Magazine article Guitar Player

Paul Weller Goes Raw

Magazine article Guitar Player

Paul Weller Goes Raw

Article excerpt

PAUL WELLER TYPICALLY AVOIDS American guitar-gear-magazine interviews, so it was a thrill to get the Jam and Style Council star on the "blower" (telephone) to discuss his latest solo album, Saturns Pattern [Warner Bros.]. Constructed from rough backing tracks by Amorphous Androgynous--an off shoot of the musicians behind Future Sound of London--the new album is packed with wicked, twisted, and fierce guitars--all locked to propulsive, R&B-kissed grooves.

These are exquisitely crafted songs. Did you go into the studio with a strict concept?

Nothing was planned at all. My only brief to everyone was that I wanted big-sounding drums and grooves. That was as clear as it got. I'd give vague or abstract instructions, and it was up to Stan Kybert, my co-producer to make sense of everything [laughs]. The album was like a blank canvas, and we built up the picture as we went along.

How did you work with the backing tracks contributed by Amorphous Androgynous?

The songs were a mish-mash between their guitarist and me. It's always conflict or collaboration, right? [Laughs.] I'd jam over the tracks, playing the first thing that came into my head. Sometimes, those first ideas are the best, and I usually wouldn't do more than two or three takes. Then, we'd sift through my ideas and their ideas, and choose the best ones.

What guitars did you bring to the sessions?

My mainstays are a '56 Gibson SG and my Epiphone Casino. But, sometimes, I'd pick up a Danelectro, a Vox Teardrop, or a Hofner semi-hollowbody because I wasn't familiar with it, and that put me in a different place, which is always nice. I'd say, "Let's try that one--I want to know what it sounds like."

The guitars tones really catch your ear ...

More than anything, I've gotten interested in hearing the guitars raw. …

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