If a young musician asked me whose career to emulate, I’d have no hesitation in answering David Gray. Gray has managed to achieve both commercial and critical success while maintaining an artistic vision. He’s had multiple albums and then none at all for years while he regroups to find his muse. He’s been very poor and very rich, without gaining an attachment to either economic category. He’s been a multi-platinum success and still has more energy and passion on stage than most twenty-year -old performers.
Gray is interested in two things, heart, and art, and when you get him talking about those topics he is a non-stop churn of rapid fire ideas and opinions. Yet, Gray describes himself as a pensive kid, puzzling over questions, ruminating over his life and often caught in his earliest pictures with his hand to his chin, his eyebrows furled, thinking, worrying, and puzzling.
Thank God Gray found art as a way to express himself. He experienced enormous success with his fourth album, White Ladder, in the early 2000’s and moved from near obscurity in the United States to owning one of the best selling songs of the decade, Babylon. Gray says it was a big thing to live through, going from obscurity to ubiquity, and he sees the richness of that success, but also the restrictions of fame.
It has been four years since Gray’s last album, Foundling, and he’s found a new partner, Andy Barlow of trip hop duo Lamb, to help him out of his comfort zone and into a newly expansive creative period.
In the end, it was the joy of hearing his finished sound on Mutineers along with a discovered method for writing and arranging, that helped conquer his demons of doubt.
Here, in this incredible interview with Sheila Hamilton of Kink and Logan Lynn of Trillium Family Services, David Gray talks about how he uses music to keep his finely tuned equilibrium in working order, and why it is so important for artists to pay attention to our bearings. “Artists. We’re all a bit mental,” says Gray, laughing. “And all of us suffer. It’s how we cope that matters.”
Thanks to @TrilliumFamilyServices for sponsoring this @SkypeLounge interview with David Gray and for its #KeepOregonWell campaign, encouraging you to find out more about fighting stigma at www.KeepOregonWell.com