James Blunt

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Posted 29 August 2015 01:53


Supreme Being

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Thanks to "James Blunt Chile" for having found this interview. It's dated June 2015 but when you read the article, you understand that it must have been done before September 2014. Don't miss the photos gallery. I recognized Brian, the guitar technician.

You can read this article in English, French, Spanish and German:

http://bmwmagazine.com/int/en/node/1086

http://bmwmagazine.com/fr/fr/node/1064

http://bmwmagazine.com/int/es/node/1090

http://bmwmagazine.com/int/de/node/1082


English version:

ďThe most important thing for me is freedom.Ē Ė Driving with James Blunt

Singer James Blunt rose to international stardom with his melancholy ballads. In private, he enjoys putting pedal to metal whenever he can. An interview about punchy engines and the inspiration of the open road.

Interview: Benedikt Sarreiter
Photos: Julian Baumann

Mr Blunt, in the music video of your song ďPostcardsĒ you play a man who tries hard to keep his car clean and free of scratches and stains. How neat and tidy are you when it comes to your own car?

James Blunt: That depends on the context. Before my music career I was a captain in the British Army and I was sent to Kosovo during the war, among other places. At that time keeping things neat and tidy inside vehicles and everywhere else was important, of course, because you had to be ready for anything. These days as well, when Iím on tour like now, everything has to be in its place. Otherwise, with the constant location changes things would soon get chaotic. So I guess you can say that there are situations where I can be neat and tidy. But with my car thatís not so important. With my car I pay more attention to the inner workings, to the engine.

What qualities do you look for in an engine?

Blunt: I like it when an engine has a bit of punch and responds quickly to my commands. I love riding motorbikes and I enjoy having so much power bundled into a relatively small package. A couple of months ago I had an opportunity to drive a BMW M3 and the feeling I had behind the wheel was actually very similar to being on a bike. That really was extraordinary.

So you like driving fast.

Blunt: Sometimes, yes. But not all the time. The most important thing for me is the freedom that certain modes of transport can offer. That could mean a motorcycle or a car, but it could just as well be an aeroplane Ė I have my pilotís licence Ė and sometimes Iíll even go horseback riding if I need to take a break. So speed ends up not as important as a feeling of escape. And the surroundings need to be pleasant as well.

Where do you find that?

Blunt: Oh, I love driving with the top down through Ibiza, where I live. But one place I was really impressed by was Wyoming in the USA. Itís a collection of all the things you would consider part of a typical American landscape. Youíve got the magnificent Rocky Mountains in the background, then the prairie, endless forests, lakes, rivers and even a desert Ė the Red Desert. Itís a great place for a road trip.

I suppose on journeys like that you must find your thoughts wandering occasionally. Have you ever had any good ideas for songs while on the road?

Blunt: No, the car is really the last place where I tend to think about my music. Iím a very focused driver. As I mentioned, my background is in motorcycles, and when youíre driving a motorbike you have to totally concentrate at all times. Itís become a habit.

And what music is usually playing in your car?

Blunt: My own songs exclusively.

What? Seriously?

Blunt: Ha, ha, haÖ that really would be incredibly ridiculous and insane. No, in the car in Ibiza I often listen to dance music. For me itís important that the music establishes a sort of baseline atmosphere. I like listening to Mike Oldfieldís Tubular Bells when Iím driving Ė thatís a real classic. But I specially like his Songs from Distant Earth. Thatís got to be one of the best albums ever for a long road trip.

What role did cars play in your family? Did your father like driving as much as you do?

Blunt: No, in our family cars were just a means of getting from A to B. My father was also in the Army Ė like me later on Ė and we moved around a lot. We lived in Cyprus, then in Germany for two years, then in Hong Kong for two more, then back to England, first the north, then the south. I have memories of endless road trips and boredom, 12 hours from England to the south of France to go skiing. But thatís a kidís duty on long drives like that Ė to hang around in the back seat bored out of your mind. When I think about my parents, the first thing that comes to mind is an image of both of them sitting up front, in the driverís seat and the passenger seat.

Did you learn anything during that part of your life that you were able to use later on? It couldnít have been easy to move so frequently as a child.

Blunt: As it happens, I got shipped off to boarding school when I was only seven. My father wanted me to get a school education that wasnít being constantly interrupted by moving. But of course it feels strange living apart from your parents at such a young age. It can make life at boarding school particularly harsh. But that was also the time when the basic aspects of my character started taking shape. I learnt to treat other people with respect, regardless of what they did. And my strong will was definitely honed during that period as well.

The prevailing mood in many of your songs is sadness Ė you sing about the world getting colder, about time not healing all wounds. Where does that melancholy come from?

Blunt: Iím actually quite a happy person and that was also true when I was younger, for the most part. But amazing moments can often make me feel sad. You can experience a completely marvellous, fulfilling day, but when itís over youíre aware of the bitter truth that that particular day can never happen again. The same is true of love and other things. A number of my songs deal with this fleeting nature of existence.

Post #271543
Posted 29 August 2015 09:35
Supreme Being

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Thanks Aline! It's a very interesting interview! You forgot to paste the las part of the interview, here it is:

You openly display your feelings on stage and in your songs, and as a result people often make fun of you or, in the case of your Twitter account, even subject you to the occasional rant. Your answers to such comments often resemble the withering comebacks of a stand-up comedian. Why even post an answer in the first place?

Blunt: Yeah, I like to fool around a little bit. I think I must have picked that up in the Army. We used to be extremely polite to strangers and extremely rude to people we knew. You had to be quick on the draw to survive.

But there was one occasion where you really went the extra mile for a friend: you played at Elton Johnís wedding. Is he planning to sing at your wedding?

Blunt: I donít know. But I do know this: the concert at his wedding was one of the greatest moments of my career. Heís always been a great role model for me. I mean, I play concerts in front of thousands of people, Iím going to be on tour until March 2015, for over a year in total. Iím having experiences that I wouldnít have thought possible just a few years ago. Itís fantastic, and Iím very grateful for it.
Post #271544
Posted 29 August 2015 16:45


Supreme Being

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Thank you Tessm. *thumbs up*

Post #271550
Posted 29 August 2015 18:43


Supreme Being

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Thanks. That's a very nice article, I have even learnt things about James (didn't think that could be possible though )

While reading this interview, you can even feel Blunty's kindness and sensitivity - the experience of boarding school was character-building for sure. Of course I knew he attended boarding school but I thought he was at least 13......

Little James away from family and lost in his thoughts....this image is heart-breaking to me (I'm a mom)
Post #271552
Posted 30 August 2015 08:34


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. This must of been written before he got married in
Post #271553
Posted 04 September 2015 20:52


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"But thatís a kidís duty on long drives like that Ė to hang around in the back seat bored out of your mind"

My mother had a pack of treats, games and toys for those 2 day journeys to Southern France, I don't think I was ever bored! Those smells coming from my little brother though... ( the no wind in the car rule )
Post #271617
Posted 15 March 2018 16:04


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I wonder if James will be doing promo again for BMW. This photo was posted by BMW Maroc and BMW Tunisie on Facebook at the beginning of March 2018. The caption reads "James Blunt meets the very first BMW X2".

https://www.facebook.com/bmwmoroccoofficial/photos/a.653454074851563.1073741828.631456553717982/732522046944765/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/BMW.Tunisia.Official/photos/a.741092239280094.1073741830.736107066445278/1536390319750278/?type=3&theater

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