Andrew Eldritch discussing Temple Of Love 12", Braineater & March Violets.
INT: When you make a record, before you go out to performance, who do you
think is your audience? How do you picture your audience as this
quintessential person, say you're walking down the street and say,
"that's the person that's the guy that takes my record home". AE: God only knows. When we started off, we thought, "well all you can really
do is make records for yourself and just pray that someone out there
likes it". Then you start playing gigs and you begin to concentrate on
the first ten rows, like the people you can see. People who are jumping
up and down a lot, so you make records for them. Then you realize that's
there's actually like another 5-600 people in the place that you can't
see and you've no idea what sort of people they are. and then you start
thinking about them cus there's always the first ten rows going to do
whatever they do anyway.
INT: Right, because that's the nature of the people that stand right up front
stage. AE: So. we're back to making records the way we want to and praying that
someone out there likes them. Show the rest of the interview
INT: On your own terms... AE: Yeah...
INT: Cus the other night at Danceteria, someone yelled out 1969, and you said
"we don't do that anymore". AE: Right, we turn our covers over much quicker these days.
INT: Which I took as a positive. Some people don't take that as a positive.
"Aww, they're not gonna do that". You said, "I'm gonna do things on my
own terms". AE: It's a shame we don't play Jolene anymore. Cus I'd really like to come
over here and play Jolene. I saw Dolly Parton on the television this
afternoon doing her Elvis impression, that was wonderful.
INT: Dammit, somebody's gotta do it. AE: Yeah, if I was butcher, I'd do my Elvis impression too, but as it is I'd,
well I even stopped doing my Dolly Parton impression.
INT: The new ep, the a-side is Temple of Love. AE: Yeah, a real gonzoid song. It's very fast. We though we'd better put on
the a-side, just cus the last record we put out was the Reptile House
which was very slow.
INT: Very very slow... AE: So just to prove a point we put a very fast record this time.
INT: Three songs on it? Four songs? AE: Yeah, the seven-inch with a shorter version of that will be out in a few
days. The twelve-inch will take a little longer. We have to tie-in the
release of it here with the release of it in England. Otherwise we get an
import/export problem. So it'll be a little while before you can actually
buy the eight minute version of that here and, of course, has Gimme
Shelter on the other side as well as the usual b-side.
INT: In England that's on Merciful Release Records... AE: Here it's on Merciful Release too, but we have a distribution arrangement
with Braineater, who are with Dutch East India out of Long Island.
INT: Now that's your label, Merciful Release. AE: Yeah.
INT: You have the March Violets on that label and...
AE: I threw'em off actually.
INT: You threw them off? AE: Yeah. I stopped getting on with them. I made a coupla records with them
and we stopped getting on.
INT: Really? AE: Yeah. I actually produced those records 'n stuff, but you wouldn't know
it to look at them. Like I did the artwork, and I managed the band, and I
did their press and ...
INT: The whole thing... AE: Yeah. And they sort of turned around and bit my hand. So I threw'em off.
INT: So you threw them off the label. (laughs) AE: Yeah. I just got rid of them. What the hell.
INT: Fair enough. Do you have any plans to have any more bands on the label? AE: Yep. There's a single out this week by a new Leeds band called Salvation.
Which is a very good first record. I'm intending to have another record
out by them before Christmas. My problem at the moment is I don't have
time to do anything more than executive produce other bands. So right now
I'm looking for people to license product from. Where I don't actually
have to work so much on getting the actual product together, but I can
just product manage the thing.
INT: Just put it out. AE: Yeah.
INT: Which would be much easier, but... AE: I was going to put the Chesterfield Kings out in England, but they got
some great press the week before I was going to do it and I thought,
"well I can't do this now because people will accuse me of jumping
bandwagons 'n stuff." But stuff like that and the True West record that I
brought back from America last time I went home...
INT: Yeah, I was about to ask you. Are you going to have everything in the
same style or be diverse and that answered the question. AE: Whatever the hell we like.
INT: Whatever you like. Hey, listen, it's your label, do what you want. AE: It just so happens that all of the people we know in West Yorkshire are
using are using drum machines and the occasional fast guitar. I guess
we're partly responsible for that.
INT: Is there any objective to the label? Or just to put out good stuff? AE: No, there aren't any particular objectives for the label. I don't think
I've really got the right to impose my personal view on what other
people do to that extent. Although, obviously, if some fascist wants to
put out a record on my label, I'm going to tell them no.
INT: (laughs) AE: Unless he's a very funny fascist, of course.
INT: Now, coming over to America, bands'll say, the one band I can think of
that has a really bad attitude towards Americans is New Order. They came
over and they just, were like, "get away from me", "just give me the
money, let me play and go home". Saw you guys the other night and didn't
think you had that attitude. Talking to you now, you don't seem you have
an attitude at all. Do you think attitudes on band's parts are bad? I
mean they come over and just... AE: No, I mean I, as a race I think the Americans are a really gross
people. You know, the grossest in the world. But I got nothing against
individuals. I was surprised myself at the attitude I have towards
American crowds when you actually play to them. Because, I'm generally
fairly abusive to any crowd. But I like this place a lot. I'm having a
good time, and it's very difficult for me to get up there and pretend
INT: Right, it's just like, a lot of bands don't realize this, I mean,
Americans hate some of the things that come off abroad about Americans.
You come here and you have to take people as individuals. A lot people
forget that and it something that slips people's minds. AE: Yeah, we suffer a lot of from American tourists, I guess, same as every
other place, and so we come over here and we think the place is full of
tourists. Which, of course, it isn't. I dare say that a lot British
tourists are pretty unbearable.
INT: The cameras and the Hawaiian shirts and things. AE: Yeah.
INT: Now, the band has done a lot of 60's covers, other covers, you mentioned
Jolene before... AE: Right now, we're doing Emma by Hot Chocolate and Gimme Shelter. Before
that we did Jolene, we've done 1969 by the Stooges, all sorts...
INT: And it's strange that 1969 really fit the style of Sisters of Mercy very
well. I've listened to it several times and the drum machine just fit
right in, everything, the arrangement fit in. AE: We weren't originally going to release that, actually, because we had a
thing about not releasing covers. But it was the American market that
actually asked for it to be on the record.
INT: And it wasn't like, just as a cover, let's just put it on. AE: No, we just did it in the studio cus we'd been playing it and we thought
"well, we're here, let's record it". We had a thing about not releasing
covers. Even now, we refused to put a cover on the a-side of a record.
INT: So we're sitting with Andy, from Sisters of Mercy. As far as song-
writing, we haven't even touched upon song-writing. You've said there's
a lot of black humor in the songs. AE: Yeah, we had to make the jokes a lot more private, actually, for the
songs to work these days. Most of the irony generally comes out on stage
these days and not on the records. Cus with the records, you bypass a lot
of the stupidities of rock 'n' roll. I mean the way in which it's
delivered is generally fairly stupid, but that doesn't come across on
records cus people take them into their bedrooms and the whole rock 'n'
roll schtick doesn't really interfere with the communication.
INT: Was there any record you thought was really, maybe not funny, but had a
twist to it, an irony to it, that just went over people's heads? Who
totally just ignored it. AE: One of ours?
INT: Hmmm? AE: A record of ours?
INT: A record of yours, yeah. AE: Yeah. All of them. All them have got, I thought the Reptile House was our
finest hour yet because it was the most serious record we ever made,, but
it was also the most perverse. Everything about that record is perverse.
It's really slow, it's really long, and I just love the way all the lead
lines are hidden in the mix, involved in all the effects, completely
submerged. You really have fight with that record. And the last track
starts like it's gonna be a sort of pop number and the voice just
slithers back into the mix and the tune distorts itself and then that's
finished you just get a reprise of the beginning which brings you right
back full circle. It's a very perverse record. It's part of the concept
of the thing, that there's no escape from the Reptile House. But a lot of
this does go over people's heads, they just think, "ah yeah, a long, slow
INT: Do you consider yourself now, the press, as we mentioned before, the
press likes to lump people in big piles for their convenience. I've seen
you mention in articles, about Death Cult, and Blood + Roses. I mean, do
you see yourself as part of that? Do you see yourself as part of
anything? AE: No. Well, yeah, we see ourselves as part of the rock 'n' roll tradition.
Which is where we differ from all those people, they make a big deal
about being some brand new thing. No, we're just a sort of modern twisted
heavy metal band I guess.
