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interview with the ModFather

LONDON - Paul Weller has been at the vanguard of British music since the release of the generation-charging single, “In the City,” in 1977. Angry like a punk, stylish like a Mod and soulful like an R&B man, Weller has consistently followed his own muse, even when that meant breaking up the very successful Jam and dissolving his hit-making follow-up outfit, The Style Council. Worshipped ever since by songwriters (most notably, Noel Gallagher), the “Modfather” continues to make finger-popping, hard-charging, yet elegantly soulful records to this day. We caught up with Weller recently to discuss his illustrious career, his famous disciple/drinking buddy and the possibility of a Jam reunion.

What are your earliest musical memories? What were Mom and Dad listening to around the house?

I can always remember hearing music around our house. Records and the radio. The Beatles, Nat King Cole, The Kinks and Elvis!

What artist or artists made you first want to pick up a guitar?

The Beatles. They got me and the rest of the world into it.

How old were you when you got your first guitar? Was it a present? Did you save up for it?

My dad bought me a cheap, second-hand one when I was 12 and that was it for me.

Can you describe that first version of The Jam? You were, what, 14? How good were you guys?

We were dreadful! We just played cover versions of rock ‘n’ roll and R&B. Slaughtered them, really.

What do you remember about your first gig?

It was a Wednesday night in the local Social Club to seven or eight disinterested punters. Only two of us and our first taste. I was only 14 years old.

When did it start to really click for you – the songwriting, the playing? When did you start to look around and think, “Hang on, this could be something...”

Probably by the time I was 21, really – by The Jam’s third L.P. That’s when I realized what it really entails and took it seriously.

How comfortable were you with being lumped in with punk? From a songwriting perspective, especially, you guys were light years ahead of the punk scene.

Well, originally, punk was great – it was my generation’s wake-up call. I was really into it, man.

When did you start to think about incorporating more soulful, R&B elements? Was that a popular move within the band? Was everyone onboard with that creative shift?

Well, we’d always had that influence, right from the start, so it was very natural.

Ultimately, why did The Jam dissolve? You were on top of the world at the time.

I needed to move on. I’d been with the same band for 10 years. I wanted to go out and find the other parts of my life. I was still only 24.

How long was the idea of The Style Council in your head before you actually formed the band? Was it a musical itch you’d been wanting to scratch for a while?

Yeah, at least a year or so. I was listening to other types of music. I felt constrained by The Jam.

When The Style Council ended, it was the first time you’d been without a band since you were a teenager. Was that exciting or terrifying?

Both, I guess. Though mainly terrifying. I was lost. Didn’t know what I wanted to do.

When ’90s bands began lining up to pay homage to “The Modfather,” was it a bit disconcerting? You were still a pretty young guy.

No, I loved it! I felt “wanted” again. I’d been out in the cold for so long I felt glad to come in and be loved a bit.

How did you and Noel Gallagher first meet? Did it click right away? Was it an instantaneous friendship?

Pretty much, I think. We were both doing a lot of partying, too, and that helped/hindered!

Do you reckon this is it for Oasis or do you think eventually the brothers will work it out?

Who knows?

Speaking of which, you and Bruce Foxton recently played together onstage for the first time in 28 years at the Royal Albert Hall. How did that come about?

Well, Bruce came down and played on the new L.P. and it seemed natural to extend that to a couple of gigs. It was fun.

You know what question’s coming next…so I apologize–truly…but is there any chance that the three of you, as a group, will ever tour or record again?

NO!!!

Bruce appears on Wake Up the Nation. What does he bring as a bassist?

He has a very recognizable sound and style, and he was definitely the right man for those tracks.

The title track is a pretty rocking song. Can you tell me a bit about it? Were you thinking about any particular feel or artist or song when you wrote it?

Not really – it’s in the spirit of the album. We were trying to make music we weren’t hearing anywhere else.

“No Tears to Cry” has such a cool, late-’60s soul feel. What is it about that music still resonates with you?

