A conversation with Jamie Turner about “How Lost I Would Be Without You”

Q: Hi! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your song “How Lost I Would Be Without You”?

A: Hello, sure! “How Lost I Would Be Without You” was written about the people who always have your back when life throws you a curveball. Most people I hope are lucky enough to have loving friends or family in their life that can offer that kind of support, I’m very grateful that I have that and this song very much took inspiration from all of them.

Q: How did you approach the songwriting process for this track?

A: I had the main hook in my head for a few weeks and a vague idea of the vocal melody but hadn’t yet put pen to paper. Earlier this year I was playing a show a few hours out of town with an artist I play keys for, my dear friend Angie Colman. I’d struggled with a bad batch of mental health that week and let’s just say the show on my end was a complete disaster. I took my newly refurbished Wurlitzer keyboard out for the first time after spending a large amount of time and money restoring it. I was loading it into the venue and managed to trip over it, breaking two of the legs off of it and causing the electronics to dislodge which I found out about when the keyboard shorted and lost power about 30 seconds into the set. Normally a series of events like that would lead me into a complete state of panic, but I remember Angie and the rest of the band being so calm and supportive about it. Without hesitation they helped me tape the legs back onto the keyboard in the dark and reassured me that everything was totally fine. Later that night on the long drive home I remember thinking how grateful I was to have people like that in my life. I wrote the entire lyrics of the song by the time I got home.

Q: You recorded “How Lost I Would Be Without You” using a vintage Tascam 388 8-track. How did this choice of equipment impact the sound and feel of the song?

A: It’s such a great machine to record on, i’ve become very familiar with using it other last the few years. It forces me to commit to the sound of each part i’m recording and make sure I get the takes just right as i’m laying them down. There’s little room for error and not much tweaking you can do once the part is recorded. I also enjoy limiting myself to only having 8 tracks, it changes the way you think about arranging a song.

Q: Your music has been compared to the likes of Paul McCartney, Harry Nilsson, and the Electric Light Orchestra. How do you feel about these comparisons, and how have these artists influenced your work?

A: That is a huge compliment, i’m flattered! They have all influenced me a lot in my songwriting and production approach. This song in particular took huge inspiration from those artists, especially when it came to the string arrangement, i’ve always loved how a lot of tracks from the 1970’s often used strings to drive the hook of a song.

Q: You have a background with the band The High Learys. How has your experience with the band shaped your solo career?

A: That was the first time i’d ever fronted a band. It was a big step for me as musician as it introduced me to singing and writing songs. The High Learys formed when I was quite young and fortunatley led me to discover lots of great music from the 60’s and 70’s. Most of which are still a huge source of inspiration to the music that I make now.

Q: Can you share some insights into your home recording studio, “Hum Drum,” and how it has contributed to your creative process?

A: Hum Drum is my favourite place on earth! When I first started playing music as teenager and performing in bands I was living with my Parents. They very kindly sacrificed their double garage at the front of their house to build a soundproof studio for me. The walls are lined with purple velvet, the ceiling is bright red and I have my collection instruments and recording equipment set up and ready to go anytime of day. I spend alot of time in there and i’m so grateful to have that creative space, it’s my happy place.

Q: What are some of your biggest musical influences, both from the past and present?

A: Artists like Paul McCartney, Todd Rundgren and Emitt Rhodes are all big musical influences for me, I admire them all coming from well accomplished bands to then writing, recording and producing incredible work all completley by themselves. There are many modern artists that I love at the moment, like The Lemon Twigs, Foxygen, Jacco Gardner, Kesmar, Via Mardot, The Secret Beach and Michael Rault to name a few. All of them in my eyes are producing incredible music and have seriously mastered the art of writing, playing and production all in one.

Q: How has your sound evolved since your early days with The High Learys?

A: I’d like to think that i’ve matured both as a songwriter and as a musician. A big thing I feel i’ve learnt since starting The High Learys is that i’ve now found “my voice” and I feel I can now sing songs in a natural way without having to try sound like someone else.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about being a multi-instrumentalist and singer- songwriter?

A: Although I love collaborating with other musicians, I really like having control over my songs and their parts. When I go into Hum Drum to record my music I know exactly what i’m capable of in terms of the performance and the tone I can get. The ability to make my own choices while writing and recording is defientley the most rewarding part of being a solo artist.

Q: What can fans expect from you in the future, in terms of new music or live performances?

A: I’ve been writing lots lately and i’m hoping to releasing as much music as possible. I don’t have any huge desire to play my music live just yet. Perhaps i’ll feel differently about it one day, but for now i’m happy just hiding away in my studio and recording my songs, that to me is where I always get the most enjoyment out of music.