Interview with Jay James Picton – Heads vs Hearts

Blurring the lines between cinema and music, Jay James Picton’s three part music film series, Heads vs Hearts let’s the music tell the story.

Deeply seeped in Americana (in both aesthetic and sound) it might surprise you to learn that Jay James Picton is actually a Welshman who was in the navy until 6 years ago when he left to pursue a career in music.

The series plays out a narrative of destructive love and desire in a one-sided relationship. With undertones of paranoia and a feeling of approaching danger throughout.

Battle Call tells of the constant fight to want to be with someone you know you shouldn’t really be with:

With Long May They Roll Jay continues to express his desire to stay with his love despite their relationship troubles.

Heads Vs. Hearts explores a deep set paranoia set off by losing the woman he loves concluding in a dramatic metaphoric depiction where the character loses his mind in the game and battle of love.

We recently got a chance to catch up Jay James Picton, here’s what he had to say:

TQS: We really enjoyed the Heads vs Hearts series and were particularly interested in the cinematic nature of the collection. Why did you decide do this?

JJP: “Presenting the four songs in such a concept felt apt for how I personally connect to the meanings of each. In putting them together in such a way they seamlessly link experiences or metaphoric thoughts and emotions that make perfect justifiable sense for a trilogy concept or short film piece, the fact I was obviously introducing my music and ‘Play it by Heart’ was also a great motivator.

John Carpenter once said ‘Movies are about making mental things physical’ I relate to that in a way, sometimes people can really connect to the music for other reasons then the intended true meaning, by introducing via a purpose written concept i.e presenting a narrative with no script but having the music tell the story people could both hear, see and feel what I was trying to express and hopefully relate.

I have a massive tendency to see visions of certain things like the film play out in my head when I write lyrics and songs, that I’d say played the initial inspiration. It also felt like an exciting concept to make reality. ”

TQS: We felt  Heads vs Hearts had a real feel of Americana (and even maybe a splash of Tarantino), was that intentional?

JJP: “I would credit the random fact I really wanted to collaborated with Dave Wilson on this concept, he happened to be in Minneapolis at the time and did a few test shots with the DoP Ryan Thompson, on seeing the shots I genuinely thought the feel & stylistic approach married the rawness to the tracks and concept perfectly. It was then a no brain creative decision thats where it would be filmed. I’m a massive fan of Tarantino although I’m not sure any splashes we’re intensional but maybe subconsciously. ”

TQS: Do you have plans to make any more film in the future or is music your true passion?

Definitely! But music is the true and focussed passion right now, undoubtedly I’ll be incorporating both at every opportunity. Currently working on a treatment for the official video for the 1st single.

TQS: Is the relationship depicted based on actual girlfriend? (If so, will you be sending it her to watch!?)

JJP: “yea and no, I’m sure it’ll be viewed.”

TQS: When can we expect to see you on the road and do you have any plans to make it to Leeds?

JJP: YEA!! Buzzed to be going out on tour with Rebecca Ferguson from mid Feb! not sure if Leeds is on the dates but we’ll defo be close!! I’d love to come play Leeds!!

“Always lose my head, when I Play It By Heart” links the films and inspired emotions from a tattoo that lays above Jay’s heart. It’s also the name of the debut album “Play It By Heart” which is set for release in 2012.

Jamie McHale

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