INT: With a different slant. AE: Yeah. I mean, we're very aware of the tradition and we're keen to own up
to it. Hence, records like 1969 and Gimme Shelter and we're also keen to
point out the sort of parallel reference points. There's nothing wrong
with us doing the Jolene and Hot Chocolate songs.
INT: Cus music is music, it's as simple as that. AE: Yeah. America's got a much better attitude toward songs. In England, a
lot of what a band does is hurt by it's status in the fashion stakes and
we have weird programmer's on the radio in England. Sixties nostalgists,
and motown fetishists and...
INT: We have that around here to, so, it's just not as profound.... AE: In England, if you do like a cover of a Supremes song in a fairly, sort
of electro-poppy way, you're guaranteed a top ten hit. And a lot of
people, like, do that.
INT: Is it because, I guess the country is smaller, that's why you can get
away with something that fast. It's harder here... AE: It's a generation of DJ's that grew up through the pirate stations and
are now, like, head of light entertainment in the various corporations.
And it's also that the record companies are looking for quick returns,
but they've worked themselves into a vicious circle of no imagination
where the quick return is bringing on a whole culture where there aren't
any bands that are really being supported by record companies who can
inspire any loyalty in the public at all. When I grew up there were bands
who gave you something to live by, like reinforced your social code, or
whatever. Now that there isn't that at all, there are bands that will
reinforce an hour of your Saturday night and that's about the extent of
it. Or there are these sort of new spiritualist, ludicrous, positive punk
bands who I've got no time for whatsoever. Mostly because none of them
can write a good tune.
x: Have you had any chance to do your Christmas shopping what with all your pre-tour arrangements?
AE: I took delivery of a new lap top this afternoon which was very gratifying. I think you mean buying presents for other people don't you?
AE: No, I don't do any of that.
x: You don't even buy one for your mother?
AE: She doesn't buy me one!
x: Oh Andrew I can't believe it!
AE: I haven't seen her for 15 years so she's hardly likely to.
x: I know that bands get very bored on the road and they tend to make up all kinds of games...
AE: That's why we have lap tops.
x: But you seem to invent your own language - is that what keeps you amused on the roads these days, your lap tops?
AE: It will be as of tomorrow.
x: So are you fascinated by computers Andrew, it seems to be that you know...
AE: I love them.
x: It's the thing that kids are into these days.
x: Just yeah? Ok fair enough.
[Wonderful FM radio static]
AE: ...after things like sex mainly.
x: So Sonic The Hedgehog has taken the place of sex for you these days?
AE: No no no, that's Nintendo and Sega and stuff - that's rubbish.
x: Oh really, you don't approve of that at all?
AE: No, you can't play any decent games with two knobs and a joystick. That shoot-em up stuff or jump around - it's not for me babe.
x: What would you call a decent game then Andrew?
AE: Lemmings is fabulous - go and Lemmings!
x: It needs some discipline to play that though!
AE: No it doesn't!
x: Oh it does..
AE: Tt takes application.
x: Because we are a station of the people we have some questions - people phoned up earlier.
AE: You've made these up haven't you?
AE: There just going to be the usual bullshit and you are going to say "Anne from Mosley really needs to know..."
x: No,no,no these are absolutely genuine questions. John from Hackney knows that you are an enormous cricket fan and would like to know...
AE: I'm only 5'9".
x: He'd like to know who you think should be the new chairman of the English Cricket selectors?
AE: Geoffrey Boycott - he's just so irritating he's wonderful!.
x: So are you a fan of that fine English sport then Andrew?
AE: Not much, I still fence from time to time, but it's not very English running around with a sabre in your hand.
x: There's a rather elaborate outfit for fencing which is quite nice.
AE: It does make you look pretty cute yeah and of course it's exactly my colour.
x: We got a fax, all it says on the top of it is "Take a Bite", (three radio plugs in a single day!! Actually we had a bet on his answer to our question and we were right....)I assume the people who sent it know who they are but the question is "Have you heard of First and Last and Forever and if so, what do you think of it?'
AE: I have heard of it, it seems to be all second rate naff Goth stuff so I haven't ordered my copy. I want Stevie Nicks to cover my songs, or Cher.
x: People view the Sisters very much these days as the Andrew Eldritch Experience do you think that's unfair?
