Hey folks, get ready to meet J.J. Chamberlain, the musician behind the track “Tired of Christmas,” a song that speaks to anyone tired of the crazy holiday commercialism. This tune is all about wanting Christmas to be more about chilling with family and friends, you know?
He’s all about the real stuff in life, pulling inspiration from everything around him. Growing up, music was like the soundtrack to his family life, from his dad’s painting sessions accompanied by tunes to his grandpa’s jazz singing during family gatherings.
No fancy music school for this guy—he taught himself. J.J. Chamberlain is heavily inspired by Kurt Cobain, he picked up the guitar and never looked back. J.J.’s not just about music, He’s super passionate about fairness for everyone and loves diving into some good food and coffee.
He’s got big plans, though. A whole album in the works and some cool collabs. J.J.’s all about connecting with fans and making tunes that really hit home.
So, grab a seat, and let’s dive into J.J.’s world of music, life, and everything in between.
Listen to Tired Of Christmas below
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What is your stage name?
Is there a story behind your stage name?
Not really, it’s my initials but when I first released Tired of Christmas, a lot of the streaming services put it out on the wrong profile as there was already an artist called John Chamberlain. There are probably still some platforms that have it out under the wrong artist, but if you see Tired of Christmas, just know that it’s MINE!
Where do you find inspiration?
I think the answer to that is life. There’s always something happening, I’m a really busy person, but I go through phases of prolific songwriting and it’s usually when I’m working through something. Possibly why my lyrics can be a little…emotional.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
It was everything. I remember my parents playing records while they cooked. That’s how I first discovered a lot of the music that I still listen to today. I associate Tom Waits with the smell of frying onions. He’d probably like it that way too.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Yeah, my Dad is a painter who has been quite active in recent years. He also plays guitar. My Grandfather was a singer in jazz bands and on Christmases gone by I remember the whole family singing old folk and traditional Irish songs. My brother plays bass with me in 2 bands (Box Time and Love Barons). It’s woven throughout my family, both historically and currently.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
I’ve always wanted to be in a band since I can remember, but never thought I’d end up being a songwriter. There are two people that continue to inspire me to write and create, neither of whom are still with us, sadly. One is my former friend and bandmate Lanfranco, I write a lot for him. There’s even a song dedicated to him that I’ll be putting out in the near future.
The other is my Uncle Will, who was just the coolest musician I ever knew. There’s not much he couldn’t do. He and my Dad had me playing one-note solos in their band when I was 4 years old.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
I’m self taught. I had violin lessons as a kid and then I discovered Kurt Cobain, before long I was playing guitar every day and night.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
My Dad was in a band called The Expanding Wallets and I’m pretty sure I was at his gigs before I was even born. My parents used to take me to festivals as a child. When I was a teenager, my first big concert was seeing The Rolling Stones at Wembley. I’d never seen anything like it.
How could you describe your music?
Bittersweet, happy-sad diary entries mostly. Sometimes I write angry songs but somehow they turn out upbeat. My lyrics often contradict the mood of the music. This is what happens if you bring your kids up on Punk-Rock, people!
Describe your creative process.
Depends really. In the past I used to write a guitar part first and then try to fit words and melodies to it, but recently I’ve flipped it and I’m often writing the lyrics before anything else. I don’t know why it happened but my brain decided it was a better idea and I actually think I’ve written some of my best songs since. It’s a quick way to fix a bad mood, write down your feelings about someone or something that has upset you, leave it and come back to it with new energy later on.
What is your main inspiration?
Hard to pinpoint, but I think it mostly comes from seeing other musicians perform live. I love watching everything from grassroots music events to big artists at the top of their game. It always makes me hungry to put stuff out there and get on a stage myself.
What musician do you admire most and why?
Hard to name any single musician here. I always loved Frank Zappa for having the guts to create his own label when all the majors turned him down. He was a true DIY artist. I really admire Mark Oliver Everett or ‘E’ from Eels for the same reason. The idea that everything can be done from home is inspiring.
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Massively. I was always the lead guitarist in other people’s projects until I formed Box Time and started writing my own songs which helped me to have the confidence to be a frontman.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
I don’t see other artists as competition, I think we’re all here to support each other in this game. If anything, the odds are stacked against us in terms of the way that the industry is structured. This is why we all need to help each other wherever we can. I’ve had some overwhelming support from some great artists recently and I’ll give that back however I can.
What are your interests outside of music?
I’m passionate about neurodiversity and equal rights. Also food, and coffee!
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
It would still be something in music. Maybe Film. I used to enjoy taking part in independent film projects.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
There are lots of little bumps in the road. I think the big problem in grassroots live music is promoters that are still operating with ticket systems that are practically pay to play. The problem lies mainly in London and major cities but the cut that bands take is so small compared to the money they earn for these promoters, and the “promotion” that takes place is often as little as a short Instagram story that lasts a day in return.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
The biggest issue at the moment is the closure of music venues. This is often down to decisions made by the government and the lack of finances. The arts aren’t taken as seriously as they should be. In the pandemic, the biggest insult to the arts was the government advising us all to “retrain.” That tells you everything you need to know about their attitude.
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
I’m not a Grinch, or a Scrooge, or a Christmas curmudgeon. I’ve had a tough year in my personal life and although I can usually overlook the ever increasing prematurity of the Christmas hype, I just felt that this year I could do without it. I’m very much looking forward to Christmas itself, but I feel that we’re diluting Christmas by celebrating it too early with hyper-consumerism.
What are your plans for the coming months?
I’ve written a lot of songs, I’m now selecting and ordering tracks for my debut album which I plan to finish recording and mixing in 2024. There’ll be more singles too, but the album is my priority.
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans
Yes actually, as I mentioned I play in two active bands separately, but there’s another exciting new project on the way in the coming year. I’ll reveal more on my socials so keep an eye out!
What message would you like to give to your fans?
Just how grateful I am to anyone who has listened to my song and especially anyone who has decided to revisit it for more. I’ve always felt musically capable, but I never felt capable of writing and recording music that I felt ready to release, until now. To know that there are people out there who genuinely liked my music is an amazing feeling.