We moved to New York when I was eight and there, if you didn't wear the cool sneakers, you'd get teased by the other kids. My mum would inevitably chose the cheapo brand, and we'd be ridiculed at school. I think she never wanted us to be conformist. I had a bleach-blond streak in my hair from the age of 11 to 13, and it had grown out by the time I was preparing for my bar mitzvah. My mum insisted I get the streak put back. She said: "You don't want to look boring, like everyone else."
As a kid, I went to a preppy-ish school where you had to wear a suit and a tie, so I thought it was strange when I'd go to England and see kids wearing Doc Martens. That was the best part about going between England and New York as a child, picking up little bits of fashion from both places. I remember returning to the States and being ridiculed by all the kids in my year for wearing steel-tipped boots, but all the older kids would give me the nod of approval in the hallway.
I got really into the rave scene in the early Nineties and wore those ridiculous giant pants that looked like something used to protect a tree trunk. I wore platform sneakers and a Bert and Ernie necklace. And ski goggles too ... Quite honestly, I don't understand any of it now.
In the past six or seven years I've decided that men look better in clothes that fit. Now my favourite fashions are those from more than 30 years ago. And I know it's been done to death, but I like that classic Quadrophenia look. Simple and sleek is what I do now.
I was always the man behind the music, rather than the face of it, and it's still like that. All this paparazzi attention I'm getting right now is a new thing. If I wasn't hanging out with Amy [Winehouse] nobody would care. It's being made out something's going on. She's a good friend and I'm not going to stop hanging out with her because the papers print made-up stories. It kind of sucks at the same time – I have to ring my girlfriend and do damage-control – but I've learnt not to Google myself after a night getting drunk.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies