KROQ interview (part 2/4)
air date: July 6, 1997
Interview by Richard Blade
for KROQ 106.7, Los Angeles, CA
Text transcribed by Melinda Hsu
Audio digitized by David Tseng
|BLADE: But youre at a
position in your life where youre I mean
financially comfortable (M: Yes), and
you dont really have to work again.
MORRISSEY: No, thats true.
B: But you want to, right? You like the music.
M: Yes, I do. I want to keep singing and making records. And I like to play as well. I like to play live. That hasnt waned for me at all. And Im touring from September the 12th onwards. Im really looking forward to it. So yes, certain aspects I really do like. There are certain aspects which are real chores. Im not terribly interested in publicity, and Im not interested in being more famous than Ive ever been. But I really do like to sing.
B: Now when you tour this time, a lot of people are going to be worried that there might be a cancellation. Is uh
M: There shouldnt unless I die there wont be a cancellation. There really wont. The last time was such a mess when when uh... the Olympic...(B: Auditorium) Auditorium. And there was also two dates at Carnegie Hall in New York. And they were just a complete mess. They were booked and announced without me knowing, and the tickets were on sale without me knowing. And yes, they sold very, very well. But I couldnt really uh, I cant live that way. The person who was managing me at the time slightly ran away with the situation, and it was wrong. And I must be honest: I had lots of letters from people here, once the cancellations were announced, saying they were pleased not to have to go to that venue, because they said it was a particularly rough place and dangerous part of town and so forth. So, its not really all bad.
B: Well, I must say Im really looking forward to seeing you because Ive always enjoyed the shows youve put on.
M: Thank you.
B: Do you miss the performing?
M: I do, yes, but all the better because you know I think its going to be better this time around. I think its good to have lulls, and its good to uh yearn again. Because if you do it constantly its bound to become monotonous. But I think theres enough space in between the things I do to make it still interesting.
"U2, Oasis" /
|B: A couple of weeks ago I was
thinking about you (M: <slight guffaw>)
because I went the U2 show, (M: Oh, yes)
and only one person jumped onstage for U2 (M:
Oh, yes) as opposed to one every minute during a
Morrissey show (M: <laughs> yes, yes).
Bono turned to the bouncers and said in the sound system,
"Be gentle" (M: <gasp> Ohhh).
And struck me as something youve always tried to
M: Yeah, I think its something Ive always said. But uh yeah, its great. It really is great when that happens. And I see so many groups, and so many groups who are supposedly enormous. And nobody goes near the stage or gets onto the stage. I saw a film recently of Oasis playing, and the audience were miles away no intention of touching them or reaching, or being a part of it. And I thought that was extraordinary.
B: Its funny you should mention that because I saw Oasis at tbe Weenie Roast (M: Mmmm), and I noticed that we had uh, like a phalanx of security (M: Mmmm). But no one tried to rush the stage (M: No). And again I was thinking (M: Mmm). If that was Morrissey up there (M: Yes) or maybe Depeche, but particularly Morrissey (M: Mmm), it would be people just climbing over! It would be like the Battle of the Alamo.
M: Yes, yes, yes... Its fascinating to me, fascinating.
B: Now theres been a lot of interim things going on here in town because of the shortage of the real-life Morrissey (M: Mmm). Theres been things like a Smiths convention (M: Mmm). Theres been a Morrissey-fest (M: Yes). Theres a band that plays Smiths and Morrissey covers called Sweet and Tender Hooligans (M: Oh, yes). And people just flock to these things (M: Yes) in your absence. How do you feel about this?
M: Ehm, well Ive never personally been involved in the conventions, and I dont really know that much about them. But reports do seep through. And Im not really sure whether I always approve, to be honest. But I think that if people get together and listen to the music, its great, especially because the Smiths have been broken up for ten years. So, its extraordinary that people are interested and bother can be bothered to do that kind of thing. But the ethics Im not really always sure about.
B: Yeah, they had like a three hour wait for the Smiths viewing room where they had a giant screen, a ten foot screen put in to show old Smiths videos and clips etc. People were just crazy just for anything they hadnt seen or been able to touch before that had your picture on it or words from you.
M: Its extraordinary. It really is. It really is.
B: When you were starting out did you think it could ever continue like this in the way its become?
M: Mmm, not really. I think if the Smiths had stayed together they would have eventually became enormous. I think they wouldve become as big as almost as U2, perhaps, or REM. But Im just very surprised now that so much time has elapsed, and so many younger groups seem to have been influenced by the Smiths. And people are still very interested, and people still always ask me about reunions. And its extraordinary to me because the Smiths existed for five years, and Ive been solo for ten years. So, its fascinating. It really is, especially that when I consider during the Smiths lifetime in England nobody would play them or nobody would show the Smiths on the television and so forth. So, its very pleasing.
B: So, a Smiths reunion is probably now out of the question, right?
M: Well, it just doesnt really seem to make sense, I dont think. It doesnt make sense.
B: Because here, a Smiths convention would sell out the Rose uh Smiths reunion (M: <slight gasp of laughter>) would sell out the Rose Bowl.
M: But in any event, you know, theres nobody intelligent enough within the music industry to even try to get the Smiths back together. Because nobody ever did try, and theres always been temporary managers and people as acting managers for all of the Smiths. And theyve never tried to get the individuals back. Theyve always just tried to keep everybody apart, which mystified me. I always thought that one day there would be some intelligent person who would say, This is ridiculous! You all like each other. You all want to play music. You all want to be together. Lets GET you together, and lets sort everything out. But there never has. People who represent all the individuals have always been quite spiteful, and thats just so disruptive.
B: I sense the same sadness in you as I hear from a lot of fans a missed opportunity almost.
M: I think the music is great, and it still is great. And so many groups now who are absolutely enormous, their music is nothing. And they dont reach the audience, and so it is sad...
[How Soon Is Now]
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