Music interview: David Gray

David Gray.
David Gray.
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The recipient of four Brit awards, twice for Best British Male, David Gray has released his tenth studio album.

Gray’s latest release, Mutineers, takes its name from a song on the record. Gray explains that this song was the most significant on the album, and sums up the recording process.

“I think it’s very apt. I was both the captain of the ship 
and the mutinous crew. I 
had to throw myself over board in order to get this record made.

“Furthermore, the title track is a very key track on the record; it was probably the biggest risk that we took.

“It was the moment that Andy (Barlow) really gained my trust as a producer. He tore up a song I already had until there was hardly anything of it left. It just grew and grew into this mighty beast. We got so excited about it that we were leaping around the room, so it was a turning point where I began to see the bigger picture of what we could do.”

The 46-year-old singer-songwriter, from Sale, Greater Manchester, is probably most famous for his multi-platinum number one album White Ladder, which was released in 1998.

He has released six more albums since then, two of which also hit the UK number one slot.

Gray explains that his latest producer changed his perspective on making music. “I would just go until I fall down, that’s basically just 
my approach to everything. 
I’d turned myself into a 
creative carthorse that just ploughs the fields with blinkers on: makes the record, writes the song, tours the songs, comes back... and on it goes, but I de-humanised in the process. Andy was like ‘you make it sound like a prison sentence.’

“The moment that we 
enjoy as it passes, second by second, every day, is the wonderful thing we knew when we were in our teenage years, we just don’t recognise it as such. We’re still as free as we were then, we just see it all differently.”

Despite the relentless travelling and tedium which accompanies going on tour, Gray says that touring is 
what he loves most about his job.

“It’s like you’re getting married every day. There’s a 
bit of wear and tear on the human cargo, but to have the privilege of connecting with 
so many people through 
your music night after night... 
I live for it, I can’t live without it.”

* David Gray plays at York Barbican on Wednesday, July 2, 6.30pm, £29.50-£47.50.

The Go! Team

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