Singer-songwriter Jimmy Herrity emerged from the UK’s south coast – Brighton to be exact – gaining popularity with bands Submariner and Any Joy. Now, he has a solo project for a particular reason – the death of his brother. Jimmy sits with us to chat about his new single ‘April Fools Day’, entering the music industry and musical influences.
Why did you decide to enter the music industry?
I’ve always loved the idea of being able to do whatever you want. Creativity is the ultimate freedom because there aren’t really any rules. I remember hearing alternative music for the first time when I was younger after only being exposed to what I heard on the radio. This was pre-internet, so it felt like I’d been let in on a massive secret. There were these bands out there that wore crazy clothes and were so expressive about life.
‘April Fools Day’ seems to be a rather emotional track. Can you tell us about it?
My brother took his own life on April 1st 2019. It completely shattered me. I had never experienced loss and grief, so to have the closest person to me in the world die – there are no words. The shock wears off eventually, but you never get over it. You’re left with questions, regret, confusion, shame and all sorts of nasty stuff. So, yeah, the song is the first of many about that situation. It’s told from both mine and my brother’s perspectives using words from notes he left behind.
Was recording the track complicated or rather simple?
It was a little bit strange. I knew I wanted to release it on the anniversary, but we went into lockdown so I wasn’t able to get into the studio with my band Any Joy. I recorded what I could at home and then got in touch with Joe from Wild Front to see what he could record at his home studio. We bounced back and forth for a while and then I sent it to some of my Any Joy bandmates for a bit of input. I realised I was sitting on a lot of material that was written in the direct aftermath of my brother’s death, so I decided to start releasing it under my own name to keep me busy while I’m estranged from my band.
What is your favourite lyric from ‘April Fools Day’ if you have one?
It would have to be: “I wrote some notes and scrunched them up, nothing is quite good enough; I am so sorry, man” or “I won’t go, I will stay and even though it brings me pain I hope my memory of you never fades”
Do you have a specific creative process?
I’m all about the feeling. I have to be in some sort of emotional state to write anything I consider worth writing. I often get inspired by moments in movies and then pick up my guitar and start recording.
If you had to compare yourself to other artists, who would they be?
I was listening to a lot of Cigarettes After Sex while writing ‘April Fools Day’. I’ve been told I have a similar voice which is nice to hear!
Describe your sound in a single sentence.
Sad, honest and slightly progressive.
What do you hope people will take from ‘April Fools Day’ and your music in general?
I’ve listened to so much music while grieving; for me, it’s like escaping to a place where someone understands. I really do believe sometimes that music can say what words alone can’t. I hope anyone that’s going through a hard time can listen and find some solace.
What influences your music?
In terms of other artists, Damien Rice and Julien Baker are huge influences for me. Two people that can absolutely break my heart with just a voice and a guitar.
Do you have any message for our readers?
Stay safe, create as much as you like, but don’t put pressure on yourself. Now is the time to rest and restore. The world we live in is a crazy one so hug your loved ones, say nice things to yourself and make the meal you’ve always wanted to make.