Full text of NME article

U

Uncleskinny

Guest
The article has two accompanying pictures from Tony Visconti’s site – Moz & TV together for the camera and “Mozalini” at the desk. The article is an interview with Tony Visconti, a short interview with Morrissey, and a small “update” box.

MORRISSEY

The Mozfather teams up with legendary glam-rock producer

Normally, if you want producer Tony Visconti – a man who has David Bowie on speed dial and made T Rex’s legendary albums – you have to form a queue. If you’re Morrissey, however, these rules don’t apply.

“I was always up for a Morrissey record,” admits the producer. “For some reason I lost (1992’s) “Your Arsenal” to Mick Ronson, but I’m telling you, this one was really a shock. I was told I could do it and two days later I was on a plane to Rome. That’s record speed for me.”

The reason for Visconti’s rapid recruitment was, in true Morrissey tradition, splendidly eccentric. Having fallen in love with all things Italian, the former Smiths frontman decamped to Forum Music Village studios in north Rome in August 2005. However, with the studio undergoing some much needed renovation – plus the language barrier – the visiting party began to flounder. “They started on their own and it wasn’t going very well. There was no-one in charge,” explains Visconti of the initial “Ringleader Of The Tormentors” sessions. “There were a lot of problems, so I just had to go in and sort things out. But they had already recorded their drums tracks and some guitar, which we ended up using. It wasn’t in bad shape, it just wasn’t organised.”

Quickly getting to grips with the project, Visconti suggests that despite the problems, Rome provided the perfect backdrop. “He (Morrissey) probably spent five months in Rome before he wrote and recorded this album and he’s finding inspiration there. He’s totally in love with the city,” says the producer. “He must have been walking around Rome writing the songs in his head, there are a lot of references to Rome in his lyrics. Rome s a magical city, it’s a living museum.”

However, it’s not lust lyrical references the benefited. Visconti believes that musically the new Morrissey will surprise many. “I couldn’t believe he’d written the songs on this record,” he says. “They were really high in his register. They were melodies that Bowie would write, using a whole range of notes. Also, the song structures were very different. There is a song called “Life Is A Pigsty” which is over seven minutes long, it’s more like a suite. Another song called “Dear God Please Help Me” is not just an A and a B section; it’s A, B, C, D and maybe there’s a little bit of E thrown in there! The scope of the melodies and the depths of the lyrics are brilliant. He’s singing a lot about love and death again, but with great irony and poetry, he’s struck a new chord.”

However, despite Morrissey’s personal form, the producer suggests this album is the singer’s first true band effort since The Smiths. “We really paid attention to everyone’s part and Morrissey was great for championing the individual players,” says Visconti. “Morrissey very much wanted a band sound; he’s had that group with him for years.”

Unusually for Morrissey, “Ringleader Of The Tormentors” also features a guest appearance, with Italian soundtrack king Ennio Morricone scoring the string part for “Dear God Please Help Me” after the studio owner suggested it. “We let (Morricone) do his bit and I edited him in the mix and what we have is the most glorious moments of that session,” explains Visconti. “We certainly did him proud.”

Having mastered the finished album, the producer is now working on B-sides. According to Visconti, the quality of the material is such that he recommends getting every release from the first single “You Have Killed Me” onwards. “We had about 20 songs to choose from and some of my favourites ended up as B-sides,” he explains. “I really mean it when I say Morrissey has found a new muse because his writing is incredible. To turn this into a 12-track CD was really a heartbreaker for me. It deserved to be a double.”

MORRISSEY ALBUM UPDATE

Album title: “Ringleader Of The Tormentors”

Key Tracks: “You Have Killed Me”, “Dear God Please Help Me”, “To Me You Are A Work Of Art”, “Life Is A Pigsty”

Musicians: Morrissey, Boz Boorer, Alain Whyte, Jesse Tobias, Mikey V Farrell, Gary Day and Matt Chamberlain.

Producer: Tony Visconti

Release Date: March 27th (Expected)

EXCLUSIVE: MOZ SPEAKS!

