Not only can Graham play the guitar and shitloads of other instruments, sing, write and paint, he also HAS LOTS TO SAY !
"I bought Cinnamon and Golden Grahams and these indie kids in the shop laughed at me. It was funny but embarrassing."
(If you had a superpower what would it be ?) "The US. Id make it small enough to fit in my spare room. Then George Bush would be ant sized and Id put him in a matchbox so he couldn't come out."
"Being a dad is amazing, yeah. That's where I'm learning more about me than anywhere else, from this little girl who doesn't really know what is happening in the world. Doesn't know anything. She's helped me become the emperor of myself really."
(What do you think of the Gorillaz stuff ?) "That's a tough question. (long pause) And now I'll leave it at that! No, it's cool, Damon's doing his thing, and he needs to do his thing. We all do. You know, I don't expect anybody to particularly like my stuff. And I think that's the healthiest way you can make music really, not expecting people to like it."
(Are you pissed off with Gorillaz becoming more popular than Blur ?) "No i'm not, although i'd like to know who's buying Gorillaz. But it's good because it's Damon's. He's doing what he wants to do. I think it's obviously going to be more popular than Blur stuff because it's of a substandard nature to Blur stuff. The music is pretty good but the more popular a thing is in this country, the more rubbish it is. It'd be best if people listened to simpler music, stuff that resonates more soulfully."
"I'm squeamish about seafood. I can't pull the heads off shrimps and things like that ; get me fingers all mucky in their eggs and peel the armour off. I dont like that."
(Do you have any phobias ?) "I used to not be able to walk up Parkway (busy Camden thoroughfare). I'd completely avoid it because I thought people would be making comments about me. I suppose that's what comes with being a slightly recognisable figure around here, you wonder what people are gonna be saying. "
(If you were Prime Minister, what would you do ?) "Change the national anthem to nothing. I don't like nationnality."
(Are you good in bed ?) "Absolutely. Not. I'm very good at sleeping. I go to sleep very quick. I don't know about shagging. I can be good, i can be awful. I think i'm quite selfless."
"Graham's fans seem to be really fucking mad. Alex fans just seem to be mad. The classic fanbase of people that like Damon are completely fine. I just seem to attract complete nutters."
"The obsessive psychos that are our original fanbase, you know, they're the ones I like... Our original audiences, they're the people I'm the most fond of, not the people who just do what the TV tells them to do."
"I think it's better if blokes can admit that they can have crushes on other blokes. I've probably had crushes but never really sexual crushes on men."
"I crapped on my jumper. I wanted to poo and I forgot it was tied around my waist. I had to throw it into someone's garden."
"Being run over is quite scary,actually - You have that split second when you say 'ooh, crikey!' shut your eyes, grit your teeth and bounce off the bonnet. I had to ask a copper if I was dead."
"I'm trying to learn skateboard at the moment. I tried to skate in bare feet, bad idea. I completely cut up my toes."
"Spiders are cool but I'm still scared of them . But I don't kill them."
"My old flat is covered with carcasses of mosquitos all over the walls because I never bothered to clean up , as a warning."
"I'm a Christian without God. I'm an agnostic erection boy. Whatever that means... Barman! Barman!"
"I'm perfectly charming and then at the point where I start forgetting what's happening I get drunk and that's when I turn into a horrible bastard."
"You have to learn to keep your mouth shut when you have to get any drinks in."
(about alcohol) "Chocolate does the same thing to your happy centres. But you can't have ten Mars Bars and be rolling around on the floor insulting people and shouting and crying for no reason. Which is a shame. Heheheh."
"If I was one of my friends, Graham Coxon would be the person I most likely saw stopped drinking."
"When I started to swear at furniture, I knew it was time to stop drinking"
"Cynicism is something I really dislike, and the thing about becoming soberer and clearer is that a lot of cynicism disappears. I don't want to be a bloke who shies away from emotion."
(on being asked whether he'd quit drinking for good) "I still drink non-alchoolic drinks"
"When you drink and smoke you kind of float around. That's why these straight-edge bands are so uptight. I couldn't imagine being teetotal forever. I like to be a bit of everything. Yeah, I am drinking at the moment, but not too much."
"Me giving up drinking was like a miracle."
