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bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 27 Feb 2013, 19:42

The Times on 24-02-13
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Re: big press!?

Post by sunshine » 27 Feb 2013, 19:50

Q Mag April 2013
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Re: big press!?

Post by sunshine » 02 Mar 2013, 07:11 ... loodsports

A Quietus Interview - Cheating The "Living Death": Suede Interviewed
Luke Turner , March 1st, 2013 07:01

They triumphed with their live return, and now they're about to release killer new album Bloodsports. Luke Turner speaks to Brett Anderson and Mat Osman about the fears around returning to the studio, giving up bad habits, and why Suede will always be a girls' band

I was recently looking through a set of old copies of Select magazine, which I bought religiously and regularly as a teenager. A few issues escaped my poster-hunting scalpel, and one of them was an edition from 1997, with a cover featuring Suede's Brett Anderson and Neil Codling. "I've tried everything" screamed the headline quote, and the picture of Brett seemed to prove it. Short-haired, pale and slightly stubbly, there's a worn toughness in his expression that suggests the ingestion of vast quantities of the wrong kind of drugs. Six months or so later, the band would head to Sarm studios in West London to begin recording their fourth album, Head Music the record that, according to most, marked the moment of their inexorable decline.

What a difference a decade and a half makes. Today, in their press officer's palatial Earl's Court office, Brett Anderson wears a smart leather bomber jacket and looks fiendishly healthy. He and Matt Osman, his old schoolfriend and Suede bassist, cut a raffish air, eyes slightly lined by years of misbehaviour, but possessing a rather defiant twinkle.

Twinkle as well they might, for Suede have avoided what Anderson will go on to describe as the "living death" of being a revived band wearily plodding around the world and playing The Hits as a kind of travelling indie disco a la Pixies. Instead, they've made Bloodsports, an album that's very Suede (lots of shagging, tricksy romance, histrionic guitar pop) and then something rather new, more focussed than anything they've done in years.

Osman says the band wanted to make an album that went some way towards capturing what it felt like to be back together to "make a fucking racket onstage" for their triumphant reunion gigs three years ago. The bassist says he assumed Suede would come back and make something more mature and reflective - "thank God we didn't," is Brett's retort. There's a tough ferocity here that Suede haven't had before, largely because the album was written for two guitarists (a first for Suede since their earliest days when Justine Frischmann was in the band). Rather than the instrument-swapping approach of their previous two albums, Anderson, Osman, guitarist Richard Oakes, drummer Simon Gilbert and keyboard player and second guitarist Neil Codling were back in defined roles, rather than contributing here and there. Bloodsports is a fantastic record by England's most contradictory band - loved by some, derided by many, still "the best British punk, rock n roll, sex-pop-glam band of the past 20 years" as I described them in NME a couple of years back. Yet how close did we perhaps come to there never being any more new Suede material?

Was there an element of fear going into this? When did the moment click when you thought 'let's do an album'? Was it because you didn't want to be playing old material?
Brett Anderson: We definitely didn't want to be doing greatest hits round and round, that's just a living death. We definitely wanted the band to have a contemporary currency, for want of a better word.
Mat Osman: I think there was a completely different point between 'let's start writing again' and 'let's make an album'. We started writing in the knowledge that it might not work, in the same way as we did the Albert Hall gig with a huge question mark hanging over it: will this work? You can't assume. We wrote and threw away a lot, and we soul-searched before we were sure it was something that we were going to do.
BA: We still weren't sure until quite late whether we were going to release it. Even after we'd written a few really good things we still only had half a record, and we thought 'this is quite hard', as every album is. It wasn't until we wrote 'Barriers', for some reason that song glued everything into place. There are often songs that are tipping points when you make a record, and for some reason that song happened at the right point. Then suddenly we had a record.

'Barriers is a classic Suede song, a 'Trash' or a 'Drowners'... did you go into the studio thinking 'that's what we want to do, that classic Suede pop music'?
BA: That's why 'Barriers' is a key track for me, it sounded like Suede but it sort of didn't sound like Suede, and it sounded like we'd moved on and it was a nice point between those two extremes. That was the whole trick of this record, coming back after ten years of not making an album. It needed to sound like a band, but it couldn't possibly sound like self-parody. That's why we discarded so many songs, it was like a new band starting over - you don't hear half their new songs when they first get together. We needed to have this brutal sense of what or wasn't good enough.
MO: There was a lot of stuff that got almost up to being a song and then disappeared the next week. It was a fairly brutal system... here's another one you won't be seeing again. It was The Somme for songs.

I think in the Q interview Mat you said it was like writing a debut album all over again.

MO: It is. I don't know if we're different from other bands, but I look at a lot who have come back after time away and they generally come back with something moribund and dead. I think it's partly because you think you can pick up where you left off, and perhaps some bands can. But we just couldn't.

You talk about it being hard work and throwing stuff away, is this the most self-critical you've been as songwriters?
BA: Absolutely.
MO: And not just self-critical, because we had Ed [Buller] there as another level of blistering criticism.
BA: Ed was brilliant because he was really brutal about it, very very honest, but exactly what we needed. This is what Ed does really well, he marshals the troops really well. He's a brilliant people person, and he's an especially brilliant people person with Suede. For some reason it just works, he inspires us and knows how to get the best out of us by a mixture of the carrot and the stick.
MO: Quite a lot of stick.

