The Guardian: "Matt Berninger webchat: your questions answered on Morrissey, Taylor Swift and infinite creativity" (October 13, 2020)

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The Guardian - October 13, 2020.
Laura Snapes.

Matt Berninger webchat: your questions answered on Morrissey, Taylor Swift and infinite creativity.

"I want my daughter to listen to the Smiths.
I don't want her to pay attention to what Morrissey says now.


djdazz asks:

Hi Matt, we are about the same age, with many of the same formative influences. The reception of all art changes over time, but I’m wondering how you reconcile your love of the Smiths with Morrissey’s recent political dalliances. Of course, I want to trust the art rather than artist, but sometimes it’s not easy. Your thoughts on the issue would be greatly appreciated!

Matt:

I'm really glad somebody asked me. I brought up Morrissey and the Smiths so many times to journalists over the past few years because I'm interested to talk about that, and so often it never makes it into the interview because it's just such tricky territory, right? Because Morrissey was one of the voices, writers, performers that made me - maybe more than almost any, at this phase in my life when I was 15, 16, 17. When you just feel like a misfit. But I was a misfit with a lot of confidence. I had a lot of chips on my shoulders, small chips. And then to hear this other person from a place that I'd never heard of, didn't know anything about Manchester, didn't know anything about England, really, and then here was this band and this singer singing about all these emotional, hugely dramatic grievances - the Boy With the Thorn in His Side, Please Please Please let me get what I want, these raw pleas to the universe to be understood. And so funny. Morrissey, the thing that's hardest to square now, is how a person with such empathy for himself and for the misfits and those around him, writing so beautifully about that, now seeming to have very little empathy for other perspectives. It's a hard thing. I listen to the Smiths a lot still, and I listen to Morrissey a lot, and then I do pay attention to the things that he says and it's heartbreaking. I feel like fear and the anxiety of the world has maybe kinda overtaken him a little bit, and I guess it makes me try to keep my mind open and keep listening to everyone. At some point, the older you get, you can close your brain off. I feel like Morrissey became very frustrated because he wanted the world to be a very specific way. When festivals have to change their rules because he's there, I understand that when he's making sure the entire festival is vegan because he believes in that. But I think at a certain point you can't control everything, you get bitter and angry and that's happened to a lot of people. The world is chaotic and out of control and people retreat to a very small corner when they feel they cannot control the world, and I feel he's retreated to a very small corner that doesn't have the empathy that he used to have. I think about it a lot. I wish I had a better answer. But the Smiths still provides me a lot of comfort and inspiration and empathy. I still listen to the Boy With the Thorn in His Side and feel less alone in the world. The Smiths really helped me out of some emotional, dark tangles and they still do. Morrissey's body of work, so much of it provides me really healthy, positive answers, still. I won't give up that. I won't put those records in a box and bury 'em. I want my daughter to listen to the Smiths. I don't want her to pay attention to what Morrissey says now. She listens to them now in fact, she loves them. Frankly Mr Shankly - how can you not love that song? Girlfriend in a Coma, it's great."


Regards,
FWD.


Related item:
 
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Comments

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
This is all armchair psychology bollocks of course - much like what nearly all of us do on this site! - but this line from Berninger:

"I feel like Morrissey became very frustrated because he wanted the world to be a very specific way"

...feels accurate, somehow. And (for me) that's a big part of why Morrissey's art has always been so powerful: his refusal to change.
 

butley

Well-Known Member
Oh dear. Half-woke idiot with double standards. He’s probably happy when Antifa ruin peoples’ brunches (I’m not saying I’m not) but not when somebone tries to highlight the appalling consequences for animals and humans of the meat industry. The National sound like a The The tribute act and nobody needs that. Morrissey has said things recently though that I really don’t understand.
 

Surface

Vegan Cro’s parents regret the condom splitting
Oh dear. Half-woke idiot with double standards. He’s probably happy when Antifa ruin peoples’ brunches (I’m not saying I’m not) but not when somebone tries to highlight the appalling consequences for animals and humans of the meat industry. The National sound like a The The tribute act and nobody needs that. Morrissey has said things recently though that I really don’t understand.
Clearly some people do need it seeing as their albums and live shows are very popular.
 

NealCassidy

FREE SPEECH
Is there anyone else apart from Laura snakes
 
A

Anony

Guest
View attachment 60012

The Guardian - October 13, 2020.
Laura Snapes.

Matt Berninger webchat: your questions answered on Morrissey, Taylor Swift and infinite creativity.

"I want my daughter to listen to the Smiths.
I don't want her to pay attention to what Morrissey says now.


djdazz asks:

Hi Matt, we are about the same age, with many of the same formative influences. The reception of all art changes over time, but I’m wondering how you reconcile your love of the Smiths with Morrissey’s recent political dalliances. Of course, I want to trust the art rather than artist, but sometimes it’s not easy. Your thoughts on the issue would be greatly appreciated!

