Excerpts from Uncut's "The Passion of the Morrissey" Interview
First, from Moz playing the either/or game (sort of):
Friday or Saturday?
Everyday is like Sunday.
Sneeze or yawn?
Eyes or smile?
Birthday or Christmas?
Loved and lost or never loved at all?
I only know the latter.
From the Main Interview:
What did you make of 24 Hour Party People?
I really enjoyed it, but Tony Wilson was enraged with me because I refused permission for "This Charming Man" to be used. I refused because my compatriot Linder Sterling [artist/singer with Ludus] was badly depicted in the script and she took legal action to have her bits taken out - which they eventually were, but during the time her litigation was underway it would have been wrong for me to be compliant with them in any way.
When did you first want to be a singer?
When I was two. I saw The Righteous Brothers on television. Bill and Bobby. I thought, fantastic. That's me.
What finally triggered the move onto a stage?
Well, I didn't really have that much choice. I felt so despairing
Are all the music bloggers weird descendents of yours?
Yes, they are the modern me, because, of course, I am not. Nor do I want to be.
You have an iPod?
Is that a trick question? Yes.
What's on your iPod?
Oh, ths usual suspects, and a few less so... I cast the net quite broadly... I'm like a very obese person who eats food but doesn't enjoy it. I listen to a lot of new music but I don't enjoy it.
Is what drives you on a fear of disappearing into the past?
What, worried about being seen as a specimen of a bygone age? No, that's not something that concerns me, really. To be honest, I don't think it's a problem. I feel startlingly now-ish. It isn't 1957 any more. It can't be 1957 any more. Are you surprised to hear me say that? I've very much living in the swill of modern life.
Do you take yourself too seriously?
If I don't, who will?
But I don't know that. You fluctuate.
Is there a dichotomy between your nostalgia for certain elements of entertainment and society, and the fact that you're interested in music and ideas that were about remaking the world to move forward, and creating a better future?
Oh, definitely. But it would be nice to have things both ways. There's a cosy side of the brain that needs to be comforted and there's a side of the brain that needs to be pushed and pulled. That's your article right there... [snigger/sneer/sigh/face/glance to the heavens and the hells]
Was the Smiths' debut album the greatest debut album of the past 25 years?
What an extraordinary question... [face]
You talk a lot about keeping your integrity.
Not many people have it.
What is it?
It's avoiding social embarrassment in all ways. It's trying desperately not to answer the telephone at the wrong time. It's trying desperately not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's trying not to be seen doing something ridiculous. It's not wanting to be trapped or engineered into doing or saying and being something you don't want to.
But doesn't that make it difficult getting through the day?
Not at all [face]... [agitated sluggishness]
The myth is that it does, that you're too sensitive to live, that no one can imagine how you function, that you're too awkward and too bothered by perceived slights...
Well... that isn't the case. I can only promise you that this is not the case.
But the perception is that this is the case, hence the incandescent nosiness and prurient wonder is provoked by interviews like this, where you slip into grimly playful interview mode. People want to know: does he have a good time, does he watch telly, what's he laughing at, who are his friends?
What's it matter? The truth is in the songs. So much is in the songs. No one is interested in those questions in relation to a champion ice-skater. They either succeed or they don't succeed...
But your songs and where they go, what they do, tempt us to find out more, or to find out how and why they exist.
It's all in the songs.
Morrissey - In The Future When All's Well (from Ringleader Of The Tormentors)
The Smiths - This Charming Man (from The Smiths)