"I had lots of ideas stored up on my phone and at least this gave me an opportunity to develop them."
So he started to record songs on his own, doing just vocals, piano and guitar, then sending those sound files to his core band members such as drummer Ben Gordelier, Steve Cradock on guitar and various other instruments, and bassist Andy Crofts for them to add their parts.
"It was a bit weird not being together, but at least it kept the wheels rolling. I'd have gone potty otherwise."
The resulting album, Fat Pop (Volume 1)
– Paul adding the "Volume 1" to keep options open for a second volume in the future - is a diverse selection of sounds. No one style dominates.
There's the synth-heavy, future-wave strut of Cosmic Fringes,
the stately balladeering of Still Glides The Stream
(co-written with Steve Cradock), the chunky percussive groove of Moving Canvas
(a tribute to Iggy Pop no less), and the kind of dramatic immediate pop symphonies on Failed, True
and Shades of Blue
with which Paul Weller has hooked in generation after generation of devotee.
As ever, Fat Pop, sees a number of guests contributing including Lia Metcalfe, the young Liverpudlian singer with The Mysterines who combines her tremendous vocal as well as a song writing credit to True.
Andy Fairweather Low adds his distinctive vocals to superfly strutting Testify and Paul's daughter Leah co-wrote and features on the classic three minute pop kitchen sink drama Shades Of Blue which will be the a future single from the album.
Hannah Peel is back in the fray adding her string scores to Cobweb Connections and Still Glides The Stream.
The title track, a tight, heavy blast of ultra-modern funk, is itself the conceptual key to the whole album.
"It's a celebration of music and what it's given us all. No matter what situation you are in, and we're in one now, music doesn't let you down, does it?"
Paul Weller's new album Fat Pop (Volume 1) will be released on 14th May 2021. To pre-order CLICK HERE. Weller plays The Brighton Centre on Saturday 26th June 2021. CLICK HERE for tickets.