marieclaire.co.uk catches up with James Blunt ahead of his new album release
You either love him or hate him; James Blunt divides opinion everywhere. His single You’re Beautiful was voted the most irritating song of all time, yet he has sold 11 million albums to date. So what is Mr Blunt’s secret? Here he reveals the key to his success.
What the album’s about?
It’s about my experiences over the last three years, about the fame game and how relationships are now more intense because they are watched and judged all the time.
And how does it compare to your first album?
The first album was kind of naive and innocent. This one was recorded as a live album with my band and these guys are some of the best musicians in the world who I’ve toured with for two and a half years.
Who did you listen to growing up?
Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Zeplin, Lou Reed, Paul Simon, Neil Young and Elton John, who I was lucky enough to tour with.
Any funny stories to tell?
I didn’t sleep with him if that’s what you’re asking! Elton’s an amazingly generous man and tries to champion new music.
Why did you leave your career in the army?
It was a now or never situation, driven out of fear that it would be terrible to reach old age and say I was just too afraid to follow a dream.
Is music an emotional outlet for you now?
Yes, its definitely the way I emote. I can still express my emotions outside of my music – I do it through the medium of dance and I cut some pretty mean shapes!
So I hear. You’re a regular at Pacha in Ibiza..
That’s right. Pete Tong has remixed my single 1973 and has been playing it at Pacha throughout the summer.
How have you coped with your meteoric rise to fame?
I’ve drunk a lot! It’s taken a while to get used to people making money from my private life. But we all know everyone likes looking through net curtains at each other. The celebrity world cares if someone’s cool and wearing the right clothes, but all that just doesn’t seem relevant to me.
And how do you feel about the recent backlash against you and your music?
What backlash? No seriously, its only here in the UK, the rest of the world doesn’t seem to have a problem. I totally understand it, if I made a chocolate cake, you enjoy the first slice, but after ten slices you’ve probably had enough, but there’s no need to get upset with the chef. We give each other grief in Britain and we do it really well.
James Blunt’s new album All The Lost Souls is released on 17 September