Skip to main content

Paul Interview With News Of The World!

By John Earls, 13/06/2010
From: News Of The World

PAUL WELLER has hit out at the current music scene, slamming pop stars for being "safe and boring".

The legendary singer reckons that, 35 years after he began with The Jam, he's still making more exciting music than today's current crop of bands. He has just released adventurous new album Wake Up The Nation, which has had universal praise from critics and fans. And he admits its title is a dig at today's dull scene.

"Music is in such a safe and boring place now," Weller tells Rated. "Everyone is toeing the line. It's hard for bands to get a record deal because the music industry is collapsing, and radio only plays safe songs, so bands are scared to experiment. There needs to be a musical revolution from somewhere. I'm an old git, and it's time the younger generation knocked it all down.

"The title track of the record came about from me ranting about the state of Britain and music. I thought I'd better make the kind of impassioned record I wasn't hearing from the current musicians."

Weller, 52, insists that music can still change the world if young musicians get angry enough.

"Being in a band is a fine and noble calling," he says. "It's not only entertaining, you get to impart knowledge, ideas and attitudes if you want. Music changed my world - it made me realise that I didn't have to work in a factory. Music can still do that, but it saddens me that bands come and go so fast these days - they make one great record and you never hear from them again. We've become very short term."

Despite such fiery talk, Weller denies that Wake Up The Nation is a political record. The former Labour Party campaigner admits he's got "very little" interest in current politics.

"All politicians are the same these days," he sighs. "They make little difference to our lives. I vote Labour out of loyalty, but it makes no odds who's in charge any more."

Weller admits he got stuck in a rut before parting with his long-term backing band five years ago. "I was making music, but I wasn't fired up," he says. "I'd hemmed myself in with barriers, but I wrote some new types of songs that felt like a crack in the sky appearing. I realised I was the only one who'd created those boundaries. I'm on a roll and, after this record, the possibilities are endless."

Weller reveals he wants to write with singer Richard Hawley and dance duo Amorphous Androgynous, adding: "The one real idea I've got for my next record is to make it even more experimental!"

Surprisingly, he revisited the past by reuniting with The Jam's bassist Bruce Foxton on two songs on Wake Up The Nation, for the first time since the trio split in 1982. The pair played on stage at London's Royal Albert Hall last month.

"That was a lovely moment," he smiles. "Bruce got a lot of love from the crowd, and I really got off on that. But there's no way The Jam will ever reform. I'm not interested in comebacks, and can't see myself making contact with Rick Buckler, because there's not much love lost there."

Friendly and polite, Weller is far from the grumpy bloke he's sometimes portrayed as - which he thinks might be down to being shy.

"I was painfully shy when I was a kid," he admits. "I'm more confident now, I just give less of a f*** what others think!"

But he will not be showing off his new album at Glastonbury later this month. "I'm not a massive festival lover," he explains.

"It only takes some rain to make everyone in the crowd miserable and a change of wind can ruin the sound on stage. I don't like feeling so out of control. Not that indoor gigs are perfect... "I hate not being able to smoke on stage any more," he laughs. "There's a time and a place for the smoking ban, but it should be lifted at pubs and gigs. It's sad how us smokers are treated now - we've become the new junkies!"


Popular posts from this blog

John Weller Obituary From The Independent...

For thirty years, John Weller managed the career of his son Paul, through the salad days and success of The Jam in the Seventies and early Eighties, the ups and downs of The Style Council and Paul’s re-emergence as a solo artist in the Nineties. Theirs was a unique father-son relationship in the music industry, built on John’s unwavering belief in Paul’s talent and shared values like hard work and pragmatism.

John could be blunt, and once refused to have lunch in a record company’s executive dining room, remarking to the managing director: “I didn’t come here to eat, I came to do business.” But his bark was worse than his bite.

John’s success was all the more remarkable since he started in his forties after years working in factories, on building sites and driving a taxi. When The Jam signed to Polydor in February 1977, for a £6,000 advance and a six per cent royalty rate, John admitted he didn’t have a bank account and asked for cash instead of a cheque. A&R man Chris Parry duly we…

Paul Weller's Son, Natt Gives A Candid Taxi Interview

Where else to meet the musician son of the agelessly groovy Modfather but at London’s trendy Met Bar? And there’s more than a hint of moody Mod style about the Japanese parka that Paul Weller’s eldest child Natt has slung over his Vivienne Westwood top.

Yet there all similarity ends, for singer-guitarist Natt has inherited the exotic beauty of his mother – former Wham! and Style Council backing singer Dee C Lee – rather than the famously angular features of his father.

‘Everybody always goes, “Luckily he took after his mum…”’ laughs Natt, whose mother is from France and St Lucia and whose great-great grandma was Japanese. Hence Natt’s fascination for Japan, where he moved in 2006 for a year to learn the language.

To pay for his studies, he modelled and deejayed, ‘I felt like an outsized monster,’ confides Natt, 21, a 6ft 1in beanpole. He returned a fan of Japan’s popular culture – from manga cartoons to punk-goth music – and with a different spelling to his name, which now features two ‘…

Steve White On The Passing of John Weller...

It wasn't unexpected to get the news that John Weller had passed away , it was a beautiful sunny morning in fact , but the news still stung even though the anticipation existed .

I finished work today , a day peppered by texts and calls , I missed the call that mattered but made ammends and spoke to the one person I needed to speak to , I raised a glass at dinner and reminisced with my beautiful partner of days of travel and nights of glory that followed , and after a little to much wine the drowsiness lifted and the harsh reality that someone very special had passed hit me , I wanted to say that , with my emotions bubbling very much to the surface , I wanted to remember those decades and shows and nights that we all spent together , indestructible , laughing and making the music of our dreams , wide eyed vagabonds not quite believing .

I remember the day on arriving back from Sydney, John telling me it was all over and he had enough of "this lark" , that was 24 odd years …