Days after releasing an album and just before a tour, the recording studio is probably the last place you might expect to find a musician – unless it’s Jamie T.
Treays – that is what the T stands for – writes constantly.
“It’s a great feeling knowing you have something coming out,” he says “almost like you’re washing your hands of it and ready for the next thing.
“It’s that excitement that keeps me going. Even when I’m supposed to be on holiday, I sneak into the studio.”
Trick, his fourth album, has just been released, going straight in at number three, ahead of a nationwide tour which includes an October date in Sheffield.
Jamie says: “As always, it felt like it was taking forever to write and record, but whenever I think that, the record tends to be finished within a month. It’s something to do with the way I write.
“It’s very unglamorous, and I don’t see the fruit of my labour for a long time. It takes several attempts for me to get a song. I really have to work at it, and I take ages to write the end.
“The main thing is when I was writing it, I was really enjoying myself.”
Treays released his debut, Panic Prevention, in 2007.
He followed it up two years later with Kings & Queens, and then he was gone. There was no sign of Treays, who managed to retreat from public life completely.
Almost six years later, Carry On The Grudge arrived, during which time a Facebook group was founded to try to find out where the songwriter was, with worried fans posting sightings of Mr T to reassure others.
Treays has been candid regarding his anxiety, and the condition played a part in his lengthy retreat.
He is managing it better, as shown by the shorter time between releases.
“I suppose the easy answer is yes, I am better,” he says, cautiously. “Writing and releasing music is a good way of stemming the negatives of anxiety. It could also be that me releasing more music means I am worse, but the main thing is to keep busy, but in a good way. I’m much happier when I’m productive.
“I need to find a balance. I was away for five years, and now, it’s just a year since my last gig. I’ve learned that I enjoy songwriting more if I do it quicker.
“If I could get the gap between albums to three years, I’d be very happy.”
Self-examination is something he says he also has to watch out for, specifically too much of it.
“It’s similar with some comedians,” he says. “They can often suffer from depression.
“To me, anxiety seems to go with the territory of writing songs.
“My job, in a way, is putting words to feelings, but then I have to do interviews and I’m asked to explain it all again. It’s understandably hard on the psyche, but as long as I adhere to my rules about not talking about my songs, line by line, I’m OK.
“I have no fear about what I put in my songs, though. If I start leaving things out because I’m worried a journalist is going to ask me about it, then that’s going to have a detrimental effect.”
Next month, he will take Trick on a UK-wide tour, which includes two nights at London’s Brixton Academy. When he was starting out, Treays’ two ambitions were to release an album, and to play in Brixton.
But does he ever wish he wasn’t a solo artist, and that he had band members to share this with?
“There are definitely positives to that,” he says, explaining that it would be great to share responsibilities with other people.
“I have to do everything,” says Treays. “But I don’t have to fall out with anyone. I just fall out with myself. I split up with myself all the time.”
n Jamie T’s album Trick is out now.
He plays Sheffield’s O2 Academy on Friday, October 21. For tickets, see Sheffield Academy