Irish singer and songwriter Hozier sat down with guest host Kelly Osbourne on Larry King Now Monday night for his first long-form interview on American TV where talked about his controversial debut album.
The 25-year old, who was recently nominated for an American Music Award for Alternative Rock, confesses that he didn?t think ?Take Me To Church? would gain the success that it did.
?Some days I register with it, some days I don?t really register with it,? he said after Osbourne pointed out that the song has been played more than 800 million times between Spotify and YouTube.
?I didn?t think ‘Take Me To Church? would work on radio or it would be a radio (friendly) song or it would be the song that I think it became,? he added.
Commenting on his recent nomination, he pointed out that it?s hard to categorize an artist?s work into just two words. Blues and classic rock and roll elements influence his musical style but he admits that gospel is biggest influence that ?shines through here and there.?
The musician also spoke about had driven him to write the song and the issues facing the LGBTQ community.
“This is one of the paradoxes and weird hypocrisy of that organization [Catholic Church]. The pope came here last year and said, ‘Who am I to judge with regards to somebody’s sexual orientation?’ I think it is important to differentiate between lip service towards something and actually making change. I think it is hopeful, but saying this in 2015, ‘Who am I to judge?’ is something that should have been said 100 years ago,” he said.
“It is one that has institutionalized gender inequality as well, dangerous policy over contraception and, in this case, it still harbors and irrational aversion to homosexuality,” he continued. “Which in my view I think that is why I was driven to write ‘Take Me to Church.’ I think the church provides an excuse for homophobia.”
The video for ?Take Me To Church? is a reference to the alarming anti-gay violence in Russia and the singer said he does not feel very much has changed in the country with his song’s popularity.
“It is very hard to get a gauge on societal mentality or societal mentality of all state-owned bodies, state-owned media,” he said. “I’m not sure, I would like to hope that slowly it is moving back towards something a bit more progressive.”
Watch the full interview here.