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“Now that the music industry has collapsed around my ears, there’s me standing there with a great big recording studio"
Olaf Tyaransen, 11 Oct 2010
David Gray might be a pretty big star nowadays, but even million-selling, internationally-renowned artists don’t always get to access all areas. Although he was playing support to fellow folk-rocker Bob Dylan in a Limerick stadium recently, the affable English singer still couldn’t manage to get a face-to-face with the Big Zim.
“I couldn’t get anywhere near the fella!” Gray laughs. “It wasn’t anything like I expected it would be. We were even in a different part of the building. The passes didn’t work. It seemed like it was impossible to get close, which was a real shame. I would have loved to have shaken his hand, at least.”
As a headliner in his own right, that Limerick date was the only support slot he’s played in recent times. Following its release in September 2009, the 42-year-old has spent almost all of the past twelve months touring his acclaimed Draw The Line album around the world.
“I’ve been non-stop. I’ve been on the road for a long time, really. It slackened off a little bit in the last month so I just had a summer holiday. But yeah, basically it has been non-stop. We’ve played some fantastic shows – especially in America where the record has done really well.”
Despite the constant touring, we’re talking because Gray has just released his ninth studio album, Foundling. He’d recorded it at the same time as he recorded Draw The Line, and his relief to finally get it out is palpable.
“It feels great to just get it out there. It’s been burning a hole in my pocket for over eighteen months, and I’m pleased it’s coming out when it is. After I’d finished the Draw the Line record, I got down to finishing this one because I’d just written and partly recorded it at the same time, so it was finished and mixed by the time Draw the Line came out. So here we are now. Better out than in!”
As the sole owner of a state-of-the-art Crouch End recording facility called The Church (so named because that’s what it used to be before Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, who sold it to Gray, converted it), he’s been able to work on his own creative terms without the added pressure of paying for commercial studio time.