Passenger FAULT Magazine Covershoot and Interview


It takes a particular artist to transform the emotional toll of a breakup into an album which isn’t merely a 12-track compilation of woe-is-me tales. Through imaginative story and honest reflection, Passenger’s highly anticipated album ‘Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted’ strikes the perfect balance of melancholy and shifting perspective to deliver a project brutal in its honestly while eye-opening through it’s messaging.

Today Passenger releases a new music video for track ‘Sword From The Stone’, so we caught up with him for our latest cover shoot to discuss his upcoming album, self-reflection and of course, his FAULTs.

What was emotionally the hardest song to write on this album?

Passenger: Sword from the stone – no question . I wrote it post break up and in the middle of lockdown so a bit of a double whammy . its an incredibly heartfelt and personal song . I love the juxtaposition between the very detailed and almost small talky verses and then crashing in to the chorus with what feels like alarming honesty . 

There’s also the lesser mentioned stage of every break up the “pretending you’re not bothered stage” – but you’ve chosen to bypass it and chronicle your most vulnerable state during that time – does being so candid with your vulnerability come comfortably to you?

Passenger: Great question. I think one of the most essential attributes to have as a songwriter is to be open and vulnerable. Especially in this genre where lyrics hold such weight and when you’re touching on these subject matters. I think an audience or listener knows intrinsically if it’s not 100% genuine. 


What would you say changed the biggest change you saw with this album when compared to your previous releases? 

Passenger: I think having much more time than usual has made a huge difference. We were meant to release it in May – it was all mixed and mastered and ready to go but I ended up holding it because it just felt like it would be underwhelming to release it during lockdown. 

As a result, I ended up writing three of the best songs on the album and adding them in and taking the three weaker ones off. It’s such a better album for it and a great lesson.

Does the release of this album feel like the closing of the chapter on this stage in your life?

Passenger: Definitely. I think every album probably feels the same. this is my 13th record and when I listen back to any of the others (which is not often ….) it completely transports me back to what I was thinking and feeling at that time. Every album feels very much like a chapter now and I hope the book can continue to be written for many years to come. 

What’s been the most challenging aspect of your musical journey so far?

Passenger: I went through a really rough time in my early twenties. My band broke up, I had no money and had no idea how to carry on with music and get my songs to people. It was a heartbreaking feeling. I lived at my mum and dads place for a while and wrote a bunch of songs that I absolutely loved. I then recorded them very quickly and cheaply and started busking …. It was such a difficult time but I don’t think any of this would have been possible without going through it. 


What do you want to talk about?

Passenger: I’m not sure if I can think of anything that I’m burning to talk about … I guess it’s just enjoyable when journalists approach is different and interesting in some way … like with this interview ?

What’s something you wish journalists would stop asking you?

Passenger: I think the elephant in the room is usually “Let Her Go”. It’s obviously a massive song and I really don’t mind talking about it for the most part as its an integral part of my story. That said it can feel a little bit sad when it gets more attention than music that I’m currently releasing haha. 

What’s something new you learned about yourself in 2020?

Passenger: I live in the countryside and had a fantastic summer growing veggies and looking after chickens. It’s so far removed from my normal life and I had … and still have no idea what I’m doing, but it was an incredibly calming and refreshing thing to do.


2020 hasn’t been the easiest year, what’s something you’ve done to protect your mental health this year?

Passenger:To be honest it’s pretty difficult to keep mentally healthy when touring so I feel like I’ve picked some really helpful coping mechanisms over the years. I try to meditate and exercise every day if I can. 

What is your FAULT?

Passenger: Probably a fair few to choose from haha … I think I can be a bit of a control freak ….. for Passenger to work I feel like I’ve had to cultivate a bit of a controlling nature (or play into an existing one …) I’ve learned that it has to be my vision and I have to drive things creatively for it to come across in the right way. I’m so lucky to have an incredible team around me and when things are working at their best it feels like a fantastic collaborative effort … I’ve definitely found it hard to relinquish control though at times.