From the desk of Morrissey – the man himself sends NME a note about the album.

“By ‘Ringleader Of The Tormentors’ I mostly mean disturber of the peace. It would be easy to call the album something nicely wishy-washy, but it doesn’t come naturally to me to endear myself to the public. In fact, if that was 1773, I probably would have been hanged and burned by now, which gives even more credence to the album title.

I’ve become an Italianophile recently, so I was thrilled when Tony Visconti agreed to produce. I had always been fascinated by his work with T Rex, but he’s not at all marooned in the past; his skills are very 2006, and very apocalyptic, and, of course, all this internal steel came in very useful at the point when I started singing. Tony also played recorded on ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ album by DB (David Bowie).

I know people generally have no interest in studio engineers – usually with great reason – but our engineer on this album was Marco Martin, a dazzling talent and very much a crucial part of the final picture. The suspicious-looking musicians – Boz Boorer, Alain Whyte, Jesse Tobias, Mikey V Farrell, Gary Day and Matt Chamberlain – al outshone themselves. They never get any press recognition, but we don’t fret about this – life is too short. And so am I.

The songs, I think, see me on the brink of optimism. I expect I’ll be pulled back from this brink once I read the reviews. I remain concerned with the nature struggle, and the most you can hope for when you release an album is that it somehow makes a difference – to someone. Luck dictates everything else.”
 
T

Tingle

Guest
Re: Five foot two and eyes of blue

"Life is too short. And so am I"

proof if ever it were needed, that Morrissey is actually no taller than 5' 2"

> The article has two accompanying pictures from Tony Visconti’s site – Moz
> & TV together for the camera and “Mozalini” at the desk. The article
> is an interview with Tony Visconti, a short interview with Morrissey, and
> a small “update” box.

> MORRISSEY

> The Mozfather teams up with legendary glam-rock producer

> Normally, if you want producer Tony Visconti – a man who has David Bowie
> on speed dial and made T Rex’s legendary albums – you have to form a
> queue. If you’re Morrissey, however, these rules don’t apply.

> “I was always up for a Morrissey record,” admits the producer. “For some
> reason I lost (1992’s) “Your Arsenal” to Mick Ronson, but I’m telling you,
> this one was really a shock. I was told I could do it and two days later I
> was on a plane to Rome. That’s record speed for me.”

> The reason for Visconti’s rapid recruitment was, in true Morrissey
> tradition, splendidly eccentric. Having fallen in love with all things
> Italian, the former Smiths frontman decamped to Forum Music Village
> studios in north Rome in August 2005. However, with the studio undergoing
> some much needed renovation – plus the language barrier – the visiting
> party began to flounder. “They started on their own and it wasn’t going
> very well. There was no-one in charge,” explains Visconti of the initial
> “Ringleader Of The Tormentors” sessions. “There were a lot of problems, so
> I just had to go in and sort things out. But they had already recorded
> their drums tracks and some guitar, which we ended up using. It wasn’t in
> bad shape, it just wasn’t organised.”

> Quickly getting to grips with the project, Visconti suggests that despite
> the problems, Rome provided the perfect backdrop. “He (Morrissey) probably
> spent five months in Rome before he wrote and recorded this album and he’s
> finding inspiration there. He’s totally in love with the city,” says the
> producer. “He must have been walking around Rome writing the songs in his
> head, there are a lot of references to Rome in his lyrics. Rome s a
> magical city, it’s a living museum.”

> However, it’s not lust lyrical references the benefited. Visconti believes
> that musically the new Morrissey will surprise many. “I couldn’t believe
> he’d written the songs on this record,” he says. “They were really high in
> his register. They were melodies that Bowie would write, using a whole
> range of notes. Also, the song structures were very different. There is a
> song called “Life Is A Pigsty” which is over seven minutes long, it’s more
> like a suite. Another song called “Dear God Please Help Me” is not just an
> A and a B section; it’s A, B, C, D and maybe there’s a little bit of E
> thrown in there! The scope of the melodies and the depths of the lyrics
> are brilliant. He’s singing a lot about love and death again, but with
> great irony and poetry, he’s struck a new chord.”

