While Jamie Dean is perhaps best known for his work as part of the internationally acclaimed Irish outfit, God Is An Astronaut, the composer and multi-instrumentalist intends to add another string to his bow in 2022. Jamie recently sat down with Metal Wani’s Carl Rourke for an in-depth conversation about pursuing a desire to share his solo material with the world.
Over the course of their time together, the pair discussed Jamie’s debut solo offering, a leading single entitled ‘Alaska’, what he considers this new venture to be the beginning of, future plans for God is an Astronaut, and much more.
Asked whether his solo material was already in production prior to the pandemic, or if it was a direct result of the circumstances he found himself in during the last two years, Jamie answered,
“It’s probably a bit of both. I’ve wanted to put out solo material for a few years now. But I suppose we were always very busy preparing for tours, obviously with the band. The pandemic obviously shut all of that down temporarily for every touring musician. So, it had its challenges, and obviously, the lockdown was difficult for everyone, really, but what it afforded me was a bit of extra time to focus on completing this solo work. Because it’s one thing having the idea, and the intention of doing something, but actually following through, practically putting in the time to bring it to fruition is a whole other ball game.” Jamie concluded by saying, “It’s one of those things where it probably would have happened either way, but I think it was accelerated by the lockdown.”
Speaking about how the imagery for ‘Alaska’ came together, Jamie shared.
“You know, it’s funny because I can’t take the credit for that. Because I actually initially was looking at, sort of, stock images of Alaska. But Torsten [Kinsella, God is an Astronaut] sat me down and said ‘Jamie, look if you’re gonna lead with this as your lead single, you’re gonna need to come up with something a little bit more abstract here,’ you know? So he’s been a tremendous help, both in the studio and outside the studio, he’s helped me along the way and encouraged me. He has just a wealth of experience, again, both inside the studio and outside the studio. He’s a very close friend and probably my biggest musical influence, to be perfectly honest.”
With fan speculation running ramped as to whether Jamie intends to release an album, EP, or perhaps perform a live show, Jamie shared his thoughts on what ‘Alaska’ may be the begging of.
“It’s a really hard question to answer, Carl, because if you compare it, say, to God is an Astronaut, the path has kind of been carved out there. We know exactly what that is. So, whenever there is new God is an Astronaut material being written, you’re obviously going to go out on a tour, and we’re very, very fortunate to have, over the years, amassed a very loyal following. And we kind of have the idea of what works live and what doesn’t, and because that blueprint has been carved out, or printed, we kind of know-how to shape certain things. With this solo project, it’s slightly different, because there’s absolutely no blueprint done whatsoever. So it’s difficult to answer that question. It’s a bit terrifying, but it’s also really exciting as well because anything is possible at this point.”
“So, to answer your question, I think for now I’m just going to focus on building up an audience. If people respond well to the music, that’s absolutely fantastic. I don’t think I’m gonna do a live show until there’s enough of an audience there that may, or may not want to see a live show.” Jamie followed up by clarifying, “At the moment I have a few other compositions that I’ll be drip releasing over the next couple of months. And I’m focusing, really, 100% of my energy on those pieces of music, and hopefully, in time, maybe by this time next year, enough of an audience will have been developed over the course of the year to warrant a live show. Which, of course, would be really exciting. I love the idea of eventually doing it live.”
Jamie concluded by expressing,
“It’s exciting! I’m really excited about the project. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time and I’m excited now going forward for the follow-up releases.”
With God Is An Astronaut set to embark on a European tour in the coming weeks, Jamie offered an update on some of the plans the band currently have in store over the next year.
“We are working on some new material as well at the moment. We have a few new tracks written, and we have a few other bits and pieces that we plan on releasing and announcing over the next number of months.” Jamie went on to say, “I’d have to check with the lads, but I don’t think we’re releasing a new God is an Astronaut record this year. Probably next year. But we were very, very active over the lockdown. We really used the time off gigging to the full extent. We recorded a bunch of live material like the ‘All Is Violent, All Is Bright’ album, we recorded in its entirety from start to finish and we had some cool video put together for it as well. We kind of released that in bits and pieces over the months, so, yeah, we have a few more bits and pieces like that to come out, too.”
You can find ‘Alaska’ and follow Jamie Dean through the following links;