JIMMY WHISPERS is a singular performer who has melted many hearts with his touchingly sincere organ pop. Jimmy took a few minutes from his time preping for tour to share a little about his love for hometown Chicago, lo-fi guru R Stevie Moore, and getting a rise out of the audience.
Mr. Whispers plays Boston THIS SATURDAY (6/7) with a bunch of other fine folk at The Womb, presented by B.O.W. Shows.
BOSTON HASSLE: What is your process like writing and recording. It seems very simple and straightforward – sort of off the cuff, recording your songs on your iphone with an organ. is it primarily an aesthetic choice (purposely lo-fi, like R Stevie Moore et al), or a practical one,or both? How long have you been doing it for? Are you satisfied with it or looking to do something different in the near future.
JIMMY WHISPERS: I’ve been recording that way for the past two or three years. It start as just a way to demo songs quickly. But the way I was doing it sounded really unique and had it’s own sound. So though it did started as a practical way of quickly recording as many songs as possible, it became an aesthetic choice.
BH: You’re reputation for engaging and unpredictable live performances precede you. How do you approach performing live? What is your intention, what do you seek, interacting with the audience. How would you characterize the general response?
JW: It’s been important for me to break down the barrier between audience and performer. Once I start doing that, the possibilities for each show have been endless.I believe in pure entertainment and I believe in pop songs. I try to read everyone participating. If there is a drunk ass bro trying to party hard, I’ll probably pour beer on him. If there’s some loner wallflower in the corner, I’ll probably try to get them to slow dance with a pretty girl. Every show I want to leave the audience feeling good about life and better connected with one another.
BH: What’s your relationship to Chicago, and how does it influence your music? Whats your relationship with other artist and performers in the city – would you characterize yourself as part of a certain ‘scene’ or community of artists? Who excites you about Chicago (and environs)?
JW: I was born and raised there, I love my city and it’s home to me. So much of my writing is about love and mercy, and there is a subtext on violence in Chicago. That’s what “Summer in Pain” is all about. Forgiveness and redemption.
As far as the music scene goes, Chicago can be kind of cliquey at times, but since I’m a weirdo loner and kind of hard to put a label on, I can just float between scenes and everybody is supportive and accepts me for the most part. I really appreciate that!
BH: You’re about to play with R StevIe Moore. It seems like he’s a particular inspiration for you and your music (via your tour diary with Impose) Would you agree? Can you say a little about Moore, and other artists and people that inspire you.
JW: I’ve played with Stevie a couple times now. He has been a great inspiration for me. He’s really done something profound and beautiful with his life and career, and all on his own terms. I wholeheartedly respect that. Not giving a shit and being yourself. A slow long build and leaving a legacy. I’d rather do that than be a commercially successful flash in pan. In my mind I think I’m doing Motown love songs and Madonna. But I can see how people have paired me up with R Stevie and other lofi weirdos like Gary Wilson.
BH: Any cool/crazy/wild stories from your tour so far?
JW: Yea, The tour just started! Nothing to report yet. I’m just happy to be back back on tour! I’ve been working 12-14 hour days the past bunch of weeks as a cab driver. Feeling like De Niro in Taxi Driver. Maybe I’ll go kill some pimps? Just playing. Forgiveness is for pimps too.
BH: What message do you have to city of Boston and New England in general?
JW: I love New England! It’s where America began, right? The land of you? The home of me? Love and mercy and justice for all! I got the blues, those red white and blues.
Catch Jimmy THIS SATURDAY (6/7) @ The Womb – presented by B.O.W. Shows