In the earlier part of the 90s, I was really hell-bent on discovering how new technology works and how to make records entirely without a producer, which isn't necessarily what fans wanted. But I had to do it because I felt it was in my destiny or whatever.
Now, I'm a dad, I'm an adult. I've been solo for 25 years; I've been in other people's groups but I'm solo [in a broader sense]. I stopped comparing myself to other people's maps when I was maybe 24, really. The trajectory that I've gone on is not one that I can compare with anybody else.
We're in a society where no one's putting a gun to your head and making you use your phone, but some people start to crack. "I Want the Heartbeat" is about the downside of it. People can and do break up friendships and relationships because of the internet, and that can't be good. You have to find a balance. You can't let it be the boss of you.
I really like Howler and an American band on Sub Pop called Jaill. There will always be new bands that I like, it's always been that way. I still go out to shows. One thing I don't like now is this idea that all singing needs to be expressed at maximum volume with so much bullshit sentimentality - it's pervading regular pop music.
I can show bands how to produce themselves. In the same way, many bands think you cant make it without some fat cat in London or New York to manage you. Thats just crap. All you need is someone a bit older than you with a bit of business nous whom you trust.
I met my manager when I was 17, when I didn't have enough money to buy a set of guitar strings. There are not very many people who are looking out for you and being in business with you when you're at that stage. And it's not in my nature to think that success as a musician makes you any different from anybody else.