21 Questions with My Morning Jacket's Jim James [Music]

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This article appeared in the October 2010 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.

My Morning Jacket returns to Louisville Oct. 29 for a hometown show at the new basketball arena. We going to hear some new material?

You betcha.

Weirdest place you’ve been recognized?

James Lipton from Inside the Actors Studio once recognized me in the bathroom at Late Night With Conan O’Brien. That was pretty surreal.

Coolest perk to being in My Morning Jacket?

I believe it’s best that I do not share that with you here!!!

Earliest childhood memory?

A giant orange Easter bunny standing above my crib with sunlight pouring in behind him. He is just staring at me with all the power of god and the universe in his gaze. But I’m just a wee babe; I can’t quite understand yet.

What song’s been stuck in your head lately?

“Danny Boy,” by Sil Austin.

Your drink?

Coconut water.

Best Louisville bar?

I only drink at home alone while listening to sad Eagles songs.

What film has had the greatest influence on your life?

2001: A Space Odyssey.

“ __________________________’s Louisville” should be the next banner on the side of a building.

Not to be mean, but honestly, I don’t like those banners. It makes it seem like the city is trying to prove something. Louisville is an awesome town, regardless of what famous icons are from here. Perhaps the banners should celebrate our parks, cool local businesses or attractions.

All-time favorite Louisville restaurant?

Zen Garden. It has the best-tasting (but still healthy) food.

Benedictine?

I hate cucumbers with all my body and soul and mind. They taste like dirty water.

All-time favorite Kentucky Derby winner?

I don’t eat horse.

Favorite bourbon drink?

Coconut water with bourbon in it.

Derby or Oaks?

The RiverBats. I love baseball.

Who’s somebody doing big things in Louisville and is flying under the radar?

I’m always preaching the virtues of Kevin Ratterman, the drummer for Wax Fang (opening for My Morning Jacket’s Louisville show) and also one of the greatest recording engineers around. He is the lifeblood of our city’s music scene, arguably our greatest musical asset. So much music would go unheard and unrecorded without him.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I’ve always wanted to play music in some positive capacity for as long as I can remember. I enjoy playing live but have also been very intrigued by music and art therapy, especially watching my good friend Brian Schreck work with his music-therapy patients at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Public or private school?

I went to private school (including St. Xavier High School). But in hindsight I wish I’d gone public because I believe it gives one a more all-encompassing experience.

What tattoos do you have?

One is my guardian angel. The other is a face my li’l bro drew when he was three. He couldn’t have any more cake — but he really wanted cake — so he drew a crying face on a napkin. I saved it for years and finally had it tattooed on my arm.

If Actors Theatre did a production about your life, what would it be called?

He Played With Food.

What’s something nobody knows about you?

I love to play ice hockey on the original Nintendo.

Will you ever get sick of playing “One Big Holiday” live?

I hope not.

Photo: Louisville Magazine

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