How about going back to Sarm Studios where you did Head Music, was there a bit of trepidation going back there as it didn't always work for you as a place?
BA: There was actually, because I'm quite a superstitious person, so doing things like that - I don't like it. But I also have this double superstition that I can beat it, it happened with the Albert Hall, because the first time I played the Albert Hall I didn't really enjoy it, but the second was the best gig we ever did. I'm aware of a sense of battling against these superstitions, so yes you're absolutely right. Do you remember Richard had his birthday there last year, and he said the last time he was there had his birthday there was 1998...
MO: An awful, awful day...
BA: There was a very different mood in the band then. Neil was suffering, he was probably at home in bed with ME.
MO: No-one was there, that was the thing.
BA: I was there in a sense, but not really there in another sense. Dark days when we were making that album, the darkest period of the band in a funny way. Being back there did have a double edge to it, but it felt good as well. And it's round the corner from my house...
MO: ...let's be honest, that sealed the deal...
BA: ...I had to get back to fix the dinner.

Although the record is really fierce and has a load of energy, it doesn't feel as if you're trying to recapture past glories. It sounds like it should do for a bunch of people who are where you're at in life. Not wanting to say wisdom of age....
BA: ...definitely not wisdom...
MO: I think some of the music sounds youthful and brash, but there's a nice change in the lyrics, they've grown up a bit.
BA: I was very conscious of what I learned with Head Music about self-parody in lyrics. That was a huge mistake. By using phrases that I'd used before I was trying to take attention away from the lyrics and put it on the music. I was using the lyrics as these blank things to create song structures, but of course people focussed on them instead, the weakness of the lyrics as a stick to beat me with. That was a huge learning curve, I still read about the 'house' and 'mouse' line as confirmation of me being a shit lyricist, as if I wasn't aware of the stupidity of rhyming like that. It was stupid to use it, perhaps. You live and learn. I realised that the music can reference Suede, but the lyrics must not. Definitely no using any of my "skyline", "hired car" lexicon.
MO: I think that's a real shame, because personally I love it when artists and filmmakers tie their work together, someone like The Hold Steady where over eight albums this cast of characters and these phrases recur. I think it's a shame that you have to be aware of that, but we're not making these records for ourselves, they're for for the rest of the world.

It's nice to hear someone say that
MO: I've always thought that the strangest thing I've ever heard is that 'we're making music for ourselves and if anyone else likes it it's a bonus'. Why did you fucking release it then?
BA: It's bullshit
MO: The whole point is to become part of people's lives. The records that I love are so tied up with moments in my life and people in my life because they're there to hook into you, and talk to you. We're making music for other people, and if we like it it's a bonus.
BA: ...which we often don't.

When it came to writing lyrics again after your solo albums, was there a difference in how you were doing it?
BA: I specifically didn't want to write any of the music for this album. The band wrote the music and I wrote the vocal melodies and the lyrics because I wanted it to be a band album rather than me writing a couple of piano songs and wedging it in there. I wanted a strong band identity. That was the whole point of reforming the band and making an album. I respond differently to the music that Suede make than I do to me sitting at the piano and writing a song, so immediately there's a tension, a sleaziness, a deviance and a transgressiveness to it which i possible don't have when I'm writing solo stuff.

Why do you think Suede brings that out in you?
BA: I dunno... Suede songs are hard to sing. I respond to the energy and sing at the top of my range. It brings out a different demon in me. When you're making solo records, I was always very conscious of drifting away from the Suede thing and writing about a different side of life. But writing for Suede again means I can quite happily write about all these murky little corners of life. I don't know why, but Suede presses these buttons in me. All the songs are about aspects of relationships. The album was conceived as a journey from the start to the end of a relationship, taking on all the points in between - suspicion, obsession, infatuation, co-dependency.

The album title, Bloodsports, was a good title considering that Suede write songs about shagging and relationships...
BA: It's a wry look at the endless game of love, the fact that it's got blood and sports in there together, it sums it up, a slightly cynical look at romance.

There was one particular line "I'll take you through the male mistake" that struck, felt very honest and a very direct analysis of masculinity that you don't often get in pop.
BA: It's pointing out the weakness of the man. I've always considered women to be much more evolved than men, and looked at most men I know, including myself, and think 'God we really are an inferior breed, sitting talking about cars while they're sitting talking about love and relationships. Can't I be at that end of the table?' The whole androgynous aspect of Suede in the early days wasn't a sexual thing, it was an aspirational thing, I'd like to be more like a woman emotionally, so I'm going to wear a blouse... and by doing that getting it completely wrong in a linear, male way.
MO: Very early on there was a Britpop club on Oxford Street, and the fliers had all the bands who were played, Oasis and stuff, and at the bottom it had this little thing saying 'sorry girls, no Suede'. I always remember that with real pride, and I always liked the idea that that we might be a girls' band.

Are you still a girls' band?
MO: I hope so, I really do, because when I think of the opposite, the lad's band, you don't want to be that, the theme to Top Gear.

Did you feel that, like with the gigs, you had a point to prove?
BA: Absolutely. We didn't want A New Morning to be the last Suede album. We wanted to say 'we can actually do this well'. It's always been like that with Suede, we've always had a point to prove. It's never a thing where we can coast, and when we have coasted it's gone wrong. I see other bands and they just seem to coast and for some reason they manage to stay together and people don't kick them to death. For some reason, Suede always have to be at the top of their game to work.

