The '90s were a bit of a disaster for me in so many ways. On a personal level, I don't think I could have toured. Also, I had some physical problems with my back that are now sorted and I just wasn't in the right state of mind.
I never minded being thought of as a pop star. People have always thought I wanted to be seen as a serious musician, but I didn't, I just wanted people to know that I was absolutely serious about pop music.
I'm 10-12 years into life as an out gay man, and I'm a different person. I think there are things about my journey that might be useful to other people, and coming up with a hit record on its own doesn't seem to be enough anymore.
I realised those things my ego needed - fame and success - were going to make me terribly unhappy. So I wrenched myself away from that. I had to. I had to walk away from America and say goodbye to the biggest part of my career because I knew, otherwise, my demons would get the better of me.
I had been obsessed with insects and creepy-crawlies: I used to get up at five o'clock in the morning and go out into this field behind our garden and collect insects before everyone else got up, and suddenly, all I wanted to know about was music. It just seemed a very, very strange thing.
The first sign of real obsession with music was with an old wind-up gramophone that mum had thrown out into the garage. My parents gave me three old 45s - two Supremes records and one Tom Jones record - and I used to come home from school literally every day, go out to the garage, wind this thing up, and play them.