"Do you look back and think, well, if I'd done things a little bit differently, perhaps more people would have listened to it, because it would have been judged on the music, rather than - I think unfairly - a lot of people dismissed it before they'd even heard it?"
"Are you saying to me, did I deliberately make choices to ensure that people would relate to the record not for the music, but would have their noses put out?"
"Do you regret that that is possibly what happened?"
"If you're asking me that should I have recognised that actually that song title [Pan-European Supermodel Song (Oh! Gina)], because it's not a normal song title - and that's your observation - could give people ammunition to shoot me down and had I recognised that, would I then have changed the song title to give people a better chance of hearing the music? [Sings] 'This is the Pan European Supermodel song'. That is the correct title for the song. Are you asking me that on the grounds of worrying that it would offend people, or give them ammunition, that I should then change the correct title of the song for fear of doing something that's 'not normal'? If you ever speak to any musician who would answer in the affirmative to that and say, 'd'you know what, I changed my message because I was scared of being 'not normal' because I was scared that if I was not normal it was going to give people ammunition to attack me', I don't think they have a right to release records.
"Calling the album Borrell 1 is about the least pretentious thing you can ever do in your life. To me that was the most self-effacing title it could be. I was like "I don't even want Johnny Borrell written on the front of it" I just want, there you go: Borrell 1, this is this collection of songs.
"The album to me was a great success in what it was supposed to be. It's an absolutely perfect Parisian album, it has a great deal of knowing, it's an album about people's personas and what they project and their outside image. It's an image album. And it is, artistically, precisely what it was supposed to be. I felt really pleased about the writing, I felt that I hadn't written anything for a while; I was very, very pleased that the music came back and gave me what I felt were some really songs.
"What can I say? It's not for everyone, and I'm absolutely fine with that. There was absolutely no thought from my side that this was going to be a commercial thing. If I wanted to make a commercial record do you think I would go to a house in the South of France, run a tape recorder, get rid of the bass guitar, get rid of the guitar, get rid of the drums, all the trademarks of the sound that I built up that, frankly, I had the last five years having people telling me, 'just make any record with Razorlight, you can put out anything, it can be absolutely anything, but it's gonna make you money, it's gonna be good for your career, do that'. Frankly if I'd been looking for any kind of commercial advantage in my life at that point, do you honestly think I would have gone and made a strange - but charming in its own way, and I think quietly persuasive record - with a bunch of unknown musicians, on a cassette... d'you think I'd have done that? Don't you think I'd have like got Razorlight together and put out a bit of indie rock and gone round and done all the radio shows, all the TV show and everything like that?
"I mean really?.. What did it sell, a thousand records? I tell you what, that's not bad in this day and age! Because we are in the least amenable environment for actual live music - that is recorded - than there has been since the birth of the phonograph. That's really not too bad going. This obsession that the press seem to have with the commerciality, or the lack of, is just baffling to me. Absolutely baffling."