I wanted to ask about this. Right from the beginning, people have had it in for you. Everyone wants you to fail yet nobody has emulated Suede, which is quite exciting - you wind people up and nobody has managed to rip you off, which seems like a sign of success. Why do people find you annoying?
BA: The only reason I can think of why we polarise people so much is the press hysteria we had at first. It was a phenomenon.
MO: For a lot of people who love Suede we're their favourite band. If people really love you, then it means that if other people don't like us, they hate us. It's as simple as that.
BA: We never made comfortable music. Listen to them musically, they're always awkward. The softest thing we've ever done is something like 'She's In Fashion', but all the hits are [adopts high-pitched tone] MNNEEEEEE WRRRRRR, they're all melodic but the vocals... it's mainly to do with my singing. I'm a massive Sex Pistols fan and I've always loved the edge that we had, and I suppose I'm always trying to put that into the music. I think that's the way Suede songs work best, where it's not too comfortable in the vocal. I'm an ambitious writer but I'm not technically the world's greatest singer, so trying to achieve these vocal ranges grates on people, but that's the way it is. It's got its own personality and I'm proud of that.

There's an element in the indie realm in your peers or what's come since where it's very casual, you can turn up, drink loads of beer, hug your mates, fall over, but you don't have to have much engagement...
BA: I've never liked that whole attitude, I've always felt very separate, always felt that this is something that should be taken very seriously and it's not just a social event.
MO: When we started off, because we were pushed into this position very early on we were doing things that other people weren't getting to do. We were a kind of band that wasn't really around at the time, there's not a lot of bands who sound like us, but after we happened there was a nice kind of template and career path for a whole load of bands who came from that Melody Maker, NME world... you can be in the charts, you can be on Radio One. For us we had no idea what we were doing, and were pushing it as far as we could go, and I think that kind of ambition is quite annoying, especially if you don't like the sound of us. It's frustrating if you're anybody else. It's the way we've always been, we're quite contrary, we've always tried to do things our own way.
BA: We've never really networked. Half the bands out there are mates with each other, and we've never done that. We've never really gone to music business parties or hung out with guys at festivals.
MO: People are always asking 'do you know so-and-so', but I don't fucking know anyone.

The music is quite hermetically sealed too... it's the Suede universe
MO: For a long time every other musician seemed to fucking hate us. I find it really strange when you do festivals and stuff, and because it's not competitive in the same way you get bands coming up and saying 'I really love your band, I've got all your records'. It sounds really weird but I thought it was just real people who liked us. It's difficult to conceive now just how vitriolically small the pool of people who made up that scene was. Million selling records, and everyone living within four miles of each other and going to the same pubs. It's very strange to me now, because I was incredibly mistrustful of all other musicians, because for a lot of other people we represented... there was a very comfortable way of being in a band that got destroyed when we came along and said 'you can have a number one record without being meaningless. You should expect to be ambitious, and passionate and dramatic and still be on Top Of The Pops. That was an uncomfortable thing for a very neat little scene.

You killed indie...
MO: We killed a certain kind of indie, without a doubt.

You two have known each other for years now, what do you think has changed most about each other?
BA: What's changed about Matt? He used to wander around in his dressing gown and eat Big Soup, and now he goes on skiing holidays and drives a sports car.
MO: God, what a sellout... Brett's obviously been through about six different lives, but whatever he's done, he's always done it to the extreme. You did go through that weird thing where you went from being a drug addict to being a family man over a week, and threw yourself into it as this new phase, which I am quite envious of.
BA: I got utterly obsessed with my family instead of being obsessed with crack.
MO: So much as I'd like to say you'd changed entirely, you've not really changed at all.

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Re: big press!?

Post by sunshine » 04 Mar 2013, 19:59

uncut April 2013

Suede - Bloodsports
Suede LTD/Warner - Rating: 7/10

Not quite back to their storming, Britpop peak - but the signs are encouraging. Interview By Sharon O'Connell

AFTER SUCH A fall, it seemed impossible. That Suede - generally acknowledged to have launched Britpop in 1992 with debut single "The Drowners", a brilliantly brash, slo-mo amalgam of early Bowie and The Smiths - might somehow scramble back up the cliff face and make another record was surely blue-sky thinking of the most desperately hopeful kind. The band, who parted ways in November of 2003, had had a rocky run of it.

Their last album, 2002's A New Morning, had signalled a fresh start for the newly clean Brett Anderson - who'd spent 18 months in the grip of crack cocaine addiction, his muse deserting him by degrees - and a reboot for a band that had watched the zeitgeist slipping out of focus and all but their most devout fans withdrawing. As it turned out, the "new morning" was more a final dusk. Protracted recording sessions didn't help, but the main problem was a war on two fronts: an uncertain embrace of acoustic songcraft, and electric tracks where their eccentricities became tired tropes.

There was a lot to prove, then, when Suede reunited in 2010 for the Teenage Cancer Trust shows. If not exactly a triumphant return to their majestic prime, this one-off was a reminder that that prime was indeed quite something (they were, after all Melody Maker cover stars before they'd released their first single), and it suggested that Suede's tank might not be empty yet. It also served as a reintroduction, paving the way for - could it really happen? - a new Suede album. Anderson announced exactly that in September of 2012, just over a year after first mentioning the possibility of a sixth studio LP with the qualification that "nothing would see the light of day unless I was really, really excited about it." Bloodsports presumably fills that brief.

Produced by Ed Buller, who worked on their first three LPs and tagged by Anderson as "a cross between bits of Dog Man Star and bits of Coming Up", it prompts a sigh of relief, if not wild cheering. Suede were caught between a rock and a hard place; while acutely aware of what made them great, they were not only sensibly unwilling, but also unable to replicate that youthful, amped-up glory (Anderson is now 44). A New Morning, however, proved the folly of reinvention. Bloodsports, then, is a recalibration. If it has any parallel, it's in the Manic Street Preachers' Everything Must Go. a punched-up, hook-heavy set more about overall impact than detail and a calculated, counter to their previous record. Anderson claims it's "about the endless carnal game of love" and it tracks the path of a relationship from infatuation through estrangement to break-up. Accordingly, much of it has a widescreen, (melo)dramatic wallop and none of the songs serve Suede's comeback too shabbily. "For The Strangers", "Sabotage" and "It Starts And Ends With You" are unremarkable hybrids of consensual, grown-up rock that drag their heels in terms of contemporaneity (W, Keane, The Killers) but they push the big-picture buttons effectively enough. Lyrics, though, are still a sticking point. Anderson has long since dropped his Cockney affectations, and he's no longer seduced by the breath-taking modernity of cigarettes, neon and magazines, but he still struggles with poetic resonance. Analogies are uniformly limited to one thing being like" another and some metaphors simply don't ring true. Does any iv telephone really emit "a brittle sigh", as is described in "What Are You Not Telling Me"?

There's a territory-reclaiming trifecta, though, that pushes Suede through. "Barriers" is a powerful opening salvo, its clarion sweeps of guitar underpinned by Blondie's turbo-charged rhythms and pumped up with '8os cliff-top dynamics. The darkly insistent "Snowblind" easily matches it, as does "Hit Me", an irresistible, glammed-up stomp that hints at "Sweet Child 0' Mine" and is bound to do the indie-disco business from Brighton to Wick.

Bloodsports may not be quite as "furious" as Anderson has claimed, but Suede's renewed charge is obvious. It's a creditable step back into the ring after years on the ropes.

Q&A with Brett Anderson

Q: Did you feel like there was a lot at stake with Bloodsports?
A: There was a huge amount. What was at stake was rescuing the reputation of Suede, really. We probably shouldn't have released that last album; we did the thing we'd always said we'd avoid- releasing a record just to go on tour. It wasn't released with the joy and passion with which records should be released.

Q: What were you aiming at sonically with this LP?
A: We were trying to find that sweet spot between feeling like Suede and feeling fresh, which is a really interesting point on the spectrum. I don't think there's any point in coming back and trying to reinvent the band, and I wanted it to sound identifiably like a Suede record. But I didn't want it to sound like self-parody or pastiche.

Q: Was there ever a point where you thought Suede were done for good?
A: There was a point about midway through the new record where it wasn't really coming together like I wanted it to. I did toy with the idea of saying, "Let's not do this, and I'll carry on making solo records." But that was to do with trying to re-establish the band chemistry. We almost approached this like we were a new band. We didn't want to have this bullshit complacent attitude: "We're Suede and whatever we do is going to sound great."

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Re: big press!?

Post by sunshine » 05 Mar 2013, 19:48 ... -mat-osman

10 Questions for Suede's Brett Anderson & Mat Osman
Rock survivors speak of Bowie, comebacks and cheese and pickle sandwiches
by Bruce Dessau
Monday, 04 March 2013
Suede, led by the arrestingly beautiful Brett Anderson, was one of the finest bands to come out of the UK in the first half of the 1990s. Their eponymous debut album, released in 1992, won the Mercury Music Prize. During the recording of the 1994 sequel Dog Man Star guitarist Bernard Butler left and the remaining members – Anderson, Mat Osman (bass) and Simon Gilbert (drums) and new recruits Richard Oakes (guitar) and Neil Codling (keyboards) never quite received the same critical acclaim, although 1996's Coming Up was their biggest selling album worldwide.
The group disbanded in 2003 but reformed in 2010 and played a memorable show at the O2 Arena in December of that year. They are about to release their new album, Bloodsports, which recaptures a lot of the glory and the glamour of those early days when the band was reluctantly sucked into the Britpop movement. Anderson's vocals are as striking as ever and there are times when the guitars ring out and you almost suspect that Bernard Butler has sneaked back into the recording studio.
The Arts Desk met up with Suede in West London in February 2013. We spoke to leonine Mat Osman, whose younger brother is Richard Osman, the oracle of BBC daytime quiz show Pointless, and Anderson. Both were dressed in black and, at 45, the floppy-fringed lead singer looked as enviably cool as ever. The interview had to end just before we had a chance to ask him his secret of eternal youth, but we did find out what he wanted to order for lunch. The Arts Desk can exclusively reveal it was a cheese and pickle sandwich. Even arrestingly beautiful rock stars have to eat.
BRUCE DESSAU: It's amazing to think that Bloodsports is only your sixth album in nearly 20 years.
BRETT ANDERSON: I know. I've made four solo albums and only two more Suede albums.

It's a very Suede title. Typically evocative and strangely perverse. Tell me how it came about and what it means?
BA: It's about lust, chase, the endless carnal game of love. The title came up very early. It was almost the first thing and it seemed to sum up in a cheeky, cynical way the game of love, the bloody game of love. It's not to be taken literally. I'm not a barbarian. I don't go foxhunting or badger baiting. I was slightly worried that people might assume it was pro-bloodsports but obviously it's a metaphor. I'm still vegetarian.

