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https://www.standard.co.uk/esmagazine/graham-coxon-blur-verse-chorus-monster-b 1030074.html?amp https://tinyurl.com/ytjdc2ac ES MAGAZINE THE GROWING PAINS OF GRAHAM With a new memoir charting the hedonism of his Nineties heyday and the ensuing fallout, Blur’s reluctant guitar hero is finally making himself heard, finds Emily Phillips Graham Coxon / Joshua Atkins for ES Magazine BY EMILY PHILLIPS 15 HOURS AGO Graham Coxon is an anxious man. He is ‘a bit scared’ that he might have left someone out of his new memoir, Verse, Chorus, Monster! Or that he’ll ‘come off as miserable’ (‘I’ve already been called a “whinging pom”,’ he laughs). He is open about his decades of sobriety but struggles to get to grips wit h the feeling of being ‘talked over’ in the past. And then the Queen died and scuppered the release of the first single off his new album, just because th e title contains the word ‘dying’. Graham Coxon loves a worry. But as one quarter of one of the most successful bands of the Nineties, and of ten lauded as one of the best guitarists of his generation, he has made the ne uroses work. The angsty, arty aesthetic of his 20s — the same home-hacked hair and thick-rimmed specs, he’s still basically rocking today — could have been considered a proto-softboi, Timoth嶪 Chalamet’s indie uncle, just one who might have been a little scared to fill his boots with the spoils of fame. Coxon at 53 recognises that the anxiety is hardwired. While he has managed to close out the tumult of the Covid period with a book and an album with new mus ical partnership The Waeve under his belt, early 2020 was ‘a traumatic time’ that left him needing therapy every day of lockdown. ‘I got myself into extremely problematic relationships,’ he says. ‘How I saw myself in the world was just the lowest rank in whatever group of people.’ But isn’t the awkward, shoe-gazey vibe the thing we all connected with in Blur’s Nineties heyday? That it wasn’t just Damon Albarn and Alex James pouting about for the cameras: beyond their pin-up posturing, there was strawberry-bl onde everyman Dave Rowntree on the drums, and bookish Coxon with his thick spe cs giving it some quiet harmonies before kicking off a guitar solo like Serge Gainsbourg’s nervy little brother. ‘I was standing mostly in these photographs next to Damon and Alex, for God’s sake, so it was tricky. And Dave. But Damon and Alex were very beautiful-loo king guys and Dave and I were kind of different-looking. We had our own things . So yes, youth is wasted on the young, it definitely is, because I wish I cou ld have told myself, “Look, you’re a decent-looking chap. Have fun. Have fun, allow it, enjoy it.” Because I never allowed myself to.’ As the father of two daughters — Pepper, 22, and Dorelia, 10 — he’s keenly aware of trying to enforce their self-esteem to avoid the pitfalls he faced in the glare of the spotlight. ‘It is difficult when you’re young and somebody my age is tell - ing a beautiful 24-year-old, “You’re beautiful, just enjoy yourself. Enjoy how you look, it’s not going to get better. It’s downhill from where you are.” I look at some photos of me when I was 23 and I look f***ing dreadful. And other ones I think I look beautiful, I look really, really g ood, healthy, and I can see that there’s something about me.’ But perhaps that nervous ‘Coffee & TV’ energy connected with the fans, who pre-social media — hell, presmart-phones — were just looking for someone filled with as much self-doubt as they were? Sociability certainly was hard enough for 16-year-old me. ‘I was probably a bit guarded,’ Coxon agrees. ‘The idea that as soon as you open your mouth no one’s going to be interested in what you have to say and they’re going to talk over you anyway. So that makes you mumble, which gives people more of a chance to interrupt you and talk over you. So, there was a lo t of very quiet, simmering resentment about that.’ When I ask if it was his lairier bandmates doing that scene-stealing, he’s diplomatic. ‘Alex would always be mis - chievous. He didn’t really say an awful lot but it would usually be quite scathing or provocative. ‘Damon gave himself the job of kind of like the leader,’ he says. ‘He was the one who had the guts to be getting us on the bill maybe at Dingwalls in 198 9, when we weren’t even on the bill. He was running around getting all the gigs. He had that sort of confidence, he always did.’ As Blur’s formation is outlined in the book, multi-instru - mentalist Coxon rolled from a schoolboy band with Albarn at their Essex comprehensive and on to a university flat - share with James at Goldsmiths, each acting as a social f oil for the quiet guy who just wanted to make music. So, how did their persona e develop as the band rose to the ultimate glory of prevailing in the battle o f Britpop, going head-to-head for a No 1 with ‘Country House’ over Oasis’s‘Roll With It’ in 1995? And on through to now, more than 30 years after they started out? How I saw myself in the world was just the lowest rank in whatever group of pe ople ‘I think we’ve all got more so. Our personalities have been amplified, we’re all semi-mad, all on the cusp of eccentricity… but we always kind of were.’ They’re still in contact, sending messages here and there, but always beholden to each other’s busy schedules (‘Damon never stops, he’s always working’). But there’s perhaps nothing more eccentric than James’ journey to becoming a purveyor of fine cheese. Coxon isn’t surprised at all. ‘He loves cheese, he always did, so I don’t see why not. I suppose we all did some - thing that we love. I’ve played the guitar and written songs and done the odd bit of painting, but I don’t even know whether that’s the best thing I can do.’ And so, Coxon turned his hand to storytelling in the depths of lockdown, rehas hing everything from his early years on the barracks as an army kid, to fillin g stadiums by his mid-20s, to now striking out on his own. Through his daily lockdown therapy, he realised that what he had been medicati ng all the years before he stopped drinking (he has been ‘clean and sober ge ncy. I don’t think we had it probably as much as Oasis, we were fairly 50:50, our audiences, like Pulp or something. But it was there, and it was annoying. ’ He wonders whether Blur’s anthemic take on the 18-30s holiday ‘Girls and Boys’ — at the time a light-hearted dig at the sexual mores of their peers — would stand up to inspection if they released it now. Or whether it was a Gener ation X take on what is now seen as a Gen Z, gender-queer perspective. ‘We talked about it in kind of a glib way. I think it’s a bit more in-depth now. I don’t know if we put ‘Girls and Boys’ out now, maybe it would be okay. It’s not like we made any more songs about it, it’s not on our mind any more than it was for a hot second with anybody else in the Nineties.’ He has learnt the most about gender politics now from Pepper’s schooling. ‘They’re quite political and just really the politics of friendships with girls is so much more complicated. I wasn’t quite ready for that. There are so many rules and regulations now, so many things you can’t say; conversations can be a little bit of a minefield.’ But he hopes it is getting better than it was for female music fans, at least. ‘It’s a shame that it has to go so extreme to change it. People know what’s acceptable, but some people don’t care what’s acceptable.’ Coxon’s elder daughter often introduces him to new music. ‘I’ll hear Black Midi on the radio and say to Pepper, “Flipping heck, I heard this,” and she’ll go, “Oh, they were at a party I went to.” She’s in among that stuff. A bit like I was in among all that stuff, but I was in the group at that age.’ He rates bands such as Black Country, New Road and Jockstrap but does find a lot of music ‘hard work’, he says. ‘I’ve got to be careful of my cynicism when I’m faced with something that just sounds like something that was done 20 years ago.’ When you go from nothing to a huge pile of booze and you can tell a runner to get you anything, it’s difficult Meanwhile, before the school run with Dorelia, the thing that’s been getting Coxon up at 6am every morning is soundtracking a series of Netflix projects li ke End of the F***ing World and I am Not Okay With This (‘I’d have three or four songs to write a day. Some of them were not even commented on by the End of the F***ing World people, they were too mad!’), and tinkering around on guitar with Duran Duran on their comeback album (‘Nick Rhodes said to me, “It might be fun if you joined us in the studio,” and I was like, “Aha, you’re joking, yes?”’). Then more recently, writing his own material with former Pipettes singer Rose Elinor Dougall. ‘I was sitting writing with somebody I didn’t really know that well at the time — we’d take a walk to Hampstead Heath or up to Planet Organic and I’d be playing her bits of The Left Banke off a little speaker, but it was flipping easier than I thought it was going to be. It became pretty effortless.’ But of course, everyone wants to know about the rumours that there will be a B lur tour next year. The details have not been ironed out, says Coxon. ‘No, I don’t know what’s going on with Blur, we haven’t really talked about anything,’ he says, shutting it down initially. ‘I don’t really know what it is. It’s actually quite important that I say nothing about it for personal reasons.’ We’re about to wrap the interview, so I give it another prod… A reunion is on the cards, right? ‘I hope so,’ he says smiling. ‘We always get round to it sooner or later.’ Next year could indeed be the summer of Britpop, as Pulp are set to return, too. ‘That would be fun. Just need Oasis to do it. Knock those brothers’ heads together.’ So perhaps now, could it be a member of Blur who brokers the Oasis Peace Treaty? ‘Yes, any day. I’d do that. I’d have a chat with them.’ No sign of anxiety here. MORE ABOUTGRAHAM COXONBLURNINETIESfor years’) was the anxiety. He just assumed ‘this feeling that you’ve always had, was part of being alive. All I knew was that it disappeared when I had a drink.’ The slide into excess was a natural progression in the music business, he concedes. ‘When you go from nothing to a huge pile of booze and you can pretty much tell a runner to get you anything, it’s difficult. There’s no one warning you, you just have to find out for yourself.’ ‘We were sort of taking our inspiration from Sixties and Seventies bands in how to behave,’ he says of their love for rock’n’roll gods such as The Who and Led Zeppelin. ‘And there are certain men I looked up to who were probably having a really difficult time with all of that in those days. Pete Townsend w asn’t exactly comfortable with it. Ray Davies wasn’t exactly comfortable with everything. But it wasn’t really talked about at the time.’ The Nineties version of all this was the newly pressed ‘lad culture’, a toxic strain Coxon found deeply discomfiting. ‘I got exorcised quite a lot in the Nineties with things like Nuts and Bollocks magazines or whatever they were c alled, and this new lad thing and The Guardian saying, “Yes, it’s great to like football.” Suddenly it gave a lot of people permission to act like dickheads. I found that all a bit difficult, especially when it’s seeping into our gigs. I was an indie person and then suddenly you have a big laddish contin -- ※ 發信站: 批踢踢實業坊(ptt.cc), 來自: (臺灣) ※ 文章網址: https://www.ptt.cc/bbs/Blur/M.1665100924.A.7BB.html

10/07 08:02, 5月前 , 1F
53歲?有保養有差 XD
10/07 08:02, 1F

10/07 21:21, 5月前 , 2F
10/07 21:21, 2F
文章代碼(AID): #1ZFsnyUx (Blur)
文章代碼(AID): #1ZFsnyUx (Blur)