Legendary frontman, singer songwriter Richard Ashcroft has just turned 45 but it seems that the whole idea of slowing down has not crossed his mind yet. In fact, with a new solo album 'These People', he has spent the last few months touring and he's now getting ready for a Latin American tour which will take him to some South American countries including Argentina for the first time in his entire career.
Weeks before his South American tour kicks off, we called Richard to discuss his latest album, the music industry, his past , The Stone Roses, Noel and Liam Gallagher and the possibility of a new solo album next year.
KB: I would like to start by asking you what your earliest ambition in life was?
RA: My earliest ambition or dream probably was to play football. I guess that would be my earliest ambition but well, I was singing at school although I never really took music very seriously until I was about 16 or 17. Originally, it was all about football. I always wanted to play for my team, Manchester United.
KB: Regarding music when you were growing up. What records did you use to play when you were young? Who were your musical heroes?
RA: When I was growing up, we had very few records in my house. I was very lucky that some of the records my mum and dad had were really good. There was a Stones compilation, there was a Beatles compilation, there was one Pink Floyd album. I remember there was a pair of headphones round the house too when I was about 5 or 6. It was then I really felt the power of music then with these amazing headphones. Then, my mum bought me my first guitar for my 16th birthday. She bought it in Liverpool from the same guitar shop The Beatles used to get theirs when they started and the story really would start there. However, (Richard points out) I didn't really write songs fully until I was in my early 20s but music was always part of my life. I was never taught a musical instrument (he says); in fact, I was not allowed to take music at school. I was banned from taking music so I didn't have an instrument.
KB: You are back with a new solo album after a few years, and let me ask you, had the songs for 'These People' been with you for a long time?
RA: I had a few songs. In fact, I had the title song 'These People' for a long time and the song called 'Everybody Needs Somebody to Hurt' but most of them are quite new; songs such as 'Hold On' and 'Out Of My Body', 'Songs Of Experience', 'They Don't Own Me', these are all relatively new songs. I had two or three of the songs for a while but I was waiting for the right time to release them. I think the next few years should be quite a productive point for me because I've had a few years off. It's very exciting now back in England to have had a few years away. I have some Arena shows in December which are selling really well. I am going to sell those out. I will finish the year in the UK on a real high after playing in a number of different countries round the world. These are very exciting times really.