A girl like me

Imperdible entrevista con The Irish Times / Great interview with The Irish Times

Posted on: 25 octubre, 2009

 

Traducción de algunas partes de la entrevista que le realizó Lauren Murphy del diario The Irish Time el 16 de octubre pasado.

 

“Yo soy tanto un genio, como un charlatán e incluso un imbécil y bastante a menudo las tres cosas juntas"

 

Robbie iba manejando por la autopista M6 junto a su novia Ayda Field en noviembre de 2008 cuando decidió que quería ser una estrella pop otra vez.

 

 

“Estuve escribiendo todo el tiempo durante estos tres años, y esto fue lo que me mantuvo andando. Pero es como… no sentirme una estrella pop por tres años”, dijo Robbie. “No puedo explicar lo que se siente”.

 

ACERCA DE SU PERÍODO SABÁTICO: “SÓLO IRME, OLVIDARME DE SER UNA ESTRELLA POP Y VER QUE PASA”:

 

"Rudebox ha sido considerado una especie de monstruo por los medios de comunicación y han dado la impresión que yo fracasé míseramente” dice Williams con un encogimiento de hombros resignado. "Comercialmente, ha vendido dos millones y medio de discos. No tuvo ninguna promoción. Ha sido una especie de álbum de la pausa. Como decir:…¡miren lo que he hecho durante mis vacaciones!… Pero no he transmitido este mensaje. Quiero ese álbum. Siempre he dicho que en Rudebox hay más de mí que en todos los otros. ¡Pero bueno, eso no me afectó!”.

 

“Es que también soy una estrella pop neurótica y cíclica. Al principio del álbum ha sido como:… ‘Holaaaaaaa a todos, cómo han estado? Escuchen mi nuevo álbum…¡es fantástico!…Luego han salido las reseñas y todo ha sido un asco. He salido de gira (Close Encounters tour) y me provocó agotamiento nervioso. No muchos hacen esto, pero mirando atrás mi carrera, es como que hubiera hecho la misma cosa constantemente. Y después de un tiempo empiezas a entender que no te hace bien por tu salud, que tienes necesidad de parar de ser la estrella pop, olvidarte de hacer o de ser cualquier cosa y esperar a ver que pasa. Así empiezas a estar sentado sobre el sofá mirando los reallity en TV y comiendo donas, pero realmente no sucede nada".

 

ACERCA DEL CATOLICISMO: “NO ME IMAGINÉ ESTO. ERA ABURRIDO, SOFOCANTE Y EL SEXO ERA HORRIBLE”:

"He tenido una educación católica y fue realmente todo así, era aburrido, sofocante y el sexo era horrible”, sonríe. “Pero no encontraba alguien más en quién creer. Luego he tenido todos aquellos problemas de alcohol y las drogas y he empezado a pensar en otra fuerza superior, que no tuviera nada a que ver con la religión, pero que te protegiera desde el cielo. Así te alejas y ateo te vuelves”, dice. “El otro día he rogado el arcángel Gabriel. El es de veras enorme, me gustaría tenerlo como padre. No, pero realmente… En este momento con el tema de la religión estoy así: soy aquel tipo de ateo que en cuanto se presenta un problema corre recto de rodillas a pedirle a Dios más rápido que cualquiera”.

 

ACERCA DE TAKE THAT: “ELLOS ESTÁN DIVIRTIÉNDOSE MUCHO Y ME GUSTARÍA SER PARTE DE ESA DIVERSIÓN”:

"Eclecticismo tanto lírico como musical son la llave del nuevo álbum. Querría ser un poco Jay-Z pero sobre todo Neil Tennant. He querido ser Stephen Duffy por cierto período y también Morrissey algunas veces. Hay muchas personas que habría querido ser y considerando que yo realmente no tenía una filosofía musical al entrar a Take That o al salir de Take That – no más que “quiero que esto suene genail”- esto me permite ir por todas partes del mapa musical, y es lo que he hecho con este álbum otra vez (al igual que con Rudebox)".

 “Me encanta lo que están haciendo, y pienso que el show es genial. He estado mirando y pensando ‘Cómo lo encabezan ellos a esto? Cómo lo encabezaría yo a eso?’ y pienso ‘Solamente los uniría!’. Así que haremos algo juntos. Cuándo, dónde y cómo, no lo sé. Pero ellos se están divirtiendo mucho y a mí me gustaría ser parte de esa diversión”.

