- - Monday, June 8, 2015

Paul Weller doesn’t need to be doing this; the man is musical royalty. Starting with his days as the leader of The Jam through his smooth “Cappuccino Kid” period in The Style Council and through over a dozen mind-shattering solo albums, Mr. Weller remains the standard for quality rock ‘n’ roll.

But precisely because he doesn’t need to be doing this is why it’s so special that he continues to play music — and do it better than anyone else — delivering solid CD after CD and a live show that is sure to impress.

Mr. Weller spoke from his home in England on the eve of his U.S. tour, which brings him to the District’s 9:30 Club on Tuesday, to discuss why he is still here, his thoughts on nostalgia and his latest CD, “Saturns Pattern.”

Question: What inspires you to keep making music?

Answer: That’s what I do in life. It’s just what I do. Why wouldn’t I do it? No one would really ask a painter or an author why they still paint pictures or write books. That’s what I do, man. That’s it.

I’m more than happy and grateful that I’ve lived a life doing what I want to do. What could be better than being able to express myself and make music?

Q: How has your songwriting process evolved?

A: A slight change in recent years is going from the traditional sitting-down with a guitar or a piano and getting something together to trying to make things a bit more spontaneous, I suppose. On the new album, we just got in the studio and we didn’t have any songs. We started from scratch. I had bits and pieces of lyrics. It was kind of see what happens.

Q: As a songwriter, do you write all the time or when you need to?

A: I’ve always got a notebook with bits of words and bits of lyrics in it that I can cobble from. When it is time to record, I put them together and try to make sense of them.

Q: Have you ever been tempted to get nostalgic and revisit your old bands and material?

A: No, not at all, not in the slightest. I couldn’t do it. I am more interested in what I’m doing now. I like the new songs.

I’m not a very nostalgic person in general, to be honest with you. I don’t go back; I go forward. There is so much music in me, and I want to express that, you know?

Q: How do you feel about your former bandmates Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler touring as From the Jam?

A: I don’t really care much. Good luck to them, really. It doesn’t bother me, but it’s not really my cup of tea.

Q: Where does your CD “Saturns Pattern” come from?

A: As far as I know, it was something I kind of made up. [It] came subconsciously when I was just writing at home. I thought, “That’s a nice title.” And it intrigued me. The words intrigued me.

Q: What was the recording process behind “Saturns Pattern”?

A: It came together rather quickly. Once we had a couple of tracks down that we really liked, we knew that was the direction we had to go in. It was natural. We were experimenting and trying different things. Did some after that summer tour, some in the fall.

Q: How has touring changed for you?

A: I don’t know if it has much, really. Apart from I try not to go out for longer than three weeks at a time now, just so I don’t miss my family. I don’t think it has changed much. I still love it, probably more now than ever.

These days, I kind of feel I’ve got more control of it. I feel I have greater capabilities to express myself.

Q: What’s one thing you always need when on the road?

A: It’s nice to have my wife with me. She helps because I still get really nervous before gigs.

Q: You still get nervous after all these years?

A: Yeah. I think that’s good, because it stops you from getting too complacent.

Q: What is your pre-show ritual?

A: I just smoke loads, man. I smoke and I pace around and ask our tour manager, “How long we got?” every 10 minutes. “How long we got?” [laughs]

Q: Are you and [former Oasis guitarist] Noel Gallagher friends? Ever consider collaborating musically?

A: He is one of my best friends, actually. Definitely. We’ve done stuff together. We have been trying to write a song together — tried to do it for this record, actually. We would like to do that. But whether it happens or not, I don’t know.


WHAT: Paul Weller in concert with Hannah Cohen

WHERE: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

WHEN: Tuesday, doors open at 7 p.m.

INFO: Tickets $40 by calling 202/265-0930 or visiting 930.com

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