David Gray’s Worst Career Advice

Question: What was the worst career advice you were ever given?

David Gray: God, I don’t know. I can’t look back and see it all as good and bad advice because it all has just led to me getting here. So, it’s like, well what if I had turned left there? Well then something else would have happened. Maybe I wouldn’t have made it. So, it’s like, sign with EMI in America–there wasn’t no one who gave me that advice, but I bloody did it. I had some options too. I could have signed with other people. That was the worst part of my early musical career. That was the wilderness years. It was a complete fiasco and the company was obviously was completely screwed and just sort of descending into chaos and there was no chance of the record even giving the slightest whiff of any airplay. It was just miserable, the whole thing was miserable.

I think recording in America as well on that record was a mistake with the guy, Grant Lee Buffalo, the bass player. I really like Grant Lee Buffalo’s records back then, Fuzzy, and the one that came after it. So, I thought they were just right and sort of produced just enough, so I got this guy, but he was essentially just a bit of a chancer and I think just sort of looked at the big record company, big budget, wow, loads of money for me. I think that was pretty much the size of it. And yet we want to record, I said, “I want to record in America,” you know, and he said yeah, and he had a mate. Anyway, we recorded that in Ithaca in New York at some guy’s studio. That was a disastrous episode. So that and signing EMI in the first place was probably a regrettable act, but I don’t really see them in that light anymore. They’re just things that happened. Character building.

Recorded on:  September 21, 2009

David Gray says his worst career move was signing with EMI.

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