Music

Paul Weller admits he still gets nervous before performing live despite decades-long career: ‘I’m in bits’


Paul Weller gets nervous when performing on stage despite being a seasoned professional (Picture: Getty/GQ)

Paul Weller has told of how nervous he gets before going on stage, admitting that ‘the hour before, I’m in bits’.

The musician, 63, known to fans as the Modfather, recently secured his sixth number one in the UK album charts with Fat Pop (Volume 1), his critically acclaimed 16th solo record after 2020’s On Sunset.

However, despite chart success and years of experience of performing in front of large crowds, he still gets apprehensive about going on stage.

Speaking to Mary McCartney for the July issue of British GQ, Paul said: ‘It’s almost a weird thing because, just prior to going on stage, especially in the hour before, I’m in bits.

‘I’m so nervous and so don’t want to be there and want to go home, and then within minutes of actually being on stage, as soon as that first tune strikes up, I automatically feel as though this is completely where I’m supposed to be.

‘It feels like the most natural, most comfortable, Zen-like place you could possibly be, it’s so weird.’

Paul gets nervous before going on stage and has had to get used to performing alcohol-free (Picture: Grace Guppy/Jennifer Livingston/GQ)

The star added that it took him a full two years to come to terms with going on stage sober after giving up alcohol.

Paul said that he notices so much more performing having not had a drink, right down to what the people in the audience are wearing.

He noted he is much more likely to be seen with a cup of tea in his hand after a gig, telling the publication it had become a post-show ritual.

Paul hit out at Spotify bosses in April as he believes they don’t pay artists enough.

The rocker made less than £10,000 for three million plays of his album On Sunset.

Paul spoke to magazine British GQ about performing on stage (Picture: Jennifer Livingston/British GQ)

In an interview with Mojo magazine, he said he understands why people subscribe but is unimpressed by the rate of pay for artists.

He added: ‘I am not for Spotify whatsoever. It’s great for punters. You pay your nine quid every month and listen to whatever you want. But for the artist it’s s**t. It’s disgraceful.

‘I had three million Spotify pays for On Sunset. For that I made nine and a half grand in revenue.

‘All right, it’s nine grand, but it’s not £3million is it? Whichever f****r thought music should be free was a marketing whizz because that genie will not go back in the bottle.’

The July issue of British GQ is available via digital download and on newsstands from Friday.

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