Jim James is currently on the road with his solo band playing cuts from his recent LP Regions of Light and Sound of God, but he’s already thinking about My Morning Jacket‘s next album. “We’re going to start in October,” James tells Rolling Stone. “We’re in the process of nailing down a studio. So we’re going to start that in the fall, so I’m super excited about that.”
The band is looking at new locations after recording 2011’s Circuital in a church gymnasium in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. “We always try to do something a little different each time and we did that last time. We have a couple top-of-the-heap places we’re in the process of deciding what will work best.” As for the new songs, James says, “I’ve got a lot of ideas. I don’t know if anything’s come together yet. I’ve got a lot of starting places, I guess you could say.” Late last year, he told RS, “I have a new vision for it that is going to be super fun. But I don’t know if it’s going to work yet.”
After playing six Bonnaroos with MMJ, James is excited to hit the Tennessee fest next month on his own, leading the legendary late-night Super Jam session, billed this year as the Rock N’ Soul Dance Party Super Jam, featuring James, John Oates, Meters drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Bilal and Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham. “We’ve thought about it a lot,” says James. “It’s going to be a celebratory dance party where people just have a good time.”
But he’s also eager to indulge in his tradition of wandering the festival grounds like a fan. “I’ve seen so many amazing things there. A lot of my favorite memories have been running around after dark through the grounds and going out to the campgrounds. You just feel so wild and free, like you’re in an alternate universe. At Bonnaroo, the grounds are so huge, you really do get this alternate universe to go be a different person for a few days, and kind of reflect on the rest of your life and run around like a wild savage through the grass. Anything goes.
“There’s something about the place,” James adds. “I don’t know what to call it – maybe energetic resonance. I think people feel like they’re at home when they’re there. They feel welcome there, but there’s a spirit of adventure. You feel both, but you also feel this limitless possibility you get when you’re on an adventure.”