There has to be a vision for the band and that cannot be democratic
MAT OSMAN: As soon as Brett said it it was right. The weird thing is the themes on the demos were there from the start. We actually had a song called "Bloodsports" which didn't make the cut. We had 40-odd songs - deciding which songs not to keep was like killing your babies. But when you want to make a record as good as the records we'd made before we had to wade through a lot of stuff. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to say, "We've won back a lot of respect for the band, let's just put out 12 songs," but we fucked up in the past and made records we aren't proud of so we spent a lot of time on this.

I've seen that you have said this was the hardest album to make. Dog Man Star was pretty hard though, when you (Brett) were falling out with Bernard Butler.
BA: Dog Man Star was hard emotionally but not hard in terms of making music. It was hard in the way my relationship with Bernard was disintegrating. This was more hard in terms of good honest sweat, labour and perspiration. We rolled up our sleeves for Bloodsports. With Dog Man Star it was a phase in your life, your early twenties, when ideas flow much easier. With this album it was harder to squeeze the nuggets out. We don't have the same confidence now. Back then everyone was telling us we were the greatest band that had walked the earth. They don't say that so much now and we aren't.
MO: Neil Tennant has talked about an imperial phase. Everything we put down back then sounded good.

Who writes the music and who writes the lyrics these days?
BA: I've always written all the lyrics. It's always been a personal thing with the lyrics. The rest of the band always trusted me, even if they privately didn't like them it's never been up for debate. It's not me being precious but there has to be a vision for the band and that cannot be democratic. The lyrical themes have to come from one person, the mistakes are part of its honesty. I've never been able to believe in singers who sing other people's words. Lots of the music was written by Richard (Oakes) and Neil (Codling) on this album. We had lots of sessions round at the producer Ed Buller's house running through things and drinking pots of coffee and coming up with gems. It's difficult to compare with the writing I did with Bernard because I'm older, the synapses fire in a different way now.
MO: One thing we were clear about was getting to that point again where everything you write is good, like with the first album. Writing is a muscle. You have to get it working, it doesn't just ping back into place. It was hard but satisfying when everything we were writing suddenly sounded good.

The lyrics are typically literary. On "Barricades" for instance you mention "the heart is a lonely hunter" – were you referencing the book by Carson McCullers?
BA: I've never read the book. I just love the title. I like to steal bits and pieces. I do a lot of cut-up things which is not hugely original but I like it, it fires off different ideas. Being a bit random makes your brain work in a different way and I like that, it's like I like to tune a guitar differently sometimes because your fingers always go to the same shape and if you change the tuning it changes the sound. You have to jolt yourself out of patterns that are too firmly stuck in your mind. I don't use a computer, I use a paper, scissors and a typewriter.
MO: We'd get demos from Brett and you could hear banging in the back. It sounded really interesting and then I realised it was his typewriter banging away in the background during the middle eight!

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Re: big press!?

Post by sunshine » 05 Mar 2013, 20:42 ... -interview
Suede: 'Who says you can only do great stuff if you're damaged?'
Caroline Sullivan
The Guardian, Tuesday 5 March 2013 19.00 GMT
Suede play to enthusiastic fans at the Barfly in London. Photograph: Andy Willsher/Xfm
For over two years now, Brett Anderson has been the subject of a parody Twitter account. The imposter has produced nearly 1,900 acerbic musings in all – painting the Suede singer as a monstrously egotistical dandy grumbling his way through middle age. "As I get older," says one tweet, "I'm less inclined to view litter on the breeze as a romantic metaphor for modern genderfluid love. It's just a nuisance."

The real Anderson, still dandyish at 45 but rather modest with it, finds it mildly funny. "It's obviously someone close to the band," he says, folding himself into the sofa of his manager's office in west London. Bassist Mat Osman, his friend since their school days in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, laughs: "It really sounds like you." It's a compliment to Suede's enduring pulling power that someone cares enough to pose as the singer: it's been 11 years since the band last released an album, A New Morning, to a lukewarm reception, and they have toured only a few times since. So the hoaxer must be a diehard.

But maybe it's not so odd: the Suede name still exudes a certain doomed-romance glamour, which acts as an aphrodisiac on what Anderson calls "an army of lost people". That's how he views their fans: as a tribe of beautiful, conflicted outsiders who cluster around the only band who make music about people like them. "Lost people, yeah," agrees Osman. "I noticed at the original gigs that a lot of people were pale and interesting. The first time we played LA, there was a queue outside the venue, and my wife said, 'Where did you find 5,000 people like this in Los Angeles?'"

Though less numerous than in the mad Britpop days of No 1 records and their 1993 Mercury prize win (for their eponymous debut album), the fans are still queueing. Two days before this interview, the band played a 6 Music session on a snowy morning. An hour before the doors opened, the queue stretched the length of the building. Most people had clearly taken the day off their proper jobs; and, although most had lost that very 90s nocturnal pallor, their reaction when the band appeared was authentically ga-ga.

Part of that must be attributed to the fact that the band have aged unusually well: Anderson and Osman have skinny, young-man physiques, and the singer's hair and cheekbones seem unscathed by periods of drug addiction. Anyway, the fans have stuck with them through the peaks and troughs of five albums, and now they are about to be rewarded with a sixth: Bloodsports. The record powerfully disproves the idea that it's impossible for veteran bands to reignite the spark: the songwriting and playing feel as vital as that of their early albums, while Anderson sounds half-unhinged with neediness and loss. "The graceful notions that clung to me when I clung to you / Will they love you the way I loved you?" he asks in Barriers, the first track to be released from it.

The songs were inspired by a relationship, he says, and it seems reasonable to ask if it was his current one. This raises his hackles. "The album is supposed to be about points on a curve in a relationship. The point of art is to deepen the mystery." He refuses to reveal anything about his personal life beyond basic facts: he's married, and has an eight-month-old son, and a young stepson. Further queries are met with an acid: "Is this for Hello! magazine?"

He will say, though, that the songs attempt to capture "the first meeting, the points you go through. Always is about obsession, Sometimes I Feel I'll Float Away is about codependency, Hit Me is about infatuation." He breaks into a smile. "I wanted it to follow a linear path, but the music got in the way. Lots of the songs I wrote were rejected by the producer [Ed Buller, who also produced Suede's first three albums] because they didn't match up to his musical vision. He didn't care about my musical journey." The last two words are delivered archly, bringing to mind the sharp-tongued Anderson of 1993, with his aura of decadence and supposed sexual ambiguity. A throwaway quote from that period – "I'm a bisexual man who's never had a homosexual experience" – will pursue him for ever.
Suede in their earlier years. Photograph: Stefan Mussigbrodt
But that's all in the past. "The seedy glamour is gone now," laughs Osman. "We're not singing about living in bedsits and being on the dole." Anderson nods emphatically: "People assume that, as you get older, you get safer and less relevant, that you can only write great stuff if you're damaged, but it's not true."

Bloodsports certainly isn't a "safe" album. Even the sleeve reflects the theme of obsession: a naked man lies facedown on the floor, pinned there by a woman who crouches over him. It's an image charged with emotion, making it a classic Suede cover, with its hints of sexual intimacy forcing viewers to deduce for themselves what's happening. Several blogs have interpreted it as glamorising domestic violence, which the band indignantly refute. "What I like about the sleeve is that you don't know what's going on. It's about the moment when love becomes hate and hate becomes love," says Osman. Anderson adds: "There's a sense of violence, but also a sense of passion. It also references the sleeve of Coming Up." This was their 1996 album, which shows a spent-looking couple sprawled across a mattress.

Suede decided to record again after first testing the water with live gigs. They had unofficially broken up in 2003, disappointed by the relative failure of A New Morning, which reached No 24, and bored with what Osman remembers as "going in ever-decreasing circles". Anderson went on to make four mainly acoustic solo albums (reviews were warmish) and teamed up with former guitarist Bernard Butler as a short-lived duo called the Tears. Osman, drummer Simon Gilbert and guitarist Richard Oakes pursued their own projects – including, for Gilbert, a band called Futon.

In 2010, they reconvened for what was meant to be a one-off charity gig. The foursome (with on/off fifth member, keyboardist Neil Codling) discovered that they'd missed playing together, and the show was so well‑received that it became a string of shows – including festival appearances – that stretched into 2011. They began writing new songs and tried some out on tour, which filled Anderson with new doubts. "I was worried for a while that the reunion wasn't clicking. We played in Russia and it didn't feel right – there were seven new songs, and we were trying to reinvent the sound of the band. Then we decided to just sound like Suede."

They agreed to record together with the proviso, says Osman, that they "didn't want to be comfortable, playing the same stuff. That was the death of the band in the first place." Did they ever contemplate wooing Butler back? A Suede reunion that included the guitarist, who left in 1994 while they were recording their second album, would be many a fan's dream scenario. Anderson is unimpressed. "It's a journalist's wet dream, but for me, this version of Suede is the one that works."

Now a highly successful producer, Butler has no desire to tour anyway. "I had lunch with him a few months ago, and he said, 'How are you doing?'" Anderson says. "I said we were making a new album and he said, 'Wow, that's great.'" And there, apparently, they left it.

Suede are also fed up with being asked about David Bowie, one of their prime influences. His sudden reappearance means they have spent the past month being quizzed about how they feel to be "competing" with him. "We're really chuffed he's making records again," is all Osman will say.

Somehow, this leads us back to the fake Twitter account, which was last active in December when it put these words in Anderson's mouth: "Speaking to Dan from Toploader today. He reckons the public are v respectful of celebs as he never gets hassled for an autograph." Anderson isn't on Twitter, and has little affection for social media, although he does give YouTube a cautious thumbs-up since it has enabled younger people to discover the group. "We don't want to be a preserved-in-aspic band," says Osman. But Anderson is more confident. "We never have ramshackle days any more," he says. "There's a real sense of do or die."

• Suede play Alexandra Palace, London N22 (; 020-8365 2121), on 30 March.

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Re: big press!?

Post by sunshine » 07 Mar 2013, 20:23

Interview: Suede
Interview with Suede
After a decade apart, Suede are back together and ready to reveal their first fresh material since A New Morning. Front man Brett Anderson spoke to us to discuss the creative process behind new album Bloodsports, and to explain why living up to their legacy was “big concern”.

Quote from interview
“You’re just very instinctive when you’re younger, and do things blindly without thinking about the consequences... It was just too much, too young.”

When did you decide to get back together?
We only reformed to do a one-off gig for the Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall, in 2010. But it happened to be possibly one of the greatest shows we ever did, and then we really couldn’t leave it alone.

Did you all feel like there was unfinished business to resolve with Suede?
Yeah, I think so. I think we felt like the last Suede album before we split up, A New Morning, was a bit of a disaster and an unfortunate way to finish a career. It always left a bit of a nasty taste in our mouths. Part of making the new album was to put a full stop on it, in an elegant way.

