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«I have always been appalled by the idea of state-sponsored killing. It seems that a lot of politicians feel it necessary to appear very hard on crime in order to win votes. This is an issue which requires a lot of support to get the ideas through.»

There has always been a strong relationship between music and religion. It is because they both plug directly into the heart and can have real power for good or evil.

I'm an artist who works incredibly slowly.

I have always loved R.E.M.'s music and respected their commitment to social change.

When I left (Genesis) there was some angst and I think everyone thought I was destroying their careers, but as soon as I left, the band sold a whole lot more records.

Talking about why he demanded to write all the lyrics for the last album he made with Genesis: "There are very few books written by a committee, and for a very good reason".

Music is a universal language, it draws people together and proves, as well as anything, the stupidity of racism.

Just to stay in an all white, all male, all middle class preserve would be very boring for me and very boring for the people who listen to what I do.

African artists are strong, charismatic and compelling, and I think they hold people's attention.

"There is so much pressure on musicians to look youthful. I've turned my back on my wilder days. I'm much more relaxed now." (Speaking in 2005)

John Lennon was definitely one of my heroes. I think he always wrote from his heart. He was a very complicated individual, but there's an honesty about his songwriting that I think makes it very powerful. Sometimes it's very simplistic, childlike and naive; and that is what gives it some of its strength.

The industry does have some influence on who gets other awards. With the Mercury Prize, they don't. Jon comes from the business, but his heart is still very much in the music. Currently, we have about 12 major names that have said they want to be a part of MUDDA.

I think another thing is that we don't really want exclusivity. We accept that it is in the artist's interest to be on sale in every place where they sell music.

I'm a bit cynical that it ever will be addressed properly. I think it is healthy to get some sort of copyright protection. But some of it has gone on forever.

I think one of the things about writing in the studio is that the song hasn't matured, if you like, so quite often the vocals are early attempts. Whereas once you've taken it out on the road a bit, you learn more about a song.

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