- Album This interview has been made to promote the Egypt Station Official album.
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From Twitter, September 9, 2018:
Paul will be answering questions from @Twitter on Monday about his newly released album ‘Egypt Station’. What would you like to ask? Submit your questions using the hashtag #EgyptStation
I did a painting a few years ago which involved Egyptian iconography that I put together from various books. And I named the painting “Egypt Station”. So that’s why! Oh, and the painting turned out to be the album cover and title!
Did you have any amusing substitute lyrics in these songs? Your scrambled eggs story always makes me smile
No that normally happens when you’ve just got a melody and you don’t have any words, so you just put in a substitute lyric to remind yourself how it goes. But I can’t think of anything on this album that needed that process…
Can you tell the difference between working in your own private studio compared to working in Abbey Road and compared to another studio (ie Henson studios) Thanks for the great new album!
Yeah it is different. Working in my own studio I tend to be a little bit more experimental. ‘Caesar Rock’ was done in my home studio originally and then finished in Henson in LA. So I think that’s the difference, I sometimes feel a bit more free in my own studio.
Did you have any other titles in mind for this album?
Yeah I did actually! The track ‘Caesar Rock’ ends with ‘she’s got matching teeth’, so it was nearly called ‘Matching Teeth’. I just thought that was hilarious! I’m not quite sure how that came about – maybe i’d seen something I misread which often happens! Anyway, ‘Matching Teeth’. I still think it’s a pretty good album title!
What’s “Despite Repeated Warnings” about? I could have sworn it was about Brexit. 😉
No, it was written before Brexit! It’s about climate change denial. So I made up a Captain sailing a boat into disaster, despite repeated warnings!
Would you ever consider teaming up with electronic music artists? Perhaps @midlandsound?
Yeah I would. When I do electronic music it tends to be me as ‘The Nutty Professor’ in his lab! But, I wouldn’t rule the idea out.
You mentioned that Prince inspired the song “Hunt You Down” on the new album. I also recall you saying he inspired the song “If You Wanna” on Flaming Pie. Has Prince inspired other songs and were you a big fan?
I can’t think of other songs he has inspired, but those two definitely. I was always a big fan. I went to see him in concert a few times and wrote to him saying how much I enjoyed his guitar playing particularly. I met him a few times. The last time was a couple of New Year’s ago, when he played a New Year’s gig. I’ve always been a big fan.
Since it’s a concept album what was your idea behind the track sequencing? Do each of these tracks suggest one station? Please elaborate!
I wanted to do what I would call an ‘album’ album, rather than a collection of singles. So once we thought that and the title “Egypt Station” we then thought we could go on a train journey from the opening station through all the stops on the way, until we reached the destination!
“Caesar Rock” has a very different vibe and is very engaging. What has inspired that sound? Can’t stop playing it.
That was one that I made up in my own studio, with just me and my engineer, Steve. It has some kind of slightly experimental ideas on it. I wasn’t doing it for anything in particular, but then I liked the vibe and made it into a song. The original version was much longer!
What’s one thing you and Nancy watch together?
Yeah! The most recent was ‘Mission Impossible’. And years ago, when we first met, we watched the film about Bobby Kennedy.
Why did you sing “My Valentine” in a megaphone? is there a hidden meaning in this?
The Director of the show had the idea to sing something through a megaphone. Well, i’ve seen Bono do it, but it’s more on louder songs or like an announcement. I thought it would be great to bring it down and use it very intimately, and that made me think of the song ‘My Valentine’, which we were originally going to do just how we usually do, on the piano with the band. But we thought of this new way to do it. But it was originally his idea, Arturo Perez, who had some nice ideas for the show and that was one of them!
Hi Paul. Love this LP. What techniques did you use to create the high pitched background voice on Fuh You and what are you saying? Can’t wait to see you in May. All the best!
I was working with @RyanTedder and his co producer Zach and they were playing around with a device which sped up vocals so you could sing in one octave and it would play it back the octave above. These days it’s a lot of fun to do that so we use modern tech in the same way @thebeatles used the technology of the day when we were recording.
When I first listened to ‘Do it Now’ it brought me to tears. The song had such a profound effect on me, as if the feeling of the music went through to my soul. Please can you tell us the idea behind the song and the production choices when recording.
One of the interesting things about writing is that you can be in a bad mood through something that happened and you try and work that out through the song. A lot of songwriters have done it throughout history and it’s good because you tell your troubles to the piano (in this case) & work through the problem – whatever it is – and come out the other end feeling better. I think it makes the song more real and I thought people can identify with this song-I think everyone knows that feeling. It’s kind of good to put it in a song!
You talk about a lot of social issues on the album, such as bullying and global warming. What was your goal or your reasoning for these songs? They’re great.
Oh thanks! They’re subjects that interest me & the nice thing about being a songwriter is you can sometimes make a difference with a song. If you don’t lay it on too thick and become preachy then I think it can influence people’s thoughts in a good way. That’s what I hope anyway!
Did you write many of the songs on the road? Any in Australia specifically?
No, I had written most of the album before I was in Australia. I did write a couple of little things in Australia, but at the moment they’re just sketches. But if they ever work out I’ll let you know!
Paul, are you considering to take a brass section with you on the road some time in the future, like you did in the seventies?
Yes we are! I’m not sure when or where *wink wink* but they’re great and I think it would be a nice idea…
You were wearing a jacket with the logo of the album, is it possible to get it someday?
Oh yeah the patch! Maybe we could do it? It’s a logo that was dreamed up by two of our design team – Mike and Rebecca – so I will see if we can make it available.
Why did you choose Japanese word “Ichiban” in Back In Brazil??
Good question, and it has a long answer. More to follow on this in ‘You Gave Me The Answer’ at the end of the month!
What’s your favorite track and line on the album?
It varies from day to day! One day I’d like ‘I Don’t Know’ another day I like ‘Happy With You’ or ‘Caesar Rock’ but I go through periods of liking each one for different reasons!
Last updated on April 7, 2021