Morrissey:"Son días de indignación moral salvajemente superficial" - El Comercio Perú, November 23, 2018.
By José Tsang
Some images are included in the original interview, see original post or the archived screenshot.
(Google Translate to English)
Morrissey: "These are days of wildly superficial moral outrage"
Before his concert in Peru, the former The Smiths answers a questionnaire to refer to "El cóndor pasa", Venezuela, his intoxication in Lima and other topics
The healthy exercise of thinking differently seems devalued. In music, an illustrious member of that minority club is named Morrissey . The media often highlight his statements and the 59-year-old British artist defends himself with his songs. His latest album, "Low in High School" (2017), includes a track like "Spent the Day in Bed", which states: "Stop watching the news / 'Cause the news manages to scare you / To make you feel small and alone / To make you feel that your mind is not your own."
Morrissey's contribution to music is unquestionable: the band The Smiths is one of the best acts of the 80s, and his solo career also generates admiration. Instead, his opinions produce resistance, either because of his militant veganism or because he criticizes current feminism because he believes that it does not aspire to reach a higher intellectual level.
Morrissey –a confessed fan of a scathing writer like Oscar Wilde– will offer a new concert in Peru this Tuesday, November 27. Before the evening, the singer-songwriter responded in writing to a questionnaire from El Comercio. Among the issues addressed, is that of intoxication in Lima in 2013.
—The Pretenders played in Lima a few months ago. At the concert, their singer Chrissie Hynde said that you are one of her favorite songwriters. What does she inspire you? And what does "Back on the Chain Gang" – you just covered this song by The Pretenders – mean to you?
Chrissie and I have been friends for years. She is an impressive songwriter who can bring an unusual feeling to her songs, while most writers copy what she has been successful at. She is determined and doesn't have that paranoia of doing or saying what others think is the right thing to do.
—The world of music has changed. The physical disk is disappearing. How not to lose faith in these times? Is it a losing battle? Can we be optimistic?
People will always find music and need it, but at the same time I think everyone is exhausted by the promotional machine that pushes the same faces with the same content. There is no such thing as natural success anymore. Every move is manufactured. We constantly look at what number 1 is and don't believe in it for a second. We are tired of hearing about million-selling artists, even though we know that such artists do not inspire love for music.
—In this final stage of 2018, what is the Oscar Wilde phrase that comes to mind the most?
What we fear is what happens to us.
—Let's talk about your latest album "Low in High School". What musical spirit did you look for in it?
I'm interested in making songs that start conversations, which is easy in these days of wildly superficial moral outrage that everyone seems to want to express. If you offer a song to people, you must uplift their lives for at least four minutes; otherwise, it doesn't make sense. The greatest honor I receive is when they tell me: "Nobody could have written that song, except you."
—A song like "Who Will Protect Us From The Police?" is dedicated to Venezuela. What is your point of view about his situation?
Last year I frequently saw television images in which the Venezuelan police attacked people, which was because they were tired – as you know – of economic corruption. I wondered what gives the police the right to attack people, rather than pay the police for their protection. It seems to me that whenever people have had enough of rogue governments, the police start attacking the citizens, but they don't attack the rogue government. How is this just or civilized? Governments do not pay the police. People do it.
—In your last concert in Lima, in 2015, you sang "El cóndor pasa". Why did you choose this song?
I feel that it has a great moral virtue for the people of Peru; it's like a hand on the shoulder. We all want freedom [the phrase in English: "We do not want to be the snail or the nail"], and we imagine that passing birds have ultimate freedom. The song is obviously very old, but it still means a lot because every day we see and hear people crying out for freedom. Why is it so hard to get it?
—Fortunately, the episode of poisoning in Peru, in 2013, was overcome. You said you were "officially dead for nine minutes". What did you see in those nine minutes?
When you survive a terrible disease, you regain your health but realize the unbearable intrusions of society into your life, your money, your body and your thoughts, and you see that we have almost no right to relax and be ourselves. People don't seem to realize that just a sneeze separates us from death. We are willing to live like slaves in one way or another, persistently doing what has been said by people we do not respect. We are all slaves in many ways.
—What can we expect from your new concert in Lima?
I say what I believe and I say it well. Music brings us closer to other people who share our beliefs. If you come to the concert expecting nothing, you will be disappointed.
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- "These are days of savagely superficial moral outrage" - brief Morrissey interview - El Comercio - Morrissey-solo (Nov 23, 2018)