posted by davidt on Saturday May 15 2004, @03:00PM
Scans (5 pages) posted on the general board by Bigmouth Struck

half-a-person writes:

Just got my May 21, 2004, issue of Entertainment Weekly and noticed that there's a 4-page interview with Morrissey.

Flipping through the magazine, I first noticed his picture on page 5 with the caption:

"The dark lyrics, the sunny melodies, the sharp opinions: Original mope rocker Morrissey is back (page 34)"

Since my scanner went to hell, here's a transcript of the interview/article entitled "Happiness Is a Sad Song."


Morrissey is resigned to being a solitary man. But what really breaks his heart are Britney, Mick Jagger, and 'American Idol.' -- By Michael Kochman

Morrissey does not appear to be armed with a Walther PPk, and he's not savoring a martini, shaken or otherwise. But if they're looking to cast a new James Bond, it would be hard to find a better fit than the 44-year-old former Smiths singer. Sitting in a bungalow in the exclusive Beverly Hills Hotel, he's giving off a distinct secret-agent-on-vacation vibe. An immaculate Gucci blazer and pink dress shirt. A carefully pomaded swoop of hair. A gentlemanly British manner and quickness with an arched-eyebrow quip. A certain familiarity with humanity's darker side. Really, he couldn't be more perfect. So would he be willing to take on the role?

"Absolutely," he says. "They need look no further. I've even got the dickie bow. And God knows I'd be very cheap." Of course, these days he might not be able to squeeze it into his schedule.

Fresh off five sold-out concerts in Los Angeles (where he now lives) and two days before flying to New York for another five-concert run at the Apollo Theater, Morrissey is suddenly back in a big way. He's headlining this summer's Lollapalooza tour, and his first new album in seven years, You are the Quarry (out May 18), is already getting more attention than anything he's released in recent memory.

Deservedly so: Quarry proves that Morrissey's time in the sunshine has not blunted his sharp tongue, quenched his longing, or wilted his famous quiff. Sipping a cup of fine British tea (he's suffering from a bit of a cold) that is constantly refilled by his lovely entourage of one, L.A.'s most unlikely resident settles down to chat about his unexpected resurgence.

EW: You're everywhere these days....

Morrissey: As I should be! [Laughs]

EW: Are you surprised that everyone seems interested in you again?

M: Yes. But then I've really never had a record company fighting for me [like Sanctuary]. With Reprise in America and EMI in England, I was inherited from a previous situation with the Smiths, and the people who had signed us were no longer there. Also, I like to think that people in recent years have become disillusioned with the direction pop music has fallen into. Music lovers are absolutely sick to death of the way it's manipulated and the way people who have nothing to offer are pushed forward.

EW: Like who? Are you thinking of stuff like American Idol?

M: Idol is an easy target as [the contestants] are really just very simple children who are manipulated by truly awful grown-up people. But I certainly think B. Spears is... the devil. The way she projects herself and the fact that she is so obviously vacuous. I think it's such a shame that she became so influential to very small children. Most of the faces I see on the covers of American music magazines are just dreadful -- people with nothing to offer the world at all.

EW: It must be satisfying that so much of your fan base is still young.

M: It's quite confusing because it seems as if [my fans] have always remained the same age, and I'm the only person on the planet who is actuallyaging. So it's vexing, but also fascinating. People will offer the theory that the songs are full of so-called adolescent yearning. And I fail to see how, since I am not adolescent. But that's how people explain it. There are a lot of young people who want somebody who has that vague flash of uniqueness, who seems like a human person, and mysteriously I seem to have fit the bill. [Laughs]

EW: So how do the songs on your new CD reflect your life now?

M: When I was quite young I wanted to be a reporter and I couldn't quite manage to break into that, but I still have strands of that. I have to report life as I see it. I am a witness. [This CD] really, really is my life. You may giggle, but I consider myself to be a serious pop artist, so it means the world to me.

EW: A song on the new CD, "The First of the Gang to Die," notes your huge Latino fan base. How do you explain that phenomenon?

M: I really don't know. When it began almost 15 years ago I was absolutely amazed, and it contines. Exactly why I can't fathom.

EW: You've lived in L.A. for eight years. Most people would consider a sunny, upbeat place an odd choice for the man who wrote "Cemetry Gates."

M: Well, it was never part of the general life plan. I just found myself staying. I had thought of Paris and even Florence, but I had never really thought of L.A. So it's very, very peculiar for me to still be here. The instinct is always to moan and complain and poke fun [at L.A.] as everyone does, but obviously there are pleasantries. Certainly the trees are beautiful.