AE: No! Over the last couple of years I have come to the same conclusion myself.
x: So it's literally just a vehicle for your ideas now?
AE: Any band should be the vehicle of the ideas of all the people in it. In as much as they want to contribute they should have a chance to and that's still the case with the Sisters. It's just the way it seems to work out that one person always seems to have more to contribute than other people, and in the case of this band it has always been me and I have come to realise that recently.
x: Only recently?
x: The sisters seem to have been through very many line up changes...
AE: No - I always hear this question - Absolute rubbish. Most of our line-ups last longer than most bands exist period. We don't boot people out that often. They don't boot themselves out that often.
x: It's always rumoured that you are a bit of a furher really?
AE: I lead yes - and I do have a tendency to lead in German these days. In the current touring line up four fifths of the band speak German. In fact even the other English person speaks German, he's got an 'A' level in it so - Yes!
x: So you are communicating entirely in German these days?
AE: A fair bit.
x: I am certain that a number of people are wondering what happened to Tony James?
AE: It was great having someone in the band who was despised more than me it really was. He attracted all the flack. He's in TV now.
x: Television, really? Do you know what he's doing?
AE: Yeah, he 'conceives' things.
x: There's quite a lot that needs to be conceived to make British Television up to scratch, but there you go.
AE I can't say I've watched any for a while. Although I must say I saw a good Joanna Lumley advert yesterday on cable. You know I tried to get Joanna to do the adverts for our Greatest Hits Campaign (plug the record Andrew - ok I've plugged the record - what a fine record) Norman Tebbit said 'No' and then I thought "Joanna will do it, she's bound to do it, but someone from the record company rang her up so that put the mockers on it.
x: have you seen her in "Absolutely Fabulous"?
AE: Someone just gave me a video with three episodes on, it's very good!
x: It's a bit of a renaissance for Joanna really.
AE: She's going to marry me and have my children.
x: Is she really?
x: Have you already asked her?
AE: a......yy...I've been busy.
x: Perhaps she would be the thing that you'd like to get in your Christmas stocking? What would you most like to find in your Christmas stocking?
AE: Joanna Lumley in her Christmas stockings probably.
x: There's one thing that always fascinated me about you and that's your image without meaning to sound facetious at all, I think you are a little bit like the Queen aren't you. I can not imagine you going to the toilet. It must be a nightmare to keep up appearances on tour.
AE: I don't bother.
x: Of course you do!
x: You always look so dark and debonair.
AE: I'm not dark at all. They call me the Pale Emperor, that's because..well I'm kind of pale.
x: But you are a pretty well turned out man aren't you..
AE: No, I'm pretty shabby these days. I go on in this psychedelic Viet-cong outfit which consists of rather distressed combat trousers and the nastiest, vilest coloured shirts you can find, and I've found a few.
x: Well you are playing in December in Britain at the "Sisters of Mercy Christmas Party". Do you have a message for any of the fans that are going to come and see you there?
x: Come on, be a bit more charitable than that.
AE: Oh dear......um, no I don't really, I just hope everyone has a good time.
x: Andrew Eldritch thank you very much for talking to me!
G: You're allowed to wear sunglasses on a day like this. AE: I have to wear sunglasses all the time. It's mandatory.
G: I would be disappointed if you weren't wearing them, I must admit. We have a lot of fans of Sisters of Mercy out there because we got rid of the tickets so fast, they just went like hot cakes. AE: I suppose that's because nobody's been buying them.
G: Some people said they couldn't afford them.... AE: I like the sound of that. I like to know they're expensive.
G: So we've got 5 sets of people in various parts of the country going to the gigs over the next few days which is good news, and they're keen and those who listen to the program will know that I'm keen as well... AE: It's very lovely of you to say so.
G: I'll try to hide my love of the band, I'll try to be objective but yeah, I've been a huge fan of yours for a long time and it's good to know that there are listeners of yours, it's not just me isolated in my crazy taste. You're playing live again. You've always played live... AE: Yeah.
G:... though you don't have a record out for a long time, you've always played live... AE: Yeah... I don't know why.
G: Because people wanna see you, I presume... AE: *inspires deeply* I don't really know what they want. We know what they want.
G: And what do they want? AE: They'd probably like us to go away but we're not gonna.
