For James Bay, All-Star Christmas ended a long and amazing year, filled with touring around the world and seeing his fame skyrocket with huge hits like “Let It Go” and “Scars.” He may be taking some down time after the performance at All-Star Christmas, but he’s grateful for everything he’s experienced.
“Lately… the shows are getting bigger and bigger, and it’s nice to get a taste of these arena spaces. It keeps feeling nicer and better and more exciting everyday that we do it,” he said, adding with a smile “I’m actually gonna go away now, in January. I’m gonna give everybody a break from me.”
The mix of touching ballads and straightforward rock in Bay’s music has drawn comparisons to many classic artists, and it’s very fitting, considering his penchant for playing cover songs like Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” and his musical influences. “The Rolling Stones are such a big influence for me, because they did ‘Angie,’ they did ‘Wild Horses,’ these beautiful quiet numbers. But the rest of the time they’re rocking out.”
It’s not a stretch to consider Bay a younger, handsome Mick Jagger, especially when watching him perform live. But he takes issue with that comparison. “Mick Jagger’s a handsome man!” he stated. “Once upon a time, he was.”
Bay’s homecoming in January will undoubtedly include some time with his family, including his brother, who is also a musician. “My brother is musical, as well. We were in bands together as kids… we see each other quite often, we live quite near each other in London,” he explained. “The nice thing with him is we just get to hang, and when we hang it’s not really about who’s doing what and where, musically, it’s just we have similar groups of friends, so we can talk about that. It doesn’t have to be work based.”
With Christmas just around the corner, Bay also gave some insight into one of England’s more mysterious holiday traditions– pudding, which has a different (and more complicated) meaning than it does in the US. “Everything from ice cream to cake to chocolate can be pudding. It’s another thing we call dessert,” Bay explained. “Or, there’s a different kind of pudding, Yorkshire pudding. This is a nice, batter-y cup that you put brown gravy in. It’s great!”
Technically the latter type of pudding originated in France, but Bay is glad it was adopted in the UK. “It’s not English, but we stole it,” he laughed.
Backstage at All-Star Christmas was powered by Johnny Rockets.