ACERCA DEL TRABAJO: “PUEDO SENTRAME EN UN SOFA Y VOLVEREME GORDO, COMIENDO DONAS, PERO PIENSO QUE ME VOLVERÍA MÁS LOCO”

"Hay reglas que me han inculcado cuando estuve en Take That que son difíciles de olvidar. Quedan como secuelas de una borrachera en la cabeza… ¡tienes que ser amistoso con los medios, tienes que llevarlos a comer y besarles el trasero!”… y “tienes que desaparecer para que se haga un vacío y entonces quieran que vuelvas, decía el manager Nigel Martin-Smith”.

“En ese caso, ¿por qué no sentarse en el estudio y producir un álbum después de otro lleno de hits, estando bien lejos de los medios de comunicación?”

“Después de todo un hombre necesita un trabajo. A decir verdad quise sacar un álbum sin ningún tipo de promoción sin haver nada. Hablo de acerca de dos años atrás. Tuve listo un álbum que habría hecho quedar petrificados a los de la compañía discográfica”, dice riendo bajo. “Estaba lleno de beeps, de manchas sin coros y canciones extrañas. Habría querido sólo ponerlo on line pero luego he hablado con mi biógrafo Chris Heath, que es una persona muy competente, y me lo ha desaconsejado. Así he esperado el momento de hallar la seguridad y el entusiasmo para volver realmente”.

“Como me gusta decir, un hombre necesita un trabajo. Yo podría sentarme y engordar sobre un sofá, comiendo rosquillas, escribiendo canciones y sacándolas sólo por Internet, pero pienso que yo me volvería más loco”.

 

ACERCA DEL PÁNICO ESCÉNICO: “SUBO AL ESCENARIO Y ÉL ESTÁ CONMIGO POR DOS HORAS. ES HORRIBLE”:

"En cuánto al pánico escénico, no creo que sea el único en padecerlo. Generalmente empeora con la edad. Al principio sólo aparece cuando subes sobre el escenario, luego desaparece. Ahora en cambio se queda conmigo por dos horas. No puedo explicarlo, pero es horrible”.

 

“He realizado este nuevo álbum que amo. Quiero que la gente lo escuche y lo aprecie tanto como yo, pero ya no querría encontrarme en la terrible situación de hacer un tour millonario con presentaciones una noche tras otra”

 

ACERCA DEL ALBUM: “TU BAILAS ALREDEDOR, LAS GUITARRAS SUENAN POR TODOS LADOS. TRES MESES DESPUÉS, TU PIENSAS ‘ES UNA MIERDA’”:

"Sería banal decir que éste es el mejor álbum que he hecho porque es el octavo y ya lo he dicho ocho veces. Pero estoy realmente orgulloso de él. Tu respuesta instantánea a algo que sientes que es bueno es… Yeah!… y te echas a bailar por todo el estudio, con las guitarras sonando por todo el lugar. Luego, tres meses después piensas “es una mierda, es una mierda. Qué estaba pensado”…

“Y esto siempre sucede a medida que se acerca el día del lanzamiento del álbum. Yo soy tanto un genio, como un charlatán e incluso un imbécil y bastante a menudo las tres cosas juntas" dice Robbie con una de sus sonrisas impertinentes. “Ésta es la verdad".

 

 

 

Friday, October 16, 2009

"I’m either a genius, or a charlatan or a half-wit, and quite often all three"

Professional cheeky chappie Robbie Williams is about to unleash his eighth album. He has learned to sit still, has got sober, shaved his beard and made friends with Take That. But has the Peter Pan of pop grown up? He talks to LAUREN MURPHY 

ROBBIE WILLIAMS was driving down the M6 with his girlfriend last November when he realised that he wanted to be a pop star again. But don’t call it a comeback: although he’s been ensconced in his Los Angeles home for the past three years growing a fantastically bushy beard (now sadly gone), falling in love and indulging his love of ghost sightings, UFO-hunting and conspiracy theories, he’s never strayed far from music. Not really.

“I’ve written all the way through those three years, and that was the hobby that kept me going. But it’s been like … not feeling like a pop star for three years,” he says. “I can’t explain how that feels.”

ON THE SABBATICAL: “JUST GO OFF, FORGET ABOUT BEING A POP STAR AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS”: A year later, and he’s about to remember how it feels with the release of his eighth studio album Reality Killed the Video Star . It’s his first since 2006’s Rudebox , an album that was deemed a flop despite its brave forays into electropop. An album that knocked the wind out of his already-deflated sails.

