Former The Clash star PAUL SIMONON is thankful he decided to swap music for a career as a painter, because it "kept him sane" after the break-up of the legendary band. The Rock The Casbah hitmakers disbanded in 1986 and Simonon used his art to express his feelings about the split, eventually turning to painting as a full-time profession. And the bassist, who recently reemerged in The Good, The Bad + The Queen, insists he has no regrets about abandoning his music career, because he needed a break from the public hysteria he experienced during the band's heyday. Simonon says, "I can dip in and out of music when I feel like it, but it's not my life any more. There was a point just after the intensity of The Clash finally subsided when I just found that painting grounded me in a way that music never did. "That's what pulled me though the so-called wilderness years. I never wanted to go back and relive the glory days. It was tough after all those years of the constant Clash agenda. That's what really sent me back to painting. It was the only thing that kept me sane."