Robbie Williams is poised to be the prince of pop again, but he’s just as happy being king of the kids, as Cameron Adams discovers.
ROBBIE Williams is a new father and a well rested one at that.
‘‘ I have never had so much sleep in my life,’’ he chirps.
His daughter Theodora Rose ( or Teddy) with American wife Ayda Field is six weeks old. She is not a miracle baby sleeping through the night. But Williams is a lucky man.
‘‘ I’ve got a very understanding wife and a nanny,’’ he admits. ‘‘ This having kids thing is easy, I don’t know what people are going on about . . .’’ He’s ( half) joking. But Williams, 38, says fatherhood has lobbed at the ideal time in his life. His daughter is a living, breathing and defecating reality check for someone who’s been famous since he was 16 and joined UK boy band Take That.
A claim Williams was enjoying having someone in his life who didn’t ‘‘ give a s---’’ he was a popstar, was seemingly garbled.
‘‘ Oh, she has been giving a s---,’’ he clarifies. ‘‘ And I have been changing those s--- s. They look like chicken tikka masala.
‘‘ I didn’t know I was going to enjoy changing nappies so much. I was terrified before she came that I wasn’t going to want to do anything, because, well, I’m a lazy bastard and selfish.
‘‘ But the amazing thing is you actually want to do it. I want to change the nappies. I want to cuddle her. It’s magic.’’
Fatherhood has arrived just as Williams is back in pop star mode. He repaired the friendship with former Take That bandmate Gary Barlow which led to Williams rejoining the band for the 2010 album Progress and a 2011 tour of the UK and Europe that generated $ 180 million from just 29 shows. The show included a solo segment for Williams – his first major tour since 2006.
That 2006 tour, which sold 1.6 million tickets the day it was announced, sent Williams back into rehab once it ended in Australia. Since then he’s managed to get his life totally back on track and a major part of his arsenal in rebuilding Robbie has been the release of his ninth solo album. However, he freely admits his past few albums have been patchy and that in the current climate a flop album can end your career.
‘‘ I named the record Take The Crown,’’ he says. ‘‘ The title is obnoxious and egofuelled. I put that carrot in front of me to live up to it. I can take my eye off the ball sometimes and not concentrate.’’
The bulk of the album took shape after a chance meeting with two Australians. Musicians Tim Metcalfe and Flynn Francis, two 24- year- olds from Melbourne, were in LA on one of their many trips to do intern work in US studios. They met Dylan Trussell, who is in LA hip- hop band The Connects, and also brother of Ayda Field.
Metcalfe and Francis started writing songs with Trussell, who played them to Williams.
‘‘ Dylan’s music got 50 per cent better overnight,’’ Williams says.
‘‘ He met this Australian dude in a bar. It was Tim. He brought Flynn and we wrote an album in 10 days. I love them to bits. They’re really talented songwriters. Completely and utterly delusional. Full of ego. They remind me of someone I used to know when I was their age. They’ve got the sort of delusion and ego that could take over the world.’’
There are no songs for his daughter on the album however, there are plenty of anthems ready for his long- awaited comeback tour for 2013 which could include Australia.