A FEW THINGS ABOUT MARTIN JAMES…
- Martin has been a music and lifestyle journalist for over twenty years, during which time he has trawled the darkened recesses of the world’s dingiest clubs in search of the perfect beat. He thinks he may have found it in a grass hut on a Malaysian paradise island called Babi Besar.
- Martin has been punched by Goldie, pissed on by Iggy Pop and kidnapped by an unknown DJ in Italy. He also once swam across crocodile infested waters in Indonesia, got stoned senseless with Cypress Hill in Amsterdam and played Resident Evil with Ice T in Hollywood. He’s also travelled the world with The Prodigy and supplied sleevenotes to their greatest hits collection ‘Their Law’.
- Martin was the last British journalist to interview LSD counter culture icon Dr Timothy Leary in his Hollywood 90210 home. Winona Ryder was at the door, Oliver Stone in the kitchen and Perry Farrel on the sofa. The soundtrack was supplied by London dub house crew The Woodshed.
- Martin has been represented by both the French media and government (!) as being the man who invented the French Touch thanks to his premiere features and reviews of Daft Punk, Air, Motorbass and the rest of the late 90s French dance scene.
- Martin is the author of several critically acclaimed, globally published and occasionally best selling books.
- Martin’s first gig was Pink Floyd – he was bored. A week later he heard the Sex Pistols – he was inspired to form a band, start writing for a fanzine and ‘run away’ from home to follow the Clash. He was barely a teenager!
- In 2008 Martin was awarded a PhD for his work on genre in the music press, in 2013 he became Professor of Music Industries. Martin failed all of his ‘O’ levels except for Art.
- Martin’s acclaimed drum’n’bass book ‘State of Bass: Jungle – The Story So Far’ sells for £150 on Ebay… he doesn’t own a copy. His other books are mostly available for 99p at HMV’s throughout the UK.
- Like all music journalists Martin has an unpublished novel in his sock drawer… he’s been working on the follow up for ten years. It’s called ‘Status’ and is about virtual identities, auditory bubbles and OCD. He plans on finishing it before he hits 90.
- Annie Nightingale once described Martin as: “… one of the most conscientious, outspoken and honest writers working in music today — and he’s not afraid to cry!”
FAQ’s… Martin James on the ropes
Name: Martin James
Age & starsign: Old enough to know better, Taurus
First published work: A poem I wrote at the tender age of 10. It was called ‘Tis Nature’s Resurrection’ and got published in my school magazine (the old school xerox variety). My parents were overjoyed and hatched great plans for me as a future force in British poetry. I had no idea what the fuss was about and hatched plans to be a top flight footie player.
Current occupation: By day, Prof James a fully fledged academic fighting at the coalface of pop cultural theory. By night a writer whose journalism career is slowly disappearing over the horizon, whose academic writing is very much to the fore and whose fiction writing keeps nagging away like a bad itch.
Earliest memory: My mum giving me a bath in the kitchen sink
Finest literary moment: Apart from that first poem it would have to be the publication of my first book ‘State of Bass’. As for newspaper features, I’m rather proud of one I wrote for the Independent on Sunday about following The Clash as a youngster.
Your writing style could be described as: Ummmmm… changeable.
If you could rewind time, where would you pause it: Tomorrow… I think it’s going to be better than yesterday. And by the time you read this, that tomorrow is long gone. Hopefully today’s tomorrow will be better.
Worst ever job: Packing Play Doh! I couldn’t stand the smell after a few weeks there. Like drowning in sweet stuff. Nightmare. Another nasty job was at a certain well known supermarket where I was on the fruit and veg department. One Saturday I walked into the warehouse cold room and caught this geezer abusing a chicken. No wonder I’m a veggie.
Fave contemporary poet/author: Neal Stephenson – anything by him would do but Cryptonomicon and Diamond Age are works of utter genius. The Baroque Cycle is pretty awesome as well.
Tell us a joke: I support Newcastle United… either a joke, or a nightmare. If only a giant bucket of water would wake me up.
Greatest fear(s): poverty…
Hobbies: I’ve got three children – what on Earth is a hobby? I used to snowboard, other people called it falling down. Does that count?
Donuts or Death: Donuts before death.
Why is the world really in a recession: ‘Cos I defaulted on a loan once?
We should be reading: Neal Stephenson (see above), I would also recommend ‘How The Beatles Destroyed Rock’n’Roll’ by Elijah Wald ‘cos it rips up the preferred music history books and places the so-called giants in lesser roles.
We should be listening to: much more, more often…
Fave vegetable or fruit: Has to be bananas, for taste… although I do have fondness for the Durian fruit. Anything to smell that bad but still be considered a delicacy must have something going for it.
Who do you most hate: The taxman?
Who do you love: My beautiful kids; Ruby Blue, Felix Drum and Bella Pearl and my partner Lisa.
The future is: The past backwards?
Tell us something no-one knows about you: Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I go downstairs, open the fridge door and sneak a quick drink of lemonade…. Oh no, that was an advert.