Singer-songwriter Graham Coxon is poised to release his sixth solo album, Love Travels At Illegal Speeds.
The 36-year-old, who parted company with Britpop band Blur in 2002, says his collection of songs about love finds him at his happiest as a musician, working alone.
"Songwriting is part of being alive. You feel there's a lack of something in your life unless you distil feeling into some music and lyrics.
"At this point in my life I'm happy being my own boss, writing at home and only leaving the house when I want to," says the former Blur guitarist.
Coxon adds that his self-determining solo career allows him to concentrate on the relationship with his five-year-old daughter Pepper, which has fed into his latest offering.
"It's quite easy to write songs which may be interpreted by people listening as romantic love, but spring from conversations about her and are etched into something about sentimental love," he says.
Another major life change which has had an effect on Coxon's work is managing to overcome an addiction to alcohol.
"It gives me more time to devote to music. I can sit and work on things without wanting to go out to the pub.
"My mind is clearer and I'm healthier. There is a promise that if you beat an addiction small miracles happen - and they do," he says.
Coxon admits that he is "delighted" when one of his songs scores chart success, but "doesn't care" for musical plaudits on the scale enjoyed by James Blunt.
"Blunty? There's no humour in his music and doesn't seem to be much depth. It's the sort of thing you'd write on a card if you were sending flowers. He's not very angry and perhaps too together.
"That's what a lot of people require for a quick lift. My record is about the ugly drives of human beings, particularly men.
"There are situations on the album that are so pathetic that they have to rely on humour," adds Coxon.
"Perhaps Blunty is healthier than me. I find that straight, sincere talk embarrassing. He might be great chatting up a girl. I'm not. There's a loser element to what I write about.
"I'd love to get married and live in a cottage, but there has to be a bit more to it than that, doesn't there?"
Love Travels At Illegal Speeds in released in the UK on 13 March.
Striker Rooney nets £5m book deal
Footballer Wayne Rooney has signed one of the biggest sports book deals in publishing history.
The England and Manchester United striker, 20, has signed a £5m five-book deal with publisher HarperCollins.
The first volume of Rooney's autobiography - up to and including this year's World Cup - is due to hit bookshelves in July.
The follow-up books - over the next 12 years - will cover the rest of Rooney's playing career.
Rooney said the books will contain some "surprises".
"I'm excited about this deal, it's a big thing for me. Hopefully, there will be lots of things to read about," he said.
"I'll be talking about my life in football and other things as well. There will be a few surprises in there.
"It's something I wanted to do. I've been playing football now for just under four years and I think it will be good for people to see the other side of me and hear things from me for once.
"When they talk to me, people say, 'I didn't expect you to be how you are.'
"Hopefully I can put that across to people. They think I'm a different person to what I am. I'm just a normal young lad who plays football."
David Beckham currently holds the record for the UK's best-selling sporting autobiography.
His life story, My Side, has sold more than 500,000 copies, but Rooney admitted he had not read it.
HarperCollins chief executive Victoria Barnsley said: "As a footballer, Wayne Rooney has broken records.
"I think this book deal probably breaks another. I can't think of any book deal like it."
i didn't think the scrawny twat could even read, let alone write