Jim Styring, It’s Karma It’s Cool & Woke Up In Hollywood
It’s Karma, It’s Cool gave us perhaps the best EP of 2019 with Hipsters and Aeroplanes. On May 15, Kool Kat Musik will release their much anticipated follow up (You can pre-order it HERE ). Woke Up In Hollywood has everything pop fans love – great songs, lots o’ jangle and incredible guests. Jim Styring was kind enough to give us an early glimpse of the new album, allow us to premier their new video-single (bottom) and answer a few questions. Take it away, Jim….
How did the new band lineup influence the finished product?
You’re always going to be the sum of your influences, whether you realize it or not. We all come from slightly different places musically, but all share a love of melody, big choruses, harmony etc. You can never be certain it’s all going to work, until you sit down and start writing. These songs came together relatively quickly – it’s always a great feeling when everyone is on the same page, with the same goal. We just wanted to put together an album of great songs. The kind of record we’d all want to buy.
I understand that you were joined by Rex Broome of The Armoires, Lannie Flowers and Brian Barry on several tracks. How did that union come about?
It really was just a case of asking them. We’d always wanted to work with those guys, so we guessed now would be the perfect time to ask. They were all really great and came onboard straight away. Rex plays some fantastic 12 string guitar jangle on ‘Healer’s Leap’, Lannie’s guitar just brings ‘The Girl Who Gave You Everything’ to life. Brian is king of the harmonica and added that Beatles/Merseybeat flavour to ‘Healer’s Leap’ We’re lucky to have such talented friends!
“Our Love is an Amplifier” feels like a dance track. “Healer’s Leap” has a distinctively Psychedelic vibe to it. Other tracks suggest you’re a fan of ska and the 80’s Mod revival. Would you say this is the most eclectic album you’ve ever made?
Yes, I would agree it is eclectic, deliberately so. We had no real rule when we sat down to make this record, only that we wanted it to be a Big Guitar Pop album. Over the length of 12 tracks we were aware we had to hold people’s attention – if every track sounded too similar folks might start reaching for the skip button. I think there’s enough diversity and things going on to keep people listening. It’s a real ‘headphones’ kind of album.
Did any one band member most influence the ending result of a particular track?
Having great all-round musicians in the band made the recording process a joy, we were genuinely excited to start work every morning in the studio. A track like ‘Bubblegum Monsters’ for instance, was written around that infectious bass guitar riff of Mikey’s. The orchestration on ‘Battle of Burnt Out Bliss’ was all Martyn and simply made the song what it became. Basically, if we could imagine it, chances are, we could make it happen.
“Wooden Buddha” is an intriguing song, concluding with a bit of audio from an old Buddy Holly interview. Did you plan that from the beginning or is that just one of those ideas that comes to you while recording?
I think I’d been listening to Buddy before I went to the studio that day. The track just felt it needed something extra, so we added the interview. You’re the first person to realize it’s Buddy Holly!
Describe what you were thinking when you wrote “American Sushi”.
That’s a good question! I just had the title from somewhere, maybe something I’d read or seen on TV. I knew I wanted to use it for something. Once Mikey had written the guitar parts, the song just fell into place. The verses have a ‘wild west’ feel to them, and the solo is straight out of an imaginary Western movie.
If you could sit with each and every person who buys the album and experience the first listen with them, what would you want them to know in advance?
I would hope they enjoy and have fun listening, we certainly had fun making it! Be prepared for a few surprises! And I would thank them for spending their hard earned cash on our record.
It’s Karma It’s Cool’s new album, Woke Up In Hollywood, releases on Friday May 15 and can be pre-ordered HERE. Many thanks to Jim Styring for sharing his time with us – as well as this brand spankin’ new video for “Bubblegum Monsters”, one of the many highly enjoyable tracks on Woke Up in Hollywood. ENJOY!