Up until 2004, the main James Clay on recordings was a jazz saxophonist. A self-titled set of songs on the Inpop label by a 22-year-old former member of what has been described as a "controlling religious cult" changed all that. Clay says quite interesting things about spirituality in interviews, recalling how religious teachings were basically used to torture him as a child. Nonetheless, he felt compelled to turn to these very teachings for answers in a later, more serene part of his life. Clay basically worked at various types of labor after leaving the cult -- at 13, he was putting pool cues together in a factory, followed by a cow-milking gig at a nearby dairy farm.