# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Rumer - Interview

  by Owen Peters

published: 12 / 4 / 2015

Rumer - Interview


Owen Peters talks to much acclaimed singer-songwriter Rumer about her forthcoming UK/European tour and recently released third album, 'Into the Colour'

Although I had seen Rumer on numerous TV slots and listened to her various albums, I didn’t have a predefined opinion on what to expect. You probably won’t be surprised, therefore, to find out that I found her a sum of many parts. I liken her to a swan. There are all those easy, seemingly effortless ballads, and her visually calm unruffled appearance. But then we have all the unseen activity underneath. Reach into those lyrics with care. There is nothing very fluffy here. Rumer tells me during the interview that people should take what they want from her songs. I know some artists would be upset if people didn’t “get” their lyrics, but not Rumer. The songs, especially those on her 2010 debut album 'Seasons of My Soul', are personal, cathartic, open, deep, and dark. Listen to 'Slow'. It’s as though the water is rising all around. All you can do is wait to become engulfed. Don't play 'Take Me as I am' on Valentines' Day. It is a song of unrequited love drifting away. Throughout the interview she plays down her music as gentle, background, secondary to a task in hand, like washing the dishes. At this time in her career she isn’t cited as a strong lyricist, which is a shocking misconception. 'Into the Colour', her third studio album, which came out at the end of last year, gained very good reviews and will be the foundation for her 2015 tour dates. The new single 'Dangerous' is an uptempo number, which has been available on every radio show imaginable. Throughout the interview she is open on a whole range of subjects, especially the topic of herself. Rumer has a lot to say in her lyrics. This is just the tip of a private person. There are topics to which she could make positive contributions, if asked. Complex, private, funny, expressive, opinionated, caring, see what you think. I start by asking Rumer about her UK/European tour, which will begin in mid- February 2015. Twenty shows in one month? Is she nervous or apprehensive? R: I’m looking forward to getting out and meeting people who come to the shows. I’m looking forward to singing which I still enjoy enormously. When I see the line up of dates,I do feel some level of anxiety. I hope I can keep it all together without too much stage fright kicking in. PB: Have stage nerves become less of an issues over the years? R: Oh yes. I’ve seen people who’ve helped me with techniques on how to deal with it. Basically it’s an adrenalin rush. Its like all these unwanted chemicals flooding the body and having to deal with it. PB: What are your tour plans for 2015? R: I start in the UK mid-February, then move onto European dates early/mid- March. Once we close off the European tour the plan is for US dates in April. We are talking about possibly touring Japan in May. I would love to play shows in Australia, South America, Poland. To be honest, we’ll just see where I get invited to play. PB: What been your views on press and media comments to your new album, 'Into the Colour'? R: Overall I think people have really liked it. Some people haven’t listened to the album. You can tell that they don’t what the songs are about. All I can do is give it my best. I worked my arse off to get the album out there. I know how hard I’ve worked. I’ve done the best I can. I couldn’t have done anymore. I’ve come to accept people don’t understand the amount of work which goes into making an album. The energy, the finance, the number of people involved...it’s a huge enterprise. As long as I’ve given it my best, which I have, then I’m happy. PB: So how would you describe your music? What are your trying to achieve? R: Well I certainly don’t want it to be subversive whilst I’m cooking or driving in the car. I want it be gentle, easy almost like the songs whisper to you. Some of the lyrics have a barb to them for sure, but I want my material to be easy listening. PB: Do you have a writing structure, say get up at 8 a.m. and write until noon? R: God no. There are times when I just can’t pick up a guitar or listen to music. I can’t stand the sound. At other times I’m obsessive. I have this Richard Burton/Liz Taylor relationship with music. The relationship is on, then it’s off. It never goes away, but it is hard to live with. I don’t have a formula for my songs. They come when they come. There is absolutely no formula. PB: Other than songwriting do you do any other form of writing? Do you write a blog or a diary each day? R: I do write for myself. I wouldn’t call it a blog and it’s definitely not for publication. In some way it’s therapeutic. It gets the debris out of my head from the previous day. PB: Do you have any writing collaborations in place for 2015? R: No, not really. Oh I did a song with Rob Love of Alabama 3, a kind of 'A Fairytale in New York' duet, which is quite cool. At present I’m not in writing mode. I’ve just delivered the album, So I don’t even want to turn on the bloody radio. PB: Talking of modes, let me put you in 'Desert Island Discs' mode. I’m transporting you onto a desert island. You can select two artists to keep you company. Who would they be? R: Mmmm, that’s interesting. One would be Joni Mitchell...and the other...who would be good company?...I’ll take Laura Nyro. PB: How do you relax? Pilates? Yoga? Are you a reader of books? R: I have a dog Alfie who gets me out onto muddy walks. I do like to ramble and walking. Yes, I love to walk. Sometimes I get to the cinema for the matinees. It's quite nice just to sit on your own to watch a film, although I do get fidgety after twenty minutes or so. My attention span can be quite short. I’ve tried pilates and do like it, but anything where I have to turn up at a certain time doesn’t work for me. I have enough scheduling in my