Magnet Interviews Paul | August 2002

paul westerberg magnetInterviews with Paul have been rare in the past decade, so in lieu of  posting a new one, here’s one of the best interviews he’s done post-Mats. This interview is from Magnet Magazine in August 2002, when Paul was doing his solo tour. A few choice quotes:

When he was 17, the neighborhood stoner dude with the awesome stereo system and ultra-hip record collection turned him on to the Sex Pistols. “I shat myself,” he says. “It was noisy rock ‘n’ roll screeched by a guy who couldn’t sing. I thought, ‘This is my music.’”

“The bands who played punk rock didn’t see us as a punk band,” says Westerberg, “but we embodied punk more than they did. Lenny Kaye’s Nuggets helped us to understand punk. When people started to realize that the Rolling Stones were a punk band, they started to see us as a punk band.”

Paul on “Don’t Tell A Soul”:

“So it was pretty much me and Slim crafting that record,” says Westerberg. “It sounded good until the label brought in people to mix it to make it sound like everything else on the radio, so it sounds dated. People ask, ‘How did Paul get that sound on Mono?’ Well, that sound was on every Mats recording—it’s just marked ‘Take One.’”

And my favorite quote:

“I grew up sooner than I should have; I was an old man before my time, I think,” he says. “Grandpaboy is the best explanation. I felt old and crotchety even when I was 19.”