One Minute With: Paul Smith, Maximo Park

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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?
I'm in my house in Newcastle, looking at the tree in my front garden and ignoring all the other things that I'm supposed to be doing right now.

What are you currently listening to?
A new Ragga Twins compilation, Ragga Twins Step Out!, and a retrospective of a New Zealand group, The Clean, called Mashed. They're both cleansing my musical palate.

Who is your favourite band of all time?
I love the Glasgow post-punk band, Life Without Buildings. It's mainly because they fitted a lifetime's worth of joy and energy into one album, Any Other City, and then they gave up, leaving us with enigmatic pop perfection.

If you could have written one song what would it be?
"A Little Lost" by Arthur Russell, because it has an effortless melody and it cuts through to what really matters.

What distracts you from work?
Listening to other people's music...and Sky Sports News.

Who is your greatest inspiration?
She knows who she is.

What did you want to be as a child?
I wanted to draw people. Or work in a library.

The song that changed my life is...?
Songs change my life every day. I remember that "How Soon Is Now" by The Smiths felt deadly accurate back then, but I guess I heard "Northern Sky" by Nick Drake around the same time and it made me appreciate life a lot more.

Who is your hero?
I admire lots of people but in general I don't think it's wise to have heroes.

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