work life without it coming into my personal life. I like to sit in a chair and look out the window. I can do that for hours. PB: Your songs can have a hard hitting personal storyline. Is it fair to say that’s not always understood by the listener? R: It doesn’t really bother me. If people want to make their own interpretation of my songs, that’s fine. I’ve created something. Whatever your interaction with the music, if it means something to an individual I’m okay with that. I want my music to drift in over the radio. It’s not supposed to be ground breaking. It’s easy listening. It’s low impact. It’s not like I’m trying to reinvent the wheel, I want it to be enjoyed. PB: Two songs on your second album, 'Boys Don’t Cry', which you didn’t write, Clifford T. Ward's 'Home Thoughts from Abroad'” and Gilbert O’Sullivan's 'We Will', are particular favourites of mine. Do you have any plans to cover any more Gilbert O’Sullivan songs? R: Do you know I’d never even heard of him? It was my first producer Steve Brown who suggested him. I’d like to work with him again. He has a really interesting sense of melody which I like. PB: Do you know his song 'Alone Again Naturally'? R: Yes. He (Gilbert O’Sullivan) lost his father when he was eleven years old. I have looked at it. Maybe it’s one for the live shows, I do like it. PB: You have spoken openly about your physical and mental health issues over the years. Is this now more private and personal, or do you feel you have a duty to speak about the topics? R: I am moving on. I’m not sick, ill or on medication. Sometimes I think what is bi-polar. Does it exist? I do know that mental health support in this country is woeful. Part of me feels I need to change the subject. It’s such an unsexy subject. My sister will say, “God will you stop talking about that.” There is such a stigma attached to mental issues. It’s not uncommon for people to put distance between you, partly because I have spoken openly about the subject. People who reach out for help should be supported, not rejected. PB: Ruby Wax talks about what Churchill described as “the black dog” in articles, interviews and her stage shows. Would you consider take up some type of ambassador role to support others in this area? R: Sure, if anyone is interested, I will talk about it. I’ve done a lot of therapeutic, observational work. I guess I am pretty knowledgeable about the issues. So, yes. I can see what you're asking. Then again I have my family saying, “Stop saying you're mental" (Laughs). I’m just sensitive and have suffered from mental health debilitating issues. I’m not ashamed, although to some degree I know I am stigmatised. PB: Before you had a scientific or medical explanation of your condition, how you did you deal with those issues? R: 'Seasons of My Soul', I put it all into that album. It was all about imagining, be it Aretha Franklin or someone else, imagining people who were wise, who could help me. All those songs are just figments of my imagination. Most of the songs have two voices. It's just schizophrenia. There is my voice and another voice with wise words or instruction. Before I had any type of diagnosis I tended to get out the city and get immersed in the countryside. I felt nature would help. To be honest I just suffered through it and occasionally fell flat on my face. Looking back I don’t think I managed at all. It was all a bit of a mess. Away from the stigma of mental health, I think I’m a kind, caring person who has things to say. No one should be disrespectful to people who are ill. I’ve had situations when people have been disrespectful, and I just won’t accept it. Call my albums crap. That’s okay, but the ignorance which surrounds mental illness is so frustrating. When I was helping out at Crisis centres, I saw mostly men who had lost their jobs, homes, relationships. I’m 35 years old. I’ve never been married and wrapped myself around a relationship like that. To lose your husband, wife or partner after say thirty/forty years of being together is a terrible bereavement. We are sensitive creatures. It doesn’t take a lot to knock us off balance. PB: What about the world in general. Do you get asked your opinions on topical subjects. For example, the shootings in Paris? R: No, no one tends to ask my opinion on these type of subjects. PB: I’m surprised. The lyrics you write and topics you cover in your writing make you a prime candidate for your opinions. R: I do have strong opinions on a whole range of subjects. Cruelty to animals, the sex trade, child abuse, poverty you name it. Sometimes the world seems broken, but I want to do something. It can be overwhelming. It’s getting worse. What can we do? You have to stay with a positive vibration, stay in a positive lane. PB: Are you allowed to release details of your wedding later this year? R: Er...May 23rd a simple Arkansas wedding, nothing flash, just easy going. PB: Do you musically have any changes planned over the next couple of years? R: I may diversify a little. Nothing major, just subtle changes. It depends what I’ve got to say as I go along. PB: Thank you.

Picture Gallery:-
Rumer - Interview

Rumer - Interview

Rumer - Interview

Rumer - Interview

Visitor Comments:-
733 Posted By: Diane Sampson, USA on 11 Feb 2015
Maybe Rumer has been misdiagnosed (although I doubt it) but there is no question that Bipolar Disorder is real. As for her statement "People who reach out for help should be supported, not rejected." - This is absolutely true, but people often don't reach out to those going through a mental health crisis. They push the ill person away because they just don't want to be bothered.

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

live reviews

Barbican, London, 24/2/2015
Rumer - Barbican, London, 24/2/2015
Owen Peters watches bestselling singer-songwriter Rumer play a pitch perfect set to an enraptured audience at the Barbican in London

digital downloads

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors