Tattoos, TV and a seemingly stoned Harry Potter character were just a few of the topics Ed Sheeran tackled when making an appearance in the MIX 105.1 All Access Lounge prior to his opening performance for Taylor Swift recently during her Red Tour.
Sheeran fans who won entry to the event had plenty of questions for the red-headed musical marvel and he didn’t shy away from any of them.
Q: What’s your favorite Game of Thrones episode?
ES: Episode 9, Season 2. I’m a geek with that. It was the only episode on a 14 hour flight that I was on so I watched it a few times.
Q: How many tattoos do you have?
ES: Over a hundred believe it or not. They’re all just very small. I’ve got some weird things. It’s looking all right. It’s colorful.
Q: What’s your favorite guitar?
ES: These guitars are great (pointing to the guitar he’s holding). They wear through and stuff and they last about six months. But I’ve got a signature guitar coming out soon from the same people. It’s going to be very exciting. I’ve been playing Martin guitars since I was about sixteen. Martin (which he was repping with his t-shirt as well) are kind of like the top acoustic guitar. They never give out free guitars and they only make signature models for John Mayer and Eric Clapton, but now they’re doing this model that’s going to be coming out. It’s in conjunction with a children’s hospital as well. It’s going to be very exciting. That will be coming out later this year and that will be my favorite guitar, I think.
Q: Who is your favorite Harry Potter character?
ES: Probably Luna Lovegood, because I think, in a way, J.K. Rowling is trying to tell you that she’s always high, but it’s just not said in the book.
Q: Who do you think will capture the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones?
ES: I’m not sure. But I think everyone thinks that Daenerys Targaryan’s gonna take it, and I think she’s a bit too kind. I think Joffrey’s gonna keep it cuz he’s just a nasty piece of work.
Q: What do you like best about the United States?
ES: Everyone’s attitude. It’s a lot different here. Everyone’s attitude towards music and success and credibility is a lot different to England. England’s a very…we love an underdog and we will support an underdog until they are no longer the underdog and then we will try to bring them back down. The way I describe it is lobsters…you know they have their claws tied up. This is true. Lobsters climb on top of one another to try to get one lobster to the top of the tank to escape, but once the lobster’s at the top of the tank, they drag it back down. That’s how I describe the press in Britain. So, as far as I’m aware over here, the American dream’s a big thing, so if you achieve your dreams it’s used as inspiration, not as hate, which I just think the society where I come from really hasn’t grasped yet. Mumford and Sons, One Direction, Coldplay, and Adele…four of the biggest exports from the UK at the moment and they get slated in the press. They get bad reviews, they get snide comments here and there, and we should be proud of that. We should be putting them on our shoulders and saying, cool, this is people representing our country in a way that is big.
Q: How do you know that about lobsters?
ES: Because I had dinner with a guy that works for a newspaper in London and we had a long talk about it and he used that analogy, because he doesn’t know why the press is like that either. It’s not the public, it’s just the press. The press in Britain are very…if anyone saw what happened with Justin Bieber recently, that was all the press of England just taking him down. They just didn’t like him and they just chose him and took him down. They can be pretty hardcore.
Q: When is your new album coming out?
ES: I’d like to bring it out tomorrow, but with the next record, there’s so much pressure on it for it to be a success that even if the songs are there it has to be released at the right time and promoted the right way. So I have a very good team around me and I’m going to give them the record, make sure they have it and listen to it, and then we’re going to work out a plan to do the radio promos and TV. So it will be early next year I imagine.
Q: Will you go to prom with me?
ES: Yes…but I will answer this question the way I’ve answered most of these prom questions. There’s an episode of Friends where Rachel is going to the prom and her prom date doesn’t show up so Ross is her backup. Have you seen that one? So all I’m saying is I’ll say yes, but have a backup.
Q: Where is your favorite place to travel and tour?
ES: Australia and New Zealand. Scenery wise it’s beautiful, but also attitude wise, the people are so funny. They just joke about everything. If you took it the wrong way it could be very, very insulting, but if you took it the right way it’s brilliant. And thankfully I’ve taken it the right way. It’s an awesome country to tour. For some reason, I’ve spent the last five years in England trying to break the record and it broke and I’ve spent 18 months here trying to break the record and it’s starting to break, but I’ve only been to Australia three times and we’re already doing arenas there. So I don’t really know what’s going on there, but something good’s happening which is cool.
Q: What do you currently have in your refrigerator (referencing a question asked the last time he was at MIX)?
ES: I have oodles of soup. Being in America for a bit, I’ve been enjoying the fruits of the American food. I came over here with one roll (grabbing love handles)…then I had two rolls…and then I had three rolls…and now it’s just gone into one big roll. Someone over here was just like, ‘Yeah…you should go on a no carb diet or something.’ So for two days I stocked up my whole fridge with tomato soup. And within 18 hours I was on the floor being like, I need fries and cheese. So yeah, I gave that up and I’m back to the one roll.
Q: How did you begin stuffing things into your mouth?
ES: When I was in 9th grade, one day I just forgot to pick up a packed lunch and my mom just gave me a bag of grapes. So I was just sitting in registration, where you sign in, and my friend goes, “How many grapes can you fit in your mouth?” I worked out that I could fit 37 grapes in my mouth which everyone was quite impressed with and they were like, “Well, what else can you fit in your mouth?” Turns out a whole apple. It got stuck though.
Q: How many guitars have you gone through?
ES: I think this is my seventh. It’s thin wood so it wears through quickly. But the signature guitar that’s coming out is mahogany.
Q: Which is your favorite tattoo?
ES: Probably this one. (Pointing to right forearm) Everyone thinks this is a couple having sex, which it’s not. It’s a French artist called Matisse who came as part of the Impressionist era. Him and Picasso were kind of at the same time, rivals and all that, and he was one of the first people to draw the human figure in less than ten pencil strokes. So it’s a very simplified drawing of a mother and a child and it’s my mom’s favorite picture so I got it tattooed there. My parents are very into art. I was kind of the black sheep getting into guitar.
Q: If you were to move to America, where would you want to live?
ES: Nashville was the first place I went to where I really felt I was in America. You know, people were wearing cowboy hats, spitting in jars, playing harmonica and banjo. It’s a very musical city as well. Having a big Sunday lunch with a big roast and getting invited around, and everyone wanting to be your mother. That kind of thing…I like that whole American culture and Nashville was the first place I went where I connected with that. So yeah, I’d move there.
Q: How is it touring with Taylor Swift?
ES: It’s awesome actually. Really cool. I’m having a lot of fun. More and more fun as the days go on because I think we started off and no one really knew what was happening and the first couple of gigs were a bit ropy. I was very ill, I fell over and it was all a bit deep. And now we’ve kind of got into the full swing of things and I’m really enjoying it. The fans are lovely, Taylor’s band are lovely, the dancers, makeup, costume, everyone, and Taylor herself very,very cool.
Q: Where is a good place to go in London?
ES: Are you into music? In South London there’s a place called Ballam which I recorded a live EP called Live at The Bedford. There’s a pub there called The Bedford that does live music every night. And it’s all acoustic singer/songwriters, anyone from Damien Rice to K.T. Tunstall to David Grey, all these huge singer songwriters all started off at this Bedford. If you just want to go and see amazing music it’s pretty much there every night.