Tuesday, October 6

Words with: Graham Coxon

. Tuesday, October 6

On New Years Eve when we look back on 2009 and all we achieved in it very few of us will be as happy and contented as Graham Coxon must surely be. Having started the year by releasing a further continuation in his increasingly confident solo career Graham then spent the Summer months reunited with his old band Blur culminating in a headline slot at Glastonbury. However as Gigwise rings Graham up he has more pressing matters on his mind, “I’m building a fire!” the bespectacled icon says down the line in his unique voice. When pressed on why he is building a fire the answer, “To burn things” is as amusing as it is obvious.

The idea of a burning fire is certainly in the same realm of association as Graham’s solo album ‘The Spinning top’ from earlier in the year. A solely folk and acoustic effort it saw Coxon learn and master a traditional way of playing the acoustic guitar as well as working with folk legends such as Robyn Hitchcock. “I love the record but I’m not sure many other people did! I thought it was really great but I’m actually more focused on the next thing now. I love the build up to an album, getting it ready for the release but once it’s out it’s a bit of an anti climax really because all the creative side of things are over and there’s nothing to do. It’s just another LP out there with all the others.”

Though Graham may be moving away from his time with ‘The Spinning Top’ there is still the small matter of the albums farewell tour in November. Along with a supporting band calling themselves ‘The Power Ensemble’ Coxon says the shows will be “The climax of things, the end of the live life of the record and a way to celebrate everything we achieved on that album.” Speaking of the group he has assembled Coxon says, “There are people from the record like Natasha Marsh and we just want to get as many people involved as possible. We’re going to have some great visuals from my friend Chris Hopewell so hopefully it’s going to be quite a nice experience. I’m trying not to think too much about it otherwise I just shit myself!”

Perhaps the desire to make a racket and see people smile has been enhanced by Graham’s Summer Holiday of a lifetime with Blur. Undoubtedly one of the stories of 2009 the celebratory and triumphant shows were a ringing endorsement for what a fantastic band Blur are and how true friendships never die. From Goldsmiths Union and Rough Trade East to the sprawling fields of Glastonbury and the masses of Hyde Park Blur took their Brit pop anthems across the UK but Graham almost didn’t make the show at T In The Park. “I went to a fish restaurant and had some oysters for lunch. By about half past five I was fainting on the stairs and an ambulance had to come. I had a shot of saline in my arm and they got my blood pressure up. I was lying down though with a drip in my arm and they were saying ‘Are you going to be able to do the show?’ and I thought Yeah go on then! I just really wanted to play.”

“It was a really specific pleasure and I really enjoy it when I am playing or was playing with the band. It was just total enjoyment- with my own stuff I feel a lot more pressure but with Blur I’m with a really amazing frontman and great musicians so for me, the pressure is off.” If Graham had to sum up his Summer for Gigwise he says “It was just a very happy experience and our relationship felt very brotherly. Glastonbury was a highlight, it felt very medieval with all the flags and the most impressive thing was just the noise the audience made when we went on stage. I’d forgotten what that was like and it was just the best feeling.”
Graham Coxon’s career has been one of intense highs and at times quite dark lows. Having now turned forty, he has the joys of a free and expressive solo career alongside the ability to revive former glories with his best friends as well as helping new friends as he did on Pete Doherty’s first cohesive album in years. All of this begs the question, ‘Is 2009 the best year in living memory for Coxon?’ “It might just be you know. Sometimes it hasn’t felt like it. Obviously the Summer was brilliant but I haven’t had time to sit and think about it too much. The main thing for me was my album coming out and everything that goes with it. I haven’t thought too much about things but if I had the time to I’m still not sure that I would.”

Just before Gigwise let Graham get back to his fire we ask what the future holds, “I just want to pick up an electric guitar and make some noise now.” According to Graham he has “about nine” songs written but does not know what to do with them just yet. You’d be a fool to bet against them being anything short of brilliant.

Originally for Gigwise.com



Milly said...

Good interview! Glad to hear Coxon's working on another new album and enjoyed the summer with Blur!

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