EW: Do you feel that you have something to prove with the solo work, even after all this time?

M: Not necessarily. There was never any reason why I should have had a solo career. I had it thrust upon me, and I think I am doing quite well. There are always a bunch of critics who say, "Well, it's not the Smiths." And I say, "Why do you expect it to be?"

EW: How do you handle criticism? A lot of critics hated your last album, 1997's Maladjusted.

M: Well, I... yes, I have been accused of everything that a human being can be accused of.

EW: I actually like that CD.

M: Yes, I do too. [Laughts] We are the two people who do. I find most criticism ludicrous and merely spiteful, but I appreciate it when I can learn something from it, when it is truthful and has a spark of sincerity. Most of the time, it's merely willful destruction.

EW: How long do you want to keep doing this? When you see Jagger and Bowie still going at it, what goes through your mind?

M: Absolute, sheer horror. For a while I think Bowie was the blueprint for a fantastic career. Now he is the blueprint for the opposite. I think the public -- certainly in England -- fell in love with Ziggy Stardust. I'm not so sure they fell in love with David Bowie.

EW: In a similar way your fans want "Morrissey" all the time. You're kind of frozen in time.

M: Oh, yes, I am. I admit that. People always expect me to be 22, anemic, and falling over furniture. I'm associated with frailty and weakness, wilting and wanness. And it's not true. Even though I am coughing in a very Byronic way today [Laughs], it's absolutely not true. I feel quite strong.

EW: But you're not eager to join Sir Mick, to get knighted?

M: Once again, it's an easy target, but I think it's absolutely ghastly that he did that. You think back to the person of '68, '69, '70, how his face was full of fire and venom. One thing to David Bowie's credit: He has refused [to accept a knighthood]. Probably because he wants to be, I don't know, Lady-in-Waiting.

EW: Despite the gloom in your songs, there's also a lot of humor, which people often miss.

M: It's people who know of me but don't listen to me who have that opinion. I think the audience understands completely. It's really not that I'm a depressing person. It's simply that I'm not a bouncing moron.

EW: But clearly you relate very directly to the loneliness in you songs.

M: Yes, I do. I am an open human being. Lots of people feel they are part of the unrequited club, but they don't admit it because it is seen as a weakness. But of course I don't mind at all. I do feel I'm just overburdened with affection and love, but I can't offload it because people are rather underserving, or life is generally just too... brittle. So I find most of it remains locked inside me.

EW: What goes through your mind when you hear an audience sing along to the darker stuff?

M: I'm absolutely electrified. Because I live alone with those songs, and they came from the absolute edge of the emotional cliff. When a crowd sings something that really means something... for me it's stirring. Well, it's not stirring, no. There are no words. It's just getting it out. And even if it's only just for that moment when you're in the audience on that night, you're not alone.
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  • She's just harmless really, nd there is alot worser music out there.
    Anonymous -- Saturday May 15 2004, @03:28PM (#102812)
  • Imagine my shock when I opened up my most favorite guilty pleasure and found Morrissey's face on page 5. I actually screamed like a child and broke down in laughter! EW is like some sort of pop culture barometer and evidently Morrissey is hot! All of this attention is so very amusing. Five full pages of Morrissey is a HUGE hunk for this rag...normally even "big" stars get only a page or two.

    And the reporter...was he in love or what?
    Anonymous -- Saturday May 15 2004, @04:05PM (#102823)
  • "It's quite confusing because it seems as if [my fans] have always remained the same age, and I'm the only person on the planet who is actually aging."

    Oh, and *we* age oh-so-well! ;)

    Hmm, I can almost guess which card he's holding up in his hand...could be an Ace of...?!
    J. Razor -- Saturday May 15 2004, @04:30PM (#102825)
    (User #724 Info)
    I'm Alone
  • it looks like the interviewer went through every other current morrissey interview and made a list of questions that had already been asked.
    suzanne -- Saturday May 15 2004, @05:18PM (#102832)
    (User #36 Info)
    I scare dead people.
  • i am not a keen fan of morresy but after seeing him on jonaton ross would i be right in assuming that he like me would welcome the elimination of humanity after what we have done and the planet could maybe repair itself and save the other species from us?
    Anonymous -- Saturday May 15 2004, @05:57PM (#102840)
    • Re:armagedon by Anonymous (Score:0) Saturday May 15 2004, @07:38PM
      • Re:armagedon by Anonymous (Score:0) Sunday May 16 2004, @07:16AM
        • Re:armagedon by LeJentle (Score:1) Sunday May 16 2004, @10:25PM
  • Showing up in Entertainment Weekly of all things. To my surprise I also saw a snippet about him, amongst the usual Hollywood stars, on a celebrity gossip site saying that he was a bigot (someone's really been doing their research here) and that he recently married a man in a "private ceremony". How bizarre -
    Anonymous -- Saturday May 15 2004, @08:50PM (#102856)
  • Scans of MOJO, Thanks to Uncleskinny:

