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24 September 2014
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David
Sensitive soul David Gray got cosy down at TOTP and revealed that the soft boy of pop has a penchant for rock.

It's four years since 'White Ladder' sent you stratospheric. How's things these days?
 Good. Busy. Lots of tension in the camp. We're battling Gareth Gates for the No.1 spot.

So you are feeling the pressure?
 Of course. It's catch up time for everything that happened with the last album, only this time round you realise what a big deal it's been and turned into. There's been two months of preparation, interviews and travel before the record's even come out. I'll be much more happy when it's out there and people can listen to it and make up their own minds. Then we can play some concerts and that's what I'm looking forward to.

You've remarked that you've wanted to move on from 'White Ladder'. To quote, "the challenge is to reinvent more music, keep yourself interested and keep yourself moving forward". How do you go about doing that?
Instinctively. I don't know if there's a particular game plan but you have to look critically at what you've done and you'd like to do it better, differently. What parts you could improve. For me it's the sound of a record and the electronics side of it - I feel I could get a lot more out of that. Whatever your personal inklings are of where you want to go next. I'm still not sure. I've got lots of ideas.

Your website describes the new album as…."12 world class songs from a small room in south London." Would you agree with that?
It's not for me to say. It just means we recorded it in South London. When people write these things they make it sound so exciting, too exciting.

So, it's an attempt to say ideas and messages that come from a specific location but transport everywhere?
Well songs certainly do that. We did make the album in a small room in Clapham but it would be played all over the world. It's just a strange thought.

So tell us about the new single.
It's the last song we recorded for the record and I recorded it to be the last song. I was looking for something that would close the record properly. We did the recording very hastily but I think it sounds good for that. When everyone finally got to hear the record the company boss was so into this particular track he said let's make it our first single. So, it was "is this commercial suicide" but whatever it was I thought "wow, this is a refreshing change". Anyone would have normally said 'Caroline' or 'Be Mine' or something obvious and more poppy and happy. But he went for this very stark song, and I think it marks out what I'm doing as different from a lot of other things, so it's a bold choice. I was very excited about it but I don't know what it's going to mean in terms of chart positions and all that nonsense. It's a good way to start for me and I think it'll tell people a lot about what the record is, where it's coming from. Whereas perhaps 'Caroline' is less representative of the record as a whole.

You mentioned that it marks something different than what's out there. What do you think of the music scene at the moment. Do you think it's different from when 'White Ladder' was out? Do think the tide is starting to turn towards more rock and less manufactured?
Maybe. Manufactured rock. It's hard to get away from this pipe machine. Bands that could turn into something really interesting get seized upon too soon. The tide is bound to turn because it's been taken as far as it can be. With all these TV programmes manufacturing crying teenagers for us to take under our wing it's got out of control. There is so much manufactured pop and people know that. As a direct consequence of being saturated with it they want something else, so there's bound to be a change. The bands are out there as is the manufactured stuff but it's still tilted towards the manufactured stuff.


Next

  Simply Red  
  "That's a bit supermarket, isn't it. I'm not making that many bottles. "  
  Robin Gibb  
  "There's been great moments both as a songwriter and as a performer."  
  Paul Roberts - The Stranglers  
  "We certainly weren't going to call ourselves The Bay City Rollers."  
  Lisa Stansfield  
  "I just thought, how many times do I have to sing this song?"  
  Soft Cell  
  "I think it's the only time that a banjo's been played in the Ministry of Sound."  
  Erasure  
  "Agnetha said she liked it. If I met them I would curtsey."  
  INXS  
  "We really surprised lots of people by simply hanging in there."  
  Kim Wilde  
  "I used to be really jealous of Claire Grogan...I thought she was gorgeous."  
  Dollar  
  "Failure was not an option, we were materialistic and greed was good."  
  Human League  
  "We did a US tour with Culture Club and Howard Jones...solely for the cash."  
  Altered Images  
  "Women were treated as a bit of a novelty in the music business in 1981."  
  Belle Stars  
  "The pop music lark just seems like a lifetime away now."  
  Steve Strange  
  "Look, you’re playing me like a bitchy queen and I’m not like that."  
  Five Star  
  "We all grew up wanting to be famous and we lived our dream..."  
  Phillip from Ruby Flipper  
  "At my age, I'd find it difficult to get my legs where they used to go..."  
  Glen Campbell  
  "I got to work with literally everyone in the business; Nat King Cole, Sinatra..."  
  David Gray  
  "Lots of tension in the camp. We're battling Gareth Gates for the No.1 spot"  
  Robert Palmer  
  "There's this homegenised force feeding of what is hip."  
  Marilyn  
  "I think George manipulated our relationship for publicity"  
  Tom Jones  
  "I'm pulling all my old jewellery out now and comparing my rings with Wyclef"  
  Ruth From Pan's People  
  "I could show you dozens of times I forgot the moves..."  
  Badly Drawn Boy  
  "Everybody has to do what everybody else does in order to have a hit single"  
  John Otway  
  "I think the music business is probably not happy with what we've done..."  
  Jimmy Cliff  
  "I look at someone like Ms Dynamite, I come away with a positive feeling."  
  Human League  
  "We wouldn't trust anyone that didn't wear eyeliner."  
  Status Quo  
  "I probably went about four or five years with a pair of stage jeans"  
  Gary Numan  
  "There are so many things in my past that you could make fun of."  
  McAlmont and Butler  
  "We were big enough to get over any-thing that may have been exchanged."  
  Primal Scream  
  "The producer at the time told us we'd never work again."  
  Oasis  
  "I prefer miming, I prefer if we weren’t playing live."  


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