Graham Coxon: ‘I’m better than Blur’

The guitarist isn't going back any time soon

Graham Coxon has declared his solo material to be “better than Blur“.

The singer-guitarist – who quit the band in 2002 – could well refuel the rows which were commonplace around his departure by claiming his own work is superior than that of his former band.

Describing the pressures of becoming a full-time solo artist, Coxon said: “I’d been in a group with Damon Albarn for a long time and that was a lot to live up to. We worked so hectically in Blur on structure and the overall sound. So when I was writing I would ask myself, ‘Is this as catchy as a Blur song?’ Or ‘Does it sound too much like a Blur song?’

“I mean, ‘Coffee and TV’ (1999 Blur single) and ‘Bittersweet Bundle Of Misery’ (2004 solo single) have very similar rhythm and structure but it’s ones that have been used many times before from Simon and Garfunkel to Sonic Youth so I didn’t worry about that too much. So yes, I do compare and I think a lot of my songs are better than Blur.”

But he added that the desire to write solo pop songs only came when he overcame his alcohol problem, he told the South Wales Echo.

Talking about lo-fi 2000 collection ‘The Golden D’, Coxon admitted: “I was still very much in the grip of booze addiction then. It’s a fairly angry lashing out sort of a record. I didn’t know if I was capable of writing proper songs when I left Blur and it was only through practise that I have been able to write something like ‘Bittersweet Bundle Of Misery’, which shocked me when I wrote it because it was such a good standalone pop song.”

Meanwhile, Coxon still believes that his old mate Albarn still has the edge over him in other ways: “I’m not a great frontman,” he said, “and when I see proper frontmen I realise how crap I am at it. My show depends on the audience and I like it when someone shouts something a bit cheeky. If the audience are quiet I don’t really know what to say to them.”

Coxon releases a new single, ‘Bloody Annoying’/‘What Ya Gonna Do Now?’ today (October 23).

Meanwhile Albarn launched his new project The Good, The Bad And The Queen with a low-key pub gig at the weekend (October 20). For an exclusive full report go to NME.COM/news now.