Michael Bublé

Grammy-award winning global megastar Michael Bublé will herald the return of live music for the first time in 17 years to the stunning Royal Crescent, Bath, as he performs a spectacular summer open-air concert, kicking off his 2022  ‘An Evening with Michael Bublé’ UK tour.

Here, Michael talks about the high point he is at in his life right now, how his son’s illness gave him some perspective during the pandemic, his talented kids and more…

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So Michael, how are you?

Honestly, I’m too good. Things are really good. Too good.

You look great too?

My shoulder is a little sore but I’m good. I’m feeling a little better.

How come your shoulder is sore?

I was doing a music video where I was dancing a lot and I did a lot of lifts and I think I just tore something, I don’t know.

Which song was the video for?

‘Higher’. Derek Hough, the American choreographer/dancer, he directed and choreographed the video and I’m dancing, like full on dancing.

It's such a joyful song.

It is yeah. From the mind of an eight-year-old! That’ll do it.

Is your son Noah in the video?

He’s not in ‘Higher’ but he gets the publishing. He does. He splits the percentage. I said to him, ‘You know hopefully if the song does well this might put you through college.’ And he said, ‘I’m not using it to go to school – I want candy.’ [laughs] So he’s got his priorities straight.

Do you remember when you were eight years old? Were you writing songs and thinking about music? 

You know what? Yeah. I knew music was always just such a part of me, such a part of my make-up. Writing songs, I start to write like, you know, there’s a song called ‘Everything’ that I had that was a hit for me. And I started to write that song when I was 16 or 15. And it was a different song at that time. But it was the basis of the song. And so, definitely, I loved music. But, you know, I loved the standards and everybody felt that was very strange. But what’s interesting is so my son is so musical but it’s not something I’ve ever pushed on him but both my boys, I can’t get them off the piano. They love their lessons, they sit all day, my house is just full of music all day. And they don’t want to be famous, they never talk about, ‘Ah I’m going to be…’ They just love music. Like love it. So it’s really cool for me.

So a few years from now you might all share a stage together?

 

I don’t know if they’re going to let this old guy on stage with them. I’m not cool enough [laughs].

You've been on TikTok!

Yeah, I know right! That’s a dream though, you know? How cool would that be, to work with your kids. But it’s a lot of fun. It’s been a really fun year because, you know, I made this record and much of it was made at the house. So they were always there as Pappy was singing or writing a song, you know, ‘What do you think of this thing?’ and I was playing it through the house and starting off with demos and I’d sit on the piano and sing something and say, ‘What do you guys think?’ So it was a very strange but really cool way to create. As a matter of fact, the song ‘I’ll Never Not Love You’ came because my little boy Eli loved the Justin Bieber song ‘Hold Me’. And so I found out who wrote it and then I called the friend of mine and I said, ‘Do you know who this Michael Pollack is?’ And he said, ‘Yes, he’s a wonderful New York kid.’ And then him and I met up and we started writing ‘I’ll Never Not Love You’. So it was so cool like that to have all these worlds sort of colliding. I felt it was like an all-star band for me. 

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I got to have Bob Rock and I got to have my guys Alan [Chang] and Jason ‘Spicy’. I got to have people like John Meyer or Ryan Tedder or Sir Paul McCartney, Greg Wells. I love Greg Wells. I didn’t know Greg Wells but I knew he was a Canadian. I loved Mika, I loved that record, and I loved ‘The Greatest Showman’ and I loved all of these things that Greg had done and all the stuff he was doing with Lin-Manuel Miranda. And so it was like this all-star team that surrounded me. And it just felt safe and good and what a joy it was to create something so good. And people don’t know, because I’ve never told people this, is that I brought them all together, I mean in one room together. And so all of a sudden, Bob Rock was coming to the studio and I had booked the whole studio. And in one studio there was Bob Rock coming in with Greg Wells and then Ryan Tedder coming in and I kept saying to them, ‘The success is going to be great but nothing as great as getting to share it with you, as getting to really be friends on a team and together. Imagine when we go get to go have beers afterwards.’ So it’s been very exciting. Very positive.

