Being spokesman for a generation is the worst job I ever had.
All the great political music was made at the height of political confrontations.
A part of my job is to bring the news from elsewhere to here and to take back some news from here. . . . You can't change the world singing songs, believe me, but you can offer people an alternative perspective, even on their own situations. So that's what I'm trying to do.
A song is like a newspaper. It's capable of carrying a number of different messages. Some of them are advertisers, some of them are editorial, some of them are reportage, some of them are sport. So, as a songwriter you can use any of those.
To have accountability you must get out and vote!
I never met a politician who didn't want to be a guitar player in a rock band. I've got the opportunity to say what I believe in.
That's what I'm about -- getting engaged. Too many people don't wade in the mud with the politicians.
And just because you're gay, I won't turn you away.<br/>If you stick around, I'm sure we can find some common ground.
And since September 11 and the war with Iraq, I think people are more attuned to music that's got something to say. It's just a shame that such things have to happen for more people to get into it.
You can only make political music if you have a context. . . . You cannot make political music in a vacuum. It'd be like me writing songs now about Margaret Thatcher. It'd just make no sense. But I think in the wake of 9-11 people are trying to articulate their feelings.
I'm trying to make a case for those people who don't have a sense of belonging that they should have, that there is something really worthwhile in having a sense of belonging, and recasting and looking at our modern history.
In that sense, I became politicized because the people in the coal mining villages who were involved in the struggle knew why they were there. But they couldn't understand why some pop star from London would want to be there.
Most of the people that I went to school with - I went to secondary school - we were educated to go and work in the line at Ford's, and if we were lucky, technical skilled labor. I sort of rejected that, and thought I wanted to do something else.
I've had songs written during the Falklands war, and during the first Gulf war I got letters from soldiers saying they were listening to these songs, like Island of no return.
It's not a very popular subject amongst my audience, who are by nature more internationalist, but I don't choose what to write about, I don't choose my subjects, they kind of choose me.