Paul Weller admits he gets ‘so nervous’ before a show he doesn’t ‘want to be there’ but claims the feeling goes away once he starts performing
He rose to fame in the 1970s as the lead singer of The Jam.
But Paul Weller has revealed that despite his illustrious career in the music industry, he still gets stage fright before every show.
The singer, 63, spoke candidly with Mary McCartney in an interview in British GQ’s’ July issue on Friday, says he gets “so nervous” he feels he doesn’t “want to be there,” but said it goes away once he starts performing.
Honest: Paul Weller admitted in a GQ interview with Mary McCartney on Friday that he gets stage fright and is ‘so nervous’ before a show that he doesn’t ‘want to be there’
Asking Mary how he feels going out in front of a big crowd, he thought, “It’s almost weird because right before I go on stage, especially in the hour before, I’m in pieces.
“I’m so nervous and I don’t want to be there and I want to go home, and then within minutes of actually being on stage, as soon as that first tune kicks in, I automatically feel like this is exactly where I should be.
“It feels like the most natural, most comfortable, zen-like place you can be, it’s so weird.”
Candid: Paul (pictured in 2019) reflected on how he feels before a show: ‘It’s almost weird because right before I go on stage, especially in the hour before, I’m in pieces’
He continued: ‘When I finally stopped drinking, it took me at least two years to get used to that feeling of going on stage completely sober and straight.
“And now I love it. But it took me a good two years to feel comfortable because it was very strange at first.
“I’d be on the podium and I’d notice so much, like there’s a guy in the front row wearing a green shirt or something, and now I don’t feel it at all.”
Jitters: Paul (pictured in May) explained that even though I feel nervous ‘once that first tune kicks in, I automatically feel like this is exactly where I’m supposed to be’
Paul also spoke of recording a new album in lockdown, telling Mary: ‘I had about four or five songs left from’ [last year’s] On Sunset and they were just lying around, unused. So I started working away, chipping and putting together a new set of numbers.
“As always, I recorded them all in the studio in Surrey, just me and a guitar singing along to a click track.
“If I couldn’t record with the band, I’d send the records to them and they’d play their part and then send them back. It was a very strange process, but it worked.
“But when we could finally all record together again, it was like the first day of school after the summer holidays.”
Read more: British GQ’s July issue is available today via digital download and on newsstands
Paul also took the opportunity to ask Mary his own question, wondering what it was like for her to grow up as the daughter of a Beatles icon.
And she said, ‘Well, it was more like growing up as the daughter of Paul and Linda because they were such a great couple.
‘But they were also such adventurous people. So we followed them a bit and went on an adventure.
“We went on tour with them and really only stopped when we had to go to school.”
The July issue of UK GQ is available today as a digital download and on newsstands.
Music Icon: Paul rose to fame as lead singer of The Jam in the 1970s