Video: Paul McCartney and Youth Talk ‘The Fireman’

Paul’s PR machine is whirling ahead with the release of his new album.  It is not a proper McCartney album, and instead under the Fireman moniker.  This is Paul’s most pop friendly Fireman album, and the most accessible at points, but in many ways it’s also the most ambitious and experimental of all of Paul’s side-projects.  So far it’s by far the most interesting and inventive piece of work that Paul has done in years.

It’s part heavy White album, meets Enya, meets ambient house music, meets Paul McCartney and all of his pop sensibilities.  Pour all of those descriptions in a blender and mix it into a layer cake and you get Electric Arguments.  Too many stunning moments to list on the album.  A full review is forthcoming once I get a chance to sit with the album for a day or two.  With each listen, though, it keeps getting better and better, and I find myself noticing bits that I didn’t before.  Not that this album is a slow grower by any means, it hits you upon first listen, but there are little things that jump out with each listen.

Here’s what we’ve read.

The Fireman — a two-man recording project consisting of Paul McCartney (the Beatles, Wings) and Youth (Killing Joke, Orb) — dishes on its upcoming third album, Electric Arguments in the below video interview with


  • Their music creation technique is collaborative. Youth might make a suggestion about a groove, then they talk back and forth,Paul runs in and out control room and studio, as Youth suggests stuff and they record ideas. Youth arranges them into a form, then they go back to work improvising over that. They also used the beat poet style cut-and-paste technique.
  • For the song “Nothing Too Much Just Out of Sight” – they came up with the song’s “heavy, dirty groove” first, so any anger is apparently coming from there (some have speculated that it’s a song about his ex-wife Heather Mills). The title of the song comes from McCartney’s ’60s friend Jimmy Scott, the same guy who came up with “Obladi, oblada, life goes on, brah.” When someone would say “too much” he’d say “nothing too much, just out of sight.”

Checkout more details below, and see a VIDEO for “Sing the Changes”
More highlights:

  • The title of the album, Electric Arguments, comes from an Allen Ginsberg poem Paul had read recently. He’s been looking at the beauty of certain word combinations rather than their meaning.  Some of the song titles on the album have similar origins.
  • Youth says that Paul loses himself in the performance, outside of the realm of thought and performance.  McCartney says he managed the voice in that song by following advice John Lennon gave him while recording the vocal for the Beatles’ version of “Kansas City”: to sing out of the top of his head.
  • McCartney likes working with an indie label (ATO Records/Red Music). He says the major labels lost direction and became “too elephantine and corporate.” He says indie labels are more fun to work with because they’re passionate about what they’re doing instead of paranoid about losing their jobs. However, both men say there are decent people at both kinds of labels, and that the majors will eventually get their groove back, become less corporate and “return to their roots.”

We previewed the first track from the album last month; here’s the third song, “Sing the Changes”:

Source: Wired blog


4 Responses

  1. You lucky guy. In my country the record is released November 25. So I just have to wait …

  2. Yep…I have to wait too 😦

  3. Hi
    Many years ago my late husband Jimmy Scott and I had many happy times with Paul Mccartney and I remember when Jimmy offered the title and phrase to Georgy Fame; but without Jimmy knowing it Paul used it instead – and the rest is history. Unlike Paul, I know the meaning of Jimmys words and they may suprise some. Many musicians have summised but had no way of knowing.

    Happy times


  4. previous comment regarding Ob-la-di Ob-la-da

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