Paul Weller: I want to help the UK win Eurovision

Paul WellerImage copyright
Warner

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Paul Weller’s 13th solo studio album A Kind Revolution is out on Friday

Curled up in the corner of a comfy record label couch, and dressed down by his standards – jumper and jeans – Paul Weller is in full-on daydream mode.

“I want to write a James Bond theme tune,” he says.

“I’ve got this half a song that me and Noel Gallagher worked on and I think it would be great for a Bond theme. There’s a bit of minor key going on. That would be an ambition definitely.”

The Modfather will be 59 later this month and the ground-breaking debut album by his old band The Jam turns 40 next week.

While many acts would settle for a re-mastered re-issue on white vinyl to mark the anniversary (other colours are available), this ever-changingman is looking forward to the release of his 13th solo studio album on Friday.

Oh – and the birth of his eighth child, “the littlest Weller”.

He jokes: “Me and the wife are waiting for a summer release!”

But are there parallels between knocking out another great record and fathering another child into your 60th year?

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Getty Images

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Weller: The Jam years

“Well, every child is different, but you treat them the same. And it’s the same with records really. You have to love all of them.

“You can’t tell how you feel about it until months later really, until you’ve had time to really absorb it… I’m talking about records now – not children!”

He adds: “My wife always says after each one, ‘Are you going to take some time off now?’ And I always intend to, then I start writing again, then all of a sudden these songs come and I have very little control over it.

“I can’t imagine my life not writing. It’s ongoing to me and I don’t think it’s ever going to run out until I drop down dead.

“I still think I can fly high and I never want to be grounded.”

‘Not political’

Weller’s forthcoming musical offspring has been christened A Kind Revolution. But it’s definitely “not a political record”, he says.

The title remains a provocative one, though, especially given it arrives just weeks before a general election. Coincidence?

“Yeah, I was in deep conversation with Theresa May saying, ‘When you next having an election, love?'” the ex-Red Wedge member says with a grin.

“No – pure coincidence. My record is nothing to do with politics. It’s about people.

“I think it’s a scary time for all of us, we just don’t know how it’s going to go. It seems the whole world is catching alight, almost like a prelude to a world war.”

What would the slogan on a Paul Weller campaign poster say?

“Love one another, man, and try and be kind and be good to each other and the world would be a better place. Incredibly simplistic, I know, but that’s the bottom line.”

Weller goes on: “More compassion, more solidarity with our fellow human beings – a lot of those things are missing for me in society and in the world in general really.

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Warner Music

“I don’t think any of the answers to the current state of the world lie in politics. I think it’s time for people to not put their faith and judgement into theories or politics, or even philosophies, and to look inside ourselves.

“Whatever happened to our own responsibility to our society and our country and the world?

“We should be changing ourselves and it’s unfair to expect one person is going to change everything for us.”

Is that easier said than done though?

“Often I think about peace in the world and then I have to look inside myself and think am I at peace? Can I live up to all the things I believe in or spout?

“I’m kind of intent on changing myself to get rid of thoughts or negative feelings. Until you can feel that within yourself it’s hard to project that on to the world.”

It’s clear on the new record that Weller has been doing some serious soul searching and digging deep inside his vast record collection for musical inspiration from the likes of David Bowie, The Beatles, Curtis Mayfield, Miles Davis, northern soul, funk and beyond.

He confesses: “These influences are just inside me. I’ve soaked them up down the years and they always come out one way or another.”

He’s also been flicking through his phone contacts to secure the vocal talents of Boy George and soul sirens PP Arnold and Madeline Bell, plus the bluesy guitar playing of Strypes youngster Josh McClorey and Robert Wyatt’s jazz trumpet.

Track two Nova channels the avant garde spirit of late Bowie, while next song Long Long Road, Paul’s favourite, finds him back at the bar-room piano belting out a big romantic McCartney-esque ballad.

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“It’ll be all white on the night lads”

Album closer The Impossible Idea even has a Broadway musical quality to it or, as Weller puts it, “it’s like a German beer hall song but with a sort of French chanson feel to it too”.

More on that one shortly…

Bucket list

As fans of The Style Council will tell you, Weller has never been afraid of failure, and in the last six months alone he’s taken a plethora of new challenges on.

He’s produced a remix for his good pals Syd Arthur, a film score to the boxing film Jawbone, and has even found time to make his acting debut as a rather convincing dead Viking alongside mate Martin Freeman in the final episode of Sherlock.

Media captionPaul Weller on composing his first film score

So what else could possibly be left on this man’s bucket list?

“I want to see the UK win the Eurovision Song Contest,” says Weller. “And I think they need The Impossible Idea as their tune.”

Is he serious? Would he be there in Kiev?

“Yeah, they could have it absolutely. I could be there, possibly. If it was my song then I would definitely, yeah.”

If you’re reading this, Team UK, it’s still not too late. To achieve the impossible on Saturday night, better call Paul.

A Kind Revolution is out on Friday 12 May.

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