Credit: VIDEOGRAPHY Will Suen, EDITOR & PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Claudia Sutiono
Robbie Williams still gets part-terrified as he grapples with the thought of performing at Knebworth again. A long pause follows our question of whether he plans to tour his current album, The Heavy Entertainment Show, to the magnitude of his past shows in the North of Herfordshire town in England. “I always knew with Knebworth that it would be downhill,” he jokes to GRAZIA. “I mean, where do you go from there? I could still probably do a night at Knebworth, maybe a couple. But my body isn’t the same, my mind isn’t the same but I do set out to deliver that level of performance even though I’m older now. The bar is set there and the mind is willing, I don’t know if the body is but you’re right, that’s where the bar is set and I try and live up to it.”
“I was terrified. I was absolutely petrified. I found the responsibility of performing to 135000 people each evening weighed really heavily. But I pulled it off and I’m proud of myself for doing it especially because of how I felt about myself which was not great.”
While being so open about his struggles with “drug addiction, alcoholism, hedonism and excess”, Williams says he’s forever chasing that number one longtime hit in a now-streaming music industry – and one that may warrant a spot at Knebworth again. Panicked and worried that he didn’t have enough hits on his latest album, Williams, 42, sent an email to Ed Sheeran asking for any tracks he may be working on. Sheeran sent across Pretty Woman, a song that could hopefully measure up to the success of Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off or Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk. “Of course I would collaborate with Taylor,” Williams says. “She writes a really good song, she’s a really good popstar, she sets the bar for pop especially with that last album. Song after song after song, she’s like seven singles deep and they all sounded like the first song off the record. She’s incredible and a phenomenon.”
Credit: VIDEOGRPAHY Will Suen, EDITOR & PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Claudia Sutiono
Seemingly in a really good place in his life, Williams is an unpredictable and thus intimidating interview. Discussing drugs and alcohol, he admits he isn’t completely sure he wouldn’t go down the wrong track again. “I don’t know,” he says. “Today I won’t.”
Watch the full interview above.
The Heavy Entertainment Show is out now.