In the latest issue (Feb 2015) of Uncut magazine Paul offers up some clues about his upcoming album, “Saturn’s Pattern” which is due for release in April 2015.
Title Saturn’s Pattern | Label Parlophone | Released Spring 2015
“The album’s certainly progressive in the literal sense of the word”
The sonik adventurer explores multi-part epics on his “defiantly 21st-Century” new LP
Paul Weller: I think it’s one of the best things I’ve done. And it’s been a pleasure doing it. There’s been no headaches. There’s nine tracks, but it’s still 45 minutes of music or something like that. I can’t compare it to any of my other albums. I think it’s different – not just for me, but different from what else is around. It’s been pretty quick, really. We did a bit of work before the summer, then I took a break because I was out on the road. We started back in October. It’s taken us a couple of months, maybe.
The tracks are quite long, but with some of them there’s almost like two or three different movements going on within one song. There’s a track called “Pick It Up” which starts off with a funk groove but then it’s got some other sort of weird changes in it, and it ends up with this anthemic chorus. There’s another tune called “In The Car” which has three or four different parts to it.
Is it my prog album? It’s certainly progressive in the literal sense of the word. It’s defiantly 21st-Century music. Let me talk you through a track. There’s one song called “I’m Where I Should Be”. Before we quit one night I put down this bass riff and I left it at that. Stan [Jan Kybert; co-producer] put a beat behind it a few weeks later and we both realised then that it could go somewhere. We built on that, adding some chords and some different instruments and finding different little sections for it. We used Pro-Tools as well. The whole editing on that is fucking brilliant. Some of the possibilities, you couldn’t do it with tape, it would take years to do. But I think we used that to capacity, in a good way. So we just tried different sections then inserted them into the song, just built the arrangement up and then put a melody on it and the lyrics.
There’s three or four really lovely love songs on the album, too. Lyrically, a lot of it is quite abstract… well, at first it appears abstract, but I started seeing different meanings in some of the songs over the course of the last few weeks or months. Do I have any examples? To be honest, people have to find their own meaning of the words. Some are apparent, some aren’t. Some I just like the sound of the words. It’s a mixture of all those things.
The band is pretty much the usual people: Steve Cradock, Andy Lewis, and who else… Raven Bush from Syd Arthur played a bit of violin and the Syd lads did some backing vocals on a couple of tracks. Steve Brookes, my old mate from Woking, is on “City Streets” and he’s also played some great slide guitar on “In The Car”. It was all done at Black Barn. We mixed there as well. We got the sound together down there now.
Are there any interesting instruments? Not that I can think of. You can always make one up though. The kazoo through a fuzzbox – that was an interesting sound. But, no. I’m playing a variety of different things really. Guitar and bass and keyboards. Then Ben Gordelier, who’s our percussion player and drummer in The Moons, he played pretty much on all the tracks. Fucking great drumming.
Most of the writing was done in the studio. I still enjoy starting with nothing – or very little – and building it up, just seeing where it goes. I wasn’t really trying songs out with the band particularly. The band have played on the record, of course – but a lot of it is left to chance really, or serendipity. I’ve probably got two notepads worth of lyrics and ideas and words for this record. Most of them won’t get any further than the page. But I dip in and out of it. Almost like a cut-up thing but different, just picking things out. There’s always a paragraph or a couplet or whatever it may be. It’s all just trial and error. But at the moment, it fires me up more than traditional songwriting.
The album’s official track listing has also been revealed:
Going My Way
Pick It Up
I’m Where I Should Be
In The Car
These City Streets