Aidin Vaziri | Paul Weller — the driving force behind great British pop acts the Jam, the Style Council and, er, Paul Weller — returns to America in support of his 12th studio album, “Saturns Pattern.” The follow-up to “Sonik Kicks,” which came out in 2012, once again finds the spelling-challenged Weller in an experimental mood, as he veers into psychedelic territory on songs like “Phoenix” and “White Sky.” Weller, 57, spoke to us ahead of his performances at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and the Fillmore.
Q: When did you realize you could let go of the idea of being who Paul Weller is supposed to be?
A: Well, I suppose the turning point was around “22 Dreams” (in 2008). I would just go in and do the vocal, the first thing that came off the top of my head. It’s scary to hear the backing track and see what happens. I never had the confidence to do that. But it was quite successful in England, even though it was a double album and made up of a lot of different styles. It was such fun to make — after many, many years of trying to find other ways of doing it.
Q: Your career has taken many stylistic turns. Do you set creative goals for yourself?
A: No, you follow where the music leads. It’s a blank canvas. As long as there’s a good song there — a good melody — then what happens around that melody could be anything.