James McCartney, son of Sir Paul McCartney, is launching a new album and a U.S. tour. Following in his father’s footsteps, one might say. At age 35, he has Paul’s younger looks, and certainly could pick up the telephone and get an interview anywhere he wanted.
Trouble is, Junior doesn’t interview very well.
The younger McCartney appeared on BBC Breakfast Tuesday to promote his new album, titled “Me”. Hosts Bill Turnbull and Susanna Reid gave him plenty of opportunity to promote himself, his music and to wrap himself in the mantle of his famous dad. But, although James answered questions, he never grabbed the baton and ran with it. Even when asked about a track that his father played on with him, he stuck to “just the facts” answers.
The hosts seemed to scramble to come up with questions to ask, since McCartney was not offering any information or stories voluntarily. There were a lot of “ums” and “yeahs”, especially from the interviewers.
After the interview, there was quite a reaction from pundits via Twitter, taking the man to task for being a bit of a stick in the mud. They chided him for “monosyllabic” answers. But a review of the interview shows that James McCartney answered everything asked of him, including making expanded statements. He just didn’t take off unbidden. Whereas his father would have taken two questions and turned them into a charismatic story-telling experience, the son seems to want to let his music speak for itself. He even talks about playing smaller gigs in the U.S. – listening rooms, as he calls them.
Perhaps James McCartney isn’t boring. Maybe he’s just introverted – which is not the same as “shy”. If that is the case, he joins many other performers who have no difficulty being on stage in front of others, but prefer and gain energy from being alone or in small groups when it comes time to interact personally. Michael Jackson, Johnny Depp, and many other celebrities have fit this description.
In any case, James McCartney is quite content to let his music do the talking.