The one lesson I’ve learned from life
NEVER GET A WEDDING TATTOO
Writing music is good therapy. At the beginning of 2016, i was doing a play, at which point Billie [Piper] and i separated. During the play’s run, i called a heckler in the audience a very rude word — i was under some strain.
Afterwards, i started to write music. it was almost automatic. i wrote my thoughts on a piece of paper and chord sequences just dropped into my hands. the result was Say goodbye — a song about the best way to end things.
i write music about what’s going on in my head: it’s a diary. Writing things down is a good way of articulating problems.
the temptation in any life-changing situation is to blame yourself. that’s what people do. What happens when you write songs is that you are able to step a bit further away from it, to express what you really think. it is comforting — and cheaper than counselling.
it’s quite a shock when big things happen. i lost a close friend a year ago. if anything, my friend dying was worse [than my divorce] because he is dead and, thank god, Billie isn’t. He really suffered and his life was very painful.
My album is called A grief Observed, after the book by C.S. Lewis. One of his lines is: ‘Sorrow... turns out to be not a state but a process.’ it’s true. i feel a bit sad, in a way, about releasing the album. But i think i dealt with [the break-up] quite well, and i have met someone new.
i have also covered up the tattoo on my arm that i had done on our honeymoon in Mexico. Mine said ‘Mrs Fox 31-12-07’, [Billie’s read ‘Mr Fox 31-12-07’ — the date of their wedding day], but we were young and stupid. My friend, May, a make-up artist, came up with the idea of covering mine with a geometric fox, which i love. Looking at it now, you can still see 07 poking out the bottom.
i am yet to be able to afford a Learjet from my music career, but my singing has helped me come through something difficult. i think if you are still alive and you’re happy, then you can’t look back on that difficult experience with anything other than fondness. A Grief Observed is out now.