Spindle Exclusive: Chris James The Force (Song For Dylan)

Chris James of Stateless has joined in with Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ 100th birthday celebrations with a brand new song inspired by one of Thomas’ most famous poems – The force that through the green fuse drives the flower.

The Force (Song for Dylan) is available as a free download in either WAV or MP3 on Chris James’ Tumblr, and now Spindle can EXCLUSIVELY premiere the beautiful new video here!

We caught up with Chris to talk about what inspired him to make the song:

Firstly, congrats on the song and video!

THANKYOU.

How did you come up with the idea to do the Dylan Thomas song?

I wasn’t approached by anybody, I’m a huge Dylan Thomas fan. I read him all the time, and I just had the idea to do it – the poem is so incredible it just inspired me to do it. I don’t remember over thinking it, it all happened naturally and in a very organic way.

So you were you a Dylan Thomas fan beforehand? 

Yes, I love his poems especially. His use of language is completely unique. I’ve never read anyone else like it and it’s a constant source of inspiration for me. I also used to love listening to the audio book of Under Milk Wood on my iPod when I was travelling around.

Setting a very famous poem to music must have been very daunting! How did you approach the task?

I didn’t really think about it, just because I suppose it’s my dedication to him and it’s about my love of his work. I honestly didn’t over think it. In a weird kind of way, it just sort of happened. I was working with a very talented piano player and composer called Nick Ramm, and between us we wrote all the parts, then I added all the guitars afterwards.

Both the song and video have a very simple, stripped down approach; was that done to better showcase Thomas’ words? 

Yes, absolutely. The words are so powerful. I just wanted to try and create music that evoked the emotion.

So, can you tell us a bit about your forthcoming album?

Sure. It’s kinda minimal – sparse in places, then lots of layers in others. It’s atmospheric and totally organic. It’s mostly acoustic guitar and piano, with subtle use of electric guitars, and I have an amazing contribution from the renowned string group the Balanescu Quartet, a song I wrote with a string arrangement composed by Alexander Balanescu.

And do you have any other exciting projects in the pipeline you want to let us know about?

Yes, we have a new Stateless project, featuring an amazing producer called Blue Daisy, it’s a submersive multi-media project.

We’re also working on the next full length Stateless LP with an awesome producer Damian Taylor (Bjork, The Prodigy).

Check out the new song below, and you can keep up on Twitter with Chris James and Stateless.

Words: Thomas Dearnley-Davison