I’m Weller jealous of Bono & Sting, admits Paul

Former The Jam singer Paul Weller has admitted harbouring feelings of jealousy towards U2 frontman Bono and former Police lead singer Sting.

In an interview with Q magazine, the former Style Council vocalist said that Sting and Bono were both “bankable commodities” who “really know how to sell records”. Weller also went on to compliment the two even further, saying: “They sell out every time they perform – it’s incredible. I, for one, am jealous of their dedication. It’s amazing to think they’re both in their fifties, but are still shifting units like they were thirty years ago.

“At the end of the day, making music is about doing something which appeals to everyone, and I think Bono especially knows the importance of that. He’s a guy who knows his audience and fair play to him for that. I really loved U2 back in 1988 when they all seemed to grow mullets and break America. To me, that was the pinnacle of that band’s career, and you have to hand it to them – they certainly knew what they were doing.”

Weller also singled out praise for Sting’s “dedication above and beyond the realms of conventional instrumentation”, despite his “comfortable wealth”. The former You Do Something To Me singer languished even further plaudits on the former Geordie singer, declaring: “Pound-for-pound, he offers the best value out of all solo artists around at the moment. For me, his character is his main selling point – people really feel they’re getting something genuine with Sting’s records, and his quality hasn’t diminished at all over 30 years.”

Weller, 53, concluded the interview by throwing down the gauntlet to critics of the two singers: “A lot of cynics might say their music is ‘rubbish’, or that they’re ‘conceited’, but I won’t have any of it. You’ve got to have something about you if you’re to survive in this business, and I think Sting and Bono both have great characters. You can’t keep them down. I’ve been out drinking with both of them and I’ve got to tell you, anyone who thinks either of them is conceited has no idea what they’re talking about.

“That’s the thing that annoys me most about the music industry – these gnarly old cynics who get their kicks out of putting down successful and talented musicians, just because they’re a bit old or they’re not musically ‘relevant’ anymore. I especially hate the less successful musicians who try and score cheap points by slagging off their contemporary counterparts in past-their-best music journals – I mean, what sort of desperate prick would do that? Oh…”

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