Song writing in Nashville is a precarious course; writers have to develop incredible tenacity to be successful - and keep it that way. James laughs as he says, "It's best to work under pressure. I guess I'm different from a lot of Nashville writers where you write too many songs, and you're on this thing sort of like a hamster wheel. It's just hard to find time to sit down and go, 'Okay, I'm going to write a song about this; here's what I want to say.' I mean for me it just doesn't normally happen like that where there's like a puzzle story behind the song.
I don't really have a story behind the songs in the classic sense like, 'Well, I was thinking about this when I wrote the song.' A lot of times I'll start out with a melody and maybe a title. And then, okay, what do I want to say? Where's this going? Where does this title lead me? Or this idea lead me? And just trying to take it from there, and trying to capture emotion rather than glory a lot of the times.
Even though I've had most of my success in Nashville, I tend to come out of a little more of a Pop sensibility. Because that was always what I would listen to, and that was more my background. Some people here in Nashville are just complete genius storytellers. And I don't consider myself part of that group. Everybody sees themselves differently." (Check out our interview with Tommy Lee James