Friendship with Twilight dreamboat Robert Pattinson has its privileges. Twenty-two-year-old singer-songwriter Bobby Long met the then-struggling actor a while back at the popular London open-mic Up All Night, and the pair quickly became close; since then, the 2008 release of the film soundtrack’s spare, gravelly ballad “Let Me Sign,” sung by Pattinson and penned by Long and friend Marcus Foster, has suddenly catapulted Long into a whole new world of Twi-fans and frenzied media attention.
On a visit today to EW’s offices, the lanky, swoopy-haired Brit talked to us about his upcoming American tour dates, and the hazards of ancillary – if still white-hot – fame. “Rob gets it 99 million percent more,” Long admits, “but it’s still mad. He and I went to the premiere in London together, and he was just getting molested right and left. For me, it’s clearly not as extreme, but it’s still amazing to watch. And you know,” he adds with a laugh, “there was free booze everywhere, so we got quite drunk and I just kept bothering the guy from Superbad, McLovin’. He was very nice about it.”
Long – whose stripped-down, acoustic style recalls many of the artists he professes to love, including Elliott Smith, Ryan Adams, and the Felice Brothers, as well as more classic acts like Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan and the Beatles – would prefer to be known strictly for his music, but he admits that a gift horse’s mouth is a tough thing to look into: “Twilight has given me an amazing opportunity, and beggars can’t be choosers. I mean, it’s gotten me to New York for the first time, and I love it here already. Though I have played a few shows where I worry for certain females in the audience. Sometimes they get so shaky, and I’m like, ‘Are you OK? Do you need some water?’”
Stateside fans will get their first chance to see him in person this week in New York, before he travels on to Nashville and Los Angeles for several more showcases and meets with a cadre of eager major-label reps (manager Phil Taylor says nearly every A&R guy in the business has contacted him over the last few weeks, though he has yet to sign with any of them); a longer, multi-city US tour kicks off July 30 in Dallas.
In the meantime, you can stream several songs on his MySpace page (“They’re very homemade,” Long admits good-naturedly. “You can even hear traffic sounds from outside my bedroom window on some of them.”), or download the popular track “Left to Lie” on iTunes – and tell us, what do you think of Mr. Long? Will you be seeing him on the road this summer, or saving your money for New Moon tickets?