Interview for NPO Radio 2 • Thursday, June 4, 2015

Interview for NPO Radio 2

Radio interview • Interview of Paul McCartney
Published by:
NPO Radio 2
Interview by:
Jan-Wilem Roodbeen
Read interview on NPO Radio 2
Timeline More from year 2015

Songs mentioned in this interview


Officially appears on FourFiveSeconds

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This interview was done when Paul McCartney was in Netherlands for a concert in Amsterdam.

From Wikipedia:

NPO Radio 2 is a public-service radio station from the Netherlands, broadcasting in an adult hits format, focusing on the 1980s and 1990s, however 1960s and 1970s hits may also air. It is part of the Netherlands Public Broadcasting system, NPO. According to 2018 statistics, Radio 2 has a 12% audience market share, a number higher than any other station in the Netherlands.

About working with John Lennon:

Paul McCartney: We were two young songwriters from Liverpool with virtually no experience. We learned it together and we were able to learn from each other. […] I sometimes say to myself: no one will ever be as good as John. We can’t, given the amount of work we’ve done together. And we were childhood friends.

Besides playing guitar on FourFiveSeconds was your contribution to this song?

Paul McCartney: Not a lot more, actually. It was mainly just the groove. What I got with Kanye, what are we going to do here? What’s my contribution going to be? On that song you can hear the guitar part was just something I was suggesting to him. Suggesting this might be a good place to go and write a song. And I left it with him and he did…(imitates the chorus)… Just a little bit of singing along with it. And he recorded everything. So in the end he just sent me back this Rihanna song and I didn’t even recognise it at first, cause what he’d done was he’d sped it up. My original thing was a slower groove. It was in a different key, but they changed the key to make it suitable for a female voice, so I didn’t actually recognise it at first. I kind of set the scene with my guitar part and he came up with a really cool song. Because they took it and electronically sped the track up – on the live version we did on the Grammys I sang on the chorus – but if you listen to the song there’s a little bit, I think it’s in one of the verses where Kanye sings. And he’s singing ‘Woke up an optimist’ and you can hear a little voice singing ‘l find a mystery’ and that is me!”

What’s most fun about working with this next generation artist?

Paul McCartney: It’s always interesting to work with someone who’s talented. I love talent. And I’ve liked a lot of stuff that Kanye has done before this. So I was just asked to do it. I was interested to see what that would involve and whether it would work out really. So each person it’s a different kind of fun. Kanye was a completely different system than I was used to. Where he sort of gathers ingredients. You just don’t sit down and craft a song. You’ll sit down and talk a little, you’ll do this, you’ll do that. And eventually, a song will come out of it. So that’s interesting. And other people will use a different method, but it’s always interesting, just to see the different ways of how people work.

Last updated on March 4, 2021


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