    Mojo 1

    []Mojo 2

    []Mojo 3

    []Mojo 4

    []Mojo 5

    []Mojo 6

    []Mojo 7

    []Mojo 8

    []Mojo 9

    []Mojo 10

    []Mojo 11

    []Mojo 12

    []Mojo 13

    []Mojo 14

    []Mojo 15

    []Mojo 16

    []Mojo 17

    []Mojo 18

    MOJO Scans can also be found
    []here [] Thanks to Karel

    WORD Scans,Thanks to Uncleskinny:

    Word 1 []

    Word 2 []

    Word 3 []

    Word 4 []

    Word 5 []

    Word 6 []
    nonesoever -- Sunday May 16 2004, @01:55AM (#102876)
    (User #8448 Info)
    "... turn popular song into sickness"
  • Just got YATQ a day early at lovely JB Hi-Fi Brisbane, here in Australia.

    Have listened to it a couple of times, but my wife's protestations mean I'll have to wait until tomorrow. I'm a little confused though...the album cover is different to the one I've seen on the net etc. It's the same photo (the tommy-gun one) but it's a close up of the body at all (you can't see the gun). The font is the same and the photo appears in full on the this the same for everyone, or is Australia unable to handle the sight of a tommy-gun on the cover?

    Also, is anyone else irritated by the "where's the magnifying glass?" size of the text on the track-listing? And all that empty space on the back! Or is this just in Australia too?

    Oh, the album sounds good by the way (haven't toally made up my mind yet - I never can at this point, Moz albums are just too important). And, ahppy surprise, I loke I'm not Sorry and All the Lazy Dykes a lot, despite most reviews singling them out as poor.

    Sorry this is kinda off-topic, but couldn't find anywhere else to post this. I might add it to a later thread.
    gonzo -- Sunday May 16 2004, @05:08AM (#102893)
    (User #335 Info)
    Scene, but not herd
  • .......and I think that might be part of the problem. While one might commend Moz for being so open and honest about his experiences, I think this quote encapsulates the problem with the new material. His outer life is essentially that of the millionaire emigre pop star who owes money to his former drummer; his inner life seems consumed with bitterness about the court case, Bowie et al. Result? It says not a lot to us about OUR lives. Much as I hate to say it, I fear that Kent, Petridis et al may have a point when they say that he is no longer writing about much that's relevant to most people! Moz moans again about comparisons to the Smiths - fair enough, but in that case he needs to prove once again the validity of his current work. Vauxhall showed us that he could come up with the goods - but in the past decade, only really 'Nobody Loves Us', 'Trouble Loves Me', 'Alma Matters' and 'First of the Gang To Die' have been up to scratch. After his promotional work/touring is done, Moz should return to the studio post haste, dispense with Jerry Finn (no offence to the man, but his production is the reason some people have been able to call this record 'Dido-esque'!) and get on with crafting a set of really strong songs that have nowt to do with court cases. Moz says Quarry has no connections with the past but, sadly, as Andy Gill pointed out, his lyrical progress since Maladjusted has been severely limited. He has to prove himself still capable of delivering a superb album as far as I can see.
    Anonymous -- Sunday May 16 2004, @08:22AM (#102915)
  • Yes, this will be very good exposure for him.

    I can hear my uncles calling me now.... "Hey, that singer you're always raving about is in EW!"
    dallow_bg <[email protected]> -- Saturday May 15 2004, @03:36PM (#102816)
    (User #10559 Info |
    "All the people I like are those that are dead."
  • Is this really offtopic? Does it not address the article? In America, other than Spin magazine Moz really has not had any exposure like this. BG speaks to that. In addition, posts that would garner others rave moderations of +2 +3 get him a big fat ZERO "0"

    Do you see no improvement in his attitude, especially since the official site went up?

    I do.

    So, please moderate accordingly.
    Anonymous -- Sunday May 16 2004, @12:36PM (#102984)
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