mr. James/Yames, I am a huge fan.

I hold steadfast to the belief that “Golden” is the greatest song to listen to when on a scenic road trip. Consequently, I think that an MP3 copy of the song should come standard with every newly-purchased car in America. Are you working with Big Auto to make this happen?

Keep making the greatest music ever.

jimjamesmusic419 karma

aw thanks for the kind words. that is funny you should mention that because yes actually i have been in meetings all week long with the heads of all major US auto companies and we have developed a 2 point plan to bring back the US auto industry to its former glory. the plan is as follows:

1.just build new versions of all the old beautiful cars. the classics. the did it right the first time, no need to improve on perfection. only make them hybrid and better on the environment in as many ways as possible and also add modern elements like GPS or stereo, etc but from the outside make them look EXACTLY like a classic model- like 75 coupe de ville for instance. 2.install the song "golden" inside of every stereo system.

qwerty9989146 karma

What is your beards name?

jimjamesmusic518 karma



Hey, you are the lead singer of my favorite band!

I'd like to ask, the creation of which album provided the largest learning experience, or gave the most difficulty for you and the band? I know that there have been some pretty major stylistic shifts from Tennessee to Circuital.

Also, if I touched, will you scream?

I apologize for the username... I love you.

jimjamesmusic317 karma

ha ha ha ha ha ha h aha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ah aha ha ah ah a I AM ROARING WITH LAUGHTER OVER YOUR USERNAME!!!!!

mattotodd106 karma

At what point did you realize this AMA was gonna be way more questions than you could ever handle?

jimjamesmusic234 karma

right now

ThomasFinklehorn76 karma

How do you care for that luscious, manly mane of hair?

jimjamesmusic299 karma

here's a big TIP:

1.dont shampoo. very important. only use conditioner. 2.the brand of conditioner i use is called- hold on i have to go to the bathroom and find it real quick....well shit i cant find it but anyway its made out of the bones of ancient himalayan polar bears. very rare.

BenjaminCarson75 karma

What are you listening to now? What albums are you looking forward to coming out in '13?

jimjamesmusic143 karma

i've been deep into this band called floating action. i've been meditating on their last two records a lot: "desert etiquette" and "fake blood" ive also really been into this guy pastor t.l. barrett- he has two great albums: "like a ship" and "do not pass me by" there is a song on DNPMB called "father stretch my hands" that i have probably listened to 300000000 times in the past few days

BenjaminCarson67 karma

If you weren't such a pure musician, what would you being doing for a living?

jimjamesmusic295 karma

maybe art therapy or a roasted almond vendor on the streets on NYC

guy_in_a_knit_hat62 karma

When you finish a track or an album, do you do the car test? As in, do you get in a car, drive around, have a listen?

jimjamesmusic132 karma

yes i always do the car test

dondante7860 karma

YIM YAMES!! I'm such a huge fan. I have seen you perform 18 times (17 with MMJ and 1 with MOF) and i am a Roll Call member . Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions. I have so many but i will try to shorten the list and you can choose the ones you want to answer if any.

  1. How does the writing process differ from writing for MMJ and this solo record? How do you decide what song you will bring to MMJ and keep for other projects? Can you give us some info on the band you will be playing with on this new solo tour?

  2. What is your favorite city/venue to play in? What is your favorite song to perform (Dondante is one of the most beautiful songs ever)? How come we can't get a Louisville 3 night or all albums performed each night in a row concert series?

  3. Do you have any plans to work with Connor Oberst again? Do you have any plans or will you guys ever do another Monsters of folk album? Any other super group collaborations in the works? Who currently would you most want to work with?

  4. Have you had any discussions with the captain and the forecastle crew to collaborate on future forecastle festivals? Have any inside info on this years festival season?

  5. Just curious what your views on religion, spirituality and god are? I saw an interview with you in Amsterdam when the Tennessee Fire came out and you seemed to have firm views against religion and god. However, you seem to reference them a lot in your songs and not always in a negative way?

  6. When i saw MMJ at MSG on new years some years back after your fall, I did not recognize you without the beard. Were you forced to shave it off or was it a choice and if so, why? What would it take for you to cut the beard off now?

