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In that sense, I became politicized because the people in the coal mining villages who were involved in the struggle knew why they were there. But they couldn't understand why some pop star from London would want to be there.
I've had songs written during the Falklands war, and during the first Gulf war I got letters from soldiers saying they were listening to these songs, like Island of no return.
I'm trying to make a case for those people who don't have a sense of belonging that they should have, that there is something really worthwhile in having a sense of belonging, and recasting and looking at our modern history.
I'm still batting away on my politics for the Labour Party. I'm much further to the left of them than I used to be, but that's because they've moved, not me.
I was in a little punk band and we put out a few punk records that weren't very political, at all.
I try and write honestly about what I see around me now.
I enjoyed so much working with the guys from Wilco, and riffing off of them, and having someone come up to me with ideas, because normally in the studio it's me who has to come up with all the ideas.
I came into this whole business by going to see Rock Against Racism gigs with the Clash.
Even with politics, stuff comes around again. Woody Guthrie would recognize America today.
By the time I was 19, punk had occurred. It had a completely different cultural dynamic to it which rejected everything and started again from the year zero.
But, in the end, even a song that's as politically bland as Blowin in the Wind, you probably wouldn't get up and sing that now, whereas some of Bob Dylan's love songs that were contemporary with that, like say Girl from the North Country, you can still get up an play now.
An isolationist America is no bloody use to anyone.
All the great political music was made at the height of political confrontations.
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