CHEERS FOR A JOB WELL-DONE! Siw3 mixes business with pleasure with a toast to a fun evening. From left: Paul Allodi, James Wayman, Brian Hilton, and Casey Lanken. (Photo: Christine Blendow)
James Wayman was a very young child of barely 4 or 5 when he first saw a stack of vinyl LP's spinning on the turntable in his dad's home office. The music, the machinery, and the cover art fascinated him to no end; and thankfully his father was patient enough to deal with the quiet kid watching records spin and ingesting as much audio as he could from those tiny speakers. The turntable made him incredibly curious about the piano in the living room, and after all the noise, James was able to start piano lessons. That held him until he heard the hard rock sounds of the late '70's and early '80's. Plans were afoot for James and a couple of his music-fan friends to form a band. James got his bass in seventh grade and started training for his intended role in the band.
Needless to say, everybody from that time grew up except James. To continue his musical aspirations, he joined classmate Rick Roman's NEW SOCIETY. At this time the band was primarily a recording project. After two albums, James's role was seriously diminished. James's taste had grown beyond the hard rock/heavy metal of the time and began to include a number of bands that continue to influence and inspire him today.
At the rise of grunge, James was working at a local record store called Tune Town. It was there that he met the members and helped co-found PI. A power pop outfit with psychedelic tendencies, the group would record two well received demos before lineup changes took their toll on the group. By the conclusion of the sessions for the third demo (Fractured Halos), everybody was in need of a break. The band garnered airplay on several radio stations throughout Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison; and played a handful of respected rooms.
As Pi came to a halt, James had a chance meeting with high school friend Roger Lambrecht. A short while later, they joined forces with the Franklin brothers and formed JAMES WON'T SMOKE. After 18 months, the band went on hiatus, and would retool four years later with some personnel changes as JUNKET. The band had a few gigs of note, but was at its best when volunteering to help out friends and families in need of fund raising.
Meanwhile, James had also started playing with his good friend, Jim Henning as part of a duo and in assistance to Paul Allodi's solo band, THE SHARDS. THE SHARDS lasted for roughly 3 years. After the dissloution of the SHARDS, James joined a new Allodi-based project, GROUP DU JOUR (which would become SINCE I WAS 3 a couple of years after forming). Meanwhile, James also subbed in to projects featuring Karlye Lapetina, Greg Greer, Mighty Joe, and King Casey.
By 2006, James was knee-deep in the production of an album. Unfortunately, due to a shortage of time and money, the project was never completed. In July of 2006, James took matters into his own hands and recorded the first demos of what would become HEALING SONGS with Larry Kriz at LNL Recording in Elgin, Illinois. Working 3-5 times a month in the studio, James put the last note down in July of 2007 roughly a year after he started. When it was done,, he had written and recorded a total of 21 songs for the album. In September, the best 10 tracks were selected and mixed. The disc was released in late December of 2007. HEALING SONGS is James's first solo album.
In 2008, James co-produced and performed on the NOT THAT PERFECT ep with and for Radstar, his friend and former JWS/Junket bandmate.
Presently, James is in the songwriting process for his second solo album. The tentative title is THE GIVING GAME and is slated for release in late 2009.