I'm sure there's a subconscious 'go for it' thing with turning 50. You want to do as much as possible and there are thoughts of how little time we have on the planet. For a lot of musicians in their 50s, the best days are behind them. I'd like to try and show that there is a future.

I've bought clothes based on record covers. Particularly from the formative music that turned me onto it in the first place when I was a kid, with the Beatles and the Small Faces. A lot of those Sixties soul artists were in really sharp sharkskin or mohair suits, and Motown artists looked amazing.

Getting to No. 1 makes everyone feel better; of course it does. But it's swings and roundabouts with these things. Sometimes you make a great record, and it clicks with people. And other times it passes them by; there's nothing you can do. It's still the same record.

It is nice to make a record and people like it, and it's encouraging.

Coming from a little suburban town, I wasn't a hip city kid. I was quite the opposite, really. Songs like 'Saturday's Kids' rang a bell for kids all over the country. That song was about the kids I grew up with.

I hear an album so many times during the course of making it that when I've just finished it, I don't want to hear it again. After you've taken a little bit of time away from it, you can come back to it, which can be scary. I'm happy with 'Sonik Kicks,' man.

Of course I'm proud of what I've done, but I'm interested in what's next. I want to be relevant now, in 2012. I've done my bit for the past. I've only ever been about what's next, really, and I'll be that way until I keel over.

I've always liked my clothes, even before I could properly afford them. Clothes for me were never a cloak, a cover. They were how I chose to express myself.

Playing music is a lifetime's work. And if you want to carry on with it, you have to try to better yourself. You have to see where the music can take you.

All my children inspire me in life, and that always comes out in the writing.

I'm fine with being thought of as a guitar player, and if I can get any recognition or respect for doing that, that's a pretty good thing for me.

I don't think about what I can't do or what I shouldn't be doing. I just think there are endless possibilities musically, really.

I still love playing music. It was all I ever wanted to do, and I got the chance to do it.

You can't live a lie. You have to follow your heart.

I never, ever wanted to be the Rolling Stones. Bless their hearts, but I don't necessarily want to go on doing the same old thing for the next 10, 20 years... I could see how easy it is to get into that rut, the whole touring mindset.

I think I come from a time when all the artists I grew up with and I loved always used to try and push the boundaries, and there doesn't seem so much of that, really.

I come from a time when every kid dressed up. Everybody. If you didn't, you wouldn't be able to hang out. It was very tribal. There's nice things in that. It's culture; it's roots for me.

The only time I ever really got into rap was back in the early '90s, and bands like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Gang Starr. Musically, they were really interesting. But when hip-hop acts start sampling Sting or Phil Collins, then I just don't get it at all.

There were aspects of stardom I didn't like, which were of no consequence, really, but the positive things far outweighed the negative. By the time I came to write 'Setting Sons,' I felt my writing was more like prose, set to music.

I'm very, very open to experimenting with different people and trying to find different methods of writing and making music.

There have been records I've been really, really pleased with that haven't connected with people. But I felt good about them.

I think politicians are so far out of step with what people really want.

For me, the best thing I can do is play live. The best way for me to put over what I'm trying to do is to play live. Whether it's an acoustic show, electric or whatever... if I shine at all, that's where it all really happens - it just took me a while to rediscover that.

I had a total belief in The Style Council. I meant every word and felt every action.

I'm not big on rap, to be honest. I just don't get it. It's angry people shouting. I like a song, melodies, people singing.

When I lived in a little flat in Pimlico in 1981, I'd write in the hallway. As you walked in, there was a tiny little recess type thing, hardly a hallway, really, and I'd sit there writing songs with my guitar.

When I'm dead, I wanna leave a body of work, like authors or great painters do.

Playing live is what it's all about for me. It's cathartic, it's emotional, it's about communing with people. The way you feel after a gig is a such a powerful thing.

There was a time in my 40s where I thought, oh, it's all over - not just work, but I'm never going to feel young again, I'm always going to feel like I know what's going to happen, I'll know what to expect. Looking back I don't know if that was a midlife crisis, I don't know - but I don't feel that now. There's possibilities. It gets better.

In all honesty, I don't know what one song can change.

I get labelled as just being about one thing, but there's lots of layers to what I do.

If you're making music, you must want to turn other people on to it, whether you're number one in the charts or number 60. I don't know, that's a commercial thing, but just the fact that other people like you... there's no point in making music, otherwise. Otherwise, you might as well make it in your bedroom and leave it there.

I am aware of the words 'national treasure' being attached to me occasionally. It just makes me feel old.

Being a musician is a noble profession.

We can't stop a baby in Africa from starving to death... but we can afford enough technology and weaponry to blow the world up a million times over.

'Ageism,' or whatever you want to call it, is a very English phenomenon. You don't get it too much in many other cultures. And no one says it about authors or poets or filmmakers. 'Oh, they're too old to make films or write books.'

I don't really wanna talk about politics, I'm not clever enough.

When I'm dead, I wanna leave a body of work, like authors or great painters do. I don't wanna get ideas above my station, but why shouldn't this be comparable? Pop music was supposed to be a flash in the pan, but here we are 50 years later, and it means something to us, and it always will do. It's incredibly important.

The Jam were a good band, however I feel that the Style Council were better. A lot of people I know will disagree with me. Some things we did with The Style Council were misinterpreted or over their heads.

Everyone gets frustrated and aggressive, and I'd sooner take my aggression out on a guitar than on a person.

There is a shy side to me that evaporates when I play on stage, and I like that. I think it's another facet of my character, and I need to do that.

I'm always looking for something. Not in an unhappy way. I just like to try different things. I don't want to be morbid, but I'm not getting any younger.

I want to see where and how far I can go as an artist. I look back and see what I've done, and I want to do as much as I can in my lifetime. I love doing it. If I didn't have that passion or love for it, I wouldn't do it.

I never saw myself as a spokesman for a generation. It was all a bit heavy for me. I saw myself as a songwriter and wrote for myself, which I still do, and I also wanted to communicate with my audience.

I get labelled as just being about one thing, but there's lots of layers to what I do. It's just lazy journalism, but people start to accept it. If people spent an hour in my car driving around London and listening to the stuff I listen to, they'd hear some interesting stuff.

I'm so lucky, I'm just really grateful for what I've got around me - children and my wife and everything else.

There are so many artists who get to my age that get comfortable and just stick in a groove, and I really don't want to do that.

If you're into a certain band, you're into the way they dress.

I want to hear as much music as I possibly can before I leave this mortal coil but it's impossible to hear it all because there's so much of it.