I don’t really have a process that I could explain in a short sentence like that. I have been working on this since I was about 12, so it’s more of an instinctive thing for me now. I just think about music and songs all the time, and from the murk emerges, well, something. Practice makes perfect.
Yes, of course; a lot of people have been very vocal about having a problem with me because of where and when I was born and raised. It’s pretty frustrating, being judged, dismissed or insulted because of something you have no say in. It’s one of the reasons I like America – as the saying goes, in the UK people care about where you start, in the US they care about where you end up. It’s been going on long enough now for my skin to be pretty thick on the issue, and I just try and go about my business treating everyone I meet equally.
They are – I’m not very good at fiction in song, haha. I guess writing something that feels personal to a lot of different people is the holy grail of songwriting, in a way. But then it’s something you can’t aim for directly, or you end up with something totally ersatz. So it’s a difficult thing to get right, and it’s nice to know that some people think I occasionally hit my mark.
Yeah Danny is a lovely guy, very talented, he has an infectious enthusiasm and vision. I’m not sure if I would have said yes to the show if it wasn’t for his involvement – I’m uneasy around big state-sponsored pomp and circumstance. But it was a cool thing to do in the end, a unique experience in the end.
A lot of things. I spent a long time playing hardcore / punk rock, and part of me felt like I’d run out of things to say using that medium. I was also pretty burned from the break up of my last band, Million Dead, and wanted to do something different. And I guess I was just growing up and listening to a broader selection of music.
Yes. I got thoroughly fucking sick of the idiocy that passes for public political discussion. Having been wilfully misrepresented, attacked and insulted for a fair while, I thought I had better things to do with my time.
Good thanks. Enough for me to make another record.
Growing up, well, I’d say Nirvana, NOFX, Descendents, Black Flag, stuff like that.
The above, and also Springsteen, Townes Van Zandt, The Weakerthans, the Hold Steady.. there are loads.
Actually I’m genuinely not sure if they’re still making it. I hope so, it was fun to be involved.
Best, probably “American Hustle”, which I watched on the plane. It was fantastic, I thought Christian Bale was (predicatbly) sublime. Worst, uh, the third Batman film with him in it actually. Can’t remember the exact title. I’m not really into superhero stuff, but I thought the Heath ledger batman film was great. The one after was total piss, in my opinion.