Morrissey Central "Turning The Inside Out." (July 5, 2021)

Turning The Inside Out.​

IMG_0022_jswbbs.jpg


TURNING THE INSIDE OUT
questioning Morrissey's answers June 2021

SAM:
Obviously we know each other, and I receive a lot of questions to be handed on to you, so I will ask those questions on the pretense that I don't know you.

M:
Yes, I get it.

SAM:
What is it about Go_A that … makes you listen to them all day?

M:
"SHUM" is the first bit of the answer, but there are more layers and I think when you are excited by a band you automatically want to go to where they come from - and even, in some cases, live there. So, I'm checking bedsits in Kiev. The singers that you fall in love with become whatever your imagination imagines, and Kateryna is so cold and bony and I can't wait to get to Ukraine. I haven't ever been there.

SAM:
It's not quite the same thing, I know, but you've also been playing a lot of Tiny Tim lately. What's the attraction?

M:
I was hoping you couldn't hear. Well, he was a genius - let's start with that. And I have enormous respect for anyone who can achieve originality in pop music because it's so very rare, and he certainly did that. He had a terrific voice, and if you don't think so then you should try to sing how he sang. You won't be able to. Also, you can see where Sparks took their cue, and also why Bowie covered 'Fill Your Heart'. In fact there's a photo online from 1968 of Bowie staring lovingly at Tiny Tim. He wasn't novelty as some people think. He was unique.

SAM:
On the subject of Sparks, they've attacked you in recent years. Does this upset you?

M:
Amazingly, no, because I'm quite used to it. I stood by Sparks for many years and I promoted them in my own humble way whenever I could, and they were famously people without opinions so I was surprised that they kicked me in the teeth. It came across as an almost fiendish ingratitude. Oh, the pain of parting! [laughs]. They will always be important to me as a memory.

SAM:
Your single with David Bowie reached number 1 this year in the Official Chart and the vinyl chart, yet I don't know anyone who heard it on radio. This must upset you?

M:
Yes. It hurts to look at the sky. No, sorry, that was a joke. The only point about radio play is whether it matters. It didn't matter to the people who bought the single and put it at number 1. But, obviously, I've always wondered what a big promotional push would be like.

SAM:
I wasn't ever a Bowie fan, and I don't understand the hysteria for him.

M:
Well, certainly in 1972, '73, '74 he looked incredible, and he was earth-threatening for that period, so, when you consider how he started with no advantages it's remarkable how a strong level of fantasy and vanity can give you so much strength, and he did it without giving anything whatsoever of his true self away.

SAM:
His true self? What do you mean?

M:
Well, he was always laughing at something, or smiling at least, and never spoke about anything in depth. I'd say something not remotely funny and he'd burst out laughing.

SAM:
If he were alive now do you think you'd be friends?

M:
I don't think he was friends with anybody. Lou told me that David would pass him on the street and look the other way. He also said that David spent his final years in his apartment eating meatballs. But, God bless him.

SAM:
Your mother … my grandmother, died in 2020, and I know you suffered an emotional breakdown.

M:
Yes. Yes. It killed me. It was the first feeling of being alone… in the true sense of the word. It brings something that you cannot cope with … the final stage of growing up, perhaps. And apart from your own nervous breakdown you realize that there remains only one more important event in your life and that is your own death. When you give that unimaginable final hug, you also die. How can you not? I haven't recovered, I've simply adjusted to the pain. It doesn't get better.

SAM:
Can you be thankful for anything?

M:
No. When your mother dies it's the point where the end of your own life begins. You won't recover, you can't recover, and you don't recover. People who tell you time is a great healer are probably alcoholic. You can only adjust by becoming reconciled to an ongoing sadness. You must face life on your own, and that's very difficult.

SAM:
But how fiercely does it hit someone such as yourself who, if you don't mind me saying, is already so negatively disposed? How do you have any chance of pulling yourself together?