> However, despite Morrissey’s personal form, the producer suggests this
> album is the singer’s first true band effort since The Smiths. “We really
> paid attention to everyone’s part and Morrissey was great for championing
> the individual players,” says Visconti. “Morrissey very much wanted a band
> sound; he’s had that group with him for years.”

> Unusually for Morrissey, “Ringleader Of The Tormentors” also features a
> guest appearance, with Italian soundtrack king Ennio Morricone scoring the
> string part for “Dear God Please Help Me” after the studio owner suggested
> it. “We let (Morricone) do his bit and I edited him in the mix and what we
> have is the most glorious moments of that session,” explains Visconti. “We
> certainly did him proud.”

> Having mastered the finished album, the producer is now working on
> B-sides. According to Visconti, the quality of the material is such that
> he recommends getting every release from the first single “You Have Killed
> Me” onwards. “We had about 20 songs to choose from and some of my
> favourites ended up as B-sides,” he explains. “I really mean it when I say
> Morrissey has found a new muse because his writing is incredible. To turn
> this into a 12-track CD was really a heartbreaker for me. It deserved to
> be a double.”

> MORRISSEY ALBUM UPDATE

> Album title: “Ringleader Of The Tormentors”

> Key Tracks: “You Have Killed Me”, “Dear God Please Help Me”, “To Me You
> Are A Work Of Art”, “Life Is A Pigsty”

> Musicians: Morrissey, Boz Boorer, Alain Whyte, Jesse Tobias, Mikey V
> Farrell, Gary Day and Matt Chamberlain.

> Producer: Tony Visconti

> Release Date: March 27th (Expected)

> EXCLUSIVE: MOZ SPEAKS!

> From the desk of Morrissey – the man himself sends NME a note about the
> album.

> “By ‘Ringleader Of The Tormentors’ I mostly mean disturber of the peace.
> It would be easy to call the album something nicely wishy-washy, but it
> doesn’t come naturally to me to endear myself to the public. In fact, if
> that was 1773, I probably would have been hanged and burned by now, which
> gives even more credence to the album title.

> I’ve become an Italianophile recently, so I was thrilled when Tony
> Visconti agreed to produce. I had always been fascinated by his work with
> T Rex, but he’s not at all marooned in the past; his skills are very 2006,
> and very apocalyptic, and, of course, all this internal steel came in very
> useful at the point when I started singing. Tony also played recorded on
> ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ album by DB (David Bowie).

> I know people generally have no interest in studio engineers – usually
> with great reason – but our engineer on this album was Marco Martin, a
> dazzling talent and very much a crucial part of the final picture. The
> suspicious-looking musicians – Boz Boorer, Alain Whyte, Jesse Tobias,
> Mikey V Farrell, Gary Day and Matt Chamberlain – al outshone themselves.
> They never get any press recognition, but we don’t fret about this – life
> is too short. And so am I.

> The songs, I think, see me on the brink of optimism. I expect I’ll be
> pulled back from this brink once I read the reviews. I remain concerned
> with the nature struggle, and the most you can hope for when you release
> an album is that it somehow makes a difference – to someone. Luck dictates
> everything else.”
 
E

ElBoydelz

Guest
Many thanks, an early Xmas gift! That article is exciting indeed. Visconti has a stellar resume, I love Moz and dig the lads too, throw in some Morricone and I think Moz fans are in for some of his best work. So very excitied!!! Again thank you.
 
G

Good_Mourning

Guest
Thank you so much, I can't get the NME where I live and I really wanted to read it. You made my day
 
S

suzanne

Guest
the NME article

so, i guess this means that his new dwelling in Los Angeles is basically a beach/vacation home and he's now living in italy. well, at least we can understand why morrissey was bitching about the quality of american food products after being in Italy for so long.

