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‘A critic called me a twelve bore s**t gun’

‘A critic called me a twelve bore s**t gun’
X
Your sophomore release has overtaken Daft Punk's Random Access Memories to score the highest number of online listens in a seven-day period. Are you surprised?
I took a lot of time to put X together. I really tried to perfect it, whereas + was just an of the moment thing. There was a lot of hype around me at that time in terms of building fan base and radio, and I was releasing stuff so often that the album just followed in quick succession. It's all good. I feel like, going into the album, it's all positive.

How would you define your musical philosophy?
Do your own thing and don't try and please people for the sake of it. Do it because you enjoy it.

What would you say defines your music and songs?
I am an acoustic balladeer who sings soppy love songs to teenage girls. And that’s something I’ve never really shied away from, or wanted to shy way from. Cause I think it’s something I can do quite well. But with X it’s more of a step forward.

I’ve tried some new stuff on it. I have stepped outside of my comfort zone a little bit.

What/Who inspires you?
I was four when I joined the local church choir in Halifax, west Yorkshire, where my older brother Matthew was a member and classical composer. Being with him I became music-obsessed. I developed a passion for rap at nine after listening to Eminem.

At 10, I got my first guitar which I would play for several hours a day. At 15, I was crazy fan of the band Nizlopi. I followed them to every gig and they soon offered me a job on their tour as the guitar technician.

Which band do you wish would get back together?
Busted. Actual Busted. And I loved Fightstar and really liked Charlie Simpson's solo project but I feel like everyone wants it to happen. Everyone wants them all to get back together, even if it's just for one tour. God knows it won't hurt any of their pockets and it'll be fun!

It's been ten years since they released their last album - it'll be like them getting back together and being mates again. I don't technically see the problem.

What's the worst thing a critic has ever said about you?
That I was a ‘twelve bore shitgun’. He actually reviewed the new single very positively though - he just hated the first album. I think I got maybe two good main press reviews for the first album. The rest were mixed, if not bad.

And that album sold five million copies. So I don't know if it matters - but that ‘twelve bore shitgun’ thing was a quotable I'd like to have put on the poster.
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