January 19, 2010 by Scott Colothan
Paul Weller has unveiled full details of his new studio album ‘Wake Up The Nation’ and has even treated fans to a track-by-track guide.
The Modfather’s tenth long-player was produced and co-written by Simon Dine at Paul’s Black Barn studios in Surrey and is released on April 12th. It’s preceded by the double A-side single ‘Wake Up The Nation’/’No Tears To Cry’ on April 5th.
Weller’s former bandmate in The Jam, Bruce Foxton, appears on two album tracks marking the first time the pair have worked together since The Jam split in 1982.
Interestingly, Bev Bevan from ELO and The Move and Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine have also been drafted in for the record.
Paul Weller’s track-by-track guide to ‘Wake Up The Nation’:
1. Moonshine – “Bev Bevan (The Move/ELO) plays drums on this one. Simon and I are big psychedelic music fans, so it was a real buzz. I was back to being a ten year old Move fan again.”
2. Wake Up The Nation – “It’s political with a small ‘p’. There’s a line in there about the death of the post box. It’s about how technology brings advantages but it also de-personalises things.”
3. No Tears To Cry – ‘‘It’s s a definite nod to the Walker Brothers and those epic ballads. I thought it would fitting to get the man who played on a lot of those records to play on it. He’s seventy odd, but Clem (Cattini) came down and did it in literally two takes. He’s that good.”
4. Fast Car Slow Traffic – “It’s a real London tune. It’s a pretty full on. We played this on the last tour and people were really mad for it. It was really interesting to hear Bruce (Foxton) playing on it. You can instantly tell it’s him.”
5. Grasp and Still Connect – “It’s about how technology is meant to get us greater levels of communication, but I’m not convinced. It’s silly things like not talking to a conductor when you get on the bus – you buy a ticket from a machine. We’re forgetting how to talk to each other.”
6. She Speaks – “I’ve never really done anything like it before. It’s based on a poem I wrote about a year ago. Lyrically, it’s about the sea as a metaphor for life. Sometimes, however, you just have to plunge in and get on with it.”
7. Find The Torch Burn The Plans – “Thematically, it ties in with the title track. We’ve got to reclaim our heritage and our culture. Claim it back from the fucking politicians and the establishment. Charles (engineer) played drums. My daughter and her mate sang on it too.”
8. Aim High – “Stevie Pilgrim is on drums on this one. It was initially one phrase repeated over and over. I hit that falsetto voice, which was nice because I haven’t used it for a long time. Once I had the melody I wrote the words really quickly.”
9. Trees – “The words were inspired by going to see my dad just before he died. Simon liked them and he had the idea for five different musical parts to interpret them. My cousin Mark played guitar on it.”
10. Andromeda – “It’s about someone leaving a dying planet. I love the image of the last verse: “My mood gets lifted with the gravity’s pull/Looks like I’m smiling but I’m dying too.” It’s just about us mirroring our surroundings.”
11. Whatever Next – “It’s an instrumental. The album is made up of fairly short tracks but they’ve got a lot of information packed into them, so it’s nice to catch your breath for a minute, then get on with it.”
12. 7 + 3 Is The Strikers Name – “Kevin Shields plays on this one. He came down to the studio with a big bag of effects pedals and we took it from there. There’s a dig at the royal family in the lyrics – that whole invisible establishment is still in power, nothing’s changed.”
13. Pieces of A Dream – “We’d played it on the last tour and I was really surprised at how well it went down. People seem to really fucking love it. Stevie Pilgrim is on drums.”
14. 2 Fat Ladies – “I played bass and Little Barrie played guitar. It’s got a nice raw sound to it. What are the lyrics about? Hard to say. I was making them up as I went along! I think it’s a case of people taking what they want from it. What seems meaningless to one person can mean everything to someone else.”