G: They don't! Where are you getting this from? AE: It's certainly our job to tell 'em what they need and not their job to tell us.
G: But they still turn up hundreds and thousands to see you... AE: Hundreds and thousands?...
G: Yeah. AE: Pretty little sprinklings of people.
G: But devoted people, they say... And they love you. AE: No they are good. We love the bikers the best. Because they're good and rough with it.
G: You still get bikers? That's good. Proper bikers? AE: Yeah. On proper bikes.
G: That you could use of course as a security, like the Rolling Stones did. (?) AE: Last time we played at the Albert Hall they almost beat up the head of our record company on our behalf. That was a moment.
[When eldritch reminds of something, he speaks too quickly the bastard!]
G: You would have been really upset about it? AE: Yeah, I was doing everything to stop them.
G: I've been enjoying your web site, which is the-sisters-of-mercy.com with hyphens between the words... AE: And without as well. But you can't forget the "the".
G: There you go. "The" Sisters of Mercy. Although some promoters do forget the "the" as you pointed out at one point. AE: Yeah. One guy in Poland last week tried to forget to pay us. That was interesting.
G: Forget the "the" and the money? AE: Yes, so we suddenly forgot how to play. It all worked out for best in the end.
G: I've got a feeling, reading the stuff on the website - it's a lot of stuff on there; you must put a lot of time into it - is halfway between good humour and deep deep bitterness. Would that be fair to say? AE: Yes.
G: *laughs* The Frequently Asked Questions section, for instance. You've taken the time and the grace to actually answer the questions that are always asked of you. Like where did you get the name and all that sort of stuff. AE: Aren't asked anymore!
G: I know which questions not to ask you... AE: Bless!
G: "Where did you get that crazy name?" I wouldn't, because I know where you got the crazy name... AE: The government hands them out.
G: Do they? AE: Yeah. It's a... Yeah. We were quite lucky. We could have been Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich.
G: Then people wouldn't ask you because they'd know where you got the name from. AE: We could have a name like Whigfield, which damns you to eternal uselessness but lots of airplay.
G: Where is Whigfield now? AE: Probably still on the radio, I don't know.
G: Possibly here. Where do you live now Andrew, btw? AE: I couldn't tell you that. I'd have to kill you. But I could tell you it's sunny. So that rules out Bradford.
G: The north of England is where the whole thing started, in Leeds. AE: I still do spend a lot of time in Leeds. On the office floor.
G: Because people always imagine you in South America or... You have lived in Germany for a while as well, haven't you? AE: Yeah. Not anymore. Notably in Holland recently.
G: I would imagine Whigfield is still big in Holland? AE: If I listened to radio...
G: You don't listen to the radio... AE: No.
G: If you had sessions like these one I'm sure you would. AE: I used to listen to the world service so I could hear "I'm Sorry I haven't a clue" and "Just a minute" but then they put on the web so I don't have to anymore.
G: So you listen to the radio on the internet? Which a lot of our sensible and sophisticated listeners do too. AE: The comedy stuff is OK on dial-up but music is a bit iffy.
G: So what's the best place to live if you want to listen to music? This won't matter anymore because we are all citizens of the world thanks to the internet, aren't we? AE: *deep pause* I don't know where the best place...*mumble* I know where the best place to live is for sunshine and strange drinks.
G: People imagine you don't like sunshine but that's not true, is it? AE: I like sunshine a lot. Not necessarily have to be out in it but I like to see it through the window.
G: I'm gonna play 3 Sisters of Mercy tracks which I have chosen, that you're entitled to comment on and criticise afterwards if you like. AE: Yeah, I have to get the criticism in first before...*mumble* I'm quite used to criticising.
G: You can criticise Anaconda first. I'm gonna play Anaconda because it's the first Sisters' song that I've bought. It was the third single. Then I came back and bought Alice which came out before. So this is 1983, and it's the production you're not keen on, not the song. AE: Yeah. The song itself is in our current set at the moment. We'll be playing it tomorrow. But this does sounds like rubbish doesn't it.
G: Well let's see if everything is rubbish. Doctor Avalanche in his first incarnation.
AE: It's still rubbish.
G: You don't like the production. But the song is still in the set. AE: We're gonna play it tomorrow and probably the day after tomorrow. We're playing it a lot fatter and faster than that.
