Kevin Winter, Getty Images Nominees for the 2013 Teen Choice Awards are trickling…
- Posted on May 19th 2010 2:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
In recording his latest album, 'Wake Up the Nation,' due out June 1, Weller tried what he calls a "fresh way of working." Rather than write proper songs, the 51-year-old "Modfather" built the LP's 16 tracks from rough sketches laid down by producer and songwriting partner Simon Dine.
"The whole album wasn't like I had anything prewritten or preplanned, or lyrics or tunes," Weller tells Spinner. "Simon, he had these backing-track ideas, which he'd make up in his own little studio, and he'd send them down to me. I'd listen to them for days or weeks or whatever and then we'd go into the studio and I'd make stuff up on the spot, really."
The spontaneity filters through to the music, giving 'Wake Up the Nation' a sense of urgency not always found on Weller's solo records. Featuring collaborations with former Jam bassist Bruce Foxton and My Bloody Valentine guitarist Kevin Shields, the collection jumps from dreamy experimentalism to rousing rock anthems.
The lyrics are as varied as the music. Some are elliptical and impressionistic, while others find Weller playing distinct sorts of characters: lover man ('Aim High'), rabble-rouser ('Find the Torch, Burn the Plans') and frustrated motorist ('Fast Car/Slow Traffic').
"After we got the backing tracks up to a certain point, we'd go in the studio and just open my mouth and see what [happened]," Weller says. "It was a bit f---ing frightening sometimes: 'What's going to happen?' But it was also quite liberating as well."
"[There] was always something good to come of it," he adds. "All the time, you're trying to challenge yourself and come up with different ideas. It really makes it worthwhile. It opens up other possibilities as well. The thing with music is it's never-ending, I think. It's all out there."