Today’s Feature – November 9-10: Paul Freeman

November 10, 2008 at 2:03 am (Today's Feature)


Any fan of classic rock has got to love where Paul Freeman is coming from – an artist that looks to the Beatles as true music masters, creating pop songs absolutely under their influence. Freeman is even named after Paul McCartney – a namesake he certainly isn’t letting down. It was back in high school that Freeman began taking his own path to discovering a musical voice – working at the legendary studio north of Oxford, Linford Manor. There he witnessed sessions with guys like Paul Weller, Julian Cope and Skunk Anansie as Britpop was making way for the new guys on the scene of Brit rock, a scene that would include amazing acts such as Oasis. But it was still Britpop that Paul wanted reflected in his songs, and he’s done just that with his collection, “That’s How It Is.”

“That’s How It Is” doesn’t buy into any trends or any easy pop recipes. Freeman focuses on the songs themselves above all else. “I’m about songs and that’s it,” he says. “It doesn’t matter what the drummer is doing if the songs shit so I try and focus on writing as good as songs as I can… I’d like to give people something to believe in that isn’t dressed up in a political package.” And Paul is anything but political. He dives into topics that are always on the radar, and apply to anyone, anywhere – “working class issues of life and death.”

Without a doubt, Freeman is well on his way to some amazing success – so it would make pretty good sense to head to a show as soon as possible, correct? It’s a fun show believe me; Paul means what he’s singing, but certainly isn’t one of those artists that takes himself too seriously. And check out “That’s How It Is” while you’re looking at his performance schedule. Get into the XXQ’s for a whole lot more.

XXQs: Paul Freeman (PEV): Was there a certain point in your life when you realized the music was going to be career for you?

Paul Freeman (PF): I was 12 years old and my dad took me to see Paul McCartney play it was my first ever show and about halfway through live and let die, when the fireworks were going off that was the moment I thought that’s the job I want after that it was just a question of working my arse off.

PEV: Born in South Wales, what kind of music were you listening to growing up? Do you remember the first concert you ever attended?

PF: The first music I had access to as a kid was pretty much my dads whole record collection so anything from the Beatles to tom petty, Bruce Springsteen, elo, and then I started playing guitar so I discovered Brit pop which was still very sixties/seventies influenced so it was a smooth transition from my dads albums to oasis

PEV: Was music always, constantly around you or was it something that you discovered outside of your home, on your own?

PF: Although no one in my family actually played anything it was always around I never really listened to trends in music so while all my friends were listening to which ever band the NME decided were going to save your life this week I was listening to early genesis. I got loads of shit for that….

PEV: What was it like for you when you were first breaking into the music business? Before you were getting press, regular gigs and touring around the country?

PF: I have always been happy to be just doing music, I don’t buy into the trying to be famous crap I just love playing music so everything that happens is just an evolution of me focusing on writing songs that I hope will out live me, its all about having fun weather its in my local pub or in front of thousands of people for me I have a great time regardless.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Paul Freeman show?

PF: The most important thing is that people have a great time and maybe forget about life for a while there are so many other things people can do with their time these days so its my job to make their experience as much fun as possible don’t get me wrong I take the music seriously I just don’t take myself seriously, life’s too short.

PEV: How have your shows evolved from when you first started out? Is there a certain time that you started to get more comfortable on stage?

PF: They’ve changed dramatically my first show was when I was 13 so you can imagine how crap that was, confidence is everything I think when I was playing guitar for other artists was when I realized how easy it is and how much I just really enjoy connecting with people even if its just one person to feel them get into it is really special..

PEV: Any embarrassing or crazy live show stories?

PF: We did a show in la and for some reason there were all these life-size cardboard cutouts all over the venue so halfway through the show I decided to jump off stage and grab one of Anne Hathaway and park it right next to me for the remainder of the show, I would then use musical breaks to kiss it occasionally, then some how the top half off it went missing and was found in my drummers freezer at 3 in the morning, weird I know but half of Hathaway is better than none..

PEV: If you could collaborate with one artist out today, who would it be and why?

PF: Bruce Springsteen hands down, he’s got the secret I want to try and steal a bit of it..

PEV: As well, is there an up and coming artist right now that you think we should all be looking out for?

PF: Just me

PEV: Tell us, what can fans expect from your new album “That’s How It Is”? How is this different from other music you’ve worked with?

PF: Its just song based stuff really in the classic Beatles, petty kind of way, I don’t buy into to trends with music I’ll leave that stuff for guys that live in silver lake I’m about songs and that’s it, it doesn’t matter what the drummers doing if the songs shit so I try and focus on writing as good as songs as I can.

PEV: You said you titled this album the way you did “because it’s direct and it’s real. It’s one of the songs of mine that people really seem to like.” What was the underlining inspiration for this album? Did you find yourself going back to one feeling or emotion more than others?

PF: I guess the key emotion for me on this record is hope we at such a crucial place as human beings that id like to give people something to believe in that isn’t dressed up in a political package, cause we all get enough of that, its mostly working class issues of life and death.

PEV: When you sit down to write music what kind of environment do you surround yourself in?

PF: I tend to write most of my stuff after 11pm or whilst i’m moving in a car or on a plane, there’s something very inspiring about being in motion

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Paul Freeman?

PF: I used to fit carpets for a living and I have a pet squirrel named Shaun.

PEV: How have your friends and family reacted to all your success?

PF: They’re all extremely proud it’s really beautiful to have so much support.

PEV: When you are not touring and performing, what can we find you doing in your spare time?

PF: I love playing golf, running and I’m addicted to soccer on my Xbox wild horses couldn’t get me off that thing when I’m in full swing..

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Good parts? Bad parts?

PF: I love it all actually, I really love meeting new people and hearing there points of view, and seeing parts of the world that you wouldn’t usually get to see, we get to be inserted into peoples lives momentarily and then leave again, its really quite inspiring.

PF: In your opinion, is there a certain city (US or International) that you find to be the best city for music?

PF: I love Austin and Nashville equally; the standard of players in these cities is amazing they’re both full of really great bands and musicians.

PEV: Ten years from now, where do you see your career?

PF: Hopefully still writing and playing they’re my favorite thing to do so whatever happens I like to think that no-one can take that away from me.

PF: As well, where’s one place you haven’t played, you would like to? Why?

The record comes out in Asia early next year and I really cant wait to play in Japan something about the history of their culture fascinates me.

PEV: So, what’s next for Paul Freeman?

PF: A shower and then another show on the long road to success…

For more information on Paul Freeman, check out:


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