Morrissey: Un dandy de camisa abierta - Clarín.com (Argentina), December 2, 2018.
By Nicolás Pichersky
Some images are included in the original interview, see original post or the archived screenshot.
(Google Translate to English)
Morrissey: An open-shirted dandy
On December 7, Morrissey, one of the contradictory icons of English pop, plays at the Directv Arena. In this interview, he reviews his tastes and opinions.
Although he is on an important tour that spans from California to Argentina (he plays this Friday the 7th at the DirecTv Arena), Morrissey is not the greatest friend of interviews, not even to promote his concerts. For this reason, and knowing his famous untimely attitudes (changing record labels for each new album or canceling tours after announcing them), it is better to avoid certain questions. Morrissey is – like the song he dedicated to the Kray twins, bosses of the London mafia of the 60s – one of the “last famous international playboys” of the song. Take it or leave it. So curiosity about violent fans storming the stage, world politics or animal rights can return in the form of a blow of absolute silence. More when the only possibility of interviewing him is by mail and without the possibility of cross-examination. And even so, maintaining a dialogue at a distance about their musical tastes, preferences or forms of creativity is a luxury for any music lover journalist.
–You usually compose together with others (as you did during The Smiths): how do those creative couples work?
–I don't consider myself a “musician” in a strict sense, so I like the idea of adding to the music that a collaborator of mine has been working with. The vocal melody usually changes the musical direction of the song, that's true. But it's okay and I also know my place in the collaboration.
–If there are cases in which you only compose the lyrics, is this the one that comes first or does it only come after the melody?
–The lyrics are always in advance, but the “patches” to the music. It is a handmade job and at the same time it requires effort. It's not easy, but I enjoy it. Because, as I once said, the lyrics should be written as if the whole world is listening to you… although that probably won't happen! Most modern songwriters joke about how much fun they have writing lyrics but don't make any intellectual effort thinking about the audience, the listeners.
–It is an unfair question because each one of them has their good points and their individual methods.
–I would say The Man Who Sold The World, Diamond Dogs and of course The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. I think, back then, no one else could have gotten away with it like he did. And no one else was anywhere near what he accomplished! I like artists who have alert daring in everything they do. Today with most modern bands, it doesn't even matter if they're good or not: they usually jump to no. 1 of the charts and you're done.
–I would like to ask you about your musical tastes. For example The Kinks in whom I see a kind of elegance and sophistication avant la lettre for The Smiths.
–The Kinks in the 60s were a perfect triumph…absolutely original…a wit and quip that no other group even attempted and definitely memorable. I loved every one of their singles but their success was so instantly accepted that no one bothered to review them. If someone wrote a song like Waterloo Sunset today, they would get 42 Grammy Awards.
–Again in your biography, you write very unique analogies, such as when you assert "The Stooges, Lou Reed and Patti Smith are our new Goethe, Gide and Gertrude Stein". I wonder then what essay writing interests you.
–The classics, obviously… and by classics I mean what almost everyone agrees with. For example, in the 60s, the classic period of pop was The Beatles, Stones, The Who, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Bacharach-David, Phil Spector... and so on. And when it comes to modern speakers, I love listening to Germaine Greer, Anne Marie Waters, and reading Christopher Hitchens. They always give me the answers I hope to find.
–Was it your idea that your memoirs be published in the “Penguin Classics” collection, a collection that Penguin only reserves for the canon of deceased writers?
-NO! Of course not! Someone in the press made up that story to make me look insufferable. But I'm used to it...
–Lastly, I would like to ask you about the biopic about your life, England Is Mine.
–I never saw her and I was never consulted by her. They didn't get close to me or my family, so it's hard for me to understand how the filmmakers could understand what they were doing. Which makes me wonder: is this really about me?
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- Morrissey: Un dandy de camisa abierta - interview in Clarín.com - Morrissey-solo (Dec 02, 2018)