“The other extreme from the pompous, self-importance; from the progressive thing to playing in the pub and having some fun.”

Paul Carrack has a self-deprecating chat with Lyndsey Green

With his unique blend of friendly rock and lyrics your dad would be oh too happy to tap his feet to, I interviewed Paul Carrack to see what his new album was about, and what a man who has played with Mike and The Mechanics, Squeeze and Ringo Starr has to offer our generation of indie-mad students…

You started with Warm Dust what was that like?
“Oh my god… Well at the time we thought it was very very important but in actual fact it was just complete and utter tosh basically. We were big fans of progressive music, Frank Zappa was our big hero but to be honest we were pretty dire and I wouldn’t go out of your way to find any Warm Dust records if I was you!”

Everybody remembers when you were with Ace and that was the 70’s pub rock scene.
“The antithesis, is that the right word? The other extreme from the pompous, self-importance; from the progressive thing to playing in the pub and having some fun. It was basically just back to basics pub music and not just musically but record company involvement and hype.”

You’ve built a career as a jobbing musician.
“Well I never regard myself as a session musician really. I’ve played on quite a few tracks for other people by coincidence, by being dragged into it but I was never one of those guys who made a living doing sessions, I never felt quite comfortable doing that, usually people get an idea and drag me in to play.”

What was it like working with Ringo’s All Starrs?
“It was fantastic. It was just a fantastic experience. It wasn’t the most challenging thing I’ve done musically, it was basically Ringo likes to go out and have fun once a year and forms a band of all-stars you’ve got to have three hits to be in the band, you’ve got to take it in turns and Ringo does his, and it’s just fun. And you are so well looked after it’s just ridiculous. I’d do it again.”

So apart from you and Ringo, who else was in the band then?
“Colin Hay from Men At Work, Sheila E. from Prince, John Waite - I ain’t missing him at all. Mark Rivera was the sort of MD, he’s done that for Ringo for years and played with bands like Foreigner and Billy Joel.”

You’ve moved away from the traditional record label to form your own, why was that?
“Well I did it in 2000, I started to record this album Satisfy my Soul, it was a personal album, I started to produce it myself and it was turning out exactly how I wanted it and I didn’t then want to go out and shop it around and get involved with the record companies because they would have said; ‘well it’s good but can you change this and that’. I didn’t like the idea of that. I liked the idea of just taking it one step further, marketing it myself and I think it was a very good move actually. It seems to be almost the model now, a lot of people are realising it’s better to do it yourself.”

So who else would you like to get on your record label?
“I don’t want anybody else on it. It’s really a small business and very hands on, I do a large amount of work, and it’s full on and with the performing I kind of don’t have time for anybody else.”

Which new bands or artists would you like to work with and why?
“I’ve no desire to work with anybody. All the things that have come about have been up to me. And if I thought it would be interesting to do, I’ve done it, but it’s very hard to be involved in a band because they have their own attitude, their own outlook on everything, and to come in as an outsider is very difficult. I’m quite happy just forging ahead with my own little thing and keeping the show on the road which is quite enough for anybody.”

Thanks for chatting to me this evening, I’d better let you get changed!
“Indeed. See you later.”