NPR Interview: How Marrying An American Inspired British Soul Singer James Hunter’s New Album


INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS

On the album’s theme

James Hunter: “Well I suppose it’s all that sort of thing about being happily married. I’ve gotta downplay it, because my wife’s sitting next to me. I can’t get too gooey, otherwise she starts taking¬†the mick out of me.”

On how he met his wife Jessie

Jessie Perez Huntsman: “Well, I heard him on the radio in a Starbucks, and fell in love with his music. And ended up going to a few shows, and we became friends. It sort of turned into something else later on.”

JH: “And it went down hill from there, didn’t it?”

JPH: “Yeah, out of the frying pan, into the toilet (laughs).”

On why he decided not to move to the U.S.

“I think because I have a hard enough time getting through immigration when I don’t wanna move there. The other thing is, there’s so many things I dislike about my own country, but I just couldn’t bear to leave it.”

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“I Don’t Wanna Be Without You” OFFICIAL VIDEO

The video was filmed and edited over the course of a month (with Christmas getting in the way as usual). It was filmed on a 16mm Bolex in Brighton, partly in the area surrounding the station and partly in The Marlborough Theatre. Our special celebrity guest Archie Andrews had the unlikely distinction of being half of a successful ventriloquist act on the radio (much like his American contemporary Charlie McCarthy operated by Edgar Bergen). He and his handler Peter Brough had a popular show on the BBC Light Programme, “Educating Archie” from 1950 to 1958. Archie’s sidekicks over the years included Tony Hancock, Benny Hill and Julie Andrews.
We spent a delightful day’s filming with Archie and his manager David Wilde.

The bike scenes were filmed coming down Terminus Road by the side of Brighton Station on Sunday morning at half past eight. That’s the only time it’s quiet enough to film and the earliest you can get any usable daylight in December. My wife Jessie filmed me from the back seat of a convertible driven by our friend Michelle whose help was invaluable and who had to use a clever driving technique to avoid the brake lights shining on me and ruining the shot (something we hadn’t planned for).

The opening gag of drummer Jonathan Lee appearing at both ends of the tracking shot was intended to be achieved by stop-motion trick photography but it was too hard to pull off using a moving shot so we made Jonno run round the back of the curtain. After three rehearsals and three takes of this he was ready to throw his drums at me but it was worth it.

Special thanks to Eliot (camera operator) Geoff Woods (camera operator and ferrying us around London to get the films developed), Ian Barnes (editing), and my wife Jessie (camera operator, actor, assistant editor, stylist and stills photographer).