Graham Coxon: 'I was a mardy brat in my 20s … I'm quite mellow now'

General Info on Blur

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Blur’s guitarist reflects on the state of pop music, swearing, and why he’s glad he doesn’t have to wear makeup any more

Graham Coxon enters the studio through a thick cloud of vapour. “Banana and yoghurt,” he announces cheerfully. I had expected Coxon to be a bit more taciturn, given his reputation as the second least chatty member of Blur. But earlier, as I waited outside, I heard him loudly, happily tootling a song to himself. As he vapes, he fizzes with enthusiasm, his body barely still for a second, even when he is trying to sit down and talk. “I can get quite stressed,” he says, shuffling in his seat, “but I’m in a good mood when I’m in the studio.”

We are in London’s Konk Studios, near where Coxon lives, to talk about The End of the F***ing World, the Channel 4/Netflix drama about two damaged teenagers falling in love, for which he wrote the gorgeous soundtrack. He abbreviates it to “The End of the World”, though, because he is around kids a lot, his own now being 18 and five. “The older one hears a few expletives every now and then, but I don’t swear that much any more. I just find it a bit grating. I’ve used every swear word under the sun but… ” He shrugs. “Who’s got the energy to be that het up that they’re going to use swear words? You need to be relaxing, not swearing. You need to be doing something else.”

Talking as a guitar player, Britpop was dull. No one was doing anything interesting with a guitar … [apart from] Jonny Greenwood

Our label thought, 'Good-looking boys, get 'em in Smash Hits.' They'd put tons of makeup on you, brush your eyebrows up so you looked mad, and put pretty T-shirts on you. I felt hideous

Graham Coxon is on tour in the US: 27 September Philadelphia Foundry; 30 September San Francisco, CA August Hall; 1 October Los Angeles, CA Lodge Room. Details here

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