Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
Hi, my name is James Scott Bullard. I’m a recovering drug and sex addict. I have severe anger issues and a borderline anti-social personality disorder… Shall we go on?
My life story is about moving forward. I toured the country for 20+ years as an Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter in the Americana/Alternative Country genre. (Think like old Kris Kristofferson/Waylon Jennings and you’ll get a close idea as to what all that means.)
I am now a published author, professional photographer and filmmaker, tattoo model, brand ambassador, and a non-denominational ordained minister.
I’ve been very blessed and fortunate, as well as cursed and broke. I’ve published one book and am working on another one as I type this. I have degrees in digital photography and editing, as well as cinematography and film and television directing masterclass from Harvard and Chapman, respectively.
I’ve directed one short film, one horror film, which due to my tour schedule and then Covid, was shut down and never finished, several music videos, including all of my own except for one which was edited by Matt Odom who is best known for Nicki Minaj videos. I’m also the executive producer and soundtrack/score writer for the new Jon Jedliskowski film titled: ‘The Devil’s Circle,’ which begins filming next year.
Aside from working on my new book, trying to reboot my horror film, and doing photography on the side, I have not quit the music industry entirely either, I quit the ‘Americana’ industry and I’ve stopped touring completely for now, but I am still working fervently on my new heavy Southern-Doom Metal project: ‘Saints of the South,’ to record an album with no plans to tour yet. (Metal was my first love.)
I also once drew a picture of a tree in kindergarten that got me a gold star!
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I turned my back and walked away from a lucrative, rising, and successful career, partly due to health issues, but mostly due to internal politics of the music business. I refused to play ball with the pretentious hand-shakers and smile fakers.
Though I was making $2k for 4 shows a week, meeting my heroes, and seeing the country on someone else’s dime, it all almost cost me 14 years of sobriety and my life.
If you want a story that will blow the lid off the independent music industry, I’m YOUR GUY!
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
The moment I knew what I was born to do was when I was 5 years old and saw Kiss on ‘Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert’ WAY past my bedtime.
The moment I knew I’d made the right decision to leave it all behind was while bed-ridden with a gnarly back injury and watching a Dennis Hopper documentary that made me realize I was worth more than just what I had spent 20 plus years building.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
Rehab? A voluntary psychiatric hospital visit? Facing the unbearable fear and guilt of turning my back on an industry that had given me an identity… Until I didn’t want it anymore?
The powers that be who fear the cancel culture began to change, and so did the ideas, photographs, etc.
I refused to budge for an industry that’s been dead for 30 years anyway thanks to the internet. No one makes money from downloads or streams.
In the immortal words of Prince: “Name one artist who’s gotten rich off internet sales, I’ll wait.” Unfortunately, he died waiting.
If you don’t tour now, you’re broke. And I was no longer willing or physically able to tour.
I promptly quit in the middle of a tour, made a U-turn somewhere in Mississippi, came home, got out of all my contracts, retained all of my publishing and merchandising, fell apart then picked myself up and moved on.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
Now, with my new metal project? Phil Anselmo, because he still has his finger on the inner workings of the doom metal pulse and his own label. Matt Pike because he’s the king of doom metal with all the right contacts, plus he’s MATT FUCKING PIKE!
Sharon Osbourne, because she’s still a powerhouse in the metal world and I am, after all, trying to make an album that sounds like Black Sabbath and Lynyrd Skynyrd had a drunk baby who really digs Corrosion of Conformity.
Drop your social media links.