M:
Well, as you know, your grandmother had an almost incomprehensible strength and warmth and intelligence, and therefore, without her, everything is empty of meaning for me. I can't meet one single day with an open mind. As I said somewhere recently, the human heart cannot be repaired, and once I accept that, I can go on, and I can stop looking for a brave front. When someone you love above all others dies you are certain that no more meaning can be left, and this is true. Death is a disgusting arrangement, and grief is a disgusting arrangement, and whoever thought it brought order and meaning to life is worse than useless. Life has too many burdens. Who is looking after us?

SAM:
Does this mean your faith has gone?

M:
It can't because Catholicism takes an unshakable root. It's not like collecting stamps. You might very well become atheist but the final words you utter will still be 'dear God, please help me'… unless you're Christopher Hitchens.

SAM:
But you experienced life with your Mother for 61 years, whereas some people are parted in a short space of time.

M:
Yes, I think of Emily Jones the 7-year old girl from Bolton who had her throat slit whilst cycling through the park on Mother's Day. The killer was from Albania and was only recently allowed into Britain, and was then cleared of the murder of Emily because the killer hadn't been taking her medication … blah, blah, blah … you know how modern British law is. Interesting how the killer didn't slit her OWN throat … she wasn't too confused to do THAT. But I can't imagine how Emily's parents cope with something like that … if they are even still alive?

SAM:
The UK is very inhospitable now, and you were viciously attacked for your political comments two or three years ago. Where do you stand now?

M:
I still haven't ever voted for a political party in my entire life, and my interest has curdled recently because, well, I was only attacked a couple of years ago because I had actually hit on something. If you talk dribble the press will not print your dribble. They might print a lengthy article on why I should be ignored, but by writing the article in the first place they show their own inability to ignore me! [laughs] Politically, Britain is now a spectacular failure, but I'm perfectly reconciled to the fact that the people will always revomit the same old parties into power. I'm not interested. A harmony of all interests isn't possible, anyway, not in music or politics or in society. In the first place we always seem to be lumbered with a Prime Minister who, once elected, will not ever represent the wishes of the electorate. There really is nothing to believe in.

SAM:
We now live in Covid Society which is gleefully inflicted on the British public - or should I say the poorer elements of British society, so why do you think the public take it lying down?

M:
Because they are quite used to the political scene being dominated by someone whom they can't stand. The bigger problem is that nobody can any longer agree with anyone else, and this is the main outcome of Con-vid. It has brought the worst out in people, and we weren't ever in this together. We are deprived of seeing and hearing other people, and above all, you want to be with others who see and hear what you see and hear, because this is basic oxygen for the human soul. Take it away and people are dead.

SAM:
Covid Society is also the precise description of slavery, yet we are supposed to be in a time when anything connected to slavery must be blown up or thrown in a canal in Bristol.

M:
Precisely. And more people are now forced into poverty which is another form of slavery, as is tax and Council Tax and all the other ways in which we are pinned down and tracked. Our present freedom is restricted to visiting supermarkets and buying sofas. The government act like Chinese emperors… "We will allow you live as we do if you behave yourself."

SAM:
Will there be a revolution?

M:
No, because the tanks would be turned against the people immediately. The police are already trained to believe that every answer you give them is a lie. This is all nothing to do with me. It's just the way it is.

SAM:
But how do you cope with this repetitive misery, this belief that the world has ended?

M:
It's easy once you accept the reality that the political elite … or the House of Windsor … or whomever you see as privileged, are only elevated because they have more money than you, and as a consequence they want nothing to do with you. When you realize this you can block them out and they will fade away. They are nothing without your interest in them. Stop talking about them and they cease to be important.

SAM:
Where do you go then for yours news?

M:
Julia Hartley-Brewer*, Sky News Australia is very honest, and also Alex Belfield. I would never tune into
television news because it isn't news, it's control by fear. I am sick to death of issues of race and identity politics … both of which are a moral disaster. Leave people alone! We can look after ourselves! We always have! We don't need your approval!

SAM:
You have said that you are apolitical.