Thanks again for the opportunity to ask some questions and thanks for taking the time to answer some. You have inspired, influenced and brought so much joy to my life. Keep doing what you are doing.

jimjamesmusic102 karma

hello. i think spirituality is maybe the most important thing a person can try and figure out in their lifetime on this realm...and that can also change for a person many times over a lifetime as they grow and change with life...i think it is a very personal thing and deserves a lot of time and thought...meditation has helped me start to get a little bit better grasp on what i think about when it comes to even starting to try and figure out the tip of the iceburg lettuce pray. thanks!

octoplasm58 karma

You’re stranded on a deserted island, but you get to bring 5 albums with you. What do you bring?

jimjamesmusic135 karma

  1. whats goin on- marvin gaye
  2. like a ship without a sail- pastor t.l. barrett 3.gil scott heron- pieces of a man 4.the ink spots greatest hits 5.where dreams come true- eddie dunstedter

octoplasm51 karma

Where do you get your capes/ponchos?

jimjamesmusic167 karma

at joe's cape and poncho hut, located on I-95 just off the new jersey turnpike.

jimjamesmusic96 karma

at big al's cape and poncho hut, on I-95 just off the new jersey turnpike.

Fully123149 karma

Jim, ever since your My Morning Jacket clothes have evolved into what many of us affectionately call "the brownfit" I have become obsessed with why the brownfit almost all the time. Can you explain the evolution of the brownfit; why those particular brown pants, how many actual pairs of the brown pants you own, will we see the brownfit on your solo tour, and will it ever be retired like the trench coat has? I love your music, and have quite a few questions about it as well, but you never get asked about this in interviews, and I really spend too much time wondering about this.

jimjamesmusic124 karma

i like to think of clothes almost like a uniform because i feel it is more memorable that constantly wearing different clothes all the time. i remember seeing an episode of the smurfs where smurfette opened her closet and all that was in there were like 20 different copies of the same white dress she always wore hanging on hangers. i just thought that was hilarious for some reason and have adopted that sense of fashion to my own sense of self when it comes to clothing my earthly body.

asianway9046 karma

I saw MMJ in LA last year with Iron & Wine, one of the best shows I saw all year. Huge fan.

Any plans for a second Monsters of Folk album?


Were there any particular artists/music that inspired Regions of Light?

jimjamesmusic69 karma

yes the album was inspired very much by the wordless novel "god's man" written by lynd ward. it is one of my favorite pieces of art...musically there is a pretty wide range...everything from the early duke ellington stuff to marvin gaye trouble man soundtrack to my neighbors dog barking all morning long.

donturnbee43 karma

Jim, thanks a lot for doing this AMA! What song are you most proud that you've written, both musically and lyrically? Keep up the good work!

PS You guys crushed it NYE, thanks!

jimjamesmusic75 karma

thanks for the kind words. hmmmm my shift of pride shifts from year to year...we have a system we call "the doghouse" where, for some reason i cannot explain i will start hating a song and throw it in "the doghouse" for awhile, but then out of nowhere and again for no reason, i will love it again and call it forth from the doghouse.

jongabso36 karma

You've likely played the solo to One Big Holiday hundreds of times. Describe your favorite and/or most personally memorable rendition.

jimjamesmusic93 karma

this new years eve version was incredible in boston. watching all the balloons fall...the happy people dancing...our crew wrestling a 30 ft tall champagne bottle making sure it didnt crush anyone...popping balloons with my guitar as i played. beautiful.

sofarbygone34 karma

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck, or 100 duck sized horses?

jimjamesmusic266 karma

i like these kind of questions because i feel like they deal with the big issues. im glad you asked about healthcare because i believe it is one of the biggest issues facing not only americans but the world. we need to get down to the bottom of this, thru the greed somehow, and take care of each other- to make sure that every american is taken care of no matter what...i really believe that this is possible if we can work together to see thru the greed while keeping options open to create a system that works for everyone. its not impossible. it can be done.

cokeduphillbilly33 karma

Hey Jim- Just curious, what does the number represent that you sign after your autograph? Thanks man!

jimjamesmusic86 karma

its my number. it was given to me.

