Jim James embraces new positivity with the return of My Morning Jacket on the road

When Jim James of My Morning Jacket wrote “One Big Holiday” 20 years ago about his dream of breaking free from a dull work life and going out and playing music, he never understood the fragility of that feeling. After being sidelined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, My Morning Jacket has returned to the road over the past year with renewed energy and an appreciation of the dream of playing live music.

“It has been really beautiful. There is this new sense of gratitude after being carried away with COVID,” says James during a recent interview. “We embrace every moment, every minute of every show. Trying to, really trying to be present. Feeling great in the band at the moment. Just a better communication and just a renewed sense of clarity for everyone, just around. ,

It’s especially lovely, as it coincided with his return to the studio. After a short hiatus, the band regrouped to record their self-titled album, which came out the previous year. The album features an upbeat journey of psychedelic and roots rock, always infused with James’s thought-provoking and always-optimistic lyrics.

“I’m really proud of the self-titled record, and really enjoyed seeing that new explosion of life on set. It’s a new way for me to transfer energy,” says James. Makes Touring Feel Fresh, And New Songs Also Bring New Life To Old Songs Because You’re Feeling More Fresh In General. It feels really good to have that energy out there. ,

It helps that the album comes from a positive place, with James noting that the band is “as much as we can, to be a source of positivity or an outlet for people to shift some energy.” trying to.”

This includes the band members themselves, as they adopt healthier habits as they return to the road. James has struggled with mental health issues over the years and doesn’t always know how to manage his time effectively. Traveling life has often been a struggle for him in the past, but he is hopeful that things are getting better.

“I think we are entering a new era of trying to control our time and be more responsible with our time and our health,” he says. “Every show just feels more precious to me, to be able to do it and to be more aware within every moment. I just feel this new heightened sense of consciousness all around it.”

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This is translated lyrically into James’ songwriting, with the frontman battling his connection with the world through songs such as “Never in the Real World” and “Penny for Your Thoughts”. He also returns to a familiar lyrical theme of technology on “regularly scheduled programming”.

“Nowadays we all struggle that how do we navigate this path into the future, this path of technology? How do we navigate it so that it makes our lives better instead of distracting from life?” James says. “The technology is so amazing and made to really suck you up and in a lot of ways I feel like we can all get addicted to it and suck it up too far.

…music reminds me to get out and take a walk or try and just go to an art museum or call a friend or do something real to get me out of it. ,

The last time the band released “Live” was 2015, the first volume of a vinyl archival series that documents some of their favorite performances “the way we want them to be heard.” He compares the recording to a time machine.

“It’s really interesting to look back at all these different versions of yourself and think about how you’ve changed and hopefully be a happier person since then, or maybe at least to learn a few things, And look back and be grateful for what was going on at the time, says James. “It takes me through those moments in my mind, for better or for worse.”

James says he is excited to return to Chicago, describing the city as “this big, wonderful place full of so much potential.” Some of the band’s early touring shows also included Chicago.

“It’s a really special feeling for us because it brings us back to where we started and it feels like someone cares,” says James. “It’s so special to see the people out there really reacting to the music.”

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