- Fri, 2007-12-14 10:11
James Blunt released his latest new single Same Mistake in December. Following the hit single 1973, it's the second song to be taken from his smash-hit platinum LP All the Lost Souls, which debuted at Number 1 in multiple countries and sold almost three million worldwide so far.
We caught up with James Blunt fresh from his stirling performance on Top Gear, to talk about his new single and album, The Stig and James's success thus far.
''I Like Music because.... it’s the best form of expression we have.'' James Blunt
ILM: Same Mistake is out now. It’s a lovely track. Can you describe its vibe and how it came about?
James: It’s a song about self reflection. It looks at remorse and guilt, about how we make mistakes as humans, how we are fallible. Sometimes I can be my own worst enemy.
ILM: On your album, All The Lost Souls, which track did you enjoy laying down the most?
James: I think it’s maybe something like 'I'll Take Everything' that's really different for me. It stood out for me. It’s really raw in its writing.
ILM: Last time we spoke you told us that Goodbye My Lover was your favourite to record because you were in Carrie Fishers bathroom very stoned!! And the producer sat in the corner throughout the entire recording process asking to be taken to hospital..... have you had any similar experiences making this record?
James: Nothing quite so strange as that. I had my band and we recorded a live album this time round. All five of us in a room recorded it live, which I enjoyed.
ILM: Your album debuted at Number 1 in 17 countries and has sold almost three million worldwide. Back To Bedlam was the best-selling album of the millennium. Do you have time to enjoy the journey and smell the roses and appreciate your success? What ambitions do you still have left to achieve?
James: Success gets me on the road. It gets me touring. From being in the studio doing work, going out on tour, it's amazing. I really enjoy that. Being in a bus for about a year, we have a great time. There is something really real about being on a tour bus, playing your music; you are a real musician doing music. That is what I find amazing. Sometimes music gets swept under the carpet by the industry side of things. It becomes about the image and perception, the posturing and the posing and the competition between different musicians and the charts and the number of units it has sold. But music is about a language between humans and it connects us, it is about emotions.
I can’t hear the voice in your head but I know that whatever journey it is taking we probably feel the same emotions. Throughout your life, hope and fear and we get bogged down in the other side of things, the commercial side that the industry tries to push but to take it out on tour takes it back to that very simple thing. It has nothing to do with fashion and money and all those attributes added by the industry.
ILM: Totally. That’s why at I Like Music we have a unique editorial policy which means we won’t ask musicians personal questions about personal lives and tabloid gossipy stuff, we’re all about the music.
James: That’s refreshing!
ILM: We saw you on Top Gear the other weekend. You had a brilliant lap time and were really funny chatting to Jeremy. How was that whole experience? Will you be going back to try and beat Simon Cowell?
James: I would like to have a go at the drive again but you only get one shot at it. It was a really fun day; it was nice to get away from doing some interviews actually and instead be a child driving around the track and you don’t get to work out who the Stig is, even though he gives you a lesson throughout the day. It’s just a great programme isn’t it?
ILM: It’s brilliant.
James: It’s got everything...the humour especially!
ILM: You’re on tour in January 2008. What have been your highlights of 2007?
James: This year, the highlight was really when my album came through my letterbox and we’d produced it. And doing all the artwork with my friend and then having it produced and manufactured, so having it drop through the letterbox was a great moment. It’s an album that I love. For me it’s more fresh and more free.
ILM: You can tell you enjoyed making it. What’s your most amusing story you can share from touring? What do you look forward to most about playing live?
James: Well in Chicago, when I was playing there, during a musical breakdown I normally leave the stage and go into the audience and it was a high stage, about 8ft actually down to the pit and I leapt down some steps and there was a security guard there he thought there was no way that I would have jumped that far, so he thought it must be a crazed fan, so he wrestled me to the ground. Until eventually another security guard realized and they let me go and I climbed back up.
ILM: Your music is catchy with great melodies. Please can you describe the James Blunt music making process? Does it tend to be lyrics or melodies first?
James: It’s pretty random but I guess on the whole its probably messing around on an instrument like a piano or guitar and then really finding a bit of music I enjoy, some chords and a bit of rhythm with it and a bit of melody and then I’ll try and concentrate on an emotion. Songs are four minutes long and probably describes an emotion, so it’s focusing on that.
ILM: What’s your advice to young people on following their dream career, not necessarily in the music industry but just doing what they want to do career wise?
James: I guess the first thing for me is to work out how you would find success. The success of being a musician is just the actual act of being a musician. Just playing and writing songs and recording them… in whatever format…whether it’s just in your own room, that's being a musician, regardless of commercial success. When I started to be a musician it was more about having a laugh and as long as I really enjoyed just playing then that was fine. And then beyond that you need to find yourself the right manager and the right team.
ILM: Now, about your song, 1973………… I was born in 1974 so 1973 my parents were getting jiggy. Ick! What does 1973 mean to you personally?
James: Well I was born in 1978. So I wrote it about a girl called Simona in a song about a nostalgiac moment...it’s a celebration of something we did last year in Ibiza. And Pacha originally opened in 1973, but 1973 was also a great year for music, so many fantastic albums came out at that time.
ILM: And what’s your advice to young people on peer pressure?
James: Just be yourself. Don’t follow the herd.