Blur bassist turned to classics in hour of need

Blur bassist turned to classics in hour of need

Alex James has said classical music saved him when Blur were "disintegrating".

The band's bassist said that after the group originally parted ways with guitarist Graham Coxon in 2002 and the band was left in a state of limbo following their last full album `Think Tank', he turned to classical music to help soothe his state of mind.

Alex, 41, said: "It was moving into the farmhouse where I now live that got me into it, in 2003, at a time when Blur was disintegrating before my eyes.

"All my adult years had been driven by this purpose - being in a band that had become a global megalith. But, when Blur got put on hold, I found myself stuck in the middle of the countryside with nothing to do. No pubs, no gigs, no parties. It was like Rock Star Family Robinson.

"Eventually, I started wanting to dig deeper into musical history and I started thinking about Rossini's `William Tell Overture', which I hadn't heard since I was a 12-year old school kid. I bought a copy, sat in my studio, turned the speakers up loud and, my God, I just burst into tears."

From here Alex became more and more absorbed with the classical world, and became obsessive about the great composers.

He added: "To use a food analogy, it's the same thing with eating oysters. They are, to start with, so foreign, so unusual, it's hard to tell which bit of is supposed to be the part you enjoy. Once I'd had about six, though, I thought there just might be something in it and once I'd had 12 they were all I could think about."

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