Five Minutes With... James Blunt
HE has been on tour all year, over 150 gigs across the world with interviews for each show, so when EG caught up with James Blunt in the USA we decided to give him a break from the usual round of questions about drugs, girls, Ibiza and being rather posh. “I’m not too sure where I am,” he says. There’s a pause as he checks. “I’m in Portland. I’ve been touring with Sheryl Crow for six weeks and it’s really good fun. She’s a really down-to-earth person and I get a good reception here.” He’s been on the road since January and the tour continues until February. “It’s been a long slog,” he admits, with just ten days off in all that time. That said he has been crafting a few new tunes along the way. “I’ll very much keep the sets to Back To Bedlam and All The Lost Souls,” he says of next week’s Nottingham show, “but chuck in a new one to see what people think.”
If you had to be stuck in a lift with someone, who would it be?
Mahatma Gandhi. If he’s not available then Barack Obama would be good.
Do you have any superstitions?I always check that my flies are done up before I go on stage.
Have they ever been undone?
No, I’m pretty good at following that. I have a lot on my mind whilst on stage but I’m pretty sure I’ve managed to achieve that.
If you could have only one song on your iPod, what would it be?I think that would be a pretty miserable iPod to have wouldn’t it?
It’s an early model, low on memory...You know, I’d go for a really long song then. Maybe something by the Future Sound of London. You can almost get a whole album’s worth by the Future Sound of London. And they’ve got some pretty good stuff.
When was the last time you cried and why?(Sighs) Hmmm, over spilt milk yesterday. No, I’m lying.
Do ever shed a tear?I don’t feel much of a need to. I know the papers seem to infer that I do a lot but no I don’t.
What’s your indulgence? Do you maybe collect things?I’ve actually been traveling about five years doing this job and I travel with hand luggage only. So as long as I can wash my clothes occasionally, that’s all I’m after.
You’re happy living out of a suitcase.Exactly. You can tell that by how scruffy I look.
How environmentally friendly are you?I’m definitely environmentally aware. We plant a tree for every ticket that I sell online. And we bring Friends Of The Earth out on tour to teach us and educate anyone else who wants to listen at our shows. The one car while I had a home in Los Angeles while I recorded this album was an electric car. So I’m definitely aware but I’m possibly as guilty as the next person at the same time.
How fast was the electric car?On acceleration faster than anything else I’ve been in. And I normally drive motorbikes so I know what acceleration’s about. You know those Scalextric cars we had as kids? It was like that. Because it was a prototype it had no restrictions of any sort. It was really, really, really fast. It was amazing.
What were you doing this time yesterday?I was doing interviews but I was in a different town.
What will you be doing this time tomorrow?I’ll be doing interviews. But they’ll probably be with people from Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, who knows? It’s a pretty kind of scheduled diary – interviews, sound check, interviews, then the performance and if we’re lucky an after party.
The times that you have been to Nottingham have you ever been to the Castle or had a look in the caves?I haven’t done those things but I’ve been out on the town a few times there. I’ve had mates who live up there and I’ve done quite a few gigs there. So, I’ve hit the bars a lot.
Any stories?Unfortunately I can’t remember them but that’s a sign of a good night.
James Blunt appears at the Trent FM Arena on Monday October 6 supported by Teddy Thompson. Tickets are £32.50 from the venue or call 08444 124 624.