"We used to drink so much. I'd have a bottle of wine under the chair my amp was sat on and I'd swig my way trough that."
"Jack Daniels makes us all puke."
"I don't like drugs - never liked drugs. I'm not a very good creature for things like that, I haven't got enough confidence."
"Words I use for 'excellent' are brilliant, smart, decent, ace. And we use 'blinking' instead of a real swear word, like when you're with your grandmother."
"Of course I'm an hedonist, what else worth living for ? The rest is just killing time really.. "
"I'm attracted to trauma.I like things like that.I'm a born martyr."
"After Blur , I'll get married."
"We're very dissatisfied with anything that isn't slightly...twisted. I like people like John Lennon who are stars in a totally anti-star way."
"I hate the video for "Country House". I love the song, but the association with it has become Page Three and Benny hill instead of Blur."
"If Id done what I was supposed to do in the "Country House" video I would have had a lobotomy by now. I was supposed to do all sorts of nasty things getting bottoms in my face and chasing girls."
"Damon ?? sexy ?? He's about as sexy as a stuffed fish , pal!"
"Damon wasn't liked (at school) and I thought he was a vain wanker."
(on Damon) "I used to come around and see him and he'd play this weird stuff that was endless piano, with no singing in it at all. It was just nuts."
"Damon will always have extremes. When we were at school together, he would always be duffed up in the toilets. We used to go out on the town and he'd get beaten up by the New Model Army crew. We used to go to a pub called The Cups, and every time I went there with Damon he'd go to the bog and he'd have his beating up. And he'd go: 'Graham, Graham, I've just been beaten up.' And I'd go: 'Oh my God.' So he'd go: 'I'm going'. And I'd say: 'No, stay, have another drink.' And then he'd go, and I'd stay behind and get drunk with the people who beat him up."
"Damon is a self-centred fucker sometimes."
"If Damon goes on about football and Page Three girls, that means we all get associated with it. I hate football and I hate Page Three Girls, but people always want to hear Damon's opinion."
"It seems that Damon and I are going to be in each other's lives musically forever, in some way or other. Whether it's with Blur or without Blur or sort of like the Old Gits, probably. Which is quite an amusing thought. We just get on very well, especially musically."
"The first thing Damon ever said to me was that his shoes were more expensive than mine. Eventually, he went off to work in drama school in London."
(on "The Great Escape" period)"Damon and I were becoming like Business Associates, whenever we'd see each other we had to dress up in suits and clean our teeth."
"I hate a lot of things that Alex stands for. I don't want people to think it's what this band is about. All that Groucho Club bollocks and him going on about birds and boozing all the time, I hate that."
"It's nothing bad between me and Alex. It's just to do with sense of humour. We're very similar. If he wants to try and be in The Average White Band then I'm going to be in the Gang Of Four. I'm cutting against him all the time, because he's, like, a sexy musician and I feel... shy and clumsy. So I try and fuck up his funk. It's basically teenage party jealousy."
"Alex's idea of glamour is my idea of death, really."
"You become totally aware of your every action. It's a very weird thing not to be able to walk to the shops without thinking of yourself as the guitarist in Blur walking to the shops."
"I don't feel famous at all. I've noticed it, and I suppose it's become an effort to be unfamous. It's crude, but the idea I have of myself is of someone who's getting pints of milk on the corner in the morning."
"We're quite strict about being musically correct , using the right chords."
"We can't resist being silly."
"I've always been hideously noisy on stage, that's where I get my own back."
"On the Japanese version of the Parklife CD, the dog's eyes light and when you open it...it BARKS!"
"Japanese audiences dye their hair blond, dress in Adidas zip-ups and Fred Perry tops - and then they put on ties as well. It's very strange."
"I'm single and I'm going to ask Madonna to marry me. I really am. If she says yes, I'm going to do something that will make headlines. I'm going to buy a gun and threaten to turn her into a premature rock widow by putting it to my head ! But I probably won't go through with it."
(after a long US tour) "I'm feeling emotional, I'm homesick !"
"Most of America don't even listen to music probably. They just go raccoon hunting or something."
"I lose a lot of weight when I come off tour, cos I don't know how to look after myself anymore and I don't eat. You're just pampered and looked after, aren't you?"
