The actor, model and musician Robert Pattinson has just released Never Been Better, a new album of ballads that is arguably his most personal work to date. This week, the 32-year-old, who now lives in New York City, is dropping by his hometown of Hollywood to discuss the new record and his thoughts on family, love, and loneliness. Here, he talks about some of the songs on Never Been Better and reveals some interesting tidbits about his life.
The Making Of ‘Never Been Better’
For the album, I wanted to try something new: I wanted to write a love song, but not make it overly sentimental. There are so many sad love songs out there, and I didn’t want to do that. So instead, I wanted to write a song for the people I love the most, and that’s why I wrote ‘Never Been Better.’ The name of the song is a joke, actually. It’s called ‘Never Been Better’ because it’s the first time that I’ve ever been able to improve my quality of life, professionally and personally. The songwriting process for the album was very organic, stemming from personal experiences and my own emotions about those experiences. It wasn’t a case of, ‘This is what I feel about love,’ or ‘This is how I interpret this part of the Bible,’ because although the album does incorporate Christian themes, it was mostly inspired by my experiences, for better or for worse.
‘The Kids Are Alright’
One of the songs on Never Been Better that I’m particularly proud of is ‘The Kids Are Alright.’ The subject matter of the song is pretty important, because it’s about my daughter, Genevieve. As you’ll learn in the song, things haven’t always been easy for our family, and to say that our relationship is complicated would be an understatement. I wrote ‘The Kids Are Alright’ after Genevieve’s second birthday party, which was very emotional. She had just turned two, and it was the first party she had been to. Her dad and I had taken her out for the day, and we hadn’t invited her grandparents because we didn’t want any other family members to feel left out. So when her party ended and everyone went their separate ways, I felt really bad. I hadn’t been able to provide my best for her, and it made me question whether I was capable of being a good father. I was very upset about it, so I wrote the song that morning, in a fit of anger. But after I wrote it, I felt better, because at least I had tried my best.
It’s important to note that although the song is about my daughter, it is not intended to be a parental advisory. I think that kids should be kids, and I don’t think that parents should be censored when it comes to their children. So although I wouldn’t let my daughter watch certain TV shows or movies, because of their content, I would let her listen to whatever she wants. When she is old enough to understand, she will learn about life, love, and the trials and tribulations that come with being a parent.
‘All I Need’
Another song on Never Been Better that I’m really proud of is ‘All I Need.’ It was inspired by a beautiful woman I met a while back, when I was walking my dog. Her name is Anna, and she’s a fashion photographer. We started talking, and she told me about a project she had been working on, involving musicians and models. She thought that I would be a great fit for the project, because of my background. She wanted me to play the part of a male model, which I wasn’t sure that I was comfortable with. Then, she played a recording of me singing this song, and it sounded incredible, so I said yes. I had never sung in front of a camera before, and I was very nervous; however, Anna assured me that it would be alright. She said that everything would be beautiful and that she would take care of me. After the shoot, she called, and said that the feedback had been great, and that people wanted more. So I decided to give it a go, and now I’m very proud to have been a part of this project.
‘Don’t Forget About Us’
Another song that I’m glad that I wrote, is ‘Don’t Forget About Us.’ It’s about my wife, Rosamund, and me. It was inspired by a true story. We were on vacation in Italy, and we happened to spot a woman who appeared to be our doppelgänger. We both had the same long curly hair, wore the same style of clothing, and she even had a child that looked like our daughter, Genevieve. We thought that it was a sign from God, and we started thinking about our future together. That’s what inspired the song. We both love Italy, and we wanted to go back there and celebrate our love. But we also wanted to go home and be with our families, because we love them. So we decided to do a quick ceremony, and record it, because we wanted to remember the moment. It was a really special moment, and it definitely made us closer as a couple. We even spoke with the woman’s family, and they had the same reaction: they thought it was a sign from God, and they were happy that we had found each other. We were both really shocked that it was our doppelgänger, but what an amazing coincidence! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we will never forget it.
‘Happy Few Years’
Last but not least, I’d like to talk about ‘Happy Few Years,’ which is the title track of the album. I’ve always admired people who are able to compartmentalize their lives and be happy, despite their circumstances. It is a quality that I have not always been able to possess. So, I decided to give it a go and see how I could be happier, after all these years of being unhappy. It has not been an easy task, but I am proud to say that I have successfully managed to change my ways. When I wrote this song, I was on a trip to Hong Kong with my family, and we happened to see this man walking his dog. As we were driving, I noticed that he was singing along to the music, and his dog was dancing. So, I started thinking about how I could be happy, and what I could do to change my ways. Then, I wrote the song that morning, and by afternoon, I felt so much better. I had been depressed for so long, and I finally understood what the songwriter Jimmy Iovine meant in his song ‘Happy’. So, when my family and I returned to the United States, I knew that I had to try. It has not been easy, and there are times when I want to yell at God, but I know that I would be doing him a greater disservice. All I can do is continue to try and be a better person. The fact that I can even say that I am trying, makes me happier than I’ve been in years, and that makes me very grateful to have this song to tell my grandchildren, or anyone else for that matter. I hope that you enjoy listening to the new album as much as I have enjoyed making it.