Matt:

I'm really glad somebody asked me. I brought up Morrissey and the Smiths so many times to journalists over the past few years because I'm interested to talk about that, and so often it never makes it into the interview because it's just such tricky territory, right? Because Morrissey was one of the voices, writers, performers that made me - maybe more than almost any, at this phase in my life when I was 15, 16, 17. When you just feel like a misfit. But I was a misfit with a lot of confidence. I had a lot of chips on my shoulders, small chips. And then to hear this other person from a place that I'd never heard of, didn't know anything about Manchester, didn't know anything about England, really, and then here was this band and this singer singing about all these emotional, hugely dramatic grievances - the Boy With the Thorn in His Side, Please Please Please let me get what I want, these raw pleas to the universe to be understood. And so funny. Morrissey, the thing that's hardest to square now, is how a person with such empathy for himself and for the misfits and those around him, writing so beautifully about that, now seeming to have very little empathy for other perspectives. It's a hard thing. I listen to the Smiths a lot still, and I listen to Morrissey a lot, and then I do pay attention to the things that he says and it's heartbreaking. I feel like fear and the anxiety of the world has maybe kinda overtaken him a little bit, and I guess it makes me try to keep my mind open and keep listening to everyone. At some point, the older you get, you can close your brain off. I feel like Morrissey became very frustrated because he wanted the world to be a very specific way. When festivals have to change their rules because he's there, I understand that when he's making sure the entire festival is vegan because he believes in that. But I think at a certain point you can't control everything, you get bitter and angry and that's happened to a lot of people. The world is chaotic and out of control and people retreat to a very small corner when they feel they cannot control the world, and I feel he's retreated to a very small corner that doesn't have the empathy that he used to have. I think about it a lot. I wish I had a better answer. But the Smiths still provides me a lot of comfort and inspiration and empathy. I still listen to the Boy With the Thorn in His Side and feel less alone in the world. The Smiths really helped me out of some emotional, dark tangles and they still do. Morrissey's body of work, so much of it provides me really healthy, positive answers, still. I won't give up that. I won't put those records in a box and bury 'em. I want my daughter to listen to the Smiths. I don't want her to pay attention to what Morrissey says now. She listens to them now in fact, she loves them. Frankly Mr Shankly - how can you not love that song? Girlfriend in a Coma, it's great."


Regards,
FWD.


Related item:
This is impressive thoughtful stuff. Pretty much the most generous any credible musician has been towards Steve in recent times. Just highlighting a lack of empathy. I like the fact that he admits to (still) listening to lots of solo stuff, too, unlike clowns such B Bragg who will say (dishonestly IMO) that he only ever liked The Smiths.
 
M

moho1

Guest
everyone on this site is a loser
the national are great - and matt berringer is an outstanding performer and lyricist
everything he said is spot on - you lemmings are a bunch of idiots
 
A

Anonymous Bread

Guest
Interesting. He sounds like a genuine fan trying to make sense of what has been said and what is being said. I think if he scratches a little deeper, he'll realise that Moz's words have been twisted and misunderstood (nothing new there). I like the fact that he says "I guess it makes me try to keep my mind open and keep listening to everyone." You must always keep an open mind and hear everybody's voices, even those you don't agree with. The world simply won't improve otherwise, only voices in bubbles grow louder.

The biggest mistake seems to be Moz aligning himself with For Britain. Not because of their policies but because the whole notion of Morrissey advocating any political party seems so, well, un-Morrissey.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
AAAANNND we're off - someone else says that Morrissey is not worth of attention and the detractors are quick out of the blocks to slag them off. I mean, the ONLY possible reason is that THEY are rubbish - amirite, folks?
 

sol

Paddington Bear
who is guy:crazy::crazy::crazy::crazy: '??. has only six years in the music career. and wants criticizing those who have more years of experiencie musical careers and life , these artists today are of that presumptuous and alienated communist generation
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
I don't mind the article...when I saw Snapes name I thought, oh here we go.
But no, the article's not offensive.
However, I think Berninger's daughter will listen to whatever & whoever she wants, regardless of her father's views, or wishes.
 
V

Vinegar Tits

Guest
She may reside there, but Laura Snapes is despised in Manchester. She goes out of her way to rubbish local bands, with vicious record reviews etc., and manages to shoe-horn her personal dislike of Morrissey into every piece she writes. Awful, awful woman.
 

Surface

Vegan Cro’s parents regret the condom splitting
who is guy:crazy::crazy::crazy::crazy: '??. has only six years in the music career. and wants criticizing those who have more years of experiencie musical careers and life , these artists today are of that presumptuous and alienated communist generation
Its a bit difficult to decipher your post but if you are talking about Matt Berninger, he fronts a band called the National, who have been around since 1999.
 
A

Anony

Guest
AAAANNND we're off - someone else says that Morrissey is not worth of attention and the detractors are quick out of the blocks to slag them off. I mean, the ONLY possible reason is that THEY are rubbish - amirite, folks?
Dude - did you just read something else? This fella says he loves Smiffs and solo Moz, and continues to listen to both (including solo Moz) to this day. When did you last hear a credible contemporary musician say how much they 'still' like listening to solo Moz? It virtually never happens.
Simply accuses our Steve of a lack of empathy. Fair enough, IMO.
 
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