Ah bugger, used up The Smiths. Shall I type The James Blunt story? I’ll type the James Blunt story.
One of the assignments I got for SoundGenerator was to interview James Blunt. I’m nonplussed about his music – certainly wasn’t the target demographic for it – and I caught him in the middle of what must have been a week-long junket of chats and interviews with all kinds of people.
He certainly had his patter down. Start to finish I found the whole thing weird and condescending, like I was just an irritating frustration. He didn’t make any room for me as a human, just as a pen and a dictaphone. And there was no character in the answers, no flash of personality – just words.
So I get back, transcribe the interview, and realise the fucker’s given me note-perfect print. There wasn’t an ounce of give in what he said. The full-stops landed in the right place, the shape of the phrases were impossibly portable. It was so studied and effortless a response to a journalist that I felt cheated.
I hated that I’d been so effectively judged. That what I was making was so obvious and easily assessed that anyone could produce such a pat response to it.
Of course I didn’t think that then. I just thought he was a calculating prick. I hated him for that – at the time.
With distance I realise that my response was more about me. He was doing his job. He certainly didn’t put any venom or calculation in it – I was one of many people that day asking basically the same thing. He was a professional, who knew the process and the field. I wasn’t, and I hated seeing that. I quit that job the next day.