M:
This remains true. I haven't ever belonged to a political party, but you can still have political views without chaining yourself to a tree. But, calm down. There must be a little bit of everything in life, otherwise the tedium of beheading anyone who disagrees with you is not as much fun as an energizing debate and an exchanging of views. It's actually fun, especially after four pints at the Cock 'n Comfort. There's no need to set fire to your hair just because someone prefers Donald Trump to Joe Biden. The world will go on long after you've dropped dead in anger.

SAM:
What do you think of the state of American politics?

M:
I couldn't care less now. I'd rather jump naked into a swimming pool at midnight. The world will spin however it spins. My time on earth is now very limited and although I don't as yet know how, I'm going to try to enjoy it.

SAM:
Some have tried to cancel you because of your views.

M:
You can't cancel someone who has always been cancelled. When did you last see me on television, or hear me on the radio? I unintentionally invented the condition of being cancelled! [laughs] The music industry hasn't ever celebrated me or offered me free food. I've always been treated like a scientific experiment gone wrong. I'm used to it. I've been immune to enemy fire for many years. I wear a bullet-proof vest in the bath. It seems to me that as soon as one person boo's they all start to boo, and then when someone cheers they all start to cheer… but that's just a loose theory. [laughs]

SAM:
Does this mean you'll never reign it in?

M:
Whatever my place is … I've earned the right to be here. There's nothing to reign in. There are cyclists in Bristol with OBE's. Even the cat yawns. I've never been on a political rally and I've never given a political speech so my apparent position as a political voice is hugely flattering but nonexistent.

SAM:
A lot of Facebook nonentities obsessively criticize you, as if they almost have a crush on you but can't get your attention. Is this hurtful?

M:
I'm a stern believer in free speech, but in my case I actually mean free speech for everyone - not just for those who agree with me. So, people must say what they feel, and when it gets ugly or insulting it reflects badly on them - not on me. It's usually best to leave your critics alone with their own words clanking through their brains. If you rush into a defensive reply you dignify their position. Actually, I don't even care…

SAM:
You are writing new songs with Alain Whyte. How did that come about?

M:
We had been in touch a lot over the last few years and so I suggested we try something out and he's given me some incredible music. It would be for next year though, not this, but it's all terrific music. We didn't ever part acrimoniously, but as usual people's snippy views get in the way and suddenly it all gets warped. Alain and I wrote some outstanding songs together … in my view, anyway!

SAM:
I can't believe we've come this far in our talk without mentioning your new album Bonfire Of Teenagers. It's your most elegant and uplifting album. It doesn't sound like another step in the same direction. It is incredible to think that you recorded it so quickly, after your mother's death, and after BMG dropping you. Do you mind if we go track-to-track?

M:
Of course not.

SAM:
'I Am Veronica' is so clever, and so catchy, it sounds like your biggest chance at a worldwide hit … even more than 'First Of The Gang To Die', or 'This Charming Man'. It is better than both of those songs.

M:
I've had so much sorrow in my life recently but I listen to 'I Am Veronica' and, as frightening as this sounds, it seems to shine such a positive light and I begin to understand all the good things about my life. Now, that might sound silly, but I forget very easily that there are a few things in life that I am actually good at, and 'I Am Veronica' makes me understand why I persist, or why I do what I do. I love the song so much.

SAM:
'Rebels Without Applause' is the same … by which I mean, there's something about your enthusiasm on this track, and how, again, it sounds like … potentially … a number 1 single, even though … what does being number 1 mean anymore?

M:
Yes, it's unfortunate, but most number 1 songs don't seem to … well, there was a time when songs reached number 1 because people liked them, and because the songs brought a love of music to the listener, or something. We all know this doesn't happen now, and whatever becomes number 1 is just a question of product and clever marketing.

SAM:
You mention Generation X and X Ray Spex in 'Rebels Without Applause'. Were these your favourite punk bands?

M:
They were great London bands, and it was great collecting their singles … as with The Jam … and the excitement of waiting-to-buy something that would be released on a Thursday … and you could find it in at least ten shops in Manchester, well, it's sad to reflect on how enjoyable all of that was and how it was needlessly chopped away.

