Jamie’s saxophone tie didn’t always hit the right noteThe diminutive tech-loving ivory tinkler never goes anywhere without a music gadget or two…
My iPhone has become like another limb
I do everything on it, from listening to music and making phone calls to emails, games and finding out what I’m supposed to be doing! I worship my Leica M8 camera, especially as I get to visit some interesting places and sometimes I end up with lots of time on my hands. Then there’s my Rega Planar turntable… I couldn’t choose between them! I’d love a teleport device. That would take the most difficult bit out of touring.
I never leave the house without my portable music gear
I have two keyboards that I travel with. One is a Line 6 keyboard that plugs straight into my laptop via USB. I always have a Korg nanoKEY as well – a tiny keyboard that’s very useful when you’re sitting on a plane and want to do some beats or get a melody down. I really love the Yamaha Tenori-on too. It’s a little thing that’s great for mucking about with on the bus or backstage.
I find music games difficult
My brain is wired to know where the notes are on a real guitar, so the timing is slightly different if you’re used to playing it for real. I did have a go at one – and I enjoyed it – but I was terrible, I was thinking about it too much. I think a lot of musicians find it hard to play those games.
I like the simplicity of Twitter
As a music fan myself, when I’m really into an artist I’m interested to know what they’re up to and how the tour’s going. I like the easy interaction with people who listen to your music. I like to say what records I’m listening to, and if the show went well. It breaks down a lot of barriers. I’m not a big sharer in the sense that I’m not desperate to tell everyone about my personal life, but I do love to share my enthusiasm for music.
Tech can make us stupid
I think our attention span is really being eroded, and our ability to communicate with people and concentrate on things is getting worse and worse. I see it in myself; if I’ve spent too much time messing around with technology and then I try to read, I find myself losing concentration. Sometimes I ban myself from my phone for a couple of hours, pretend it’s run out of battery, pick up a book and just read. Old-fashioned analogue entertainment: you just can’t beat it, really.
Technology has frightened the music industry
But I think you can only embrace it. You have a direct link to your fans, it’s easier than ever to record high quality music, easier than ever to distribute music, easier than ever to tell your fans what you’re up to and where your gigs are. One thing we all know is that the geeks will always win. It’s an exciting new world.
Jamie Cullum is touring the UK now. For dates and full information see www.jamiecullum.com, or you can follow him on Twitter: @jamiecullum