dylyn32 karma

Alo Jim! You have been an inspiration and idol for me...I got sober just before the 5 @ T5 and I had many spiritual and amazing experiences that catapulted my state of being into such positive energy at that time...being young and getting sober has been difficult at times and ive latched on to your music and your perspectives so many times. Whether it was your lyrics to just the sound of your voice. Spirituality, a concept I have created that made sense to me, has been a vital part of my recovery...I can see that you are definitely a spiritual person, and if it is not to personal id like to get your view on spirituality. ....thanks for doing this Jim! You have been such a life support for me! One love and thankins for all the greatness you produce. ..

jimjamesmusic82 karma

thats awesome. im proud of you for trying to better your life. i feel like we are all given different battles to fight or challenges to conquer and it is great when we can identify those and try to work thru them...i believe that meditation is a great place to start really getting into what spirituality or god or whatever you want to call it really means to YOU- because that is all that really matters...it is such a personal thing...i am not dissing on organized religion or anything like that- i just think that it is such a HUGE topic it can be different for everyone and can change and there is not reason to limit it to anything....i believe that GOD is LOVE and is all of us and is outside of all of us...god is in the space between everything and in all the words and blood vessels too...i think a great place to start with meditation is this fantastic series called "the inner art of meditation" by jack kornfield. you get to sit and listen to him teach a class on meditation and he really opens your mind to not put pressure on yourself about this stuff, but rather to sit and take time with you...to try and figure out what everything else means.

3wayhandshake29 karma

What, exactly, is that box you hang 'round your neck during shows? Is it an MPC?

jimjamesmusic118 karma

it is the essence of a bumblebee sting. i took whats leftover after the sting, grilled it, flipped it, reduced it to it's purest energy vibrating on am emotional level, then lit that up and saved it. apple-s yall. apple-s.

dylofpickle22 karma

How did you end up hooking up with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and has it affected your writing? Also I have to say that when you played Move On Up when I saw you guys in Columbus, I nearly passed out from joy. Curtis was a god among men and the Pres. Hall Band killed the horns in that song.

jimjamesmusic35 karma

thanks. curtis is a buddha. pres hall has inspired me so much...i just finished working on an album with them and it is a banger! they have really opened my eyes to what possibilities exist and also have expanded the notion of forever in my heart.

Jersey_Hiker21 karma

1) Did you guys ever become the second band to make it to space, as per"the battleplan" (and behind Wyld Stallyns, of course)?

2) Is there a legend behind the Omnichord, and if so, what is it?

3) Must be asked: would you rather fight one bear-sized owl or 100 owl-sized bears?

jimjamesmusic33 karma

YES we are in space as we soak i mean speak.

intothelabyrinth21 karma

I too am from the great Commonwealth of Kentucky. I would like to know if you too share an affinity for this states natural beauty, and what are your favorite spots to enjoy the scenery? Any rivers you enjoy canoeing, or places you enjoy backpacking or hiking?

jimjamesmusic33 karma

isnt KY beautiful!!!!!

Heatherlwynn20 karma

Jim and Dave get to travel back in time on Sir Microcosm every Wednesday evening at 8pm on 91.9 WFPK. If you could go back in time and live in any era what would it be?

jimjamesmusic37 karma

thanks for listening to the show! we are very proud of it! thats the great thing about it is that we dont have to pick! we have the ability to travel thru-out all of space and time to present our listeners with a small snapshot of the totality of the human experience via the airwaves at 91.9WFPK or wfpk.org or sirmicrocosm.com

ElCaporal18 karma

Is My Morning Jacket back in the studio for another album? If not, will they be in the near future? And if so, when?

jimjamesmusic70 karma

yes we plan on working this summer and fall to get another one cookin

BenjaminCarson18 karma

do you think you've become a better songwriter/musician over time, and in what ways have you improved or evolved?

jimjamesmusic49 karma

hmmm i dont know if i could say better or worse, i guess that is for you to decide! i know that i put everything i have into what i do and am constantly trying to change and develop what i do. i also know that life is very inspiring in every way if you keep your radar open...i find that i am constantly inspired by everything that hits me be it happy or sad there is something to be learned there and everywhere and i find if i keep my eyes open to the spirits and trust in god is as was were LOVE it will find me.

korief16 karma

The Roy Ayers song "Memory" is killer. "Dear God" from MOF reminds me of it a bit. Except one is sacred and one is profane. Are you gonna get more profane on your Regions of Light and Sound of God? More funky?

jimjamesmusic40 karma

i love the memory. roy is the shit. everyone should hear his song "searching" i listen to it on a weekly basis...it is the perfect soundtrack for searching. roy knows whats up. what is sacred and what is profane? its all relative right? one man's trash is another man's treasure and so on and so forth and so on and so forth and on and on and on and on.