SAM:
'Kerouac's Crack' is about Jack Kerouac, and therefore Allen Ginsberg becomes the first person to be mentioned in two of your songs. Again, this song is like a participation song and could also be a hit but for the word 'crack', I suppose.

M:
It's a reference to the point whereby as a writer he cracks up.

SAM:
Yes, I know. 'Ha Ha Harlem' is the song easiest to imagine live. It has a lot of lyrics and a lot of musical changes. You also use very high falsetto. I think some people were wondering if you could even sing that way any more. Musically, it is phenomenal, yet only Jesse (Tobias) from your usual band is on the album. Was is difficult working with musicians who I suppose were strangers?

M:
No. It gave me a new curiosity because I didn't know how anyone would play or interpret the song, but it all came together instantly and that absolutely amazed me. The moods, the twists, the precision … it's difficult to do well, and I was blessed with a most supremely intelligent producer. He played and sang backing vocals on every track … so beautifully … and brought something that no one else could hear into each track. I felt scorched by 'Ha Ha Harlem' … we all just looked at each other in astonishment saying 'where the hell did THAT come from?'. 'Ha ha Harlem / where they want to keep you OUT OF YOUR MIND!" … the bass is a ferocious rasp … distorted at times …

SAM:
The song also mentions James Baldwin, whom I know you love, and there's a line … 'you can't deal with people who want nothing' which I think is the most apt lyric of your life, or for your life.
I understand why you don't want to mention the names of the people on your album at this stage because, as you say, you have a lot of dedicated haters who will stalk or pester anyone who works with you in search of gossip.

M:
Yes, that's unfortunately correct, although I don't understand it. Most of the dedicated haters just want to get their names on Wikipedia because I can't possibly offend anyone to such a manic degree. I mean, there's kids being knifed every day in central London … I spend all my spare time trying to memorize the names of plants. How do I threaten anyone?

SAM:
'I Live In Oblivion' is so powerful it's actually unsettling. How do you fit rhythmical lines in between crashing marching drums? I didn't ask that question very well. The last two minutes are devastating and chilling… it's tearful before you even understand why.

M:
I don't know. I only did the vocal twice. It's all instinct. It's the only thing I have instinct for.

SAM:
You sing 'I apologize, I grew old' - is this how you feel personally?

M:
A little, but this is because people often forget that I am actually 62 and not 27, and obviously the body changes every seven years and there's nothing you can do about it. You must just accept it. The awkward aspect is that we all stay the same age inside till the day we die.

SAM:
Is this why you no longer do photo sessions?

M:
Not necessarily. I've never thought I looked particularly good, and I'm not here for my looks. As you age the body goes wrong. It's nothing to do with me, and you can't pretend what is happening isn't happening. I woke up one day and had Robert Mitchum's chest. I have no idea how that happened. But would I want to look like a skinny adolescent? That would be horrifying.

SAM:
'Bonfire of Teenagers' the track is magnificent, but you must be expecting some manufactured paranoia … the usual 'you can't sing about THAT' pearl fumblers.

M:
… because?

SAM:
It's about the Manchester Arena Bombing.

M:
It's about the kids who were murdered, yes. We are not encouraged to look beneath the surface because it's dark and hidden. But the song is anti-terror, and anyone who finds that offensive can only be devoid of personal morality. As your brother once said to me, the Manchester Arena Bombing was Britain's 9/11. We should appreciate anyone who asks questions.

SAM:
But there is a very annoying necessity everywhere for debating something that is actually factual. Doesn't this exhaust you?

M:
It wasn't always so. I spoke several times in the late nineties of a noticeable dumbing down of Britain, and it is now fully in force and I think most noticeable in the new flux of television commercials which, for me, makes watching television unbearable. I might sometimes want to see a certain program but I won't switch on because I know the moronic dancing commercials will make me ill.

SAM:
'My Funeral' is beautiful and quite folksy in a 'Half A Person' way … and again … you mention Dwight Frye and Bruce Lee and it's humorously sad. I think this type of song is what you are best at. Do you understand?

