Music Q&A:
Chris Difford

The Squeeze co-founder made a lasting contribution to English music and his passion for innovation and love of playing now drive his solo career. He chats ahead of a new tour

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What informs your music and songwriting?
Everything from conversations in a pub to Radio Three on a cold and dusty night. I like to take my imagination on daily walks to find the words I need to create a lyric. As I get older I find the discipline of songwriting much harder, so what informs me in that case is the reality of age and the love around me.

How have you evolved as an artist over the years?
When I was a kid I knew nothing about feelings or what being in a band was really like. I just tagged along for the ride, although I always had masses of ambition. I still do. Over the years I have learnt how to cope with my feelings and those around me. My guitar playing is about the same and my voice is still down in the cellar, which is where I like it.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
I’m promoting my book and planning a solo album of jazz songs for early next year. It’s something I tried once before but this time I feel like I could really push the boat out and do something different than I have before. It’s either that or find work on the local council.

What’s on your rider?
Tea, water, a curry and some cranberry juice – not very exciting.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
There are so many. Possibly meeting Lou Reed in a Chinese restaurant in New York. He came over and told me how much he liked my lyrics. I buckled with the embarrassment as I was his biggest fan and his words have inspired me all of my life. I forgot to read my fortune cookie but I’m sure it was good news!

What song do you wish you’d written?
Across the Universe by John Lennon. It’s such a treat lyrically and it always takes me off on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

What’s your worst lyric?
There are so many I would not know where to start. Only two out of 10 lyrics I write do I end up keeping. It’s the John West theory: “It’s the fish that we reject that makes our fish the best.” But I sometimes need a helping hand on the trawler.

Chris Difford plays: 15 March, The Flower Pot, Derby; 24 March, The Atkinson, Southport; 28 March, Victoria Hall, Thorner; 29 March, The Met, Bury; 31 March, The Platform, Morecambe; 3 April, The Lantern, Halifax; 12 May, Warehouse, Harrogate. For full dates visit chrisdifford.com

Interact: Responses to Music Q&A: Chris Difford

  • susan
    21 Feb 2018 20:24
    Great interview, fascinating subject. I'm listening to his book now; it's a joy.

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