October 2, 2022

The Electric Prunes… Interview with James Lowe.

THE ELECTRIC PRUNES are an American Amazing and Great Psychedelic Rock Band, formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1965 the band still alive until today… with the only original member JAMES LOWE, who is a part of music history, in all around of the world.

The current members of the band are James Lowe – lead vocals, harmonica, percussion, theremin, guitar (1965–1968, 1999–present), Steve Kara – lead guitar, backing vocals (2003–present), Jay Dean – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2004–present), Walter Garces – drums (2006–present), Rocco Guarino– bass, backing vocals (2013–present).

Living in the past in the first year’s active of the band, we shall see addition, guitarist Ken Williams’ and singer James Lowe’s concept of “free-form garage music” provided the band with a richer sonic palette and exploratory lyrical structure than many of their contemporaries.

Today at THE ELECTRIC PRUNES concerts, the singer James Lowe with the current members of the band, they create a special sense of sound that travels us from the past to the present.

THE ELECTRIC PRUNES, years active are from 1965- 1970 and from the year 1999-present and the band releases are 11 Amazing Albums, 31 Singles & EPs also 7 Compilations and 1 Video.

THE ELECTRIC PRUNES …΄΄ WAS΄΄ is the last studio album of the band with 15 songs. This album is a Collection of the Historical Final Ideas and Messages between the bass guitarist MARK TULIN and the front man JAMES LOWE.

΄΄ WAS ΄΄ … the album  is a real blast of music energy and it is necessary for all  the fans of music , to have it in the collection of their albums… Buy it now!

INTERVIEW WITH THE LEGENDARY … JAMES LOWE!

Athenscalling.gr: Hi James… it is a great moment chatting you… Because you are a part of music history,all around of the world. Welcome in Athenscalling.gr!

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): Thenk you very much. Greece is in our hearts always. We love the people.

Athenscalling.gr: Where are you now and how pass all the pandemic crazy days for you? Here are you now and how pass all the pandemic crazy days?

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): Living between Santa Barbara, California and Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Hiding when necessary! Ha ha ha…

Athenscalling.gr: I think that you are in the music scene from 1965 with The Sanctions until today with The Electric Prunes… How do you feel about it?

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): I had forgotten how much fun it was until 1999 when we started touring and recording again. Music has changed but we still dance the same!

Athenscalling.gr: 57 years in your career and in all of these years if you want, choose please your best moment…

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): Well, my best moment was hearing our song on the car radio as we drove to a gig in Seattle. Just hearing the DJ say our name and hearing the music coming out of the dashboard was something we had dreamed about … and now it was here! We stopped the driver and all got out and started punching each other and running all over the highway…. Crazy!

Athenscalling.gr: … And your bad moment?

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): We played a gig at Culver City High School and we had just gotten back into LA after live dates. Our manager told us we were going to play the Mass in F minor live! We had not rehearsed that music since recording itso we knew it would be pretty hard to play it well. The night came and many musicians were assembled for the gig. $ singers from the Smothers Brothers TV show. A conductor and 25 musicians in all. Boom! it was HORRIBLE …. from the first note it sounded like a car crash. Finally, someone in the audience yelled “play the hit…! it is a night I will never forget!

Athenscalling.gr: Living in your past… Do you remember at what age you discovered the world of music?

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): I do. I remember at 14 going to a Rec center and they had a piano … there was a guy there who knew some chords and he taught me how to play a boogie woogie song. I was hooked!! Later I learned the guitar when I went to Hawaii and a friend of mine showed me some songs (he played the banjo). We played around at some bars and I got the bug for live gigs. This helped me later with the EP.

Athenscalling.gr: Let’s talk now about THE ELECTRIC PRUNES and the amazing psychedelic rock song ΄΄ I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)΄΄ and if you want tell the story about it and why is your opinion that the song stay alive till today?

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): We had stayed in Mark’s garage trying to write some songs and rehearsing material to try and get a record deal. Many people did this but we played in that garage for almost a year. We were introduced to Dave Hassinger (he was working with the Rolling Stones) at the time. He agreed to produce us and we recorded a few songs till TMTDLN was presented to us by Annette Tucker and Nancy Mantz. The song sounded like a country ballad on a demo they gave us but Dave suggested we take it and add some breaks and spice it up a bit. We worked in the garage on it and finally started recording the basic track as we had changed it. The song was recorded in pieces as we were using 4 track to record (that was all there was!) We added some thunder drums and backward guitars and I sang to the much altered track. It was an unusual song but no one said it was a hit. They thought it was too weird at that time 1966. Well, someone in Seattle played it in 1967 and it took off! Suddenly we were in demand. Why all this still mattered today was a surprise to us? I could not believe anyone still knew that song or the group in 1999? I am still surprised when people know about that song or the Electric Prunes today. It is ancient history, after all I guess?

Athenscalling.gr: THE ELECTRIC PRUNES in the year 2022, any news for the band maybe about a new album or about a tour?

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): The events of the day sort of ended our live gigs a few years back but the boys LOVE to play for people and are tugging at my sleeve to get back on the road. We have material in the can to release another album and if we decide to play again I am sure this will happen. Maybe a short spin around the Greek Isles????

Athenscalling.gr: Something questions now special for you and tell us please your best hobby…

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): I was very into Windsurfing till I had some surgery and got scared I would kill myself if I missed a landing so I got into gardening and ballroom dancing (just kidding!) I collect antiques and records now and will soon put my recording studio back together. That is my real love.

Athenscalling.gr: And about the music and the cinema, who are your favorites artists in music and cinema?

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): Cinema: Willim Dafoe, Jeff Bridges, Sam Elliot …  Music: Jeff Lynne, SPARKS,  Stones. 

Athenscalling.gr: War in Ukraine, what is your opinion about it?

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): All I can offer is sadness. When one person attacks another for no reason you can only surmise one thing. I see the images of people afraid and running for their lives and it frightens me. I can easily imagine it is my family running like that!I have Russian friends in the Dominican Republic and they are kind loving people. It is hard to imagine them hurting anyone. SENSELESS is the only word that applies here. Crazy! Hope someone brings some smarts to the party!

Athenscalling.gr: O.k James let’s play now a game with your name … JAMES and please fill in the blanks with any words you like, (J)….(A)…(M)…(E)…(S)…

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES):

(J ) just a guy who is just (I hope)

(A) amore for all who are kind and just!

(M) mother, my most important influence. She tried to keep me on the path!

(E ) has to be Electricity .. the most important force in my lifetime.

(S ) sympathetic, something I work at daily in an effort to understand my fellow man. Tho it is tough at times everyone has a story… you just have to listen!

Athenscalling.gr: A… before my last question, once you told us that you are a record collector… do you remember what was the first record you bought?

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): Little Richard…. The King!  Les Paul/Mary Ford….. 2 at once!

Athenscalling.gr: And the last one give your message to the people.

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): A big THANK YOU for letting us come back and play it again for you! This was something we never expected to do again and the audiences have been kind and attentive. The feeling has been the same as in 1967 after our gigs … happy guys with a song in our hearts! Well, maybe a little weird song… ha ha 

Athenscalling.gr: Thank you James stay healthy and a young boy for ever.

JAMES LOWE (THE ELECTRIC PRUNES): I will try till the end! electricprunes67@Gmail.com … We love to hear your comments (even if they are not so good …;-)  Rock On!

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