“With Rudebox , I think a media monster kind of took over, and kind of gave the impression that it failed abysmally and went down the shitter,” he says with a resigned shrug. “Commercially, it sold two and a half million records. There wasn’t any promotion. It was kind of a stop-gap album, going ‘Look what I did during the summer on me holidays!’ And I didn’t convey that message at all. I love that album. I’ve said before that it’s more ‘me’ than any of the others.

“But yeah, it did affect me. And also, I’m a cyclical, neurotic pop star. Start of the album, it’s all like ‘Heyyyyy everybody, how’s it going?! Check my new stuff out, it’s absolutely amazing! And then reviews come out, and you go ‘No, it’s shit’. And then you go on tour and you have a nervous breakdown. Not everybody does that, but looking back at my career, it seems to be the thing that I’ve done consistently. And then after a while, you start to notice the pattern emerge, and you think: ‘This can’t be doing good for your health. Just go off, forget about being a pop star, forget about doing or being anything, and see what happens’. And then you just sit on the sofa and eat donuts and watch reality TV shows, and nothing really happens.”

ON STAGE FRIGHT: “I STEP ON STAGE AND IT STAYS WITH ME FOR TWO HOURS. IT’S HORRENDOUS”: Still, there’s little he would have done differently. At 35, the face of Stoke-on-Trent’s favourite son may be a little more lined, and his hair may show the faintest signs of greying – but at heart, he’s the same cheeky-chappie with a self-deprecating sense of humour and an undeniable charisma seeping out of every newly-tanned pore.

He speaks openly and honestly about his insecurities. And boy, are there a lot of them. Yeah, Robbie Williams, the pop star with a supposed ego to rival Liam Gallagher’s, is insecure. Robbie Williams also suffers from stage fright, one of the reasons he didn’t tour Rudebox and won’t be touring this album, either.

“I’m not the first person to be struck down with stage fright, and I’m not the first person whose stage fright worsens with age,” he shrugs. “It used to be you step out on stage and it used to disappear. Now I step on stage sometimes and it stays with me for two hours, and I can’t even explain what that feels like. It’s absolutely horrendous. I’ve got this album that I love, and I want it to be out there, being listened to, and hopefully someone enjoying it as much as I am, but I don’t want to – yet – put myself in the uncomfortable position of having 300 million quid’s worth of tour in front of me, and come the third or fourth night, going ‘I’m terrified’.”

This may be hard to believe for anyone who saw his much-touted live comeback on the X Factor last weekend; breathily making his way through Bodies , he worked the stage and the audience as confidently as ever, a handshake here, a flirty wink there. It was clear from his face-splitting grin and wide-eyed disbelief that he was surprised by such an emphatic reception.

The viewers, meanwhile, may have been equally surprised by the fact that he chose not to add to Simon Cowell’s brief tribute to his one-time boy band contemporary, Boyzone’s Stephen Gately, who had died less than 24 hours before. .

Despite all his fears and apprehensions, however, the new album is undoubtedly his strongest in several years. Being responsible for some of the best pop songs of the past 15 years, not to mention some of the most anthemic, has its pitfalls. Yet several of Reality Killed the Video Star ’s songs – the Beatles-esque Morning Sun , the swinging 1950s jukebox swoon of You Know Me , the aptly-titled Eurythmics homage Last Days of Disco – are dazzling enough to bring back the fans driven away by Rudebox’ s comparatively experimental bent.

With former songwriting partner Guy Chambers still out of the picture, much of the album’s polished pop perfection could be attributed to its producer, Trevor Horn, a man who’s had to build a house full of bathrooms just to store his platinum discs.

ON CATHOLICISM: “I DIDN’T FANCY THAT. IT WAS BORING, DAMP AND THE SEX WAS AWFUL”: Heck, there are a even a couple of songs that tackle religion. Where does Robbie Williams stand on that subject these days?

“I don’t know where I’m at with that sort of stuff at the moment. I was raised Catholic – didn’t fancy that. It was just boring, damp and the sex was awful,” he smirks. “And then I didn’t have anybody, but it was kind of like ‘Yeah, Jesus is cool’. Then I got myself a drink and drug problem, and I started to learn about the concept of a higher power that was not religious, that was just like … an agony aunt with 55-inch biceps in the sky, that looks after you and wants you to do well.

