Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on May 4th 2010 12:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
"The last year or two years have been really so f---ing boring," Weller, former leader of the Jam and Style Council, tells Spinner. "We were kind of saying, 'We want to make a record of the [kind of] music we like hearing.' It was a reaction more born of that than anything."
More focused than his last album, the sprawling '22 Dreams,' 'Wake Up the Nation' occasionally harks back to Weller's early days, when he and the Jam set youthful disaffection to catchy Who-style punk. The disc also finds the so-called "Modfather" drawing on '60s soul, R&B and pop -- sounds he's shuffled between throughout his career.
"It depends what kind of mood you're in, really," he says. "For this record, certainly, I wanted it to have a more metallic and harder sound. It just felt like the right timing. You never plan these things. It's what happens."
In recording the album, due out June 1, Weller enlisted My Bloody Valentine guitarist Kevin Shields and reunited with Jam bassist Bruce Foxton. Both players seem to have reinvigorated Weller, spurring him to make his liveliest record in years.
"I don't hear too many people making anything close to what's on this new record," Weller says. "I don't know if that's arrogant, but it's just fact, really. You don't hear too many bands with that same energy at the moment. That's just where my head is at the moment."
If Weller sees any hope for the future of rock 'n' roll, it's across the Atlantic, not in his own backyard.
"It's definitely come back in America in the past few years," he says. "For me, personally, the Strokes kick-started it all, then the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Kings [of Leon]. So there's a lot of good music in America. I don't know about over here."
"The Arctic Monkeys have got something special," he adds. "The Libertines were one of the great bands -- very short-lived. But they were all people that have something to say, really. When they really believe what they're doing, they make you believe in it, too. That's kind of missing, for me, a little bit in England."