Il y a quelques temps de cela, Paul McCartney rencontrait Bryan Adams. De cette rencontre avait découlé l’interview ci-après, dans laquelle Paul revient sur sa relation avec Heather Mills, sa relation avec ses enfants (Stella McCartney a parait-il une belle voix), et l’origine des chansons “Back In The Sunshine Again” et “Spinning on an Axis” :
Bryan Adams : Have you been doing interviews all day?
Paul McCartney : A little bit today. I don’t mind it, really. It’s just sorta lie back and think of Britian.
Bryan Adams : But it’s nice because you’ve got such a good record to promote
Paul McCartney : Yeah, it’s good. I like it. It’s the main thing. You still with [producer] Mutt [Lange]?
Bryan Adams : Occasionally. I mean he’s into making records with his wife, so…
Paul McCartney : Is he?
Bryan Adams : Yeah they simply make records. That’s great.
Paul McCartney : Does she sing?
Bryan Adams : Yeah, Shania Twain.
Paul McCartney : Oh! Yeah. No wonder she’s got such good records.
Bryan Adams : How did you choose the [producer] for Driving Rain?
Paul McCartney : The guy at my New York office sent me a pile of CDs and I listen to them and this one guy stood out: David Kahne. He’d done “Walk Like an Egyptian” for the Bangles, he’d done Sugar Ray and he did Tony Bennett’s big-band record. I thought that was interesting diversity.
Bryan Adams : What was the thing to make you think he was the guy?
Paul McCartney : I just like the sound of all the records [that Kahne produced]. He just seemed a bit me, this guy.
Bryan Adams : That’s interesting because I thought this record is really you.
Paul McCartney : Yeah. Well that’s what I really liked about him. Then, I met him in New York. I said. “Hey how ya doing man? Do you want a cup of tea?” And we start talking. And I’m going “Oh, I like this. You’re saying all the right things.” And when we got into the studio, we got on like a house on fire.
Bryan Adams : There’s one song I was going to ask about. Let me go through my scribbles here…
Paul McCartney : Very professional.
Bryan Adams : Yeah, well… “Your Loving Flame.” Beautiful singing on that one. You seen really open lyrically.
Paul McCartney : You know that’s one of my favorites on the album. And it’s funny, I expected everyone to go: “That’s the single!” But Im’ not really a single-picker. I say to people: “I missed ‘Get Back’.”
Bryan Adams : Your voice sounds really beautiful on ” Loving Flame.”
Paul McCartney : You know why? I wrote it for my girlfriend [Heather Mills, now McCartney’s fiancee]. Thank you by the way. It was the first song I wrote for her. I was in New York and we weren’t really supposed to be an item yet. We knew we were getting quite serious, but my kids didn’t, so we were trying to be very diplomatic about the whole thing and be cool. They booked me into this incredible suite on the 35th floor of the Carlyle Hotel, I had actually come because [daughter, designer] Stella had opened a shop for Chloe. But the next day, I had a cuple hours off, so I thought: “I just gotta get to that piano” This [song] is written because I got to sit down. And I hit these changes that are at the beginning of “Loving Flame.” There’s never any more than three notes going. Which is enough. A good song writes itself. I’m going “Whoa, pencil and paper- quick!” And I rang Heather and said: “Do you wanna hear this song? I’ve just written it fo you.” I had to pull the telephone halfway across the suite and then pull the piano the other half. So I pulled this sucker over and I played it for her. It was a big romantic moment in our relationship and that’s why it’s so special.
Bryan Adams : I could imagine most people would be very happy to have you sing them a song over the phone.
Paul McCartney : Well you see, one of the nice things about Heather is she really appreciates music. She loves it. She’s one of those people who, if you start jamming, she won’t go and do something. She’ll just sit…
Bryan Adams : …and listen?
Paul McCartney : …and loves it! She plays a bit of sax. She’s actually not bad. We have an act, but we can only do it for charity because we’d get laughed at otherwise. We do “Fly Me to the Moon,” ” Moon River,” “Close to You,” -real corny! [Mimics band playing, both laugh] But the only time we’ve been in public was at my second cousin’s daughter’s wedding. I had a little guitar and Heather had a sax in the boot of the car. And we’d actually diven them [to their wedding]. Heather has been talking to [Sall, the bride] on the hen night. And Heather goes, “How are you getting to the church?” [Mimics thick Liverpool accent] “Oh I’m walking. It’s not that far. It’s just down the road.” And Heather from Newcastle. So she says [mimics heavy Northern Englsh accent] “You’re not bloody walking to your wedding! Well…” So we hired this car to co up there, a Jag or something. So [Heather and I] became the drivers. It was a nice family thing to do. We had a couple of drinks, so after the reception, I sai, “Lets play for these two to make their wedding. ” So the two of us come into the middle of this big crowd- “Make way! Make way!” -and we played. And of course the bride and groom got up and danced.
Bryan Adams : You’re alwayas involving your family in music. I’m interested in how you got your son James involved in songwriting.