"I like it when girls go "Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me."
"I only eat beef when I'm in Texas."
"Letters are good. You can say a lot without being embarrassed because you're not there when they read it."
"I suppose as we get older we find it possible to apologise. Young people find it quite difficult to apologise. I certainly did. And the not-being-able-to-apologise embarrassment got me into these strung-out moods. It's good to learn to say sorry."
"PJ harvey is nothing very complicated ! All she talks about is she wishes she was a man and she talks about her monthlies, and she talks about some dress she can't fit into and that's about it really !" (a few days later) "She's very good PJ Harvey, i don't want any of that other nonsense being put. I want that destroyed, cos i've changed my mind ! Shhuuush !"
(on Oasis) "Yeah I like the odd song. I think "Live Forever" is really nice, and I think their big anthems like "Don't Look Back In Anger" and "Wonderwall" are pretty good, and I like "Supersonic".
"Making new music with ourselves is the most rewarding thing, the most fun thing, and the most difficult."
"We made a lot of unlistanable music when we were very poor."
(on his school days, with Damon) "We used to hang around the music block, mainly because that was where the lads never went. They'd be off on the field playing football and beating people up. I suppose we were the school freaks in a way but never had long hair, nothing like that."
(on "Modern life is rubbish") "It was horrible trying to cram the tracks on....It could have been an 18-track album."
(on "The Great Escape") "It's not a concept album, but our last two albums have had common thread. All the songs have been about some condition, some society, weather it be paranoia or....anything. This one seems to be about corruption and prozac." (1995)
(on "The Great Escape") "It's quite a doom-laden album in areas. But it's like, we're serious about the humour. Serious about being funny. I don't blame them for it, but people do listen pretty straight faced to our music when they first hear it. There's a kind of sinister-ness to it, which is meant to be funny, a lot of it. " (1995)
(on "Country House") "You think it's a bit Madness and a bit Beatles ? Maybe you're right. There's certainly something in it that pulls you in. There's two things going on at the same time. It sounds really simple, but it's not the sort of thing that anyone could do. Blur songs aren't as straighfroward as everyone thinks." (1995)
(on "Blur") "It's a lot rawer, it may shock some people, but a lot of people will really love it. It's a lot to do with our 'world'."(1997)
(on "Blur")"I think people would be really stupid to call it a cop-out. I think it's the most important album we've made...I just think this album is an affirmation of how different we are"
(on "Song 2") "The American army wanted to use it as the theme music for video packages when they unveiled the brand new Stealth bomber. They were offering phenomenal amounts of cash. We couldnt agree to it, of course, but it was quite cool. So we put it on FIFA 98 which was OK cos The Guardian had said footballs OK."
(on "You're so great") "It's me filling in some time on an afternoon. I wrote this song quickly. I'd never written a song before. I suppose it's about an alcholic state of mind and a caffeine-ic state of mind. It could be dedicated to anything. A radiator or my mother"
(on "You're so great") "It's quite hopeful but sad. It's got an expression on it, like a scolded puppy."
(on "13") "We've found God with this record. This is the Higher Power album. Music is the Higher Power. Man."
(on recording his album) "I'm not the greatest drummer in the world, but I didn't want great drumming, so that was kind of lucky, really."
"Everyone, wherever in the world, knows what 'lalala'means".
"Do I scare people ? Perhaps a bit. Alex does too, although in a different way... He's just so laidback. I'm not. The other week, my current girlfriend was giving me a hard time, and I sat against the wardrobe, and I just started bashing my head against it till i started getting fuzzy vision."
"I play Gibson Les Paul guitar live because it's reliable, powerful, strong enough, and heavy enough to work really well and survive."
"Oh, the guys, they do have this one obsession. I have to draw the logo on so many boys' bums, on their jeans pockets. It's outrageous."
"I THINK CHRIS EVANS IS THE BIGGEST WANKER THAT EVER LIVED. Print that in capitals, please."
"I used to have a cat called Bastard. He ran away."
"It's embarrassing singing in front of people."
(you could learn to play an instrument only if you had the money to buy one, cos...) "If you're lucky, you could get a cheap plastic clarinet. That's another reason why I could never be a music teacher. Listening to 30 kids honking and squeaking like geese with salmonella would drive me round the bend."
