Glasto Interviews: Jamie Cullum
The cheeky jazz monkey is no stranger to Worthy Farm, so it wasn’t entirely surprising to bump into the erstwhile crooner in a backstage bar, just hours before his headline slot on the Jazz World stage.
Virtual Festivals: You've been to Glastonbury loads of times before as a punter. What’s your best memory?
Jamie Cullum: I can’t tell you, I might get arrested! It was that good.
VF: What’s your opinion of the line-up this year?
JC: The line up this year’s pretty good. It’s not like my top line-up of all time but it’s still pretty damn good. I’m just glad I get to see Paul McCartney. That’s amazing. It’s really exciting. You know, I’ve seen Oasis a lot but I wasn’t here last night and they’re great. I’m sad I missed Elbow but I get to see them at V.
VF: And you’re here for the rest of the weekend?
JC: I’ve set my tent up. I’m staying.
VF: You mentioned that it’s not your ultimate festival line-up…
JC: No. It’s not bad in any way. It’s just that there’s a few other bands I’d have liked to have seen. I’d have loved to have seen Franz Ferdinand yesterday. Chemical Brothers were on last night – I love them but I’m gonna see Basement Jaxx tonight.
VF: If you’re a big fan of those kind of artists, how come you’re into performing jazz?
JC: I’m a music fan. I don’t make distinctions. I love rock music, I’ve played in rock bands. I love pop music, I’ve played in pop bands. I love hip-hop, I’ve played in hip-hop bands. I also love jazz. Obviously, I seem to have found my niche here and it’s somewhere I can be vaguely original and vaguely interesting. Who knows what might happen in the future?
VF: What’s with all the easy listening charts at the moment, though?
JC: It’s a few things. First of all, it’s very much easier to get hold of music these days so it’s easier for any kind of music to take off. Also, younger people aren’t really buying so much music so it’s a slightly older demographic buying so they’re gravitating to slightly older sounds. What’s happened in that term is that’s kinda got popular and the young people are hearing it. At my gigs half of the people are under 20 so the older people have led the way. That’s kinda cool.
VF: And younger people aren’t buying as much music ‘cos they’re downloading it. In the past you’ve endorsed illegal downloading – bet your record company wasn’t happy with those comments.
JC: Well, I only endorsed it because the people who download music are music fans and music fans are good for the music industry. If record companies would get off their arse and lower the price of CDs and make CD cases more interesting and release albums with 12 good songs on rather than 2 singles and a load of fillers then we’d be alright.
VF: Are you working on a new album at the moment?
JC: I’m always working on a new album. We’re in the middle of touring. I won’t be recording until early next year. I’m going to play a couple of new songs tonight.
VF: Have you got any more covers planned?
JC: Not sure about that yet. I’m concentrating on the originals for now.
VF: Is there anybody that you’ve wanted to cover, but haven’t been able to for some reason?
JC: I tried to do an AC/DC song once called ‘Gone Shooting’ but it didn’t work out…