‘Modfather’ Paul Weller insists he couldn’t be more content as he readies to headline Aberdeen Music Hall to promote his chart topping album.
Now 63 the legendary singer-songwriter will play songs from new album Fat Pop (Volume 1) during Tuesday’s show as well as fans’ favourites from an extraordinary 45 year career.
Weller first emerged in 1976 as the angry, politically voiced front-man of punk mods The Jam – and almost five decades later is showing no signs of slowing down.
One of the greatest singles bands of the seventies and early eighties The Jam released a succession of era defining classics before breaking up in 1982.
Weller would enjoy success, albeit not at the level of his first band, with The Style Council before going solo in the early nineties.
Fast forward three decades and he remains one of the most influential voices in British rock with recently released 16th solo album ‘Fat Pop (Volume 1) hitting number one.
Weller said: “Am I contented? Yes I am. I’m fortunate and couldn’t wish for anything.
“I wouldn’t say making music has got any harder.
“I think I’m actually enjoying the process and the writing a lot more now than I ever did before in terms of recording.
“I have a great respect and appreciation for it and seeing how the finished songs are.”
The Changing Man – Paul Weller
Although now in his sixties, and with a huge back catalogue, Weller is not interested in nostalgia – he is all about the here and now.
Weller’s thirst for experimentation and taking musical leaps of faith has not diminished with time and Fat Pop (Volume 1) is an eclectic collection of genres from the percussive, kinetic drive of Moving Canvas, the synth-heavy Cosmic Fringes to the glorious pop of Shades of Blue.
He has topped the album charts in every decade since the seventies and remains prolific – Fat Pop (Volume 1) is his fourth album release in as many years following A Kind Revolution (2017), True Meanings (2018) and On Sunset (2020).
He said: “It has been a lot of records. When I feel creative I just run with it.
“I’ve enjoyed writing and making music – more than ever probably.”
Return to where it all started
Although constantly reinventing himself across the decades, there was a return to the past, of sorts, when reconnecting with Polydor – the record label that released The Jam’s albums and singles.
He said: “We approached Polydor as we really liked what they have been doing lately and they have some great acts.
“It’s a very different world there now though.
“It was a little weird this time as everyone was at least 20 years younger than me.
“When I was there before, it was the other way around and it felt that there were a lot of old men running around telling me what to do!
“I find it incredible that five decades have gone so fast.”
Frustration at impact of streaming
When The Jam were signed to Polydor they reached the top of the charts by selling hundreds of thousands of copies of singles such as Going Underground, Start, Town Called Malice and Beat Surrender.
The musical landscape is completely different now. Weller’s main gripe is that musicians, particularly emerging bands and singers, are not getting paid enough for their work due to streaming.
He said: “Streaming has changed everything.
“Someone told me the other day that a band had a number one with 7,000 sales.
“But streaming is where it’s at, it’s not something you can ignore.
“I could have a mini moan about things like that, but I don’t want to sound like a grumpy old man.
“I think the main reason I haven’t liked it is that people are not getting paid out of it, particularly up-and-coming bands, meaning it’s getting hard for them to make a living now.
“I’ve never believed that music should just be free as some people do.
“So it’s good to see that vinyl is still out there even if it’s not in great numbers.”
Some tickets are still available for Paul Weller at the Music Hall – for information go to aberdeenperformingarts.com