So what was the first track you wrote together after reforming?
We wrote lots of songs that we decided to reject, but the earliest song that’s actually made it to the album is a track called ‘Sabotage’, and that was written in that first period of writing. We wrote lots and lots of songs for this record – possibly 30 or 40 – most of which we rejected. But we were very hard on ourselves with it, and approached it very much in the mindset of being a new band; not resting on our laurels, and not relying on our reputation. I really wanted it to matter, you know?

Has the creative process changed since you were last together?
I don’t think that the creative process ever changes that much; it works in a certain way because it works. But I think when we started off writing this record, in our heads we thought we were going to do it differently this time. Everyone wanted to get involved, and we were all writing stuff but it didn’t quite work. So we reverted to the model that we’d used before, where pretty much Richard, Neil and I wrote most of the album.

Your fans are very loyal, and notoriously protective of your back catalogue. Did you feel the weight of that legacy when you were writing Bloodsports?
Absolutely, yeah. I think that was a big concern, and our main impetus when we were writing; we were competing with what we’d done in the past. We didn’t want to release stuff that wasn’t up to that standard.
When you come back after 10 years away it’s hugely important to not let down your fans. But at the same time you’ve got to be allowed to have a bit of freedom to go where you want with it, otherwise you’re going to back yourself into a corner and make a very self-conscious, claustrophobic record.
But yeah, I’m very conscious of the fans that we have and how loyal they are and how wonderful they are, and how much we mean to their lives. We have genuinely been the soundtrack to lots of people’s lives, and that’s a huge privilege.

In terms of your back catalogue, where would you place Bloodsports?
I was asked this when we were making it, and I said it was somewhere between Dog Man Star and Coming Up. It was quite a glib answer in a way, because there’s a huge chasm between those two records: Dog Man Star is, for us, almost as leftfield as you can get, and Coming Up was at the other end of the spectrum.
But it’s definitely classic Suede territory, and that was what we were trying to do with the record. We just relaxed and said, “Instead of trying to reinvent ourselves, let’s just write naturally.” And as soon as we let go and trusted ourselves, the songs started to flow naturally.

This is the first time that you’ve worked with producer Ed Buller since Coming Up. Why did you choose to go back to him?
I think just because he’s got so much love for the band, really. We made our best records with him, he made some of his best stuff with us, and because of that he’s always been like family: we can trust him and we can argue with him like family. And I think it’s really important when you’re making a record to not be tiptoeing around someone, and to be able to be brutally honest with each other.
And we genuinely were: if Ed didn’t like one of the songs that I’d brought in he’d say, “This is rubbish, go away and write something else,” and I’d carry on writing and writing and writing. He was that filter that we really needed.
It’s like that saying, “War’s too important for the politicians.” Sometimes you’re too close to what you’re doing, and you need someone outside the band to look at it really objectively and with some perspective.

Thematically, where did you find inspiration this time round?
I almost wanted the record to follow this linear path, plotting the points on the journey through a relationship. So, for the first song to be about meeting someone, and the second song to be about infatuation, and so on.
The album’s about the endless battle that it is to be in a relationship; that sense of struggle and love, and about how fine the line is between those two things. Because sometimes that line gets blurred and you can’t tell which is which.

Do you have a favourite song on the album?
There’s a song called ‘For The Strangers’, which I really love. It’s a beautiful melody and it’s my favourite guitar part on the album; this kind of cyclical, arpeggio guitar part, that was actually inspired by ‘Rise’ by Public Image Ltd.
Me and Richard were listening to that song a lot, and thinking, “God, let’s write something like this”, and we wrote ‘For The Strangers’. It doesn’t actually sound anything like ‘Rise’ – ‘Rise’ is an angry punk song and this is a lilting ballad – so people won’t even be able to see the connection, but that was the starting point. (Laughs)

You’ve been doing this for a fair while now. What do you think your 25 year old self would have said if he could see you now?
I think he’d be very pleased that I still have my own hair.

But did you always intend to make music with Suede for this long?
Yeah, of course. I was always in it for the long game; it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, what I’ve always been obsessed with. I’ve always written and I always will write, regardless of how many people are listening to it. And I’ve always felt like I have things to say that other people aren’t saying. I’m lucky enough to have spent my life doing what I love and that is a massive privilege.

Ok, if you could go back to 1993 or 1992, is there anything you’d do differently?
I think when we got a lot of exposure very early on, I would have advised myself to try to deal with it better. I think it was very damaging to the band and, in a funny sort of way, very irresponsible of the media to give the band so much attention. But then again, the media aren’t some kind of centrally-governed body that has a manifesto and policy; it’s just a group of individuals. With the same breath, bands just do stuff that comes to them.
But I wish there had been someone with a bit of experience who’d said to me, “Look, you’re going to put as many people off with this exposure, as you are going to attract.” There are lots of things that you almost have to find out the hard way, that no one can really tell you. I think that genuinely goes with life, but that’s definitely something I’ve found in my career.

Surely it’s better to provoke a reaction and risk polarising people, than to be uncontroversial and easy to ignore?
Yeah, absolutely: it shows that people are listening in a way. You’re just very instinctive when you’re younger, and do things blindly without thinking about the consequences. I don’t really mind that we polarised opinion, but I think the media attention that we had was actually quite damaging to the band; it caused the band to implode. It was just too much, too young.

