Thanks to Bournemoz for the "heads-up" on this one.
Article by Ian Harrison in the new (February?!) edition of Mojo; picture is of Moz at the desk, Boz by his side taking notes, Gary and Jed lurking at the back (no scan – sorry).
2006 - BIG GUNS FIRE BACK – MORRISSEY
Chart-denters of the world unite! Mozalini leads the march of some of the world’s biggest bands.
“Ringleader Of The Tormentors sounds nothing like any previous album,” confides Morrissey from his new base in Rome, “which is obviously great news for the world of music.”
Scorning the kind of lengthy gap that predated May 2004’s comeback You Are The Quarry, Morrissey relocated to Rome in spring 2005 to write the follow-up. Accompanied by long-serving collaborators Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte (guitars), Morrissey and band commenced recording at the famous cinema music complex, the Forum Music Village, at the beginning of September. Problems arose due to the studio having to be converted for use by a rock band – in the first two weeks of recording, the band had to work around carpenters and electricians, and The Killers’ producer Jeff Saltzman being unable to “undertake the project”. Instead, Tony Visconti, renowned for his work with David Bowie and T Rex, stepped in at the beginning of October with a mere three day’s notice.
“I’ve never heard such great songs from him,” says Visconti, who adds that he has captured more of a “band sound” than previous Morrissey albums and that all the songs have “in-your-face hooks”. “He’s using higher, more emotive part of his voice that he doesn’t use much. The melodies are different as well – Life IS A Pigsty is like three songs in one, it’s quite amazing.”
A children’s choir appears in “very dark” contexts on two tracks, and legendary soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone contributes a string arrangement to Dear God Please Help Me, though some ProTooling was necessary. “He did a lovely arrangement,” says Visconti, “but it was a little baroque and flowery, and we had to take the saddest, most beautiful part and make it more elegiac. The song’s part a prayer, but it has this dark, sexual nature. Ennio doesn’t speak English, and he made it more of a prayer! He didn’t, ah, understand the naughty bits!”
The contribution of Il Maestro Morricone was a happy accident, as he was recording at the Forum Music Village at the same time. “Part of the choice in recording in Italy was to stay away from England,” adds Mozzer, who releases his eighth sol album in March., “insofar as I’m noticed at all in England, it’s generally understood that I don’t have the same interests as other songwriters. Which, thank God, remains true.”