B Scene Interview with David Gray
Monday 9th November.
This year has seen Welshman David Gray's fourth album 'White Ladder' go triple platinum in Ireland, he received the coveted Hotpress award of "Guest of the Nation", by-passing the likes of Robbie Williams and R.E.M. He played phenomenal gigs at Slane and The Big Beat in Galway and now plans to headline the Point in December playing to a sell-out audience of 10,000. This meteoric rise to fame has not been easy, David Gray has come from humble beginings indeed, he has moved through two major record companies and had little commercial success with previous releases yet it was 'White Ladder' an album released on an independent label that sealed his success.
B Scene spoke to a very content David Gray earlier this week:
'White Ladder' your most successful album to date was released on an independant label. Did you ever envisage the success it has achieved?
It's been an amazing year. It's been beyond any of our expectations. Having had no proven track record of commercial success, I would hardly have been expecting to get a triple platinum. (Laughs).
The venues you are playing in these days are growing in size to match your
increasing popularity (such as Slane, and headlining The Point, Shepards
Bush), will hardened Gray fans be disappointed with the loss of your now
legendary intimate shows?
Things have got to change for us and the fans. The situation has changed. It's moved on a few paces, so we're just trying to keep things interesting. You can't please all the people all the time. We wanted to have a big party and get the most amount of people as we could at it. If the gig in Galway hadn't gone so well this Summer I don't think we would have contemplated it. That gig had four and a half thousand people and that was just a riot so we thought what the hell - Why not play the Point.
Please Forgive Me has been re-mixed by Paul Hartnol of Orbital is this an
avenue you plan to take with future releases?
I think itıs facinating what people will do in a re-mix. "Please Forgive Me" is already quite a dancy track and he's made a much more dancy version.
Is it an attempt to break into the clubbing scene?
No. Everything is up for grabs these days. Your don't have to be hard and fast into the club scene to get things re-mixed. It's become and expected part of music culture at the moment.
Youıre releasing White Ladder in the States early next year. Do you think it
will receive the success that it has in Europe?
I'm very optimistic. We've sold more records on imports on this album than we have sold to in the shops with the last album. I think that must be a good omen. I think with this record, when it gets airplay it works for itself. Weıve had a particular radio station in L.A. called K.C.R.W and they've been playing it to death. We sold thousands of imports in L.A. on the strenght of that. Things have actually moved along in our absence which is the way we like it. You don't have to do the work (laughs)
When are we to expect the next album?
We've made a new record. We finished it the day before we went on tour. We went into the studio and gave ourselves 10 days to record and mix and we did it. Theyıre were a few songs that werenıt involved in White Ladder' because they didn't quite fit and some of them were written just after Sell, Sell, Sell. So they had fallen through the cracks so we swept them up with the broom of music and now they've been collected on this album. We don't know what we are going to do it with it yet. We don't know whether to release it or just make it available to fans over the internet. There's also an idea for a film project where we plan to get some people to make films for each track and make a kind of instillation out of it. Any of those things sound interesting.
Do you write songs consistently?
Iıve hardly written a song all year because Iıve been too busy. When the year ends which Iım really looking forward to, Iım planning to chill out, take a bit if time out and let the whole writing process start. I think Iıve had all of 1999 I can take for now.
Are you excited about the Point gig in December?
Iım working on my stage projection. (laughs)