Sleazy_Rider13 karma

Hi Jim. Huge longtime fan. Can't wait to hear the new album. I've always thought that since you wrote all music and lyrics in MMJ, that it was completely your project. What's a difference between the solo album and MMJ?

jimjamesmusic38 karma

mmj is a beautiful circle that we all create that is its own thing an action perhaps in motion. the solo album or working on music by myself is a different energy...a meditation in motion.

beercanbacon12 karma

hi jim. i think my morning jacket is really cool and I like what I've heard of your new stuff as well. as someone who hopes to make a living off of music making in the future, I have a few questions. I hope you don't mind.

which part of the transition from being someone who doesn't make a living from music to someone who does did you find to be the most difficult?

how long did it take until you were able to support yourself?

how did you make ends meet before you could make enough money to live off of from music?

did you ever have to deal with issues of self-consciousness or a lack of confidence before going on stage? how did you handle it?

what kinds of mistakes did you make when you first started making songs that you have since learned to correct?

what was the production process like for your upcoming album? was it just you in a room with a computer, or was it recorded in a studio with other musicians? or was it a little bit of both?

I hope you don't mind answering all of those. regardless, thanks for doing this ama! ps: touch me I'm going to scream pt 2 is one of my favorite songs ever. so thanks for that

jimjamesmusic87 karma

thanks. trying to make a living off of music is a very tough road and i work very hard at it every day, but also consider myself to be very fortunate to be able to do what i do and that things have progressed in a nice way...i worked at many jobs before being able to pay my bills with music- you name it- i worked at the zoo, at almost every fast food shithole you can name, i worked at landscaping, i worked at coffee shops, really bounced from job to job. music is a difficult path, but that must not deter you because if you believe in yourself and believe you have something to offer that is positive to the world i really believe you can make anything happen that you set your mind to- in any field or practice...no matter your race, creed, or social standing under this crazy dome...i really truly believe that anything is possible if you believe because i have seen it happen. work hard. believe. love. good luck.

MaxwellRSwart10 karma

Mr. James! You are an enormous inspiration to me. Love the music, you guys flow so well together, you've become my most reliable live show by FAR. From Bonnaroo to what seemed like a high school auditorium in NC, i am electrified watching you guys. Also looking forward to your solo stuff coming out soon. oh, thats right, questions, sorry. answer as many as you feel like.

-I love the wails and screams you deliver in songs like Gideon and Wordless Chorus. Reminds me of Robert Plant. Did you have to work on that a lot before it came out like that, or did it just explode out of you during practice one day?

-What music are YOU listening to recently? I'm always looking for new things to listen to, and a suggestion from yourself would be greatly appreciated.

  • How long have you been growing that beard?

-I was pleasantly surprised when i saw you singing in the Bob Dylan inspired film I'm Not There with Calexico. Have you had a cameo in any other works/interested in doing more?

-Any plans on the next full band album once the solo project is done? Also are more tour dates going to be released in the future? Come to NC again!

-You inspired me to get an Omni Chord and i've had a lot of fun experimenting, never seen anything like it. Are there any other lesser known instruments that you guys use or have laying around?

That's about it, glad to hear you were doing an AMA, Anyway, THANK YOU FOR DOING WHAT YOU DO. I hope to see you rocking for years to come! Also the rest of your band, because i don't think they get enough credit, and they Fucking Rock.

jimjamesmusic48 karma

thanks! the screams and wails just kind of pop out of nowhere when they are born...we will just be rocking and rocking and then all of a sudden i am leaping around and wailing and sweating and chanting and whirling and the next thing i know it is morning and i waking up in bed... covered in mud.

Caserole10 karma

What was your most transcendental experience in making a song or album?

jimjamesmusic29 karma

i believe that everyone has the ability to enter into transcendental experience just by practicing what they love...i like to call it "the zone" or whatever...that place when "you" are gone and you are just completely absorbed into whatever you are doing- music, art, love....i just try to enter that zone as much as i can!

qwerty99895 karma

What would you consider your most controversial song?

jimjamesmusic10 karma