My Morning Jacket - Okonokos (GOOD TO GO)

I got the name in a dream

Article by Finbarr Bermingham | 12 Nov 2006
On the eve of the release of their debut live LP, The Skinny caught up with singer, songwriter and founder member of My Morning Jacket's ever fluctuating line up, Jim James. James' personal appearance is, oddly enough, rather reflective of what is to be expected at a MMJ live show, with 'Okonokos' being no exception: his untrammelled facial hair has parallels with the omnipresent musical liberation of an MMJ gig.

Four albums in, what is the thinking behind the release of a live album and DVD?

"It's a big part of what we do," James offers. "We wanted to make a live album that sounded good; like a studio album, but live. We've never been able to do that until now. It has always been a dream for us." The result of this dream is 'Okonokos', the title of which was also stumbled upon in 'The Land of Nod'.

"I wanted it to be a thing where we were playing somewhere in a forest. It didn't matter where it was, whether it was Scotland or the USA. It didn't matter at all. I got the name in a dream; I wrote it down on a bedside table; I wanted it to be open to interpretation: I think that's how it turned out."

But does the release of a live album now mean we have to wait another 12 months for a 'proper album'? "Probably. At the end of the year we'll start rehearsing and recording. It'll be a while but I've been doing a lot of writing."

James tells the Skinny that, growing up, Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem were his favourites, and he expects the next album to be influenced by their 'sound'. If we'll have to make do with 'Okonokos' for now, then, well: thank God for small mercies.
Okonokos (DVD), a live concert film directed by Sam Erickson, is out now.