My Gadget Life – Alex James

The Blur bassist and wannabe spaceman tells us how life on a farm is tough for gadgets

My gadgets need to be farmproof

I keep breaking iPhones. I only really need to send texts anyway so I should probably get one of those JCB Toughphones. That way I won’t have to worry if it’s in my pocket when I jump in the river.

I’m in love with my telly

We’ve got a new Sony Bravia [pictured]. My wife works in film and we’ve got five children so there’s a lot of telly-watching in our house. Until now you’ve had to hide your TV but I don’t feel the need to now. It’s completely taken over the living room.

The main crisis facing record companies is not the internet

It’s the fact that music is no longer the focus of youth culture – it’s celebrity. It’s not Smash Hits that causes a band to sell a million copies a week – it’s heat magazine. For me, being in a band wasn’t a career choice; it was a denial of all that. Now you can be a cook and be a celebrity.

The amount artists get from Spotify is very low

At the moment I’m spending more subscribing to Spotify than I’m earning from people listening to my songs on it. The way that we consume music changes once every generation. It should come as no surprise. lt’ll sort itself out eventually.

Touring is different these days

Someone told me you can’t get away with anything anymore, because if you sleep with anybody they write about it on a fan website and your girlfriend sees it.

I got my pilot’s licence when I was in Blur

But I haven’t really got time to fly these days. I will when the kids are older but I can’t die for a good 20 years. Planes are dangerous, especially the ones I like – the really fast ones. And the wobbly ones.

Spaceships are the new cathedrals

In the 1550s the exciting thing was the invention of the clock and discovering America. Now we go into space, which is something I’d love to do. Strap me to a rocket and point me at Mars!

A telescope is just a bucket for catching light

I’ve got a Meade ETX90 but I wish I’d got the 120 with its bigger aperture. It’s amazing what you can get for £500 now. They’ve all got GPS so all you need to do is type in “Jupiter” and it does the rest for you. You can discover a comet if you know where to look.

I couldn’t live without my coffee machine

It’s called an Astra and I got it in a junkshop. It’s a real Chitty Chitty Bang Bang job. In the country, if you can get an espresso in the morning you’re ready for the mud and the sh*t and the building that’s fallen over and the cow that can’t stand up.

Alex James stars in a series of filmed revelations for Sony, focusing on the HD qualities of the latest range. The Sony Bravia Monolithic range is design-led with built in Freeview HD, ready for digital switchover.