The musician has been outspoken about lockdown restrictions and vaccines used to curb the spread of the virus in both interviews and his recent songs.
In the second part of his interview with Real Music Observer, Clapton discussed the response to his views saying that he wasn’t for or against vaccines. “I’m making a rod for my own back by talking about the thing and the things, but one thing about the thing I would like to make clear – because I have to keep re-establishing it – is I’m neither anti or pro,” he said.
“I’m freedom of choice, really, and respect for other people, and kindness, and the things that used to motivate, or were things to aspire to. Aspirations towards goodness. And I’m also quite, in an abstract way, religion – I believe in God and I think there’s a purpose. And this seems to be my purpose for the moment.”
He continued by calling those who criticise him over the issue “monsters” who are “always going to be after people who are looking for truth or seeking something, a way forward”.
“I’m not that concerned with being misunderstood,” he added. “You can make decisions about what you’re going to do or say without being overly concerned about the repercussions. When the repercussions happen, that’s when maybe I will learn my lesson about, well you shouldn’t have said that, or you should have said this.”
In the first part of the interview, Clapton said he believed that people were being hypnotised into getting vaccinated via messages promoted on YouTube and in the media. “[I thought], ‘What’s going on here?’ I didn’t get the memo. Whatever the memo was, it hadn’t reached me.
“Then I started to realise there was really a memo, and a guy, [clinical psychology professor] Mattias Desmet, talked about it. And it’s great – the theory of mass formation hypnosis,” he explained. “And I could see it then – once I kind of started to look for it, I saw it everywhere.”
Last summer, the musician said he would not perform concerts that require proof of vaccination – although he did play at such a show in September. He has also teamed up with Van Morrison and shared his own songs that criticise pandemic safety measures, including August’s ‘This Has Gotta Stop’.
In November, he appeared on The Defender podcast with Robert Kennedy Jr. and explained what effect his stance on the issue had had on his relationships. “Over the last year, there’s been a lot of disappearing, a lot of dust around with people moving away quite quickly, and it has, for me, refined the kind of friendships I have,” he said. “And it’s dwindled down to the people that I obviously really need and love.”