British singer-songwriter presents ‘Who We Used To Be’: “A nostalgic record about the ups and downs of life”
James Blunt talks about war at the launch of his new album ‘Who We Used To Be’, out Friday 27 October. “The great sadness – states the singer – is that the world seems to be moving further and further into division, politicians seem interested in dividing us and so everything ends in tragedy, it is strange to think that as human beings they all have the same emotions, you can meet wonderful Palestinians or Israelis, Ukrainians and Russians, Kosovars or Albanians, we are not gangs or political parties, but we have lost the ability to understand the reasons of the other, who is not crazy, but has his own vision of things. And it is truly terrible that not we can look each other in the eyes with compassion and humanity.”
Blunt, former captain of the British army, speaks with knowledge of the facts of the war: in June 1999 he was the first officer to enter the Kosovar capital Pristina, in command of a reconnaissance unit, in preparation for the entry of the NATO contingent and he said several times that on that occasion he refused to attack a Russian contingent that blocked a landing strip, contravening an order from his general and, in his opinion, averting a potential third world war. “I am not a politician – he says while presenting the new album in Milan – but a former soldier and a human being, and from my experience, limited to the war in Kosovo, but so similar to what happens in Ukraine and Israel, I can say that in every conflict it is always innocent civilians who pay the highest priceto suffer more, and it’s really terrible.”
‘Who We Used To Be’, made with various producers, including Jonny Coffer, Red Triangle, Jack & Coke and Steve Robson, “is an album – explains the now 49-year-old artist – that talks about the ups and downs of life, a reflection on the past and present and on my life experiences. The one on the album cover is me as a child, the photo was taken by my father. We retouched it because the sky in England is not so sunny”, he quips.
“Each album tells a period of my life, and this album reflects on what my life is now. My parents are getting old, and now I have to take care of them. I’m married, and now for the woman with whom I share my life and want to live forever, I sing songs that have a much more important value”, he underlines. But more than a “melancholic” album, Blunt defines this work as “nostalgic”.
Among the tracks on the new album there is also ‘In Dark Thought’a song in which James Blunt recalls his friendship with the actress Carrie Fisher, who passed away in 2016, who helped him start his career in the early 2000s: “In 2002 I met Carrie Fisher in Los Angeles, and we had lunch together She asked me why I was there and where I lived. I told her that I was in Los Angeles for music and that I didn’t have a house yet. At that point, she told me to move in with her, and so I did. been. I went back to Los Angeles to say goodbye to her. The song is about that,” he concludes.