James Blunt could be considered the Marmite of the music world, but whether you like him or hate him you must admire him for 1) his success regardless, and 2) his attitude to haters. James is known largely for his 2005 hit "You're Beautiful", loved but also hated by some the world over. He doesn't care what you think, though. And that's always evident on his Twitter profile. BuzzFeed ourselves have written about his hilarious clapbacks time and time again.
Well, he's now got new music out – his new album, The Afterlove, comes out on Friday. And yes, James knows ~some~ of you will be groaning about it. But that's why even his promotional material this time around is self-deprecating and equally hilarious to boot.
So when BuzzFeed UK met up with James in London recently, we decided to get advice about what he does best: giving clapbacks to haters in shitty scenarios.
How to respond when someone says to you: "Cheer up, love."
James Blunt: Well, you know, they could be right. It might be that it's worth putting a smile on your face... Then again, you could just tell them to fuck off.
What about when you're catcalled, if you walk past someone and they just shout "wheeyyyy" at you?
JB: When I'm catcalled, you know, I'm just so used to it actually. It just breezes over me.
What if someone parent-shames you and tries to tell you you're a bad parent?
JB: Again, [grimaces] they'd probably be telling the truth. Yeah, they'd probably be telling the truth. I don't want to talk about that.
When someone calls you a one-hit wonder?
JB: Well, anyone who tells me I'm a one-hit wonder is probably a none-hit wonder. So yeah, I'm not too fussed about it. I do say on my Twitter bio that one song is all you need.
What do you do if someone barges into you on the tube and they don't say sorry?
JB: Well, I think that's just kind of London life, isn't it? You expect to kind of be bumped into. I mean, I'm always there. I'm not apologising for what I'm doing. I'm normally just staring at other people's girlfriends on the underground...and checking them out and that... Yeah... No one seems to arrest me.
What if someone attacks your personal appearance?
JB: Well, I'm not very tall anyway actually. So [people] do normally when they bump into me say, "Hey, you look just like James Blunt only smaller!" [laughs] So I'm pretty used to that.
When someone gives you a backhanded compliment?
JB: I get backhanded compliments quite a lot. I often get "Hey, yeah, I don't like your music but I really like your tweets" and I have written "Thanks, I don't like your face but thanks for the compliment."
When someone points out that your surname rhymes with cunt?
JB: I did actually change my name. My name is spelt B-L-O-U-N-T, and I was upset with people saying, "Hey Blount, you count" and I found it deeply offensive because I have no title, I'm not from aristocracy. So I changed it to Blunt. So I thought it would be...better.
If someone's being moody at you for no reason at work, how should you react?
JB: I'm a touring musician, so if they're moody with me then I would have done something wrong. So I probably needed a bollocking. I have a great tour manager, and he does, he grips me when I... he's like my mother...and father. So they're probably right.
When someone confuses you for the lead singer of Coldplay?
JB: No one has ever thought I was the lead singer of Coldplay. Someone did come and ask me for an autograph thinking I was in Flight of the Conchords once. And I didn't tell them that they got it wrong, I just did the autograph. [smiles cheekily and laughs] I was just thrilled that anyone was coming up and saying hi and asking for an autograph! It didn't matter.
When should you clap back and when should you ignore something if it's tempting to shut them down?
JB: I think if someone's been rude to you online, I think it's worth probably not doing it with any emotion. So if you need to take a few moments to have a breather... I think it's always worth remembering that the person who is being rude to you online, the likelihood is, if they're a stranger – unless it's a friend if yours who is probably entirely right – but if it's a stranger they probably are on their own at home in a darkened room with their trousers around their ankles and not worth taking seriously.
What do you do if you've written a great Twitter clapback but you've accidentally put a typo in it?
JB: There is nothing more upsetting than doing a clapback with a typo or a grammatical error. I kick myself, and I've done them a few times. I think still to this day it's something I lose sleep over.