M:
Yes. It's been said. Pillowy more than depressing, though.

SAM:
'I Ex-Love You' does unmistakably have a certain Smiths sound. Intentional?

M:
Yes, it's a trap. I'm trying to live up to my trashy reputation. No, sorry, I was talking to the plant.

SAM:
The best two tracks are the final two in my opinion, 'Sure Enough, The Telephone Rings' and 'Saint In A Stained Glass Window'. They are so physical that it almost becomes exhausting, and the choirs are … are they real people?

M:
Yes! Real people with their own bodies.

SAM:
'Sure enough the telephone rings / who wants my money now? / otherwise the telephone never would ring', are the lyrics. Is that how you feel about your life?
M: Resolutely.

SAM:
and on 'Saint In A Stained Glass Window' you are asking Jesus to let you die because you've had enough. Is that also how you feel?

M:
Well, since the death of my mother - which was so awful - I've been between two worlds, and unfortunately time only moves in one direction. We can't go back.

SAM:
Do you think, as remarkable as this album is, that any major label will sign you?

M:
No. It almost hardly matters that the album is remarkable. It almost hardly matters that you have a dedicated audience. These are no longer important considerations.

SAM:
What is it, then?

M:
The music industry is punishingly weak now, and it only wants to sign a product that can just about amuse at lunchtime. You are said to be difficult if you can actually express yourself. And that's what makes me me.

SAM:
It's very sad.

M:
It could be worse - I could be hanging upside down in a butcher's window.

SAM:
In a way, you are.

M:
Not really. I can still walk on land.

SAM;
I have a few more straightforward questions from your fans … and I know you dislike the word 'fans' but I don't know what else to call them. So, here goes. I'll read them off cards like on University Challenge. One: your best album?

M:
Bonfire Of Teenagers, World Peace Is None of Your Business and California Son.

SAM:
Two: your best single?

M:
'It's Over'. I regret 'Istanbul' and 'The Bullfighter Dies' never being issued as singles, but the label just wasn't in the mood. It's never a problem to deliver strong singles, but it's very difficult to get them released.

SAM:
Three: what is your favourite film of all-time?

M:
'Hot Spell' from 1957 … Shirley Booth, Shirley MacLaine, Earl Holliman, Anthony Quinn, Eileen Heckart.

SAM:
Four: will you wear an Elvis Presley jumpsuit when you play Vegas in August?

M: Yes.

SAM:
Five: you biggest honour?

M:
Sophia Loren coming to see me at the Hollywood Bowl.

SAM:
Six; what will be the name of your new cat?

M:
Chester Bennington.

SAM:
Seven: will you ever return to Norway?

M:
I don't think I'd ever be asked.

SAM:
Eight: will you play soon in Poland?

M:
Without any doubt. I love being in Poland.

SAM:
Will the UK ever be out of Lockdown?

M:
It isn't really in Lockdown except for people at the lower end of the social ladder. People who have wealth are not remotely affected by rules and regulations. Their lives are as they always were. The police only fine people who live on council estates. Haven't you noticed?

SAM:
Ten: when did you last cry at something on the television?

M:
When I accidentally turned it on.

SAM:
Eleven: do you see yourself doing this at 70?

M:
It doesn't take much eye strain to see that far ahead.

SAM:
Twelve: what deceased personal friend do you miss the most?

M:
Well, my mother was my best friend … but you mean otherwise and so I'd say Victoria Wood or Peter Wyngarde. I have lots of hand-written letters from both of them … which is odd these days, isn't it.

SAM:
Thirteen: will there ever again be Morrissey interviews in the music press?

M:
No. I'm never asked… as far as I know.

SAM: Fourteen:

M: Fourteen!

SAM:
if you were to play a famous character in a film who would it be?

M:
Columbo. I'm already dressed for the part, as you can see.

SAM:
Here's to Bonfire Of Teenagers!

M:
Here's to tomorrow … will it really come?

IMG_0023_jitjsw.jpg




* = added later


Media items:
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
FUUUCK. Just what the doctor ordered. Saving this for later.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

Well-Known Member
This... is quite something.

