Revered by millions and recharged by the Beatles' Anthology,
Paul is back (and wired) with Flaming Pie.
His first online chat drew a record 3 million questions. What does that
mean to mere mortals like us? That if Sir Paul took 90 seconds for each
answer, he would be finished satisfying his fan's curiosity about the Beatles,
Wings, Linda, John, and related matters when he was 64. Because Paul is
a busy man, with a new album to promote--check out the superb Flaming
Pie site and the MPL
Communications site we asked just 10 questions.
Paul: Neither. It was a GREAT DAY. Yeah, it was alot of fun, and I can see how easy it would be for people to get really into the Internet. I'd never done it before, so I was curious how it would work and what level of interest we'd get. The poeple who put it all together told me that through his and the VH-1 show that we did around questions of the Net, they apparently had around three million questions for me. THAT surprised me.
YIL: Musicians who have a tougher than ever time breaking into record deals are using the Net as a way to get their music out there. If the Beatles were starting out now, do you think the group would be online, trying to get the work out?
Paul: I don't know. When we started out, we were trying everything to get ourselves heard: playing pubs, working-men's clubs, at weddings. We were so keen to have people hear us that we were more or less up for anything. So if this gave us an opportunity to get our songs heard, we may well have used it--not so much for an interest in the technology, but maybe as a tool to get heard. The music did-and still does- come first.
YIL:Although you haven't used the Internet, what do you think of all the talk about the information superhighway?
Paul: I guess it's like anything new, let alone "super"-- there's always a bunch of talk about it , just because its' new. I guess some people could argue that there's enough information out there about everything already, and do we really need more? The point about information, important information like we're doing to this planet, is not how you get it, but whether you act on it.
YIL: The Flaming Pie site devoted to the new record is impressive. What do you think about it?
Paul: I'm glad you like it. People at my office put it together, and I think it works well. I guess that's another important point about this whole thing--if you're going to get on it, you may as well do it right. I'm not interested in doing anything that looks or sounds second-rate.
YIL: The Beatles, as a group and as individuals are Internet obsessions- there's even an entire category of istes where people discuss the "Butcher" cover and six sites just about the Paul Is Dead rumours. Is it disconcerting to have people all over the globe discussing the group and your work, or is it just a new form of an old obsession?
Paul: One of the things about fame is that you have to realize that you're going to get all that, and if you aren't prepared to ride with it, then you shouldn't get into the game. I'm not saying it's great, being the object of obsession, but it goes with the fame. When we started out, we wanted to succeed and having succeeded, you have to accept that side of success. I try not to pay much attention to it. It happens.
YIL:On the one hand, the Net links libraries from the world over; on
the other, it offers access to radical political
discourse and even pornography. Do you support censorship?
Paul: There has always been this information or propaganda or porn or whatever out there. There were such things as books and records, before the Internet. It's not as though the Internet has invented information. It's just another means of imparting it. As to supporting censorship, I don't support anything that hurts other people.
YIL: Some celebrities have enjoyed using the Net because they can talk to people all over the world and remain anonymous, simply by using a made-up name or handle. Does the idea intrigue you?
Paul: I dont' know about intriguing me. I could see how it could be a laugh. I've used made-up names myself for various projects in the past, just because it frees you up from others' expectations--and for the laugh, mainly. I don't like to take things too seriously.
YIL: Have you ever written songs about technology?
Paul: Technology doesn't really tend to grab you as the most obvious inspiration for a song. I've written songs against technology, or the runaway use of technology. I wrote a couple of songs around the time of my last album, "Off the Ground" against that stuff. One of them, "Looking for Changes" was against the senseless vivisection industry. I guess that incorporates technology, and it doesn't strike me as being any sort of advanced technology. The other one was called "Big Boys Bickering" which was my protest against governments and big businesses letting industrial "developments" run riot at the cost of wrecking the planet. That one got banned, possibly on account of my use of the F word in it.
YIL: Who does the MPL Communications site? Are you involved?
Paul: As I say, the guys in my office put it together--but I'm pretty hands on with it. I see it all before anything goes out, and we work out together what goes on it. As I say, I like it to be right.
YIL: If you made your own home page, to whose sites would you link? Pages about Buddy Holly? Other musicians you like?
Paul: I really haven't
got the time with all that I'm doing to get into this right now. I'm working
on stuff to do with Flaming Pie, dealing with interviews and videos and
all that. I'm also really busy with a major orchestral work that my record
company , EMI, commissioned me to write to mark their 100th
anniversary, in October. It's going to be premiered the The Royal
Albert Hall and then performed in New York, in November. So I've got enough
on my plate.