Alex Gardner is no stranger to the rugby field having played inside centre during his school days in Edinburgh. While he is no longer allowed to play the sport – how many pop stars do you know with cauliflower ears!! – he still follows the Scotland team and is looking forward to playing on the zavvi.com Festival Stage at RugbyRocks 2010 on 12 June.

We caught up with the rising star before his latest gig at Gramophone, Shoreditch.

You were given your 1st guitar and started writing your own songs at 10, wrote your debut single ‘I’m Not Mad’ at just 13; so when did you get your big break?

I moved to London at 16 with the dream of doing something. After about 6 months I’d run out of cash and was living off £250 a month, but then I met Brian Higgins and I went to an audition to be in a band. That’s where it all started…

What inspires you in writing your songs?

I write about girls a lot! And songs about where I come from – so, I write about what I know. I’m a 90s kid I’m proud to say and I like anything with a good bass line really.

Who would you love to support?

I’ve supported Paolo Nutini, Scouting for Girls and this summer I’m supporting JLS which will be cool. I’d be greedy if I said any other names. Last week I supported Whitney Houston. Actually, Whitney gave ‘big thanks to Alex Gardner’ after her set. I’d like to work with more US artists.

Do you have any pre-gig rituals?

Yes, we whack on some Stevie Wonder. And Michael Jackson sometimes – we just have a bit of a sing along and a shout.

Have you got any festival stories or memories to share?

I’ve only ever been to one festival before, T in the Park. I saw it from both sides – first I was on stage and then in the audience watching Lady Ga-Ga and Paolo Nutini.

What would be your dream festival line-up?

Well, Stevie Wonder is playing Glastonbury this year. I’d love to go to all the festivals. But I’m not going to get greedy…

Do you have any crazy fans?

Well, there was one Mika fan who gave me a painting of myself. And I’ve also have a scrap book sent to me, with all kinds of things in it like recipes. That was quite cool!

Your debut album is due for release later this year, how’s it coming along?

It’s progressing very well. I’m never happy or satisfied though – I’m going back in six weeks (to work on it) when I’ve got the time. The second single will be out at the back end of summer. It’s got to be perfect or it will haunt me for the rest of my life!!

Can you tell us what it will be called?

It’s a secret for now!

Do you have a message for the fans at RugbyRocks?

I’m just really excited. I think I might have to wear my Scotland strip!

Watch the video for I’m Not Mad here…

Alex will be taking to the zavvi.com Festival Stage at 4.45pm on 12 June at The Athletic Ground, Richmond, Surrey.

Fancy meeting Alex Gardner and getting your hands on loads of signed merchandise?

We’ve got 4 VIP Tickets to giveaway, and the two lucky winners will get a pair of tickets, enabling them to go backstage to meet the players and the bands! Click here to enter.

Check out the zavvi RugbyRocks blog for more exclusive offers, competitions and offers.

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Team Zavvi

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