G: So it's just the tinnyness of it, really? AE: Yeah.
G: But at the time, when you made it, you must have thought it was rather marvellous... AE: Well we thought it had a certain charm, we thought all our records at the time had a certain charm, and they certainly sounded like us. They were rubbish but they were rubbish in a nice kind of way. I always thought it was preferable than making records that sounded like everything else.
G: But it didn't sound like anything else. Doctor Avalanche, probably the most famous drum machine ever - even more famous than Echo of Echo and the Bunnymen - is still with you but in a different form. He has changed, hasn't he? AE: Yes, he's like Doctor Who. Up and including the good doctors, of course. We've yet to have Sylvester McCoy on stage, that'd be a really bad idea.
G: *laugh* Playing rhythm, just doing human beat box... AE: Of course, Eleanor Bron should have been the next Doctor Who; she would have been great.
G: There will be a woman Doctor Who, it will happen. Probably before there's a woman president of the United States. *long pause* Maybe not Eleanor Bron, though... AE: Maybe not.
G: She's too old now I think, sadly. AE: Nooooo...
G: You got a thing about Eleanor Bron! AE: She was great in "Bedazzled". She'd be great in everything. She would have been a great Doctor Who.
G: So, those old days, when you had just a very basic drum machine, that was the first line up of the band... There have been many line ups down the years and you're the constant; you're the nucleus of the band. It couldn't be the Sisters of Mercy without you, could it really? AE: I did try and fire myself when we're having problems with Warner Brothers... but they we'rent having it.
G: Just so you could walk away? AE: Errrrr... No, I would have been the one to stay and the rest of the band would have walked away. And I would have said "ok then".
G: We're gonna play Walk Away in a moment. People always thought Walk Away was a kind of coded message to the other members of the band. You were kind of falling out with them by the time the first album came out?... AE: Yeah, I thought one of them in particular might have found it a bit relevant.
G: You don't need to go into the whole of that. We're going to play another rubbish song. AE: This one is rubbish too, btw.
G: Great song, rubbishily recorded. AE: Folks, it gets better, bear with us. Andrew started from the back end.
G: Of course, we have to start by the beginning. We're talking back, in the old days, it was you and Gary Marx and Doctor Avalanche, then it was Craig Adams, then it was Wayne Hussey, then they kind of went away, then it was you and Patricia Morrison, then Tony James was involved as well... AE: You know this stuff!!! How sad is that?!
G: Tim Bricheno, from All About Eve, he was in there for a while, so loads and loads of members but you say on the website you've had a lot of guitarists but you've not had as many as Frank Sinatra had, which I think is quite poignant. AE: None of them have ended up under flyovers either....(long pause).....sadly.
G: But people have always thought it was you that was the problem because you've had so many different members in the band, but maybe it was them. Was that what you were suggesting? AE: Most of them just disappeared because they think "oooooh, hard work" this one isn't it. Andrew makes it look quite easy. So why don't I try and be Andrew, and I go off and do my own Andrew thing.
G: There was a bit of trouble too with the name, wasn't there for a while as well? When the Sisterhood became sort of a hot potato. AE: Yeah a little local difficulty.
G: To quote Harold MacMillan. AE: Warners thought they could have two bands on the same label with pretty much the same name. They had to be dissuaded from that course of action.
G: The Sisterhood album which you put out is a great album but every track on it is seven or eight minutes long or I'd play a track of that next. So I'm going to play a track off First and Last and Always... AE: I'll be back tomorrow.
G: Well, I could have played 3 eight minutes tracks and you wouldn't get to speak and people would be very upset. AE: Fantastic. I'm learning sign language so I never have to sing again.
G: Are you really? AE: Yeah.
G: But you know real spoken languages... AE: Yeah. But I'm not very good at speaking. I don't like it.
G: Can you write very well German, French, these kind of languages?
G: What about Chinese? AE: I've forgotten all the Chinese I learnt to write but that's quite tricky.
G: I imagine it is. I know Clive James learnt Japanese so he could read Japanese poetry. AE: It's tricky too. Gramattically Japanese is harder, but easier to write.
G: That's what you were doing in Leeds university when you started the band, and the this kind of distracted you slightly... AE: Yes.
