Interview for BBC Radio 2 • Thursday, August 29, 2013

Interview for The Chris Evans Breakfast Show

Radio interview • Interview of Paul McCartney
Published by:
BBC Radio 2
Interview by:
Zoe Ball
Read interview on BBC Radio 2
Timeline More from year 2013

Album This interview has been made to promote the New Single.

Master release

Songs mentioned in this interview


Officially appears on New

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From, September 17, 2013:

With the announcement [of the “New” single] came a fairly impromptu radio interview schedule for Paul, who was actually still on his holiday in the US. From my desk in London I called into Paul at the Hamptons and spent an hour or so patching him through to some radio stations in the UK and US. Paul was happy to chat away whilst, unbeknownst to the DJs, still enjoying his morning breakfast cereal. ‘I’m living on the edge!’, he joked whilst waiting to join a US morning show!

These interviews gave Paul the chance to finally start really talking about the album publicly. He discussed working with the various producers, the style of the album and why his job still excites him so much.

Stuart Bell, Paul McCartney’s publicist

Zoe Ball: It’s time to get very excited indeed. This morning, the legend, Sir Paul McCartney is making some brand new music available. In fact, it’s so new it’s even called “New”. I was lucky enough to grab a few minutes yesterday with the man himself, addressing him by his proper title. Of course.

Paul McCartney: Hi Zoe, pls call me Paul.

Zoe Ball: I’ll call you, Paul. I know. I feel I should curtsy… We used to be neighbors, didn’t we? I used to live down the road. How are you doing? And where are you?

Paul McCartney: I’m lovely. I’m in America, on holiday, sitting in the sunshine.

Zoe Ball: You’ve spent the majority of 2013 on your “Out There” tour across South America, Europe, the US and Canada. How’s it been life on the road?

Paul McCartney: Well, what I love is the audiences. Unbelievable, you know, they’re just so warm. And incredibly they are so young, I can’t believe that… I always expect people in my audience be roughly about my age. They’re not. It’s like quite a young group. And there are people of my age kind of thing. But it’s just a pleasure to do it. You know, people say to me “oh you must get knackered, you work so hard”. I say “I don’t”. It’s like invigorating. And the band is playing great. So we’re having a great time.

Zoe Ball: I love the fact that, your band, you’ve been together for longer than you were all together with the Beatles, haven’t you? Is it Rusty and Abe and Brian, they still are with you on the road?

Paul McCartney: Yeah, exactly. It was funny because we met while we were making a record. So it wasn’t the way you normally put a band together. But we played and we toured and everything. And I think it was just last year or something, we suddenly realized it was 10 years. So we looked at each other, and said “like it or not, we’re a band”. And actually it made a difference. So yeah, we’ve been together now for 14 years.

Zoe Ball: Before we talk about the new album, we had some crazy reports this year about your stage being invaded by a swarm of creepy crawlies. Sharing the stage with a load of grasshoppers or crickets or something like that. Tell us about that.

Paul McCartney: Grasshoppers. Yeah, it was amazing. We were down in South America. It’s very tropical, you are near the equator down there. And we’re just playing. And on our stage, because we got loads of light and being a hot tropical night, when I kind of got up to the piano, suddenly, I realized that on my piano, there are quite big grasshoppers, about three inches long, green guys. And then I felt one on my shoulder. And I felt one on my head. And I looked around and they’re all over me crawling all over me. What am I gonna do? I’ve either got to do a jump, screaming, run offstage, or just get on with it. And so I did. I just kept going. And it was really funny, actually. I mean, the worst bit was on the keyboard. They were on the keyboard. So I had to try and scoop them up before I could get to the keys, and when we did “Live And Let Die” where we got an explosion effect, they… Honestly, it was just like being in a zoo or something.

Zoe Ball: Yeah, it’s incredible. So listen, let’s talk about the the new album, which is called “New”. Did you write this album on the road? Because you’ve been on the road so much.

Paul McCartney: No, before we went on the road, I had a bit of time. While we were rehearsing and preparing things, so I started writing then. What I would do is I would drop my youngest daughter off at school, and then I’d have a bit of time, a few hours. So I would kind of just sit down and write something. That became a little bit of a routine each morning. But I had then suddenly a few songs. And just over the period of the next few months, I suddenly had enough songs, well more than enough, to start an album.

Zoe Ball: I like, Paul, doing a school run then did a bit of songwriting, and then picking up and making to eat perfect. And you’ve worked with a whole collection of producers on this album, is there a collective noun for producers, a whole group of them? There needs to be one. I know. You’ve worked with Paul Epworth, who produced “21”, we know him from working with Adele and all sorts. Ethan Jones, Giles Martin, son of George Martin. And also Mark Ronson. Has this brought an eclectic feel to the album working with different people?

Paul McCartney: Yeah, it’s meant that the album is quite varied. But the songs were quite varied anyway. And I was originally going to do maybe one song with each producer, and to see how I got on with best, but I ended up getting on with them all and really liking the individual sort of thing they brought to each song. So I did a few songs with each of them. They’re all really cool guys. And as you say, they’d all done great work. They each had a different approach. Paul Epworth is more “let’s make it up”. You know, he looked at a guitar and he sort of said “ooh, I wonder what secrets that guitar is holding”. So the opening track on the album is what we did. Ethan is more acoustically inclined. So I did a couple of acoustic songs with him, which worked out nice. Mark, he actually DJed at me and Nancy’s wedding. We were rockin’ till three in the morning, and he was banging it out. I knew him through that. And when we got in the studio, we kind of followed on that kind of thing. And then Giles, I happen to be working on some music for video games coming out next year. And so I like working with him. So, in the end, I got four producers, all of them very cool.

Zoe Ball: I love that, a finger in every pie. Doing music for video games, it’s the way forward. It’s that where the music is gonna be.

Paul McCartney: What are you gonna do me? Someone says, “Paul, will you do some music or video game?” And I say, yeah.

Zoe Ball: Yeah, you’d be crazy not to. I know you are going to Japan when the album’s out. What about over over this neck of the woods?

Paul McCartney: We’ve only got planned Japanese dates at the moment, we go into there in November. We haven’t got anything planned after that. But I am going to ask and see if we can do something because I always like to try and finish the year in the UK. And this is a new show now. So I’d love to show people. I want to show off.

Zoe Ball: Yeah, come on. We must also ask – when have you last seen Ringo. How’s he doing?

Paul McCartney: Great. When did I see him? A couple of months ago when he was in LA. But he’s been in England for the summer. So yeah, we hung out last time in LA.

Zoe Ball: Wonderulf. It’s so brilliant to speak to you, Sir Paul. Will you introduce the “New” single for us, Paul?

Paul McCartney: Thank you Zoe. Yeah, okay, folks. Lots of love for me. To all of you and this is my new single and it’s called “New”.

Last updated on February 5, 2021


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