Paul McCartney : Well, James plays [guitar] on one of the tracks, “Back in the Sunshine Again.” He’s a good guitar player. We’d just come from the English winter to Arizona. It was so beautiful. And I was just noodling on the piano and I was going [sings]: “Here we are, back in the sunshine again.” And he was playing along on his guitar and he started to hit this [guitar sound] DoDe-DoDe-DoDe. And I said “Wow, what’s that?” It was just something he’d been working on. So I said, “Can we nick it? Can I use that?” So he co-wrote that.
Bryan Adams : And “Spinning on Axis”?
Paul McCartney : It was the other one James did [playing percussion]. We were in New Hampshire at me sister-in law and brother-in-law’s house. And me and James were just sitting on the porch and the sun was going down. We were grooving and had a little Yamaha keyboard that we’d given my nephew and it’s got that little hip-hop to it -pa-dodo-da, pa-dodo-pa. And I was like: “See you sun! You know it’s going round the world.” And James said “No it isn’t. It’s not going anywhere. We’re tilting back.” And we say, “Wow! Far out.” So over this hip-hop thing, I started doing this fake rap thing: “I see the sun going down with some sorrow/I wonder if it’s coming back tomorrow/Ain’t no reason it has to do that. ” I put it down on my little tape recorder and then when I came to go look for songs for the album, I thought, “There’s a really nice vibe there.” And coz he’d written the core of the chorus stucture, I credited him with co-writing that.
Bryan Adams : Would you have been happy if your daughters had been musicians?
Paul McCartney : All my kids are kind of musical.
Bryan Adams : I know Stell has a guitar.
Paul McCartney : Stell is a good singer,but she’s so busy with her fashion thing. She’d sing around the house when she was a kid. We use to make records for her granddad, Linda’s dad, on his birthdays, a little family record, and give him the only copy. Always lead vocal was Stella. And I’d be, “Can you just do that again?” She’d sing it exactly the same twice. “You know what Stel? That’s not bad.” Someday, she should make a record. And Mary’s got a nice voice, but sh’es just not as outward as Stel.
Bryan Adams : Your commet that this record made you remember you’re a bass plaayer- did you actually forget?
Paul McCartney : With keyboards and synths and drum machines, you can do bass and all that sort of stuff. I think bass isn’t as obvious a thing to be in a band anymore. I was a singer. I’ll always remember that. [But] you know what I am good at? Playing bass and singing at the same time. That’s the trick! And I suddenly thought, if kids had to learn that now….I had to learn the monster of all time, [the Beatles’ hit] Day Tripper [sings Day Tripper]. OK, thats bad enough when you’re just doing it on it’s own, but now you have to forget you’re doing it, play it then…[sings]. Which is a completly different thing.So I’m always conscious of splitting my body in two. So maybe I’m [a true] Gemini And I thought, you know, I’ve practiced more than most people in this world. That’s some s****. I’ts two things at once.
Bryan Adams : [THe CD] is reminiscent, too.
Paul McCartney : Some of those high things, because I used a Hofner [bass, used during the Beatles years], as well.
Bryan Adams : Did you? The whole record?
Bryan Adams : There’s a couple of songs on this albim that sound sort of Wings-ish, [like] “About You.”
Paul McCartney : Yeah, a couple people have said that.
Bryan Adams : Do you miss playing live gigs?
Paul McCartney : A bit. I played the Madison Square Garden gig [ the All-Star Triumph Concert for New York last October that honoured firemen and rescue workers]. It was good to do. I was going to da a couple little gigs to promote the album. The only troubled is that the band was booked. The drummer was out with sting.Dash!
Bryan Adams : Damn that Sting!
Paul McCartney : Damn Sting! He’s got a lot to answer for, that boy. No. I just didn’t give him enough notice. So I will now for next year. Some of those songs would be good to do live. Definitely.
Bryan Adams : You’ve done this for a long time. How do you find the energy to come bake and make another record?
Paul McCartney : The motivation for me is I just love doing it. So, for instance, three of these songs [on Driving Rain] were written in India. Swim in the morning, the beach, a little bit of this tourist stuff. Afternoon, hanging! I love it. I just pick up a guitar and find myself writing a song, then I want to record it. I want to work with some nice people. And that’s it. I’ll continue just because I love it.
Bryan Adams : I like the idea of what you said: “You have to do nothing to be a songwriter.”
Paul McCartney : Isn’t it true?
Bryan Adams : / Yeah, you sort of do nothing.
Paul McCartney : You have to do nothing to do songs. Like, now, I couldn’t write a song because I’m doing something. But the minute I’ve got the day off or I’m doing nothing or I’m on holiday….That’s the great thing about songwriters: you’ve got to arrange to do nothing. That sounds like a pretty cool career to me!
Bryan Adams : : Don’t tell everybody that!
Paul McCartney : This is true. Don’t tell everybody in Canada. They’ll all be wanting to do it!