Florence Welch is back! And she’s heading to headline Glastonbury Festival, after the Foo Fighters had to drop out. We reckon she’ll kill it! Plus after a four year break, Florence and The Machine have a new album out – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful – and we can’t wait to hear the tracks, which if they are anything like Shake It Out or You’ve Got The Love will be absolutely incredible. We caught up with the 28-year-old singer and she chats starstruck moments, heartache and her love of a good cuppa…
Hi Florence, it’s been a mad few years for you…
I just feel very grateful. It’s a really nice place to be in, to look back on everything and have some really fond memories of touring and gigs.
What’s been your most surreal moment so far?
Probably playing the Met Ball [in 2011] to an audience of rock stars, models and my musical peers. That was amazing. There’s all that glamour, but it’s just fantasy. I like to be able to come back to England and just be with my family, ride my bike, read books and drink cups of tea. That’s what I really like doing.
But playing at the Grammys must have been amazing…
It was very strange…Performing with so many other strong – very American – powerful female performers. And then me, the pale English girl in the room! That was very bizarre. When I go to these American shows, I do feel like a fish out of water.
Who influences your music now?
I love Talking Heads, Joy Division, Martha Reeves And The Vandellas, Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones. This was the kind of music that was brought to me by my dad. We listened to a lot of The Velvet Underground, as well. He loves The Smiths, too – I remember listening to them a lot as a kid.
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You’ve gained so many dedicated fans – is it tricky not to be overwhelmed by all this adulation and glamour?
I think at the beginning, I found it really hard. I just wasn’t prepared for it at all. But now I feel like I have a bit of experience under my belt. I’ve worked very hard and have toured constantly, so I feel a bit more settled in my achievements. I’m typically British in the way that I find it terribly hard to receive compliments. I can’t big myself up at all, which is really quite tough when you’re trying to sell your new record!
Speaking of your new album, what can we expect from it?
I thought it was a break-up album, but it’s not. It’s about so many other things. I now see how much of it was about me and the relationship I was having with myself.
What are you hoping to do next?
To keep my sanity! I just want to be able to play this record live and I really want to see everyone’s reactions to it. I hope people like it.
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence + the Machine is out today.