Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Graham's Groove; with an Eighth Album to His Name, Blur's Graham Coxon, at the Sage Gateshead on April 15, Tells ANDY WELCH Why His Solo Career Was Just an Accident Waiting to Happen

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Graham's Groove; with an Eighth Album to His Name, Blur's Graham Coxon, at the Sage Gateshead on April 15, Tells ANDY WELCH Why His Solo Career Was Just an Accident Waiting to Happen

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDY WELCH

FOR a man who once found interviews a harrowing experience, Graham Coxon has learned to enjoy talking about his music.

After all those years as a member of Blur, and releasing eight albums under his own name, he can now see the appeal.

"I just used to find it maddening talking aS bout the same thing over and over and over, but it's what you make of it," he says, the day after his 43rd birthday.

"Now I just see it as an opportunity to really work out what I think. And it's good to find out people's thoughts on the record."

That Coxon clammed up in Blur interviews is a shame.

Self-deprecating and outright funny in equal measure, he's hugely entertaining company.

His new album A+E, however, is well worth blowing a trumpet about.

Leaving the finger-picked folk of 2009's The Spinning Top behind, it sees Coxon in abrasive mood, with nods to German experimentalists Neu! and British alt-punks Wire.

"I feel like I've opened a door with this album," he says, "and now I want to go through it and have a look around.

"A lot of the album has a mesmeric groove and I like that. I've had these influences all my life, I just concentrate on different areas. I wanted to dehumanise the music a little more, using drum machines and a few sequencers."

Recorded quickly with producer Ben Hillier, Coxon plays virtually everything on A+E, with Hillier programming any electronic equipment and playing keyboards where needed. While Coxon misses not being able to jam with other musicians, he does enjoy the amount of time being self-sufficient saves him in the studio.

"I hate sitting around waiting. If I'd got a bass player, they'd lug all their gear in, probably late, spend two hours tuning and 'finding their sound' and then insist on doing a load of takes. But I have it done in half an hour, tops. …

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