Exclusive

Robbie Williams interview: "I don't look at the charts anymore, it would be a miracle if I got there'

25 November 2020, 15:12

By Tom Eames

Robbie Williams took Christmas by the scruff of the neck in 2019 with his fantastic festive album The Christmas Present, and he's back with a new single that takes a humorous look back on a strange year.

The Take That star caught up with old friend Jenni Falconer for Smooth's latest Virtual Coffee Break interview, where Robbie spoke of his new COVID-inspired track 'Can't Stop Christmas', and how he prefers to look forward than remember past glories.

Watch the full interview with Robbie Williams above.

Speaking about new song and recording Christmas tunes throughout the year, Robbie told Jenni: "Christmas is a state of mind. There you go, there’s another title for another song that I will write next year.

"But if you look at it, I wrote 50 songs for the Christmas Present record. And you can’t write 50 songs in one month because it’s Christmas and you feel Christmassy, so you have to do it when the fancy takes you.

"And it was a lot of fun to write and I hope we got the tone right and I hope that it just makes people smile. I hope people find it mildly amusing and uplifting."

However, Robbie admitted that his days of scoring a Christmas number one are likely to be over, having previously done so in 2001 with Nicole Kidman.

See more: Gary Barlow opens up on new album and Take That reunion plans in Smooth's Virtual Coffee Break interview

"I’m not in it, so I think those days for me being in the singles, high in the singles charts, have moved on," he said. "I’m an albums kind of person now, which is wonderful. But I don’t even look at the charts now.

"And I wouldn’t even think that I would get anywhere near up there. But if I did, it would be a Christmas miracle and I’d be very grateful."

Robbie Williams spoke to Smooth's Jenni Falconer
Robbie Williams spoke to Smooth's Jenni Falconer. Picture: Global/Smooth

Robbie opened about his battle with mental health at the height of his fame, and explained that he struggles to look back on his past achievements due to how he was feeling at the time.

"All my best moments were spent at the scraping the bottom of the mental health barrel," he said. "So everything that happened I’m incredibly grateful for and ultra, ultra privileged that it happened to me, but I never ever look back.

Read more: The 22 greatest Robbie Williams songs, ranked

"I’m always, always looking forward. I need purpose and I need to keep going and I need to have projects in front of me. So the way that you would think that I would behave about something like Knebworth or my swing album or the Albert Hall or things of that kind of nature or selling the most tickets in the history of music in one day and getting the biggest record contract, all of those stuff I just don’t even think about.

"The things that I am excited about and that give me joie de vivre is what’s about to happen."

Robbie then teased a whole bunch of projects he has lined up for 2021: "TV shows, films, two albums, I’m starting a band, I’ve got art, I’ve going to have a gallery and I’m going to DJ at the gallery in the evening and I want to do that in Berlin, I want to do that in Tokyo. There’s just, there’s so much.

"All of this might not happen. See I have this like splatter gun sort of idea. And then maybe one out of ten gets done. But these are all the ideas that are formulating in my head and I want Covid to end so we’re all healthy, but on a personal selfish level I want Covid to end so I can just crack on with these projects."

On whether we can expect a tour next year, Robbie added: "Covid willing. Who knows what’s going to happen? I’m just sat here crossing my fingers, thinking about what ifs and maybes. And let’s just hope it’s possible."

Robbie's new single 'Can't Stop Christmas' and the deluxe version of The Christmas Present is out now.