It's so funny because when you do smoke weed and write a song, you're like, 'Yeah, this is brilliant, this is excellent!' - and the next morning you go back and often find that really it's not very good at all... I've never done anything like acid or cocaine and I hope I don't. But I guess you have to try things once in a while... just once. I think you have to be very wary of falling into that trap of getting addicted.
When I was 14 or 15 I was into the whole Spice Girls and I was a huge fan, but two years ago I heard The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell and I was like - fucking hell, I've been born in the wrong bloody decade!
I get guilty when I spend money on silly things like clothes and stuff... Having experienced a completely different extreme of wealth, and I don't mean me being poor or rich, I mean knowing that 40 quid that gets spent on a pair of shoes could go a long way for a family in Georgia for a week or even a month, having experienced that, you're a bit more [guilty].
As a family, we have been very fortunate to find a happy lifestyle in this country and we feel we belong. We still consider ourselves to be Georgian, because that is where our roots are, and I return to Georgia every year to see my uncles and grandparents, but I am proud to now be a British citizen.
I think I am easy to make fun of. I try not to pay too much attention. You can't let critics dictate what you do... The thing that fascinates me, is the emotion in music, the way it can make me cry or laugh or be angry. I'm not trying to be hip or cool, and I'm not scared to put everything I have into songs. Passion is the greatest thing that music can evoke. We live in a society where I think people often find it hard to express themselves, but sometimes a song can do that for you. It might not be groundbreaking, but there is something about the simplicity of presenting songs where it's all about the lyric and the melody. People don't need to get through a whole lot of production to get to the root of the song. It's just music doing what music does best... A lot of things in the mainstream are repetitive and soulless and have been churned out without any real conviction. It is really unfair to call Coldplay insufferable, when they obviously care about what they do. James [Blunt] too. Too much of the music industry is controlled by lawyers and businessmen, making music like it's a product on the factory line. That's what I call insufferable.
Of course [Kate Bush] is still relevant. I wasn't actually in the country when her music first came out, so I only discovered it three or four years ago. What's amazing is that something like "Wuthering Heights" still sounds so different. I actually saw her about nine months ago, we were just passing at an industry event and I went up to her and said I was a big fan and asked her about the new record. She was really excited about it but quite nervous because she felt that everyone was hyping it up a bit and she just wanted to bring out an album. You know, she's a musician.
I spend eight to nine months working abroad and cram in a holiday when I have the odd week off. This year, three of those months were spent in America playing gigs with my band, so we got to visit all kinds of places from Arizona to New York. After a few weeks, I really began to miss family and friends not to mention baked beans!
Buying books is probably my biggest vice when I travel. I bought a great one in America called An Incomplete Education, which covers everything from fashion to philosophy in quite a humorous way. It’s a bluffer’s guide, but pretty extensive. Because I never went to university, it’s my attempt to bone up on subjects I don’t know much about.
I don't think I could see myself with someone who's famous. I don't like the lifestyle and everything it stands for. Too superficial. That attention is too much. For me to go home and be surrounded by that sounds like a fucking nightmare. But a musician or someone who's into music is different.
The last verse [In My Secret Life] completely got to me, about how we all have great ideals but in reality we end up conforming, following everyone else. We want to be stronger so we lead that life inside, thinking of ourselves as these great brave souls. I literally thought when I was 15 that I was a musical genius and I could change the world, but in fact you're not and you can't and you don't, and that realisation is almost heartbreaking.
Don't come into the music industry. It's almost inevitable that you'll psychologically be quite screwed up. Fame isn't a natural, human, behavioural thing. You get alienated. You're not really surrounded by truth.
"She is one of the most intelligent singers I've worked with for a very long time, - there are little reminders in her voice, of all sorts of other singers like Eartha Kitt and Edith Piaf, - of whom she has never heard. She exudes a modest confidence, she is completely sure of herself and has a maturity far in advance of her age."
I'm a songwriter but she [Melua] has her songs written for her... She must think it's her fucking lucky day... It's not like she's singing old songs like Jamie [Cullum], she's singing shit new songs that her manager writes for her.
The only trouble is that there's absolutely no passion, no soul and no excitement to be found here...Yet all good music should provoke some sort of emotion, and this [Nine Million Bicycles] provokes none whatsoever.
I've got a ticket,
To the fast city,
Where the bells don't really ring,
Getting off the plane the cold air,
Rushes like bullets through my brain,
And I'm divided between penguins and cats,
But it's not about what animal you've got,
It's about being able to fly,
It's about dying nine times.
We are 13.7 billion light-years from the edge of the observable universe; that's a good estimate with well-defined error bars and with the available information, I predict that I will always be with you.