Rag ‘n’ Bone Man: ‘I was drinking too much and I was taking too many drugs’ – Music News

“What I’ll take from this whole album experience is it’s made me a more open human being,” Rag’n’Bone Man tells Apple Music.

“It’s about sort of finally being able to be really honest about yourself and realising your flaws.” In this short film, he recalls the bold self-examination that fuelled his second album, ‘Life by Misadventure’. He also explains why he decided to leave his UK base for Nashville to make the record, and discusses the importance of emotional honesty and vulnerability in songwriting. Featuring live performances from the Union Chapel in London, it’s a revealing journey into the mind of the BRIT-winning singer-songwriter.

On the album’s theme of growing up and making sure the next generation are open with their feelings…
There’s a common theme of growing up … We’re all winging it and I’m trying. We grew up in a time where it was very difficult to show your feelings, our generation have a responsibility to make sure our kids don’t feel like that.

On the pressures of making his second album…
I think people expect you to be able to come out with an album like a year after your first one. When I actually got time to get back in the studio, my brain was all over the place. The stuff that I was coming up with, [sounded] like Human Part 2, so I need to go away and think about what I want to do. I just realised the best way to do it was to just sit in a room with a guitar or a piano and not really worry about what an end product sounded like or not try to get into production too much … All you have is authenticity. I knew that I wanted to make something organic. There was only one way, set it up like a band and record all the tracks live. We finished the whole record in six days.

On the decision to move to Nashville to make the record…
There’s something about our situation and where we were writing or where we were trying to make this record that wasn’t really working and it was just a decision that we made to up sticks and leave for a bit and go out to Tennessee, Nashville. It just felt like that out there there was a different attitude and a different way of writing.

On feeling proud of his new album…
I just felt like we’ve really achieved something like, you know, first of all making a record like we did and how it sounds, but also doing it in such a short space of time with that much pressure. I remember hearing the recordings that we made that week and listening to it and thinking, ‘That’s an album’, like even at the point where they weren’t mixed or anything and it was just us playing it live, it just had this really great flow about it. All the songs felt like they lived in their own place and they made sense where they were.
What I’ll take from this whole album experience is it’s made me a more open human being. It’s about sort of finally being able to be really honest about yourself and realising your flaws.

On being honest and open in his songwriting…
All of the songs on the album started off as a sentence or a paragraph. It was all like pads, pens and pencils and stuff. When you’re trying to tell a story, when you’re tying to purvey truth then you need to be comfortable, you can’t give away that much in a room with people you’re not comfortable with, it just doesn’t work. It’s always about, does this make sense as a story? Is this going to make people feel the way you’re trying to make people feel?

On previously being a harsh critic on himself and connecting with fans…
I’m quite a harsh critic of myself. I won’t listen to my songs back once we’ve written them. This record was kind of different. When we had all of those songs done, I would listen to the demos back and paint pictures in my head of how things sounded. I’ve felt strongly that the style of this record and the subjects of this record, they’ll only come across well if people feel that they’re in the room with you.

On his reclusive period…
When you spend a lot of time by yourself, you really get to know yourself. There was this period of time where I sort of became a bit of a recluse. I was drinking too much and I was taking too many drugs. I was coming out with ideas in my own head that felt like the sort of ramblings of a madman. And I thought, ‘Well why not try and let people into that?’

You can view the original article HERE.

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