Alex James gets more of a buzz creating new recipes on his Cotswolds farm to touring with Blur these days.

The Britpop group's 49-year-old bassist - who is also an award-winning cheesemaker - admits that being in an indie band doesn't tickle his taste buds as much as inventing unique nibbles at his Oxfordshire home, as the ''romantic'' idea of being in a rock group no longer carries the same ''spirit of independence'' that it used to in the Britpop era in the 90s.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph newspaper, the 'Song 2' hitmaker - who combines his passion for food and music by hosting The Big Feastival each summer - confessed: ''I don't think you can really be in an indie band any more.

''That lovely romantic ideal of living in a transit van and playing in pubs around the country has gone.

''But, if you've got an interesting recipe for pickled onions or chutney ... that spirit of independence and fun absolutely lives on in food production.''

Unknowingly, Alex says that he was researching his favourite foods by splashing the cash on posh meals back in the band's heyday.

He said: ''In the 1990s, I was spending loads of money in fancy

restaurants thinking I was wasting it. Actually, it turns out I was doing research.''

Alex - who has son Geronimo, twins Artemis and Galileo, and two daughters, Sable and Beatrix, with his wife Claire - says musicians are no longer able to have ''fun'' because social media means everyone is watching their every move.

Speaking about pop star Ed Sheeran, he added: ''But being in a band now is like being in the royal family. You park badly, somebody tweets it, everybody hates you and that's the end of your career. Doesn't Ed Sheeran just want to get naked and be an idiot?''

Alex - who is joined by Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon and Dave Rowntree in Blur - says he's done with Britpop as he feels it was just Blur and Oasis' time with every other band that followed ''copying'' their style, and his ambition now lies in creating his own range of sparkling wine.

He said: ''My heart sinks every time I hear the word Britpop. It wasn't really a movement, was it? It was two great bands and everybody else copying them.''

''So, I've decided to turn it into a marketing opportunity. I've trademarked the name Britpop and really want to make a British sparkling wine.''