>There is a
> song called “Life Is A Pigsty” which is over seven minutes long, it’s more
> like a suite.

Ha!

Life is a Pigsty in D minor
I. School
II. Mike Joyce
III The Meat Eaters

>Another song called “Dear God Please Help Me” is not just an
> A and a B section; it’s A, B, C, D and maybe there’s a little bit of E
> thrown in there!

but i wanted F! where's the F?

> EXCLUSIVE: MOZ SPEAKS!

> From the desk of Morrissey – the man himself sends NME a note about the
> album.

> “By ‘Ringleader Of The Tormentors’ I mostly mean disturber of the peace.
> It would be easy to call the album something nicely wishy-washy, but it
> doesn’t come naturally to me to endear myself to the public. In fact, if
> that was 1773, I probably would have been hanged and burned by now, which
> gives even more credence to the album title.

But why wouldn't he say that during Julia's Q&A? I can't figure out exactly what's so shocking about it.

> The songs, I think, see me on the brink of optimism. I expect I’ll be
> pulled back from this brink once I read the reviews.

thhbbbt. nobody knows how to feel as sorry for themselves as morrissey does.
 
T

The Devil's Reject

Guest
Re: the NME article

I hope Sanctuary doesn't feel the need to post 30 second clips of the songs like they did with Quarry, thus spoiling the some of the discovery and fun on the release date. And while I'm glad he was prolific once again, if Morrissey wanted to do us a favor he'd ask Sanctuary to show some restraint in the number of singles all the songs are spread out on. If it's gonna be like last time, I'd prefer if he'd just release two full lengths simultaneously or something. It's not unheard of....

The album sounds interesting. Of course we're told that every album is the best ever and a break from the past, but we shall see.
 
T

The Devil's Reject

Guest
I hope Mikey V Farrell shines. Cleveland boy done good!
 
S

suzanne

Guest
Re: the NME article

> I hope Sanctuary doesn't feel the need to post 30 second clips of the
> songs like they did with Quarry, thus spoiling the some of the discovery
> and fun on the release date.

there is always the option of restraint, but i admit that would be hard. i think that the last time i limited myself to downloading what they played on KROQ and i felt like that was OK since i'd already heard soundclips of songs he had played in concert.

i'm holding out for B&S's new album and not downloading anything of theirs, but then again, i'm not as smitten as i once was.

> And while I'm glad he was prolific once
> again, if Morrissey wanted to do us a favor he'd ask Sanctuary to show
> some restraint in the number of singles all the songs are spread out on.
> If it's gonna be like last time, I'd prefer if he'd just release two full
> lengths simultaneously or something. It's not unheard of....

that was a bit much, but i guess that since Attack itself probably won't be releasing anything else like the James Maker album that they won't have much of a need to do it in the name of cross-promoting a few singles.

still doesn't mean we won't see any platinum editions!

> The album sounds interesting. Of course we're told that every album is the
> best ever and a break from the past, but we shall see.

even if it's overhyped, you have to admit that the events surrounding its recording are worthy enough just to go get a copy.
 
D

Danny

Guest
Re: the NME article

I think we all miss the times when Morrissey would release one-off singles and the like but I don't think the market would allow that these days.
Morrissey isn't an artist who sells millions and millions of albums so he is restricted to what the record company's business plan is. I'm pretty sure that will involve releasing 3-4 loss leader singles in order to plug the album.
There aren't many other options these days, especially considering Sanctuary's position. I think we should be grateful there is a company willing to spend as much time on Morrissey's career. God knows what's going to happen to Morrissey in the future when Sanctuary is no more. Can we see any major label willing to invest this time and trouble in an artist who probably sells around £500k albums worldwide?
 
T

theboynextdoor

Guest
You beat me to it, but I scanned the article for anyone whos interested. Sorry about the quality though, the scanner is dying...

http://www.cguy.co.uk/amy/MM/nmearticle.jpg
 
D

dazzak

Guest
Skinny, you're a star.