I think the most important message here is his positive(-ish) attitude towards his new work and life in general... already talking about songs for next year... written with Alain Whyte.

Oh, and the Elvis suit.
 
Last edited:

TheSmiths_1985

King of Haiku
Interesting bits (for me, anyway):
- he’s writing with Alain Whyte again, but why bother if he can’t even get BoT released?
- only Jesse from the current band line-up plays on the album, so who wrote the actual songs/music? And who are the session musicians? Is this because they‘re cheaper than Boz ‘n’ the lads?
- has he mentioned before who the producer is?
- interesting that he didn’t take the opportunity to distance himself from For Britain et al.

And I enjoyed this: “Most of the dedicated haters just want to get their names on Wikipedia because I can't possibly offend anyone to such a manic degree. I mean, there's kids being knifed every day in central London … I spend all my spare time trying to memorize the names of plants. How do I threaten anyone?”
 

Light Housework

useless shedder
"It's usually best to leave your critics alone with their own words clanking through their brains. If you rush into a defensive reply you dignify their position. Actually, I don't even care…"
 

Surface

Vegan Cro’s parents regret the condom splitting
Interesting to hear that only Jesse was involved in the new album, I have wondered wether Boz has left altogether as he seems to be spending most of his time in Portugal.

Fantastic that he is working with Alan Whyte again, wonder what the posters on here who dismiss his previous contributions will think about that

I don’t think Cosmic Dancer reached number 1 in the official charts, it did in the vinyl chart

There seems to be some self reflection going on which is nice to see.

Disappointing to see him call Covid, Con - Vid
 
Last edited:

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
I don’t think Cosmic Dancer reached number 1 in the official charts, it did in the vinyl chart

Yes, it's kind of amazing/depressing how both Sam and Morrissey (a) actually don't understand how the charts work anymore or (b) choose to wilfully ignore the truth.

Great news about Alain, though, and now I really, really want to hear the Bonfire album...
 
L

Lujissey.

Guest
MOOZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ❤️ ❤️ : tiphat::Cinco altos::risa::risa::risa:: tiphat:❤️: tiphat:❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

My life!!!! finally !!!. How I miss Moz! This report is very sad and also very cheerful!!!! It killed me when Moz said that suddenly one morning dawned with the anteroposterior diameter of the chest similar to that of Robert Mitchum!!!! And I thought the phrase "sorry, I got old" was great, it's true that many don't forgive him his birthday, people don't want old age, it's like that, !!!! he is very attractive!! I don't care if it gets dark, I appreciate it being alive :tiphat: ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ :microphone::microphone:❤️❤️

que lento el solo para puublicar que pasaaaa???????????
 

Pokey

Member
Good lord I hope he stops watching sky news Australia. Most of that non music stuff I don’t care much about but the music part is very interesting.

im taking it that what he means is that Alain songs won’t be on Bonfire, but they will feature on what will come after it?
 

Irregular Regular

Forget my fate.
A wonderful interview.
One of his best in my opinion, if not his best ever.
So much of what he says resonates with me, it's as if he is able to put into words exactly how I think / feel about so many topics.
The same as it always was, the same as it always was...
 
Last edited:

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Good lord I hope he stops watching sky news Australia. Most of that non music stuff I don’t care much about but the music part is very interesting.

im taking it that what he means is that Alain songs won’t be on Bonfire, but they will feature on what will come after it?
Yes, that seems to be the case re Alain songs - I love that he's being so productive these days! (Even if I'm still anxious about anybody actually releasing these records...)
 

TheSmiths_1985

King of Haiku
There has to be some sort of deal/plan in place to release the album. If not, why bother recording it?
Otherwise it’s just a self-funded vanity project to take his mind off his mum dying.
 
I

Indie

Guest
He didn’t mention anything about his collaboration with A$AP Rocky, probably too embarrassed to talk about it :lbf: And not even brief explanation about Diana Dors’ track. Maybe he will release it as a teaser single instead
 

Trending Threads

Top Bottom