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The Gibson Interview: James Blunt - A Decade Later
Interview by Andrew Vaughan, Story by Anne Erickson
20 November 2017
English singer-songwriter James Blunt became a household name in the mid-2000s when his song "You're Beautiful" skyrocketed to the top of the charts.
But, don't tell him that.
"I've never seen myself as a celebrity," Blunt told Gibson.com. "I see myself as a touring musician. I share a dressing room with my band. I love being on the road."
Gibson first spoke with James in 2007 and we thought it would be good to catch up — a decade later.
Blunt, an avid J-45 player, sat down with Gibson.com to discuss his relationship with Gibson guitars, life as a touring musician and why he believes music brings people together.
On his first connection with Gibson:
As a kid, I was more interested in electrics. Then, I found that with my parents always traveling around with the army and all of the time we spent overseas, I was not only lugging the electric guitar but also the amplifier. So, I found myself moving to acoustics. Later, I saw Jimmy Hogarth with a J-45 guitar, a 1966, and it was beautiful and had a tiny little neck. That's what I used to record my first album: J-45s. I've mostly used those ever since.
On being a touring musician:
It's what I love doing. My band is like a family to me. We've been together for more than a decade now. We all rely on each other and look out for each other. I really enjoy getting on the road, living on the tour bus and playing music every day.
On making music for a living:
It's an amazing job. To be able to make music for a living is a very special thing. Music is something that brings people together. All across the world, the color of the skin seems to change depending on which continent you are playing, but the connection to the songs seems identical. Those human emotions connecting with the songs are the same no matter where you are playing, so that's a special thing.
On opening for Ed Sheeran on tour:
I've really loved the opportunity, because this guy is the biggest male solo artist in the world today. To get to be support on his tour is a huge privilege. I feel very lucky to be in this situation, and I've enjoyed it. Ed has worked incredibly hard for his success, and he's a phenomenal talent, and this tour has been an absolute blast.
On not being cool:
I was in the army. Nobody was cool there. We dealt with life and death. I don't write songs about what's cool. I write songs about what is real. I'm not cool. Real life isn't cool. It's all about the sense of reality.
On his new album, The Afterlove:
My writing is more mature and exciting on this album, and the production is beautiful. There are some bold songs on there, and there are some very different styles of songs on there that others might not expect from me. To me, this album has really exciting songwriting. I spent more than two years making it, and I wrote more than 100 songs.
On songwriting for his next album:
I'm always songwriting. It's ongoing. As long as you're alive, you will have things to inspire you and songs to write. I love doing this. You have some highs and lows. You have some songs you really believe in that do nothing and others you don't even enjoy that do very well. With every album, I find you bring something fresh to it.