"I think you learn more about the world from The Simpsons than you do from reading the news."
"We did a photo shoot one time with monkeys, and we were warned that we had to go into the cage one at a time, or else they would rip our heads off."
"What if you could go back and erase some of the things you regret, like a video, and then take the time you've erased and add it on to the end of your life? I'd be about twenty-four....Yeah, if you could put your life-player on random. Although it might be a bit of a shock waking up in the morning. You wake up and you've shat yourself and wet yourself, and you realize you're two months old."
I like Meatloaf. hahahahahahaha
What do other people think and say about
"Graham has obsessions. At the moment it's American hardcore. They last from 6 to 8 months, and it's very hard for him to see anything else."
"Graham saves us in a way because people can actually handle Graham. Graham's got that classic indie kind of quality about him. If we didn't have Graham in the band, we'd probably end up being Queen or something ridiculous like that."
"The trick with Graham, is to give him the illusion that he's making a racket."
"He's very complex, Graham. There's about five different sides to Graham and it depends on which side on that particular day is the most dominant as to whether he agrees or disagrees with something."
"I used to go to loads of parties and whenever I got there, Graham would be lying on the ground like a human doormat."
"Graham is very good at what he does, and it's very difficult to sort of hold him down and keep him."
"Graham's exactly the same now as when I first met him. He looks the same and cares about the same things."
We say "nothing" in different ways ; Graham says "nothing" in a very negative way."
"A really profoundly ugly drunk."
"I would have thought I would have shagged Graham by now, or at least got a hand job off him or something, but there always seems to be something better to do."
"Me and Graham used to get drunk together, that's all we did, take acid and go on the radio and just blow raspberries because it's funny."
"Graham thinks he can fly."
(on 'The Golden D') "Graham's record is great. The bastard's done it all himself, he's played everything on it, and he's done it really quickly. One of the songs, 'Oochy Woochy' sounds like a hit and he's touring too. It's quite heavy metal in places. Graham's record collection is the reason I got an aeroplane. No, seriously, his taste is impeccable. Admittedly, the Slint years were a little hard to bear, but I think he's over that now."
QUESTION : Do you ever suggest anything to Graham ? ANSWER : "Absolutely not. Oh dear no. He'd shoot me."
"Graham's always been the person in the band that I've felt the closest to. It's funny all the stuff in the papers about us hating each other. We certainly do, sometimes. They just start focusing on all the nasty stuff which is inevitable really."
"Damon's probably quite grown up, but Graham and I have probably got a long, long way to go before we're grown up."
"Dave's the dad, Damon's the mum. And me and Graham, we're the kids."
"I still think of Graham as probably my best mate."
"Graham lives and breathes music, really."
"If there's a technical problem with the band I usually get the first phone call. If it's about going to a party then Alex will get the first call, if it's a TV show in Milan then Damon will get the first call and... I can't really think what Graham would get the first call about. I suppose it would be, 'Will you get out of bed, you're late'. That's when Graham would get the first call."
Stephen Street - "Working with Graham Coxon it began to dawn that I had met the best guitarist I'd worked with since Johnny Marr. I rate him as the best guitarist around. He plays things Johnny wouldn't even think of."
Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead - "Anything that has more of Graham's guitar playing, I'm bound to like."
NME (1997) - "You remember Graham. The one who got wildly, ridiculously drunk in interviews and appeared to harbour barely suppressed homicidal urges towards his bandmates - and chiefly towards his foppish antithesis, Alex James. Then tried to smash the interviewer's tape recorder... The one who got sick of Britpop fastest, who spent all his time watching the most underground, anti-establishment groups, searching for the kind of passion and candour so conspicuously lacking in the glib little tales of suburbia that his band had instigated. The one who, for most of 'The Great Escape' campaign, looked like he'd rather be in any band but Blur."
Q magazine - "Graham Coxon is an astonishing musician. His restless playing style, all chord slides, rapid pull-offs, mini-arpeggios and fractured runs seems to owe more to his saxophone training than any conventional guitar tuition."
William Orbit - "This man can really cry and he's one of the most complicated people I've encountered."
rock stArs Are not cool 2000-2003 - all rights reserved