“We’re the perennials,” said James lead singer Tim Booth, pausing in the shade at Rolling Stone‘s Coachella Rock Room. “When we started, we were 16-year-olds who’d stolen their equipment from another band who was loading out. We didn’t know how to play an instrument so we took a long time learning.”
Now, James has a proper box set to celebrate their 30-year career: The Gathering Sound, out July 16. It compiles the Manchester, England rock band’s greatest hits, unreleased rareties and even a J-shaped USB drive preloaded with the band’s 10 studio albums. The band conducted plenty of research for it, although Booth isn’t one to play his own material often. “I never listen to anything we’ve done. Once every 10 years, when I’m on drugs, to get a different perspective,” he admitted with a grin.
Interview by Stacey Anderson, video by Eric Helton