1: How did you decide on the title, “It's No Use, Mr. James!"?
It comes from an old story about a scientist giving a lecture on the structure of the solar system - when he’s finished, an old lady comes up to him and says something along the lines of:
“You’re very clever young man, but you’re wrong. The earth sits on the back of a giant turtle.”
The scientist replies, “that’s an interesting theory, but if it is correct, what does the turtle sit on?”
To this, the old lady announces gleefully, “it’s no use, Mr. James! It’s turtles all the way down!
2: What inspired you to create this album?
I wrote most of it walking around with my acoustic guitar either by the Olentangy river or going up and down Henderson road, both of which are a short walk away from my parents’ house in Columbus, OH. Seeing people in their cars smile at me as they drove by was an interestingly compact interpersonal experience that I was really grateful for during Covid. I can go back through the album and tell pretty clearly which songs I wrote alone by the river and which ones I wrote with eyes on me.
3: Where was this album recorded?
I did the drums at Amish Electric Chair Studios in Athens, OH with Neil Tuuri (who also mastered the album) but everything else I recorded and mixed in my parents basement.
4: What were you listening to while making this album?
Nina Simone, Danny Brown, Vince Guaraldi, T. Rex, Tom Waits, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Stan Getz, Marvin Gaye, Nick Cave, Brad Stank, and Madlib.
Also, my buddy Paul Martinez (who helped me finish the mixes and is playing keys on the album release show) had just sent me the Grand Prix and Capsoul editions of the Numero Group Eccentric Soul reissue series that I was listening to a ton.
5: Who did the cover art for this album?
Isabella Latell! So happy with her work on this, check out her stuff on Instagram @isabellamarieart