I am now even more bloody well excited about this album! I really hope it doesn't leak or Sanctuary doesn't do those clips again.
 
K

king leer

Guest
Thank you for that! Some (actually, many) thoughts...

> “I was always up for a Morrissey record,” admits the producer. “For some
> reason I lost (1992’s) “Your Arsenal” to Mick Ronson, but I’m telling you,
> this one was really a shock. I was told I could do it and two days later I
> was on a plane to Rome. That’s record speed for me.”

Never knew Visconti was in the running. Interesting (and a little ironic).

> The reason for Visconti’s rapid recruitment was, in true Morrissey
> tradition, splendidly eccentric. Having fallen in love with all things
> Italian, the former Smiths frontman decamped to Forum Music Village
> studios in north Rome in August 2005. However, with the studio undergoing
> some much needed renovation – plus the language barrier – the visiting
> party began to flounder. “They started on their own and it wasn’t going
> very well. There was no-one in charge,” explains Visconti of the initial
> “Ringleader Of The Tormentors” sessions. “There were a lot of problems, so
> I just had to go in and sort things out. But they had already recorded
> their drums tracks and some guitar, which we ended up using. It wasn’t in
> bad shape, it just wasn’t organised.”
> Quickly getting to grips with the project, Visconti suggests that despite
> the problems, Rome provided the perfect backdrop. “He (Morrissey) probably
> spent five months in Rome before he wrote and recorded this album and he’s
> finding inspiration there. He’s totally in love with the city,” says the
> producer. “He must have been walking around Rome writing the songs in his
> head, there are a lot of references to Rome in his lyrics. Rome s a
> magical city, it’s a living museum.”

I'd love to know what sparked his interest in Italy. I'm surprised it wasn't there earlier in his life. Italian fans must be very happy! Let's hear from some of you.

> However, it’s not lust lyrical references the benefited. Visconti believes
> that musically the new Morrissey will surprise many. “I couldn’t believe
> he’d written the songs on this record,” he says. “They were really high in
> his register. They were melodies that Bowie would write, using a whole
> range of notes. Also, the song structures were very different. There is a
> song called “Life Is A Pigsty” which is over seven minutes long, it’s more
> like a suite. Another song called “Dear God Please Help Me” is not just an
> A and a B section; it’s A, B, C, D and maybe there’s a little bit of E
> thrown in there! The scope of the melodies and the depths of the lyrics
> are brilliant. He’s singing a lot about love and death again, but with
> great irony and poetry, he’s struck a new chord.”

What else is there to say? Can I go into deep freeze until the first single comes out?

> However, despite Morrissey’s personal form, the producer suggests this
> album is the singer’s first true band effort since The Smiths. “We really
> paid attention to everyone’s part and Morrissey was great for championing
> the individual players,” says Visconti. “Morrissey very much wanted a band
> sound; he’s had that group with him for years.”

> Unusually for Morrissey, “Ringleader Of The Tormentors” also features a
> guest appearance, with Italian soundtrack king Ennio Morricone scoring the
> string part for “Dear God Please Help Me” after the studio owner suggested
> it. “We let (Morricone) do his bit and I edited him in the mix and what we
> have is the most glorious moments of that session,” explains Visconti. “We
> certainly did him proud.”

Having mentioned that Morrissey *must* work with Morricone back in August (http://www.morrissey-solo.com/discuss/index.cgi?noframes;read=277623) -- this is my most anticipated collaboration in Morrissey's entire career. Shame it's only one track!

> Having mastered the finished album, the producer is now working on
> B-sides. According to Visconti, the quality of the material is such that
> he recommends getting every release from the first single “You Have Killed
> Me” onwards. “We had about 20 songs to choose from and some of my
> favourites ended up as B-sides,” he explains. “I really mean it when I say
> Morrissey has found a new muse because his writing is incredible. To turn
> this into a 12-track CD was really a heartbreaker for me. It deserved to
> be a double.”

I suspect there will be a special edition as was done with YATQ.

