bringing politics into music

I feel weird because I’ve been doing interviews for 20 years and this is the first time I’ve talked about stuff like politics. I would prefer music to be abstract rather than standing on a podium pointing a finger at what’s wrong with the world. I always said that I would never get involved in politics, but then situations can become too much. You reach a moment when even someone like me has to stand up and say ’wait a minute’.

Maybe we can’t do anything about Bush and bin Laden. Those guys are going to play their games whatever happens. But I thought : ’Here’s something where we can have a say.’ I wanted to be part of it.

Politics is so black and white and what’s great about music is that it’s above and beyond that. Music is so complex and it has all these organic mechanisms and life forces growing inside it. It belittles it to say that music is left or right, or pro-this or anti-that.

The Times, 2 april 2005