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video | lostboy! aka jim kerr epk


Studio interview

The Lostboy EPK was shot in London in May 2011 during a roof-top photo-session with David Ellis. Whilst the EPK featured a couple of fleeting glimpses of the photo-shoot, the majority featured Jim sitting on a sofa in a bare room talking to camera.

Brief clip of the start of the Shadowland promo video.

Panning shot across London from a rooftop looping around to focus on the photo-shoot.

Caption: Why A Solo Album Now?
JK: For me the last couple of years have revolved around writing songs again; probably 80% of my time is doing that. And it presented what became a nice problem because there was a volume of material. Some of it sounded to me like it wouldíve fitted with Simple Minds but a lot of it sounded like it wouldnít fit. I liked what I was hearing but it created a dilemma: what was I going to do?

I certainly didnít want to start another band because I like the band Iím in Ė I love the band Iím in and thereís a lot more to come from the band Iím in. And I didnít want to do a normal "blank" Jim Kerr album as it just didnít get the creative juices going. So I had to come up with this concept and, of course, the concept I came up with was Lostboy! And I donít think I wouldíve been able to do that before now.

The music itself was taking me back, there was a sense of nostalgia that was taking me back to a time and place. Not only a musical time and place but a time and place of my own life, a period when I was between 18 and 22 Ė obviously not quite a boy but not a man either. And I started to imagine if that kid had access to the studio I have access to, access to the musicians, access to the equipment: what kind of music would he make now given from what I could recall of his passions. And all of that really came to me in the last year. Iíd never ever thought of doing anything outside of Simple Minds up until now.

Caption: Retro Futuristic?
JK: For me thereís a real mystery going on at the heart of the Lostboy! sound. Because on one hand, from early on in, there was definitely an element of the nostalgia hence the name and hence the idea that it was taking me back to the past Ė to my own past and but also back to the past in terms of the genre of the music which I was listening to post-punk and the period before Simple Minds really took off. But at the same time, the album is a very much a contemporary sounding record and some have even said that it sounds like futuristic music. So I think maybe thereís some loop going on there, some mysterious loop, and, of course, everyone when they come to listen to it will come with their own perceptions.

I like when you get glimpses of feelings and glimpses of sensations. I wouldnít be enough to say itís a nostalgic record because that would be pointless: you canít go back. You can maybe refer to an atmosphere that reminds you of the past, or you can refer to the idea of the idea of tomorrow, but I would like to think that the character Lostboy! is out in some limbo between past and future. And thatís where weíre going to take the music from.

Caption: Is This The End Of Simple Minds?
JK: I can understand, with me coming out with a new Lostboy! project, that many people might think that this is the end of Simple Minds or does this mean a lesser Simple Minds. And in fact thatís not how itís going to work. I intend to grow Lostboy! in parallel with Simple Minds over the next few years. Simple Minds will come out with a new album every three or four years and tour extensively Ė itís the years in between where I really intend to grow Lostboy! And Iím already working on what will be The Return Of The Lostboy, the second album.

Caption: Many New Bands Quote You As An Influence, How Does That Feel?
JK: I felt like I really wanted to cover a lot of bases with Lostboy! There was a huge part of me that wanted to have great pop songs, really up-front pop songs, and I think the album starts off with the first four or five songs that are structured towards that. I think theyíve got great atmospheres and I think although the pop songs are edgy pop songs, but what I like is the album starts to develop, the next five or six tracks are a lot more experimental. And indeed it reminds me also of the music I used to listen to in the post-punk period: XTC, early Magazine, John Foxx, Ultravox Ė stuff like that. Itís been a big influence on Lostboy!

And in fact that even brings to question the idea of being influenced. Iím pretty sure from what I read in here that there are a fair amount of bands being influenced by the work Iíve been involved in during the years. For a while there was no-one mentioning Simple Minds but hardly a day goes past now where people like the Editors, Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand Ė and so on and so forth, are coming out and saying they liked the genre of music that we were making and the genre of music we were part of.

Caption: Will Lostboy! Play Live?
JK: I knew from the first couple of tracks we put together, I knew from the first couple of songs I wrote with Jez Coad (the producer of Lostboy!) that Lostboy! was definitely born to play live. Because I think the music is fantastically dynamic, and like other things Iíve been involved in the past, Iím up another few gears when we play live so Iím obviously looking forward to not only the release of the album but within a week of the album release we do our first set of dates and they really are back where we started in the smallest rock clubs throughout the UK and indeed Europe.

Of course that will be a change for me having been used to much bigger venues over the last decades but I think Lostboy! has to go out and earn his stripes, he got to go in at the bottom level and hopefully really blow people away. I think itíll be quite a surreal experience for me and a surreal experience for people whoíve followed Simple Minds through the years to see me in this tiny club. But whatís more important is that they feel this really powerful music that I want to take around the world and that I want to grow quick and artistically as much as I can over the next few years.

Caption: Nervous?
JK: As I sit now just three weeks away from the first Lostboy! gig and itís been a while since Ė I donít think nervous is the right word but a certain edgy excitement Ė it probably is nerves because Iíve never done this before. Iíve never played with these musicians, Iíve never gone on and played a full set of brand new songs, even in our early days Simple Minds [for] our first gig [we] played five or six songs Ė but this will be fourteen, fifteen or sixteen songs never played live before and also the fact that itís a new band as well. Itís quite a challenge but the goal really is to really show the potential. Great live bands only become great through playing non-stop and playing year on year on year. Obviously Lostboy! is starting from point A so we donít have that; itís time to get our chocks together and hit the ground running.

