10 minutes with Ocean Colour Scene's Steve Cradock, listen up and learn, people…
The Kundalini Target is your first solo album. It’s quite late in your career to go solo, isn’t it? It is, yeah. It’s quite f***ed up, really. But I don’t really like solo albums, to be honest with you, so it wasn’t always the plan. I had half the album written, I’d done a few demos, and it seemed to me that there was a link – it was quite personal. But, yeah, it came late in the career. There’s not a lot I can do about that. How long has the album been germinating? I suppose it took me about a year to write. But recording-wise, it took me six days, which was quite a result. I did it at [Paul] Weller’s studio, playing all the instruments myself, during the recording of his latest album, 22 Dreams. He had quite a few days where he’d go back up to London, and I’d stay down there and use that time. It was three, two-day sessions. Obvious question: what exactly is a Kundalini Target? It’s a picture my wife painted for me when we were courting. She just named it The Kundalini Target, but I had no idea what that meant. Turns out it’s a form of yoga. And ‘kundalini’ was a word I’d never heard being used, so I thought it’d make a nice title.
Weller’s on there too, isn’t he? Yeah, he is. He sings on a couple, and he plays 12-string acoustic on one song called ‘You Paint The Picture’.
What is your relationship with Weller like? I’ve been 15 years with him now. I was a huge Jam fan – I suppose most of us were back then – and it was a massive thing when I started playing with him. But it calms down over the years, you know? And now we’ve got this good brotherly relationship, I think. What was it like turning the tables on him? You’re the boss on this album. [Laughs] Well he only played on one song and, to be honest with you, we just sat around hungover in the studio and he did one take – and that’s the take. He’d never played it before. He was just going along with it, watching what chords I was playing. We listened back, and that was it, really. Very impulsive.
How have the other members of Ocean Colour Scene reacted to you working so much with Paul? How have you divided your time? It’s probably blighted our course [occasionally] over the years, but generally it’s worked, I think. The others have worked with Paul, too – Simon [Fowler, OCS’s vocalist] supported him a few times, back in the day. But I don’t really calculate how much time to give to each project. I just work on them till they’re done. You can’t just give it hours, you know what I mean? You’re either in on it or you’re not. The Kundalini Target is available at www.7digital.com