With a new live album out on the market and a new solo album expected soon, there was enough to talk about. Scroll down or click on "read more" to read the interview.
*Its a pleasure meeting you and thanks for inviting me.
*Is the release In Real Time a way of looking back at your ideals about music?
In some ways its the sound Ive been known for. Some songs are very obscure, some are very famous. Its like recognizing the past and the recent past. Its part of my life. We played in Europe last year and it felt like it would be the last time, some songs were played like that. Everything changes all the time and sometimes there are moments when you depart and start working on new stuff and it feels like that happened. Ive got a new EP coming out in about 3 months in America. Its recorded as a three-piece band, like in the late 60s rock in London. Thats why it going to sound more raw than before. It has no overdubs at all and no keyboards. One of my favorite live albums is "Free live". Thats performance, thats what it sound when you come to the show. Thats what I like about live performance.
*Is there sometimes a desire to be part of a band again, like in the Bad English days?
For me its always a band, it isnt just me. Everybody has the same spotlight. The Babys was never like my band, it was always a four piece band, if someone didnt like something we didnt do it. Thats also how I see this band with Tim, Louise and Billy. We want to be happy and enjoying playing these songs.
*How do you look back at your eighties releases, like one of my favorites, Rovers Return?
Thank you well it were the eighties, a lot of bands do experience with different sounds. I think No Brakes is a pretty down to earth record, even as Mask of Smiles. They were overproduced records, rhythm driven and being guitar orientated. Sometimes we used synths to experience, but it always was about the guitar. I strongly believe in Mick Jagger/ Keith Richards and David Bowie/ Mick Ronson. I believe the singer always has to have a great guitar player and thru the eighties I always had a great guitar player in the band. Rovers return actually I made it twice. I recorded it, scrapped it and rerecorded it with entire new songs.
*Through the years your music always was recognizable? Do you agree with that?
Where I come from in the first place is country and blues thats what rock n roll is. Im a rock n roll singer so I never could depart on Rock n roll. With When You Were Mine I wanted to do a Bob Dylan sounded record. I never try to do what I did previous. Sometimes people expect me to do that but I wont do it. I dont want to be someones puppet. I love being a artist and not a businessman.
*What does it mean to you to give some "all time classics to music history? You did it with The Babys, Bad English and as solo artist.
Well I always tried to do that. I approach the songwriting very seriously and always try to write big songs. Ive always had an enormous respect for rock n roll and I wanted to be part of that. When people talking about like Satisfaction by the Stones or something, you might mention Missing You in the same way, I dont know. There are a lot of big songs. Its very interesting to be recognized for.
*Is it always a challenge as a artist to write such mega hits? It seems like there are artists who write in that direction.
Well you can write songs like that. There is a part of me that wants to turn away from that. How can you make something really wonderful that doesnt sound pop. If you make it too pop, you possible sound like Abba, which is great pop, but do I want to sound like Abba...or like Bon Jovi...NO! But I try to speak in a manner to engage people that doesnt sound too sacred but deal with real topics. I knew Missing you going to be a huge hit, but it isnt really a sweet song. Its dark, about denial. The challenge of songwriting to me is to make a hit which isnt too pop.
*How do you look back at you rerecording of Missing You with Alison Krauss?
Wow well we became very close and she values enormous my life. She showed me a lot of things about Bluegrass, that I wasnt that familiar with. The songwriting put you on a higher level. They tell great stories about the history of emotional America. Alison showed me all that, and I was a willing student because I love country music. Far back on Temple Bar I tried to introduce elements of that kind of songwriting. Working with her is really fantastic!
*What gives you the inspiration for writing new songs?
Age yes its age! I find as I leave part of my life. I turn around and look forward. The world is different all the time, through the experiences of people leaving, loving, dying whatever. I write about my experiences. I cant write about peoples life. I write sometimes about political issues but usually from the standpoint of in the first person.
I know how it is to live in a world of terrorism now but there was always terrorism. The Irish were blowing up Birmingham and Manchester when I was 20 years old.
*What can we expect of your new solo album?
Well its pretty wild. Its going to be country guitar driven rock, and one of the songs is almost like 70s Rolling Stones dance music. Which is probably going to be the big single. Me and Carl Cook (from Matchbox 20) wrote the songs for the EP album, except one song who is written with Mark Spiro. Its going to be an EP with 5 songs. I had 5 great songs in me and if I should do another 5 it would destroy the album completely. As a kid I also used to buy EPs with 4 songs.
*What is musically the moment you treasure the most?
Probably playing at the Opryland in Nashville with Alison Krauss and Vince Gill. It was a country audience and I had my band on stage there. I had a black bass player, my guitar player from New Jersey and me English. That was a real honor. I was looking at the audience and saw family people, farmer people, tourists and country fans. And its being broadcast live.
*How you want to be remembered when the day comes to stop making music?
That could happen any moment. Every time I walk off stage can be the last time. I said earlier to someone, any second now I could leave. I want to be a father as well ,and not be away every night to go on stage. I have spoken to nearly 4 generations. There comes a time I say thank you I had a wonderful time. When that time comes I hope people remember that I was sincere and I didnt compromise. What I did was always from the heart. To be remembered in that way would made me proud.
*Thanks for the interview.
Youre very welcome and I hope you going to enjoy our concert tonight.
(LazyRocker.com: You can read a review of this concert by clicking HERE