Interview: Paul Sayer

Backstage at Download festival, The Temperance Movement's guitarist Paul Sayer spoke to us about old guitars, advice from a Rolling Stone and clean hands…

1: I couldn’t live without…
“My Telecaster. It’s a ’73 and it was the first guitar that I ever played. It was my dad’s. When I see other people play them, I love ES-335s and stuff like that but when I play… that’s the one that makes sense to me.”

2: In another life Paul Sayer would be…
“Honestly, I don’t know. I got into it really young and I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

3: The moment that started it all…
“My dad was really into music. When I was really young when I’d get put to bed at 6pm or whatever, my dad would have people over and they’d be playing records and stuff downstairs and I could hear it. So it was a gradual thing, but it was growing up around music.”

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4: The one that got away…
“I bought a ’65 Gibson Melody Maker on a whim, but I ended up using it loads on our latest record. When we did our last day of recording, I got home at like 5am. I had loads of guitars and when I went back out to the car to get the last load, someone had taken a guitar off the back seat. Someone had just seen it, grabbed it and legged it. It was almost poetic, I feel like that guitar was sent to me to make that record!”

5: My Spinal Tap moment…
“Just now, we were waiting to go onstage and there was a dragon wheeled past us.”

6: The best advice I’ve ever been given…
“I’m going to namedrop here, but Keith Richards said to me, ‘Just make sure you keep it together’. And it was pretty insightful… At the time, we’d been away for four months. It’s the best job in the world, but you can start to go a bit mad, especially living with four other guys.”

7: The first thing I play when I pick up a guitar…
“If I’m shopping for a new guitar, the sign of one I want to buy is it makes me play something I haven’t played before. In the scheme of things, what people care about are songs, not licks. If I start playing what could become the basis of a song, I think, maybe there’s something in this guitar for me.”

Check out The Temperance Movement‘s latest single White Bear below…


8: The most important thing on my rider…
“Though it seems impossible, for ages I’ve been trying to get those Swarfega wipes on the rider. I just like having clean hands.”

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9: My guiltiest musical pleasure…
“Everything I listen to could be a surprise to fans! Obviously, I’m a huge fan of The Stones, the Faces and Free. But I grew up wanting to be the guitar player in Bonnie Raitt’s band, or Jackson Browne’s, or to do something like Crosby, Stills & Nash. But I love James Blake, Radiohead… I just like good music, as much as that is a cliché.”

10: If I could learn to play one thing…
“I’d love to be able to play flamenco guitar. My wife is Spanish and we spend a bit of time out there. I love it – it’s so guitar-based, but it’s a mile away from what I do or am able to do…”

Thanks to Paul Sayer – you can find out more about his band The Temperance Movement here

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