Iím convinced the potential of the project will come across equally as vivid live as Iím convinced it does on the record. And that is the goal. But Iím getting nicely nervous about it and thatís just a fact.

Caption: Is The Music Like Simple Minds?
JK: To me I think itís obvious that thereís a visible borderline when you listen to the album. I think there are two or three songs that couldíve been from a Simple Minds album, the rest of the songs Ė I donít really see it that way. I think thatís very normal Ė unless Iíd gone to do an American song book record or some world music project then that wouldíve been obviously very, very different. But I was really going back to a period of music that in fact influenced Simple Minds themselves Ė so I think itís obvious that there would be a connection or a quite deliberate connection apart from being the voice of both projects. But I think the one thing is whereas Iím really happy with the first Lostboy! record, I also see a lot of growth can occur. And itís going to take two or three records for what I hope to be, when they hear it, theyíll say ďthatís Lostboy! music.Ē Simple Minds will always be there but itís going to take two or three records to really evolve into its own distinctive thing. And I think thatís fair enough because even Simple Minds themselves took two or three records to grow something of themselves out of their collective influences.

Caption: Why So Many Different Record Formats?
JK: Iím really delighted that we are releasing the album in various formats because the musical industry, the landscape of it, has changed so much. But I knew when I grew up, listening to records, that it was just the more the merrier. And I think just now when you see that Ė first of all we really recorded a lot of stuff, a lot of quality stuff that was beyond the normal amount you would expect for a CD, so there is that. But I think the kind of people that listen to our music, my music, they like the artwork, they like the bonus tracks, they like the remixes, they like the vinyl, they like to have the whole thing and a project to me does not feel complete unless all of these formats of there. Of course, the main thing is that every one of them has to be quality within itself but I think when you do that it really adds up to a fully fledged release. And in fact, weíre already looking to going beyond that and maybe come with a version two of the album later on.

Caption: What Do Charlie And The Rest Of Simple Minds Think?
JK: Throughout the last few months has been strange days Ė even today Ė when I get a feeling that Iím looking around the studio and itís empty and Iím thinking: ďWhereís the guys? Whereís the guys that Iíve grown up with? Whereís the guys that Iíve been playing with over the last decade?Ē Itís strange not to have them around and for moments it was strange in the studio for instance not to look over and see Charlie Burchill whoís always been there when Iíve been working. Thereís certainly been a few moments when we really needed his talents but I am really guilty of wanting my cake and eating it here: Simple Minds are going to continue and itís a great thing but I was hankering for a blank page, I was hankering for a new experience. I guess having celebrated more than thirty years together maybe a little light went on in my head that said itís a great story but is this only story in life? Is there only one act? And obviously in my case Iíve decided that it doesnít have to be. But thatís not to say that I donít miss the guys. On the other hand, what Iíve also liked about the project is that weíre really fast on our feet: Simple Minds would have ten weeks in the studio to record, Lostboy! would have ten days. So in fact there really wasnít any time to miss anybody. We just had to get on with it.

Youíll notice I say ďweĒ because although this is called a solo project, in fact it was a great team who I work with. And Iím not going to leave one set-up to another set-up which is in any way lesser. So, I miss the guys but Iím working with some great new guys as well Ė and some familiar faces too: Mel Gaynor played on the album, he insisted on playing on the album when I first thought itíll wouldnít be a good idea he said: ďYouíve got to use me. Iím the best.ĒAnd he is the best. So he threatened me. Jez Coad playing guitar is one of the great strengths on the album, heís produced two Simple Minds albums, he knows how I work and I know how he works. It was new but it wasnít entirely new. But of course I miss the guys but at the same time, I donít have too much time on my hands to miss anything.

Caption: Facebook, Twitter, Myspace?
JK: Itís so hard to believe that the relationship that exists just now with the new media can exist Ė in fact quite a lot of people will get in touch with me on Facebook and say ďItís not you. Itís know itís not you. Itís someone else.Ē But if itís the page Iím talking about then it is me Ė so no excuses there. But it is very hard to imagine Ė you couldnít have imagined this Ė we didnít even imagine this on our last album with Simple Minds if Iím honest. But itís something that weíve grown. And I get excited and the fans do the night before weíre offering a free download or the feedback Ė people really appreciate it first and foremost and anything thatís making you excited is encouraging you. Their encouragement is crucial to your work, it really does inspire you to carry on further. So for me the whole new media thing that has come up and the whole direct contact with fans online is one of the greatest things thatís happened.

Caption: Lostboy! Country?
Germany has given us such fantastic support and seemed to really understand what I was doing and what the band was doing. I obviously hoped this will continue with Lostboy and thatís why I went first to Max Vaccaro at Edel who within one day had listened to it and felt that it would be right for the markets there and of course there are other places that have similarly: Italyís been a place thatís a second home to me, of course my real home in Scotland has always given us great, great support but itís amazing that thereís some places you think ďThis could work well.Ē And that gave me a very, very confident feeling going into this.

Brief clip of the end of the Shadowland promo video.

Available as streaming media from the official website or as a special promotional DVD (see below).

the kids said:
"More clips from the photoshoot please."

collectors' information
The EPK was pressed up on a handful of promotional DVDs. Only one or two have ever surfaced:

Many thanks to Otto for the scan.

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Kobalt Title Screen

EPK Title Screen

Studio interview with Jim

Park segment

Record shop segment