It’s timeless, man. It rings true through the ages. It’s the heartbeat of the planet.

What still drives you to make music?

Because I absolutely adore it, believe in it and hold it up to be the truth amongst the bullshit.
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Oasisblues copyright © 1994 - 2017

Beady Eye gigography and next tour dates

2000

30 May - Forum, Milan, Italy (the first "Noeless" gig since 1991 when he didn't join Oasis yet)

summer tour without Noel

2003

16 November - Andy Bell unplugged - Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden (bootleg)

2011


3rd & 4th March - Barrowland, Glasgow, Scotland +here and here + bootleg
6th & 7th March - O2 Apollo, Manchester +bootleg 1 +bootleg 2
9th & 10th March - Troxy, London +bootleg 1
13 March - Casino de Paris, Paris, france
14 March - E-Werk, Koln, Germany
16 March - Alcatraz, Milan, Italy +dvd bootleg
18 March - La Riviera, Madrid, Spain +bootleg
19 March - Bikini, Toulouse, france
21 March - Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland (bootleg)
22 March - Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium (bootleg)
14 & 15 April - The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland here a bootleg image
17 April - Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
20 April - O2 Academy, Newcastle (a photo here)
23 April - Centre, Newport (photo and bootleg)
30 May - Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, Germany
+a photo here + win tickets here
8 June - Saschall, Firenze, Italy +my story here +bootleg here +win tickets here
11th June - Papillons de Nuit Festival, Saint Lo, france
12 June - Isle of Wight festival +story here and here +interview here +videos here +interview and bootleg here
25th June - Theater of Living Art, Philadelphia, U.S.A.
30 June - Rock Werchter, Belgium (bootleg)
1 July - Main Square Festival, Arras, france +a photo here
7 July - BBK Live Festival, Bilbao, Spain
9 July - Oxegen Festival, Naas, Ireland
26 August - Reading Festival (win tickets) +videos here +review&video here +bootleg here
3 September - AX Hall, Seoul, South Korea
14 September - Twinkle Rock Festival, Taipei, Taiwan
7 October - Atlantico, Rome, Italy +main bootleg here +another bootleg here
+win the concert here
11 October - Volkshaus, Zurich, Switzerland (postponed)
13 October - Gasometer, Vienna, Austria (postponed)
31 October - Theater Caupolican, Santiago, Chile
2 November - Teatro de Verano Ramon Collazo, Montevideo, Uruguay
3 November - Teatro Colegiales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 November - Personal Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina
5 November - Planeta Terra festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil
12 November - O2 Academy, Sheffield
14 November - O2 Academy, Birmingham
17 November - O2 Academy Brixton, London
2 December - The Warfield, San Francisco, U.S.A.
3 December - Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, U.S.A. +another complete review here +win tickets here and here
5 December - First Avenue, Minneapolis, U.S.A.
6 December - The Rave Ballroon, Milwaukee, U.S.A.
9 December - Terminal 5, New York, U.S.A.
10 December - House of Blues, Boston, U.S.A.

2012

new tour

2013

3 June - Abbey Road, London (acoustic) +bootleg here
7 June - McClusky's, Kingston (album launch acoustic gig)



8 November - Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland

2014

Noel Gallagher solo gigography, and Low Lying Turds tour dates

(although his blinded fans say he's a "new solo artist", it's 20 years he's around and already played "solo" gigs previously (the first one in 1994), with the help of other people of course, as the Unplugged 1996, the gig for Tibet, the tour in 2006-2007, London, Milan, Manchester, Moscow, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris, Australia, etc.)

2010


25 March - Royal Albert Hall - London

2011


28 November - Alcatraz - Milan, Italy + review here +video bootleg here +audio and video bootleg here

2012


lost interest... even Noel got bored of himself

10 April - Auditorio Banamex - Monterrey, Mexico (cancelled)

END OF THE HIGH FLYING BIRDS

2013

fans leave the gig again and ask for Liam again
..... € 10 = £ 8
 

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