Former Razorlight star Andy Burrows: Johnny Borrell acts like I'm a stranger

The musician said that being in the band helped his mental health in the early years.

Andy Burrows has said he got “extremely drunk” after being brushed off by his former Razorlight co-star Johnny Borrell as they passed each other in the street three years ago.

Burrows, who was the indie rock band’s drummer from 2004 until 2009, said it was almost like “seeing a ghost” when bumping into the band’s frontman Borrell in central London.

The musician told the Press Association: “It really affected me because I hadn’t seen him for like, five years.

“He acted like I was a stranger, it was the weirdest thing.

“I think I went off and got extremely drunk, but felt very weird for a couple of days… it was almost like seeing a ghost.

“And when you’ve been that close to someone, because me and him were really close – like close enemies but close friends, it was all a bit complicated – it was so weird running into him and him acting like he didn’t care. Very odd.”

Borrell and Burrows were reported to have had growing tensions between them during the latter’s time in the band.

Burrows said he is still in touch with his former Razorlight co-stars Bjorn Agren and Carl Dalemo, but that Borrell “simply won’t speak to me”.

The 39-year-old musician joined We Are Scientists after leaving Razorlight and has also had a successful solo career, having collaborated with the likes of Tom Odell and the Editors’ Tom Smith. He also co-wrote the Bafta-nominated soundtrack to 2012’s The Snowman And the Snowdog.

BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend – Preston
Razorlight (Joel Ryan/PA)

He said that being in the group, known for hits including America and Wire To Wire, in his mid-20s had a positive impact on him initially, as he was previously lacking in confidence because he was smaller than his peers at school

“I sort of shot up when I was 16 to normal height, but that affected my confidence, so from 16 to when I joined Razorlight at 23, 24, I just wasn’t confident at all,” he said.

“It absolutely affected my mental health in a really good way, at first. I didn’t go all weird ego – I didn’t go weird arrogant.

“I just felt a sense of belonging, and I was like, ‘oh, I was supposed to do this, cool…’ so that was good.

“But towards the end, I always felt that it was very detrimental, very toxic. It was five years, which felt like a lifetime at the time.”

Burrows has just released his latest project, a collaborative album with writer Matt Haig called Reasons To Stay Alive based on Haig’s best-selling memoir of the same name about his battle with depression.

The musician said that the album “means a hell of a lot to me and a hell of a lot to Matt”, and that it is a “useful” record in helping to raise awareness of and destigmatise mental health issues.

Andy Burrows and Matt Haig
Andy Burrows and Matt Haig (Andy Willsher/PA)

He said: “Hopefully this album might go some way to doing something for that because I feel like, actually, it is just a pop record, it’s not like it’s a weird album where someone starts talking to you about mental health, there’s nothing actually mental health about it.

“It just so happens that the guy who has written the lyrics is particularly in tune with that cause, and it comes through a bit.

“On the whole it’s a very open album. It’s an album about not letting depression debilitate you completely, and knowing that you can get through.”

Reasons To Stay Alive by Andy Burrows and Matt Haig is out now.

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