Paul Weller: Modfather follows path of Godfather of Soul

Paul Weller performs at The Apollo in Harlem on July 25, at Webster Hall in NYC on July 26, at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on July 27, at the Royale in Boston on July 28 and at Union Transfer in Philly on July 31.
Paul Weller performs at The Apollo in Harlem on July 25, at Webster Hall in Manhattan on July 26, at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on July 27, at the Royale in Boston on July 28 and at Union Transfer in Philly on July 31.

Paul Weller’s four-city, six-concert East Coast summer tour begins with a performance at Harlem’s storied Apollo Theater. In many ways, the soul and R&B mecca is ground zero for Weller.

“So many of our heroes have played there,” says Weller one day after arriving in New York City. “Historically, so many people who have influenced us played there. You can feel it; it’s very special.”

Despite the former Jam and Style Council frontman starting his musical career during Britain’s mid-1970s punk movement, Mod, be it style or music, is a constant in his life. Soul and R&B from the likes of James Brown and Tamla Motown fueled the Mod scene. But it doesn’t limit, or even totally define him. His latest album last year’s “Sonik Kicks,” is a stylistic freefall through psychedelic rock, beat pop and even a touch of rockabilly, and the energy of these new songs belies both his 55 years and almost 40 years making music.

“I’d hate to think I’d get to any age and think I knew it all. Because that is impossible,” says Weller. “I ’m trying to put over something different to people, maybe challenge people and do a different record. Not entirely, just in places. It’s just to try and keep moving on and challenge myself as a songwriter and musician, and take my audience along with me as well. It’s like this whole thing: music and life entwined is a journey. You’re looking at different aspects and different places you can go as a writer and as human being.”

His ever-changing moods

For these shows, his only U.S. shows this year, Weller and his band mix in songs from his whole career, and the boundlessness of “Sonik Kicks” makes for easier weaving in and out of his musical timeline.

“They all work, really; I try and pick things that I can still do justice to,” Weller muses. “Some things are just of their time. I pick things that I feel a connection to. It’s difficult because you are never going to please everyone. People want to hear old stuff. I try for balance. There’s so many songs, it’s more about what you’re going to leave out. I try and please as many people as possible while pleasing myself as well.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

Movies

Review: 'Love is Strange' is not only a…

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina tie the knot in "Love is Strange," but the film winds up being more about living with people than an activist picture.

Movies

Frank Miller on writing 'Sin City'

Frank Miller's comics career is a long and storied one, with "Sin City" being one of his most individual creations. Here, in his own words,…

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…

Wellbeing

What eye symptoms need emergency attention?

Many people experience temporary eye-related problems such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) from a cold virus or a scratched cornea resulting from an object coming into…