January 19, 2018
Former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes was unafraid to call his upcoming new album World’s Strongest Man, but now he has revealed the underlying inspiration and roots of the lyrics on the record. In the light of his upcoming release he talked with NME and disclosed that he got inspiration after reading ‘The Descent Of Man’, Grayson Perry’s book pondering on the perception of masculinity and the roles prescribed to men by the society.
“I’d already got halfway through the record and I went on holiday during the summer and that was just my summer reading. It was the catalyst for more lyrics to come and the name of the title track”, Coombes explained NME.
“It was a very eye opening read, that book, incredibly well written and very non judgemental and sensitive and very eye opening. It’s not an unusual thing at the moment to be questioning areas of humanity and what makes us decent human beings and that was something I really wanted to achieve while writing a lot of these lyrics,” he adds.
The album title World’s Strongest Man doesn’t have a direct, literary meaning of instilling the “alpha male” perception. On the other hand, it’s about our “vulnerabilities” and how rigid gender roles leave us little room for self-realization: “It’s also sort of about one’s own kind inadequacies or vulnerabilities, or being a man, being a human, being a father,” the singer continues.
The former Supergrass vocalist has also opened up about how his and others’ mental health struggles found reflection on his upcoming solo record:
“I’ve seen awareness of mental health change over the last decade. I think men are becoming a lot freer to be able to talk about their head space and I think it’s something that I’ve had a lot of issues with over the years, with anxiety and depression”.
World’s Strongest Man will be out in May this year, following Coombes’ 2015’s Mercury Prize nominated record, Matador.