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"How cool would that be, to work with your kids. But it’s a lot of fun. It’s been a really fun year because, you know, I made this record and much of it was made at the house. So they were always there as Pappy was singing or writing a song."

It's very much a family affair, your two boys are on there, there's a song about your wife 'I'll Never Not Love You'. How did she react to that one? 
 

She loves it. She cried. You know, it’s funny, I just did an interview and she said to me, ‘Ah, you know, was this inspired by the pandemic?’ And I said to her, ‘Listen, of course there’s a part of it that’s inspired by what we’ve been through.’ I honestly think after we went through my son’s illness, when I made the next record, I wasn’t ready to come back. 

I was still, emotionally, I was a mess. And so I came back in a very safe way. I went and I got David Foster and we made safe songs, I knew I really loved that music. But I felt like my heart had healed and I felt so grateful that I felt so light. I wasn’t scared. And so I started to call all these people and it was scary to work with Greg Wells the first time, I didn’t know Greg. And it was scary to call Sir Paul McCartney. And it was scary to sit in a room with Ryan Tedder. There’s so many different things. I didn’t move from fear, I moved from just being grateful. And I’m going to be even more straight, I had nice conversation with Ed Sheeran. And he said something to me in the conversation. He said, ‘You know, I don’t say no, I say yes, I say yes to everything and hey, if it turns out to be sh-t my manager kills it! But I say yes. I just open myself.’ And I found myself doing this so many times and every time it just worked out, I don’t know what else to say, it was perfect. And every song for me gets better. ‘Crazy’ is my favourite duet ever. I love Willie Nelson - as a human being and as an artist. For me, he is Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole... Willie Nelson and Tony Bennett for me are, I mean, Willie made one of the greatest records interpreting The American Songbook’. So this was a dream for me to have the song he wrote that Patsy Cline had a hit with. ‘Bringing It On Home to Me’ in my opinion, it’s only me, is the best song I’ve ever had. I’ve never ever recorded a song that I captured so perfectly. And I love Sam Cooke.. I keep going down the list. ‘Smile’ is an ambitious, crazy, over-the-top…

That's huge at the end with the choir and orchestra? 

Yes, and the fact that that’s the last song. I loved it. That’s the last song. I didn’t say, ‘That’s going to be first, that’s how we open’. No, that’s how we end. I loved it.

You've been through worse experiences than the pandemic - dis that help you put the last couple of years into perspective? 

Yeah, without meaning to, I think very early on my wife and I were driving and we’d talked to a doctor in a Canadian hospital, who told us that they were very worried about the children who were in chemo. And they were very worried about their counts being low. And they were very worried about them catching Covid because they were so vulnerable. And I remember driving down the road and my wife started to cry. And she cried for those parents. It was very personal to both of us. And it wasn’t just for kids, it was for our fellow human beings, the vulnerable people. I remember that car ride. We looked at each other and we said, ‘Ok. So we need to advocate for people who can’t advocate for themselves. We need to be there and present and whatever message we have...’ Not all the people are going to like it, we knew that there would be backlash but it helped us, I think, to feel that we were doing something that was better than nothing. And as it got further and further through, I kept seeing that there were famous people, celebrities, and they lacked self-awareness. I cringed. You know how many people sat in their mansions and said, ‘It’s so hard to be trapped in this mansion.’ And we looked at each other and said, ‘Wow, oh my god.’ So we just felt even deeper, ‘Ok, we need to advocate for people.’ So it gave us a focus. And you know early on, I had friends that lost too many people. It was scary.

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It's a beautiful thing you talk about and uplifting in these dark times?

Yeah. I feel like there were so many of us that did that.

You cover Sir Paul McCartney's 'My Valentines'– How did you spend Valentines Day recently?