G: ... for the rest of your life. AE: Sometimes I think I should go back and finish what I started. Not the band I started! The academic stuff I started!
G: Let's play another track that you don't like, Walk Away, from F&L&A.
G: That sounds better than Anaconda but it's still not quite there. AE: Yeah, close but no cigar.
G: You'll enjoy the last track which is from Vision Thing, which I assume you approve production wise. AE: Yes I think the 2nd and 3rd albums sound very good cause I made 'em. At the time when I've actually learnt something.
G: There are people e-mailing saying "when's the next cd coming out that I can buy?", because it's been a while, Andrew. AE: We keep offering stuff to record companies; they keep turning it down!
G: That's their fault? AE: *inspires deeply* It's definitely their fault.
G: Is there a way you could get it out, on the internet or whatever? AE: Ermmm... No, actually, cause my latest stuff is co-written with Adam. He won't let us release any of that for free. We won't let us use any of that for promo purposes. I'd have to sell that to a major record label or it doesn't come out at all. So at the moment we're recording all the other things and we have actually started putting things on the net. Bits and bobs.
G: [irrelevant] Are you playing in America again? One of our American listeners asked. Got any plans? AE: No, there are no plans at the moment. But I would imagine this summer we'll be playing Euro festivals again so America would have to wait till the autumn and that's a long way off so I don't know.
G: Well, it's possible. AE: It is possible, yeah.
G: You played one American tour... Public Enemy were on the bill, supporting gig. Do you like Public Enemy? AE: Yes, very. It was a good show.
G: But wasn't it Detroit they wouldn't put it on because they thought it was too incendiary to have black and white artists on the same bill, is that right? AE: Detroit wouldn't give us permission to have any hall in the city limit, so we had to go outside of Detroit for that one.
G: I suppose you can always do that. So you can beat the system? AE: But then you're only playing to white kids with cars.
G: I saw you in the Lyceum Ballroom in '85, I'm glad I did... AE: We love playing the Lyceum. It wasn't a bad show there.
G: It was just mainly smoke, dry ice. I couldn't really see you. I knew you were there cause I could hear you... AE: It's still supposed to be like that but the lighting man on this tour is not quite Smokey the bear, to be honest! *laugh*
G: I thought it was the most exciting thing on the world not to able to see the band so that was fine with me... AE: The most exciting thing in the world is not to be able to see the audience, let me tell you.
G: *laugh* So what's the audience like now? AE: Well they cough and splutter a lot obviously./
G: We had an e-mail from Derek Redpath, he said "I'll be the fat ex-goth with the goatee and no hair standing at the back". I'm sure you get a few of those, don't you? AE: Sounds like our catering man...
G: The "G" word come up. I know it's your least favourite word... AE: Guardian reader.
[what/who are they talking about?!] ;-)
G: People seem much more comfortable saying they're Guardian reader you ever did, about being called a Guardian reader's band. AE: *Ha Ha* (Dracula-type laugh)
G: Does it still irk you or have you moved on? AE: I've now settled for greatest living Englishman.
G: That will do. Or intellectual love god... AE: ......*both talking at once*....at the end that's not all (????) is it. And just God on it's own, I don't know, that's pushing the point a bit.
G: People always said that you hated music journalists, that you hated the press... AE: Well, I slept with a couple. They weren't all bad...
G: Which ones were they? Must have been from "Sounds"? AE: Errrrr... Well, here's a clue: one of them writes for the Observer now.
G: Really? That's very interesting. AE: And the Times.
G: Ah! I think I know who you're talking about! Well, obviously we won't go into it but that's very interesting! But I thought you were loved by the press in some way... AE: I was loved in that way. Thank you, yes. I thought you didn't want to know the squishy details.
G: No. But you were loved by some journalists. Some journalists thought you were great. AE: Yeah. We got a few covers on the Melody Maker. Not so many in Sounds. We were always completely ignored by the NME.
G: But you're still going now, so who cares? AE: We'll outlast the NME.
G: I'm sure you will. We're going to play Detonation Boulevard which is from Vision Thing and we're saying yes to the production... AE: This is not rubbish!
G: ... Because you did it! It has been a great pleasure, Andrew. You can go outside now and light your fag. AE: Oh, thank you!