By Aidin Vaziri | Jake Bugg got a major assist on his second album, recorded in Malibu and Memphis’ Sun Studio – a long way from the council estates he grew up around in Nottingham, England. The 19-year-old singer-songwriter worked with veteran producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Beastie Boys) and his all-star team on “Shangri La.” Bugg returns to the Bay Area for a Thursday show at Oakland’s Fox Theater. We spoke to him before the tour kicked off in New York.
Q: You recorded “Shangri La” in Malibu. Was it distracting to see the drummer from the Red Hot Chili Peppers hang out and Rick Rubin bounce on a yoga ball every time you looked up?
A: Well, you know, they’re people who are enthusiastic about music. It’s nice to be in a room full of people who are so excited about what you’re doing.
Q: What was the best piece of advice Rick gave you?
A: Sometimes I would take him an idea for a song and he would say something simple like, “Why don’t you repeat a line?” or “Why don’t you cut that line?” Simple things made a big difference.
Q: You also played Glastonbury with the Rolling Stones. How often do you have to splash water on your face and say, “This is my life”?
A: You know, I thought about doing this so much when I was young. Because it’s all I ever thought about, when it became a reality it didn’t seem that strange.