j a m e s c h r i s t i a n
( h o u s e o f l o r d s )
i n t e r v i e w
Hey James it's Andrew from Australia. Have you got a few minutes to talk?
Hey Andrew. Yeah of course.
I knew it would be you calling, You said around this time.
Great thank you. I finally got it together to call you! So how's things?
Great, couldn't be better.
Good. Now I have a copy of Rude Awakening sitting here, the 5th anniversary release.
Can you believe it's been 5 years?
No I can't, that's a long time. Time is just flying by, moving too quick for me.
I can remember when I brought this!
Yeah, I can remember doing the House of Lords record and that was in '89
Still some of my favourite albums I must say. So what are you doing right now?
Well right now I a have a business in Florida and I'm working also with my wife Robin Beck. She's got a new record coming out in 4 weeks or so. Well the promotions starts in about 4 days.
I haven't heard about it yet?
Well you will soon. I did some work, some background vocals for her. Basically I have a music company that I'm working with, me and my friend Mark Baker.
Your old songwriting buddy?
Yeah. We have a music company that we put together and we have had this for about 3 - 4 years. He works in California and I'm here in Florida. We basically do our music via computer, transferring files. I'll do some vocals and he'll do some melodies. It's working out pretty well
You have been pretty low key since you disappeared out of LA? I have heard several rumors that you were selling computers down there in Florida?
Selling Computers? No! None of the above.
So you are still writing songs for Mark Baker, that's great. I love your stuff that you did together on the solo record.
On Rude Awakening? Yeah, we actually wrote most of the House of Lord's record too, that was Demon's Down.
My favourite House Of Lords record actually
Yeah mine too. It was a change the market had taken a change for alternative right about when that came out. The record didn't stand a chance at that point.
You know I listen to that album and I can't pick a hit single because the whole album just flows so well.
Well we just wrote. We didn't try to gear anything towards being a single, we just wanted the best material.
One of those songs had a chance in Canada and ended up being Number 1 for 17 weeks in Montreal for a female artist called Julie Masse. We produced that and gave her 'What's Forever For'. She recorded that song and it went to NO. 1 for 17 weeks.
Oh ok, that's Corey Hart's wife?
Yeah. We won a Judo Award; it's like a Grammy down here for that song. So you know the material definitely stood up but the market changed so drastically in the US that it became very not in demand.
Well I can tell you there are many fans going through my site after this sort of music.
I just went on there the other day. Are you getting a lot of hits there?
1700 odd a day.
That's great. Your fan base will only get bigger. There are a lot of people who like this kind of music and can't get it via MTV or radio these days. What's happening in Australia these days musically?
Pretty bad. We follow the states about 6 months behind
6 months behind? That's not too bad. Germany is about 5 years behind.
There is no rock press or TV support here in Australia.
There is a video channel on Pay-TV but it's basically rap/dance.
It's a strange market right now. Music doesn't know which way to turn. Creativity has dried up. There are not enough great songwriters like there were 10 years ago. With the exception of a few prolific songwriters out there, there is not enough quality bands. I don't think in 10 years people will look back and say what a great band anymore. They seem to be gone in a year
In fact I've talked to few people like yourself, great songwriters recently and they are getting asked to write songs for the new hip artists because they can't write for themselves.
Well they have to. There was a time there for about 6 years where the bands refused any outside material form anyone. That's why you had a period of 5 - 6 years where the songs were so bad. You were thinking to yourself how could this actually get releases. It was the bands refusing to take the material. Now, because record sales were so down record companies are now demanding their artists have a couple of hit songs.
So where are Mark and your songs going at the moment?
We've done some things for some movies. I've done a thing for a full-length movie. There was some talk of me doing a new solo record. Right now I would rather concentrate on Robin's career. I mean she had a really huge career in Europe. She had a million selling record with 'First Time First Love'. Right now she has a new record contract with BMG and she is really pushing that.
What country is her record coming out in?
It's coming out in all of Europe. They are talking about a release in the states cause the new song is so good. It's a great song. It was written by Shelly Pikin who wrote 'Bitch' for Meredith Brooks.
Desmond Child wrote the flipside.
Have you sung on anything lately?
I've sung on Robin's record. I really haven't done that much as far as background vocals on people's records.
You know once I moved out here I kind of moved out of the loop from LA. Had I been in LA I'm sure I would have been involved in a lot sessions with different people. I did quite a lot of that at one time.
It's not that I don't enjoy doing it I've gone to a different place in my life.
You cut a lot of songs for The Randells
The first thing I did when I moved out to LA was to work with Robin Randell and Judithe.
Very nice people. Great lady
I was talking to her cause and she needed a singer. She said tell James I need him.
Great people. I wish them a lot of luck. I also wish you a lot of luck with that site.
It's picking up pace. Thanks. Have you had any offers from people who want you to make an album for us? Yeah. I had Greg Guiffria that wanted to know if we wanted to put a record together.
It's something I don't think the time is right yet in the melodic scene.
I just don't think it's going to sell any records at the moment. The record scene in the US is alternative, rap and very angry music. I mean it would be fun to do a House of Lords record but who would we play it for? If that's 3 years down the line then we'll wait.
I talked to Chuck Wright a bit.
What's Chuck doing?
He's playing away in LA. Doing a couple of records for people. The last thing he is playing with Lenny Cordola. Something with Matt Sorum Gun's and Roses. He said to say hi and get in touch. He also plays on the new Mitch Perry project.
We very close .Did he get married?
He didn't say
We kinda lost touch when I left LA and I got married and me and Robin had a baby daughter and she is like the light of my life. Everything revolves around her. It changes your perspective on so many things. Most importantly I look at her growing up. She'll have the benefit of our experience and hopefully won't make as many mistakes in career moves. You should hear her sing. She actually does some la la's in the song 'Shut Up And Kiss Me'.
Is Robins' record traditional rock?
She has a little more of an edge than her other material. I think it's the best stuff she's done in years. She caught a vibe; you know which is really hard to do these days, to find a little niche. It just sounds right for today's market. Whether you like melodic rock or alternative it goes both ways. It falls right in the middle.
I'd like to send you one if you can't get hold of it.
I'd like to feature it.
I may be able to set up something it you would like to speak with her.
So do we have wait a while longer for another James Christian record?
I'd say a year. We have maybe 10 or 15 songs almost in the can.
Well things sound like they are going well.
Yeah. Well I wish there was more music in my life but I don't want to beat a dead horse. I mean in the House of Lords it was big, I had a struggle before that, playing in small clubs. I got spoiled playing the big stage. If I can't do that I don't want to do anything at this point.
I don't blame you
Do you know what Greg Giuffria is doing?
He got involved in some kind of casino stuff in Las Vegas. I think it has something to do with slot machines. I think he's doing pretty well with it. I just don't know what it is.
Last time I spoke with Chuck he was having a laugh about the fact the last time he saw Greg he was playing golf with Joe Pesci!
Well that doesn't surprise me; he was the kind of person that liked to hang around with celebrities.
James I appreciate your time
No problem, I think it's time for you to go to bed now isn't it?