Jake Bugg speaks at the Radio 6 Music Festival

BBC Radio 6 Music Festival 2014 interview

By Sean Tizzard | Published: Wed 5th Mar 2014

Jake Bugg

Friday 28th February to Saturday 1st March 2014
Victoria Warehouse, Trafford Wharf Rd, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M17 1AB, England MAP
£25 - SOLD OUT
Daily capacity: 5,000
Last updated: Tue 4th Mar 2014

Jake Bugg is tired. He has every right to be. Jet lagged and feisty, he has just spent much of his 20th birthday flying back to Manchester from LA after an appearance on American Idol. No longer a teenager, there's a steely determination about this shy, young man. He repeats back each question he's asked, perhaps to buy time for his "fatigued body" to come up with suitable answers. In the short term, he wants to sleep. In the long term, he wants to keep making music. "I want to have achieved much more in my music by the time I'm 30", he stresses. That's what he lives for. 

Such a busy schedule must bring pressure, but Bugg suggests, “the only pressure I feel comes from myself.” He talks freely about “the good team I have around me” and how ''all of the bad ideas filter out by the time they reach me". I stop short of asking him about his songwriting process but he's definitely being moulded to stay around. 

This might explain his dismissal of the NME. “I'm sorry, I'm not answering any of your questions”, says Bugg when an unfortunate hack from the paper asks an innocuous question. We can only speculate whether this is because of an NME award snub or if he's objecting to their less than favourable review of his second album after lauding his first album. It's a brave response to the build them up/let them fall mentality and I warm to Bugg. "I wasn't there", he says when asked about the NME awards. 

We talk about festivals. He knows that he's playing T In The Park & Reading and Leeds but when asked about Glastonbury, he deflects with, “I’m not sure actually. I just look in my diary and if it’s in there I turn up and plug my guitar in.” Last year, he picks Glastonbury and T InThe Park out as his personal highlights but adds as an afterthought that “they were all good. I like to play the festivals and to see the world.” 

He's happy to be in Manchester for the first 6 music festival comparing the weather here to that in LA. “It was raining in LA and sunny when I got off the plane in Manchester”, he observes. When asked about his recent collaboration with one of Manchester’s famous sons, Johnny Marr, he explains that it just happened naturally giving the impression that his life is just one laidback event. 

The allocated five minutes that I spend with Bugg are over in a flash. He's led off by 'his team' to get ready for the 6 Music show, for more interviews, more shows and more international travel. It's all a relentless rush and I wonder, despite his suggestions to the contrary, if he wouldn't be happier back home in Clifton, Nottingham, with his mates.

interview by: Sean Tizzard

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