Star speaks of 'chaotic' and 'unhappy' period
Andrew Trendell

09:44 17th February 2015

Florence + The Machine's Florence Welch has opened up to reveal how she went through a sort of 'nervous breakdown' during a 'chaotic' period ahead of making her new album. 

The pop whirling dervish is preparing to return with new album, How Big How Blue How Beautiful after revealing her stunning new single, 'What Kind Of Man'. It's been a long wait for fans since 2011's Ceremonials, but speaking to BBC Radio One's Zane Lowe, Welch revealed that the intervening years had been full of personal struggle - of 'up and down chaos'. 

"Cermonials and Lungs all blurred together, we didn't take any time off," Welch told Lowe. "It was a decision to have a year off."

During those years, Welch said she suffered "a bit of a nervous breakdown... It was a bit of a crash landing in a sense... In the year off, I was still going out and going to events but something wasn't quite right, I was spiralling a bit. I wasn't making myself happy. I wasn't stable."

Alluding to her "on and off relationship with drinking", she said: "It was a really vulnerable time for me when we first started making the record and because of that it's the most personal record I've ever made."

Watch the video for new single 'What Kind Of Man' below 

New album How Big How Blue How Beautiful will be released on 1 June, while she is also confirmed to appear BBC Radio One's Big Weekend in Norwich from 23 - 24 May.

She is also rumoured to appear at Glastonbury and/or Reading and Leeds this summer

  • Welch rose to fame due to Mairead Nash. She cornered her in a bathroom and sang Etta James's 'Something's Got a Hold on Me'. A week later, Welch received a phone call asking her to perform at a club night.

  • Welch has huge fashion influence, Gucci designer Frida Giannini has said that Welch served as an inspiration for the house’s winter 2011 collection; Giannini also created the outfits for Florence + The Machine’s most recent US tour.

  • 'What the Water Gave Me' was inspired by a Frida Kahlo painting. Describing the painting in question, Welch said: "that one where her feet are in the bath and all of her nightmares and dreams are in the bath with her. It got me thinking about the water and the sea. When I was growing up, there were these news stories that kept popping up in my life about children who would get swept out to sea, and the parents would dive in after them. I%u2019d seen these news stories crop up again and again, and it made me think of this idea of the sea being this entity that needs a sacrifice."

  • Welch was terrified throughout her teens, "If you asked me to go back to being 14 or 15, I couldn't %u2013 it was a terrifying time. I was so awkward in my own skin. I used to hide behind my hair because I was so ridiculously self-conscious."

  • Welch travelled around her first tour (supporting MGMT in 2008) with her dad in a camper van because she didn't have any money.

  • Florence once locked eyes with Paul McCartney and sang, "Rebel rebel, how could they know? / Hot tramp, I love you so . . . " during a David Bowie cover at an Alexander McQueen tribute gig. She'd never met him before.

  • Welch received her education at the Camberwell College of Arts before dropping out to pursue a musical career.

  • Florence's mother was Evelyn, a professor of renaissance studies and academic dean of arts at Queen Mary, University of London. She doesn't listen to music.

  • Welch has described love as a 'sickness': "Love is horrible, though, isn't it? I mean, when you’re in love, it’s like a sickness. Such madness."

  • She has said she was really in to witch craft as a younger lady, "I made mini shrines in my bedroom with candles and tried to cast spells to make the boy in the next class fall in love with me. I don’t think he did."

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Photo: WENN