My Valentine’s Day was we did a massage [for my shoulder]. It didn’t work! I always do a little something but we didn’t do a fancy dinner or anything. We don’t have a nanny. So we have three kids. So there’s no escape! Our Valentine’s Day was actually very sweet. I took the kids to school. I took my boys and they came home and they brought us beautiful hearts that they made and my daughter made a thing with her hand prints. It was a good day. Very romantic! The kids made the presents.

This is your most romantic album yet would you say? 

Yeah, I think there’s definitely great depth there. It’s funny, you know, there’s something about, you know, it’s impossible for an album not to be a reflection of where you are in your life. And I can go through my albums. It’s been a long time you know? It’s been a long time. So I believe the ‘Crazy Love’ record came out and it was a big record for me. And I had a couple of other hits. It was a big record, a big moment for me. And then the next record I think was called ‘To Be Loved’ and I was tired and burnt out. And I made the record, my heart wasn’t as in it as other records, I thought it was a good record but, you know, it didn’t have a big hit. And then I did ‘Nobody But Me’ and I thought it was a great record and four days into that record being released we found out about my son and that was it. I left obviously and the record died. There was no promotion – zero. And then it took me about three or four years to finally feel good enough to think about coming back and I made the record ‘Love’. It was a very safe album for me. There was no hit on that. I think it was a good record, I did a good tour but I didn’t have a moment. And when it came time to make this record, I wanted my moment [laughs]. I said to my manager, ‘Bruce, I need a moment’ and he said to me, ‘You just had…’ And I said, ‘Bruce if you look back the time went fast’ because then we had a pandemic. I said, ‘It’s been ten years since I’ve really culturally – besides Christmas – really had this moment. And I want my moment.’ And I remember David Foster used to say to me that an artist is lucky to have one moment. He said, ‘If an artist gets two moments in a career – that’s a big career. Three moments – you’re a career artist. You’re a career artist.’ So this moment was something I guess I tried to manifest because I felt that it was now or never. And the universe came together for me. Whether it was me wanting it or working for it or luck or whatever you want to call it, it all just perfectly… And I could feel it. I could feel when it was happening. Even now as I speak to you, I can feel it happening because it felt like this when I put out ‘Haven’t Met You Yet’ and it felt like this when the Christmas record came out. But it’s been a long time.

19 years since your first album?

Crazy right?

Finally 'Mother' is a touching song. How did that come about? It's so close to you heart, so honest?

Yes. Well, ‘Mother’ was one that Michael Pollack and Greg and I wrote. It’s funny, there’s another song called ‘Don’t Blame it on Me’ and it’s a great original and it crushed me because I could only pick one of the two. And Greg Wells said to me, ‘Hey dude, you have to put ‘Mother’’. And I said, ‘Yes but I like ‘Don’t Blame it on Me’ better.’ And he said, ‘Well, it’s your decision but…’ So long story short, I was at a party with my sister and all her girlfriends and I said, ‘Do you guys want to hear some of the music?’ So I played them some of the songs and I played them the song ‘Mother’ and when I look up they were crying. And this one girlfriend of my sister’s who is very strong, because I guess when I was listening to the song I was uncomfortable and she said, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ And I said, ‘Well, the song is a little bit sweet, too sweet. A little bit cringey?’ And she said, ‘Well too bad because we’re your audience.’ And she pointed to all of the girls at the party and she said, ‘We’re your audience – not you.’ So she said, ‘Shut up and put it on the record!’ And I had this realisation. I said, ‘Oh my god, it’s true, that is the audience, it’s not me.’ And, of course, my mother also threatened me because she loved this song so much. And every time she’d say, ‘What’s going to make the record? Is ‘Mother’ making the record?’

No pressure there then?

Exactly.

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two tickets to see Michael Buble live at The Royal Crescent to the night of your choosing, either Friday 15th or Saturday 16th July. For a chance to win, simply click on the link below and follow the steps.

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