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60 Second Interview: Paul Weller

Paul Weller, 51, is the Modfather of Britpop thanks to his stints in The Jam, The Style Council and as a solo artist. He has won four Brit Awards and had numerous hit singles. A DVD – a 90minute live session for the BBC called Just A Dream – is released this week. Paul will be at the The Hop Farm Festival on July 5. www.hopfarmfestival.com

Happy birthday for the other week. How did it feel to turn 51?

It was a bit of an anticlimax after the big five-oh last year. It’s just another number, really. It’s my second eldest daughter’s birthday on the same day so we tend to celebrate that more now. We didn’t do too much, we went out for some food. The celebration last year was a big one, with a big party, which was nice. But it’s all downhill since then, really.

You won a Brit for Best British Male three years after getting a lifetime achievement award. Strange?

A bit but it’s blinding that 22 Dreams was so well received. I find it all goes in cycles. People seem to have really warmed to the record. There have been other times in my life where that has happened but, equally, I’m old enough to know that I could have put it out, people wouldn’t have got it and it would have done nothing. There are times when you connect with people and times when you don’t – I still don’t know what the ingredient is. It seems quite random but when it happens, you have to run with it.

What’s on the stereo at the moment?

The Kasabian album – I bought it a few days ago.

You buy records?

People do give them to me, obviously, but I still love going into a shop and buying them – it feels right. I’ve also been listening to some of the Enemy album but other than that it’s a lot of older stuff. The last year has been a bit dull.

Do you ever play your own stuff?

Only stuff I’ve been working on: It’s just the new ‘roughs’ that I keep listening to again and again.

Are you excited by what you hear?

I don’t know if it’s the same feeling as 22 Dreams – I don’t think any record is the same. I’m excited because it’s another move on. It’s produced by Simon Dine, who did 22 Dreams, and he has been doing some backing tracks and I have been writing to them spontaneously in the studio, even making the words up as I go along. It’s at that stage where I want some people to hear it.

I’m willing to have a listen if you send me a demo.

I’ll let the PR know! I hope it’s challenging – you need that as a musician.

What’s your top style tip for this year?
I don’t know. At the moment, it looks like raincoats and wellies [it’s raining]. I’m not being coy or anything, I do love clothes but I don’t really follow any fashion so I only know what’s big in my head.

Why not launch your own label?
I’d love to. I’ve been talking about this for a few years now. Liam [Gallagher] has pipped me to the post, though.

Did you buy any of his gear?
No, but I saw him the other day and he gave me a couple of scarves and stuff. If I did it, it would be for the same reason as Liam – he can’t find the clothes he wants to buy in the shops. If any rich benefactors are reading, tell them to get in touch.

Any outfits you regret?

Too many to mention. Some of those 1980s styles are pretty shocking. I don’t really pay much attention, though. It’s like your mum dragging out pictures of you when you were a kid.

John Lydon and Iggy Pop have both done adverts recently. Would you consider it?

Well, I don’t think I’d do a butter advert, although I was asked by someone in Holland whether I wanted to be in a beer commercial with a Dutch band. I’m in two minds.

Beer’s not too bad?

Beer’s a f***ing good thing, man. It’s the adverts that seem a bit naff. It makes me cringe when I see those things.

Any chance of The Jam jumping on the reunion bandwagon?

Absolutely not. None whatsoever. Not at all.

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