Interview for The Current • Thursday, August 29, 2013

Interview with The Current

Radio interview • Interview of Paul McCartney
Published by:
The Current
Interview by:
Steve Seel, Jill Riley
Read interview on The Current
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 Wikipedia:

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), is a public radio network for the state of Minnesota. With its three services, News & Information, Classical Music and The Current, MPR operates a 46-station regional radio network in the upper Midwest.

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

Interviewer: Well, it was Wednesday afternoon that we got word at midnight, we were going to receive a brand new track from Paul McCartney. It wasn’t but an hour or so after that, that we were told that we were just might have the chance to actually talk to Sir Paul himself on the phone about among other things is much buzzed about forthcoming album and his new tune. Well, we’re gonna get that chance. And so, Jill and I are extremely happy to bring you a Current first and I believe in Minnesota Public Radio first. On the line is Sir Paul McCartney. Hello, Paul. Are you there?

Paul: Yes, I am. Can you hear me okay?

Interviewer: Yes, we can hear you just great. Where are you at the moment?

Paul: I am actually on the East Coast, in a place called Amaganza, on holiday.

Interviewer: So we’ve been reading a lot about this new album you’ve been working on. And you’ve made some really interesting connections with some pretty cool producers. And we just got the opportunity to hear the new track “New”, which you worked with Mark Ronson on that one. A lot of people associate him with names like Amy Winehouse, and Lily Allen, tell us about why you chose to work with him?

Paul: Well, there’s a few reasons really. I knew Mark a little bit as a friend, you know, I’d met up with him here and there. And we’d kind of enjoyed each other’s company. But then he DJed at me and Nancy’s wedding. And we were sort of up bopping till three in the morning, and we’re loving the kind of music he was playing, you know, keeping the party going. So after that, I was looking around for someone to produce. And I must say we’d always said, you know, it’d be good to work together one of these days. When I finally was going to go in the studio, I rang Mark and said, “Okay, do you fancy it, should we do it?” And he said, “Yeah”. But it was kind of part friendship and part respect for the work that he’d done in the past, as you say, with people like Amy…

Interviewer: Paul, a couple of the producers on the new record and that you worked with are actually sons of producers who were significant in the Beatles era. So tell us about that.

Paul: Well, yeah, no, that’s certainly sort of struck me you know. I’ve worked with Giles Martin’s dad, George Martin, who was our producer, obviously with the Beatles. Glyn Johns, I worked with on Let it be, and Wings stuff too. And his son, who I worked with on this album, is Ethan Jones. So that’s what happens, you know, all the hot producers, a lot of them anyway, these days, are certainly the age of the sons of my contemporaries. But actually, two on the album were actually sons of people I knew very well, Glyn and George. So it’s exciting. You know, it’s good fun working with them, because they’ve got a lot of characteristics that their dads had. They’re serious about what they do, obviously, because they kind of got a little bit of something to live up to. But they’re great guys. In the end, that’s what it comes down to… Everyone I was looking at, to work with on this album, which was Giles, Martin, Ethan Jones, Mark Ronson and Paul Epworth, have all proved themselves, they’re all they’re all great in their own field. So I knew they were great. And it was going to be a question of whether I got on with them or not. And I was actually then going to choose one of them, and sort of say, ‘okay, you should produce the album’. But I liked them all so much, and enjoyed the different experiences of working with each one, that it ended up that each did a few tracks together with me.

Interviewer: Did you go in with a lot of stuff? Or did you just sort of go into the studio and see what songs emerge there?

Paul: Well, it’s funny, I did go in with a lot of stuff. I think I had about 20 songs written, you know, which is always a motivating thing for me, it’s like, okay, I can’t start writing some more. I’ve got to kind of clear this backlog. It’s always exciting. You suddenly go well, I’ve got enough for an album. But the funny thing was… The first producer was Paul Epworth. So I got in there with this bag of 20 songs all ready to record, and Paul said “Man, let’s make it up, I’ve got a great idea for you, I think it should be like this, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah”. I’m going “yeah, okay, so what’s the song?” He said “We’ll make it up”. Well, you know, it’s hard to not be caught up in that kind of enthusiasm. And I do that, I have a project that I do call The Fireman, where it’s completely improvised. So I must say, I do love to do that. I think he probably knew I did as well. But it’s his method. So it’s funny, you know, even with a bag of 20 songs, the first track I put down for this was the opening track of the album. And we made that up in the studio just off the back of Paul’s enthusiasm.

Interviewer: The new record is “New”. And it’s coming out in October. And we’re very excited about the new single, which is called “New”. And Paul, we gotta say, we love it. And it has a very classic Paul, Beatles kind of sound to it.

Paul: Oh, thanks. It’s funny. When I play the album, when this one comes along, they go “Oh, this is you”. Because a lot of the tracks on the album are not songs that you’d necessarily say is me, style you’d recognize of mine. Because I didn’t want them to sound the same. So the album is quite varied. But this track, people do point out that this is very me, this is me writing this kind of songs I am known for. But it’s great, you know, it’s good fun to do. And I thought it’d be nice to release it now. While we still got a bit of summer left. It’s kind of a summery song, I imagine, driving along the motorway with this blasting on the car speakers. So there you are, it’s “New”.

Interviewer: We want to ask you one more question. before we let you go. We are speaking to you here from Minneapolis, St. Paul, we wonder if you have any particular associations that come to mind, when you think of the Twin Cities or Minnesota either from the Beatles or Wings days or more recently?

Paul: Well, you know, St. Paul, you know, he always catches my eye, obviously, whenever we’re going, because… That’s a personal thing for me, because of the name connection, obviously. But you know, really what I think of is just all the great concerts, and the great audiences. So we’ve always kind of had a good time. And so for me, I’m just imagining an audience popping, smiling. Me and the band, kind of whichever band it was, you know, because I’ve been with Beatles, Wings, and my new band. And so it’s really just the fun we’ve had, my real associations with the cities and with the area. I say to people, I love playing in America. American audiences are great. And when you get sort of near the Midwest, I don’t know… I say all American audiences are great, but there’s always something a little bit special about being in the middle of the country. I don’t know why it is. It’s just an energy. So I love it. It’s hard to explain, but it’s always been something that I’ve enjoyed, and can’t wait to get back to.

Interviewer: Paul, when you’ve been in the Twin Cities, did you ever have an opportunity to hang out with Prince when you’ve been in town? Or have you ever thought about working with Prince – you worked with Michael Jackson back in the 80s. And, you know, Minnesota is the home to Prince? Did that connection ever come up?

Paul: I must say I have thought about it. But the timings have never been right. But we’re friends, we run into each other’s various things. And, you know, I’ll often sort of think of working with him, but the opportunity never come up. But he nearly came to see one of our shows, but he had something on and he had to cancel at the last minute. But I know everyone in the crews are really excited. And one of the guys in our crew works with him. And he was really excited, the idea of the two of us meeting, but it didn’t come off actually. So I think about him whenever I come there because I’m a big fan. I love his guitar playing particularly now. I’ve been to quite a few of his shows. And I’ve got a message through to him. Serious guitar player…

Interviewer: Yeah. Well, we know he listens to the station. And so if you’re listening right now, Prince, let that be another sort of enticement that Paul would love to work with you.

Paul: If you’re listening now, come on, baby. Let’s get it on.

Interviewer: Well, Sir Paul, thank you so much for taking the time out of your vacation today to chat with us here on the Current.

Last updated on February 5, 2021


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