Jamie Myerson (aka Sky City): I'm Not Drum & Bass
Author: Jonty Adderley
Monday, February 17, 2003
Coming up via support from the likes of 4 Hero's Dego and Josh Wink's Philadelphia based label Ovum in the early 90s, it was perhaps inevitable that Jamie Myerson would be branded as drum & bass though these days he specialises in producing lush electronic melodic music that's miles from the material he first released.
His latest project, Going Gone, an album recorded under his pseudonym Sky City proves the point emphatically, being an accomplished, highly listenable collection of electronic song that would fit comfortably alongside Massive Attack or Adam Beyer. Though chatting down the line from his new home in Los Angeles, Jamie's anything but dark, being one of dance culture's friendliest and cheeriest of characters.
"I'm definitely one of those people who is affected by the weather, he told Skrufff's Jonty Adderley.
"And it's true that it never stops being sunny here in LA."
Skrufff (Jonty Adderley): I understand the album is themed around travelling, did the theme come before or after the music-
Jamie Myerson: "The inspiration definitely came from travelling but it's a loose link that came to me after driving across the country (America), seeing the landscapes then having time to think about what I'd seen. The main point of the trip was about moving house from the East Coast to the West Coast, from New Jersey to Los Angeles. There were other personal things going on in my life that were also mixed into the whole experience."
Skrufff: The cliche is that LA is the sunshine state with an uplifting vibe whereas New York is always supposed to be darker and more industrial, though to me the music sounds much more East Coast, does location affect your music-
Jamie Myerson: "Probably yes, because I'm definitely one of those people who is affected by the weather and it's true that it never stops being sunny here in LA. That definitely has an impact coming from the North-East where the weather is not dissimilar to what you experience in England in the winter, ie generally miserable with rain and snow, which I can't stand. Personal things going on in the North-east were another factor and they weren't too 'sunshine-y either."
Skrufff: What's your own take on singing your own songs-
Jamie Myerson: "I did it on one track on the album and that's the second attempt I've made on an album. I play live a lot acoustically, with just my voice and a guitar and do an acoustic show in Hollywood each month. I'm not a great guitar player or singer but I enjoy the show. It's a small bar but it's cool, it attracts diehard music fans coming to hear some songs, it's not a party."
Skrufff: How much do factors like crossing over enter the equation of your life, musically, for example, in the manner of Moby-
Jamie Myerson: "Obviously, I wouldn't mind the success factor of having a record crossover into the mainstream but I'm not really interested in being a full on front person or being a Moby-type figure, as far as the media exposure is concerned. I don't know how I'd handle that level of exposure, it's kinda' like 'I want the money but I don't want to be famous'. I enjoy making music and if it doesn't cross over that's not going to stop me doing it. If it does, then fine, more people get to hear my music which of course, is good. I look at someone like Alan Wilder's Recoil project as a good example (Wilder was formerly in Depeche Mode); he gets to do what he likes musically, without compromise, he gets to work with all these cool people, puts out great records, and has his following of people that respect him."
Skrufff: You're still associated with drum & bass to a certain extent, do you still feel attached to the genre-
Jamie Myerson: "Not at all, that label should have gone away a long time ago. When< Tags