Jim Gleeson

A musician in my own mind

I've been banging around the periphery of the music scene since time out of mind. Bands get together, break up, sometimes dissolve before they are ever formed. When our first band was formed in the basement of my parent's house, Contraband was never going to see the light of day. Ditto could be said for another band twenty years ago known as E.O.L.or end of line. A high concept band where each album would be a different bit of punctuation. We'd also do a few dyslexic ELO covers just to mess with people. Bottom line, seven years of piano lessons (which means there are times I actually can read music) and a lifetime of singing does not a musician make. My higher range erodes as the years wear on. I mess around mainly in karaoke bars here in the deep south, working towards something, not sure what. I would never corrupt or dignify considering those as "gigs" as gigs are paid, and for the most part, we're an odd motley bunch, sitting about, paying for drinks and food and our small moments in what could be termed a dim spotlight. I have written music though,and maybe I'll arrange it, such as it is and place it. Kudos to all my fans, that fake Canadian girlfriend I have in Toronto as well as the other lovely ladies who are really men in Ghana that hit me up on various dating apps.







What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music is an auditory shower, clearing out the dirt in my heart and soul. That's why I sing in the shower. It shakes out the old, the corrupt, the unclean. It gives meaning to the meaningless. There is also something about the moment of evoking emotion, of bringing out the expressible. When words aren't enough.

What is your music dream?

I think I share this dream with many others. To play to a crowd and have them dig what it is you're trying to get down.To be part of a team that does it, a band that gels, and goes well beyond the sum of it's parts. To see it resonate and connect with others is the dream.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

If I could change the world, I would start with smile. I can change my own behavior, I can't change others. Something you get to know by rolling around on this little spec in space. That doesn't mean I won't try. That doesn't mean I won't hope and help where I can. But it also means that I'm off the hook when it comes to being in other's grills. Most of us have an idea of what needs to change, we just have to change it.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

This is difficult. There are so many. I remember taking long trips and listening to Chicago's Greatest Hits on eight-track. "25 or 6 to 4" was big as well as "Saturday in the Park" and "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It is?" So pick anything from Chicago, or even the odd dichotomy of the Statler Brothers. Also Barry Manilow's Copacabana. My parents would occasionally dance on the yellow shag carpet of my youth and that was one of the cheesy songs that would be played.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Billy Joel comes first. I liked music as a kid. The first album I got, aside from the Soundtrack of Star Wars (and that doesn't count does it?) was Xanadu, yes I know, bad movie. But Billy Joel was the first musician that really spoke to me, and it's sad now that he's not making any new music anymore. Since I've heard so much of his music played over and over, I like his more obscure songs now. "Summer, Highland Falls" "All You Wanna Do Is Dance" "Everybody Loves You Now" Here's a rundown of some other artists and bands I like. ABBA, The Beatles, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Eagles (even though the Dude cannot stand them, man) Fixx, Genesis, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Styx, Van Morrison, The Committments, Joe Cocker.

What inspires you to make music?

Here and there, it has been women mostly. It takes a relationship, that moment of connection, and elevates it, and it is something that needs to be sung, or written about. But never underestimate "fun" either. Fun is also a big part of why I make music.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

So many people want to send a message about their music, I am not into the whole political thing. We all have our thoughts and ideas about things, that is especially true nowadays, especially in the states. At least (so far) we are still civil about it. The lat thing anyone wants to hear about is my stance on things, because I guarantee you, if we drill down far enough we will disagree. The message I want to send is that at the end of the day, you'd be surprised how much we have in common. We still have to do our daily necessary's. We all have hopes and dreams. Some of us have been given good fortune. But fortunes end, and life will end up sucking for all of us. The question is what are we doing in the meantime? I hope dancing and singing is what we do until those days. Because it will make those days when it's not so great seem better. Also I want to embrace the cheese. Music is fun, and part of that is making fun of yourself, not how good you look in a loose fitting shirt and hair being blown by an unseen fan.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

When there is a connection, there is nothing like that feeling. But you have to understand, most of the time I am performing among peers. For the most part that is people talking with others about what they are going to sing when they hit the stage. Karaoke is not an accurate representation of an actual audience.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

A lot of touring, right? That's pretty much what it is. That's where the money is, not in downloads on iTunes, or at least that is what I am being told. However, because the pipeline for getting music out there is opened up, it's a blessing and a curse. Anyone can put their music out there, the problem also is, anyone can put there music out there. The problem is that pop music is still mainly a business, and it's all beginning to sound alike. There's videos of it on Youtube, but we know this to be true without even actually knowing this to be true.

What do you think of Drooble?

It's an interesting platform. I'm fairly new to it, so I'll have to see how it goes.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

I think it's finding that right group of like-minded people. And it's hit and miss. Half the time you don't know if your going to like who you are with down the line. It's like life, friendships take time, effort, and vulnerability. A lot of people don't want to put in the work. I've been closed off for a number of years, but in truth, it's not good trying to make it alone.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

I don't know that I do. What is my local scene? I do know there are bands about. I'd like to know where and what they are, but live performances....