Morrissey — KROQ interview (part 2/4)

air date: July 3, 1997
Interview by Jed The Fish
for KROQ 106.7, Los Angeles, CA

listen here
(part 2 - 4:42)

JED: Because I have the opportunity to have Steven Patrick Morrissey walking in the studio today, I was trying to be prepared here, because I get one crack to talk to you...
MORRISSEY: So, how prepared are you? (laughs)

J: Well, because I've been listening to this album, I want to ask you about the first cut called "Maladjusted". It sort of reminds me of the melody in "What Difference Does It Make?"
M: Oh really? That never occurred to me. No, never, never.

J: Oh it never occurred to you? OK. I was wondering, lyrically, what themes run consistently in the body of your work?
M: Well, I think the overall theme, the meaning of "Maladjusted", is my position in the great scheme of things, within music. I don't really seem to ever fit in. When, in the 80's, when independent/alternative music was not played or listened to, that's obviously the kind of music I was making. And then when it was listened to — certainly in England, I was "box-office poison", if you like. So "Maladjusted" really means constantly, you know... not fitting in. And not really a bad thing, I don't think.

J: When I was listening to it I didn't take it as you as an artist not fitting into the mainstream, but I took it on a broader view, because you mention "when I was 15" a couple times... A lot of teenagers, including myself, felt kind of "maladjusted" in our lives too, so I was relating from that point.
M: Well, I think the way you feel as a teenager stays with you, forever. I really believe that. And we try to change and we hope that we change, but we don't really in big ways, in serious ways. I think the personality is formed at that time, for the good and for the bad.

J: You try to change?
M: Yeah, yeah, definitely. We all want to grow up and move on and appear to be different to people. And we want people to see us in a different way. But, I don't know, I think the personality is very, very strongly cemented, and we just bear whatever shortcomings we have and learn to live with it.

J: Is this a new band that you're working with?
M: No, it's the same musicians as the last time I was at KROQ. Which was six years ago, I had the same musicians.

J: And these are the guys that came down to Capitol Records when Richard Blade and I were down there?
M: That's right, yes.

J: Are they going to be touring with you?
M: Yes, and we begin in Toronto, on I think it's the 12th of September. And we come to L.A. on October the 13th.

J: OK, so you're touring this fall?
M: Yes, for up to four months.

J: What happened with the other times you were supposed to come to L.A.?
M: Well, the last time I was booked to play a place which I think was called the Olympia...

J: ...the Olympic Boxing Arena.
M: And unfortunately it was booked without my knowledge. It was announced without my knowledge. The tickets went on sale without my knowledge but sold very, very well. I was with new management and they just slightly ran away with themselves and it wasn't a situation I could live with. So, you can't really allow those things to happen to you. But I think if people have the interest to come this time, I think they'll enjoy it.

J: This Olympic gig was booked completely without your knowledge?
M: Completely, yes. And the same for a concert in New York at Carnegie Hall.

J: You've kind of been reputed to not have management and this is probably why...
M: Well, this is one of the reasons why. I think they make a mess of things more than anything else. They do confuse matters and you know, stand in the middle and direct people to the wrong exits, etc. So I think so many people who make music now, they don't have management. And they survive quite well. I think management is becoming a thing of the past and just as well, I think, just as well.

J: Do you have a manager now?
M: No, not at all.

J: Oh, you manage yourself?
M: As much as I can, yes. I'm not saying it's easy, but managers certainly complicate things.

J: Howie Klein used to tell me you didn't answer the phone, you just had your fax machine.
M: Well... that's not a bad way to live really. (laughs)

J: I must confess I've done that myself.
M: Yes, I think we all do, I think we all do.

"Maladjusted", "Ask" played

end part 2

part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4