“Then that drifts away, and you’re kind of part atheist, part the-first-problem-that-comes-up-you-go-straight-to-God. I have noticed that – I did pray to Archangel Michael the other day. He’s a fantastic Angel,” he says with a cheeky grin. “He is huge. I want him to be me dad. No, but really … where I am with all that stuff at the moment is that I’m an atheist up until the shit hits the fan, then I’ll be on my knees quicker than anybody else.”

ON TAKE THAT: “THEY’RE HAVING A LOT OF FUN AND I WANT TO BE PART OF THAT FUN”: Eclecticism, both lyrical and musical, is the key to this album. “I want to be Jay-Z. I mainly want to be Neil Tennant. I wanted to be Stephen Duffy for a little while. I wanted to be Morrissey for a little bit. So there’s all of these people I would like to be, and considering I didn’t really have a music philosophy coming into Take That or leaving Take That – other than ‘I want this to sound great’ – I kind of allow myself to go all over the musical map, and I have done with this album again.”

The question on people’s lips is whether or not Williams will reunite with his former bandmates. He’s open – enthusiastic, even – about the prospect. All five members recently partook in a writing session at New York’s Electric Lady studios, suggesting that new material is underway and old wounds spanning fifteen years have finally been closed.

“We got together last year and put all the bad blood under the bridge, and instead of it blowing all out of proportion like other bands and y’know, family members, and then storming away from the table and slamming doors and never seeing each other again for 10 years, we all went ‘Yeah, I did that, and Im sorry’, and it was genuine from both sides. And then we just had a great night.

“The next day I was so buoyed about it that I got the Take That symbol tattooed on my arm, and they were coming up for dinner at the house again and I was excited, and they got out the car and I said ‘Look at that!’, and they just went ‘You’re a dick’,” he laughs.

“I love what they’re doing, and I think the show that they did raised the bar. I was looking at it and thinking ‘How do they top it? How would I top that?’ and I thought ‘I’ll just join them!’. So we will be doing something. When and where and how, I don’t know. But they’re having a lot of fun and I want to be part of that fun.”

ON WORK: “I COULD SIT AND GET FAT ON A SOFA, EATING DONUTS, BUT I THINK I’D GO MORE MAD”: There’s still a little voice in the back of Williams’s head that, despite his public persona, seems determined to keep him in check.

“In Take That, it was kind of drilled into us that this is such a short-lived thing. There are loads of rules that still remain in my head as a hangover from being in Take That – ‘You’ve got to be friends with the media, you’ve got to make friends with this tabloid, take them out to dinner and kiss arse’, and ‘Now you’ve got to go away and cause a vacuum, they’ll go off you if you don’t go away and cause a vacuum’. Those kind of things have been in my head for the last three years. I’ve been away ‘causing a vacuum’, a la my ex-manager Nigel Martin-Smith.”

In that case, why not just sit in your studio and churn out album after album of potential hits and shun the media world entirely?

“Yeah, but a man does need a job. At one point, I was gonna put the album out and not do any promotion and not do anything. That was about 18 months ago, two years ago. I had an album ready to go that would have petrified the record company,” he chuckles. “There were lots of bleeps and blobs and no choruses and strange lyrics. I wanted to just put it out online. Then I was actually speaking to [his biographer] Chris Heath, who’s very knowledgeable about everything, and he said ‘Y’know, that might come across as you not being bothered about the music, if you did that.

And that was a turning point where I went ‘Right, OK, I’ll just have to wait until I get my head around being enthusiastic and confident enough to come back’. And also, like I say, a man needs a job. I could sit and get fat on a sofa, eating donuts, writing songs and putting them out on the internet, but I think I’d go more mad.”

ON THE ALBUM: “YOU DANCE AROUND, AIR GUITAR ALL OVER THE PLACE. THREE MONTHS LATER, YOU GO ‘IT’S SHIT’”: “It’d be incredibly trite of me to say that this is the best album I’ve ever done, because this is the eighth studio album, and I’ve been saying it for eight albums. But I’m really, really proud of it. Your instant response to something that you feel is good is ‘Yeah!’. You dance around the studio, air guitar all over the place. Then three months later, you go ‘It’s shit, it’s shit. What was I thinking?’

“And that happens on a daily basis as it gets closer and closer to release date. I’m either a genius, or a charlatan or a half-wit, and quite often all three,’ he says with another of those cheeky shrugs and half-smiles. “That’s just how it is.”

 

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/theticket/2009/1016/1224256752014.html

 

 

 

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