> EXCLUSIVE: MOZ SPEAKS!

> From the desk of Morrissey – the man himself sends NME a note about the
> album.

> “By ‘Ringleader Of The Tormentors’ I mostly mean disturber of the peace.
> It would be easy to call the album something nicely wishy-washy, but it
> doesn’t come naturally to me to endear myself to the public. In fact, if
> that was 1773, I probably would have been hanged and burned by now, which
> gives even more credence to the album title.

> I’ve become an Italianophile recently, so I was thrilled when Tony
> Visconti agreed to produce. I had always been fascinated by his work with
> T Rex, but he’s not at all marooned in the past; his skills are very 2006,
> and very apocalyptic, and, of course, all this internal steel came in very
> useful at the point when I started singing. Tony also played recorded on
> ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ album by DB (David Bowie).

Apocalyptic. Odd adjective to choose, but it's "fascinating" (Morrissey's #1 adjective, no?) And why write both "DB" and "David Bowie" instead of just one?

> I know people generally have no interest in studio engineers – usually
> with great reason – but our engineer on this album was Marco Martin, a
> dazzling talent and very much a crucial part of the final picture. The
> suspicious-looking musicians – Boz Boorer, Alain Whyte, Jesse Tobias,
> Mikey V Farrell, Gary Day and Matt Chamberlain – al outshone themselves.
> They never get any press recognition, but we don’t fret about this – life
> is too short. And so am I.

Glad that Morrissey lists all the lads' names and give props to them. As always, naysayers begone.

> The songs, I think, see me on the brink of optimism. I expect I’ll be
> pulled back from this brink once I read the reviews. I remain concerned
> with the nature struggle, and the most you can hope for when you release
> an album is that it somehow makes a difference – to someone. Luck dictates
> everything else.”

It will be very interesting, indeed. I think that while YATQ was a huge success, it wasn't hailed as a masterpiece by any critics (it got a lot of slightly above-average reviews), so I don't think there's as much of a pedestal to knock Morrissey off. I think everyone wants him to take his resurgence to the next level of artistry. I liked YATQ a lot, but it's not timeless. This record sounds like it might be...
 
J

Johan de Witt

Guest
Re: Thank you for that! Some (actually, many) thoughts...

> It will be very interesting, indeed. I think that while YATQ was a huge
> success, it wasn't hailed as a masterpiece by any critics (it got a lot of
> slightly above-average reviews), so I don't think there's as much of a
> pedestal to knock Morrissey off.

It was Mozzers most critically acclaimed record of his career, so it will be very difficult for him to top that.
http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/Morrissey.htm
 
T

The Devil's Reject

Guest
Re: Thank you for that! Some (actually, many) thoughts...

> It was Mozzers most critically acclaimed record of his career, so it will
> be very difficult for him to top that.
> http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/Morrissey.htm

Yeah, but the reason it was his most critically acclaimed was because people were so thirsty for him and his type of songs after so many years away and after hip hop and slick pop had taken over everything. Plus, Sanctuary required critics to go to special listening sessions in controlled environments to review the album.

None of which is to say "Quarry" isn't an excellent album deserving of high praises. It's a lovable album and I do love it lots. "I Have forgiven Jesus" remains one of my favorite Morrissey/Smiths songs of all time. But I don't like the way "Maladjusted" and "Southpaw" get disparaged just because they didn't sell well. And as much as I admire the songs on "Quarry," I do think it was consciously designed to be a very easy album to like right from the first play, so that Morrissey could get commercially re-established and release some more adventurous and off the mark stuff. You know, to have the security of being back on people's radars so that when he unleashes an album that causes people to be taken aback and not know immediately what they think, it'll be more than just his loyal fanbase that is debating it.
 
H

honeyinmytea

Guest
> "I remain concerned
> with the nature struggle, and the most you can hope for when you release
> an album is that it somehow makes a difference – to someone. Luck dictates
> everything else.”

Our Morrissey is a "worry wart."

I can't wait for the first single!
 
Top Bottom