So what’s the plan for 2013? Will you be playing any festivals this year?
No, I think we’re going to leave festivals for this year. But I think we might be touring at the end of the year. And we’re playing Alexandra Palace with Temples and Spector at the end of March, plus a couple of other things around that time.
I actually think we’re a better live band than we were in the 90s, to be honest. We feel as though we’re really on fire live.

And beyond 2013? Do you plan to keep writing together? Or should we view Bloodsports as your swansong?
I honestly don’t know right now. We’ll have to see how we feel about the record when the dust settles. But I’d like to make another record, yeah.
The thing that I found out when making this record – and the most important thing about making this record – is that Suede can still make great music. I think Bloodsports is up there with some of our best stuff. And that’s a wonderful thing to find out, actually. ... -interview

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Re: big press!?

Post by sunshine » 08 Mar 2013, 22:06

'75 percent of cruise ships crash'
Interview Josh Jones
Photography Dan Wilton

In 1993, my older sister came back for the summer from University and I heard her playing a tape she’d copied off her housemate as she sulked in her room. As soon as she went downstairs, I went in there and stole it. It was called Suede (Nude Records, 1993). It was the best thing I’d ever heard. I never gave it back.
Suede were, without doubt, one of the most important bands of the ’90s. For me definitely, but for UK music as a whole. They moved us towards guitars, they were on the cusp, and found themselves as parents of, what became known as Britpop. And they hated being there. Not for them was the Cockney knees-up of Blur or Northern anthems offered by Oasis. They were the music of the disaffected, the marginalized and the alienated. They lurked in the shadows. People loved the androgyny, the risqué lyrics, the drugs, the drama and the fringes. The way they just were. Suede was a band that thrived on real-life drama.
Famously starring on the cover of Melody Maker without even releasing a record, they snarled, spat and shat on their roller-coaster-ride life. One that saw very high highs and some crashing lows – where the band’s personnel left and joined and each battled with their all-consuming lifestyle. Over five albums, Justine Frischmann left, Bernard Butler joined and left, then 17-year-old guitarist Richard Oakes joined, followed by Neil Codling with his keys and guitars and his cheek bones. Drugs and drink were ever present. Suede’s way was always the hard way.
Dog Man Star (Nude Records, 1994), was their sophomore offering, made all the more difficult as guitarist (and creative force behind the album) Bernard Butler quit as tensions between him and the rest of the band reached boiling point before the record was released. Then came the anthem-packed Coming Up (Nude Records, 1996), the band’s most successful record, followed with a collection of b-sides (which Suede were famous for) Sci-Fi Lullabies (Nude Records, 1997). In 1999, Head Music (Nude Records) divided their fans, and Neil Codling left the band with chronic fatigue syndrome. Their final offering, A New Morning (Columbia, 2002), was, according to Anderson, “the only album not influenced in its making by drugs” and, with only two singles released from it, a commercial disappointment. The band has since stated that that album was an album too far.
Now that they’re elder statesmen of the UK music scene, and clean of the ’90s excess, ’SUP decided it would be for the best if we had nothing harder than tea. We talked about then and now, their successful reformation and driving cars with the two founding members of the band, and friends from college, lead singer Brett Anderson and bassist Mat Osman.

Are you into tea?
Brett: I am into tea actually. I do love my tea. It’s one of the few pleasures I have left in life (laughs).

What kind of tea? Lapsang? Builders?
Brett: Just black tea. I do like my tea. I don’t really like coffee. It’s too strong.
Mat: I was telling Josh about Neil [Codling]’s idea for his cup of tea tattoo.
Brett: What was that?
Mat: Did I not tell you about that? I was talking to him about tattoos and I was saying I find it really weird how people have Celtic bands or these things that people will have no interest in for the rest of their lives. They actually have to spend the rest of their life with a Thai symbol or something. And Neil said he had a line drawing at home of a cup of tea with heat lines coming off it and he said he’d always wanted that. I can understand that though – cup of tea’s something you’d never be bored with.
Brett: Justine always wanted a motorway sign. You know the symbol with the bridge and the two lanes?

I always thought that was a robot. For a long, long time. Like, too long.
Mat: So you thought it was a sign saying ‘Robots Ahead’?

The bridge bit looked like two pointing fingers.
Brett: I suppose that’s one interpretation of a sign.

It took until my driving test that I realized what it was.
Dan [Photographer]: I’ve only been in a car with you driving once and it was that awful trip back from that festival that took forever and you hated it.
Brett: Are you a nervous driver, then?

I wasn’t until I got in a car with my best friend and he ate a salad like a horse when he was doing 90mph. Now I hate it.
Brett: I drive really slowly as well. I won’t break the speed limit; I’m really paranoid about it. It’s because I passed my test recently. About five years ago, but nowadays – I don’t know if you know – but if you get six points on your license within the first two years of passing they take away your license and you have to do it all over again.
Mat: Can you still not listen to any music that has a voice or a rhythm when you’re driving?
Brett (laughs): I can now actually.
Mat: It used be just used to be ambient and classical in his car. Do you want a cup of tea, Dan?
Dan: Yes please. Is that mine?
Brett: No, no. That one’s mine brewing.
[A very British conversation about whose tea is whose ensues.]
Brett: What about that story of when you took your test for the first time, Mat?When you crashed the car.
Mat: That was the second time I took my test that I crashed it. The first time I failed for driving on the wrong side of the road. Just completely the wrong side of the road. There was a bollard in the middle of the road or something. The second time, I crashed it. My dad used to work for British Leyland, so I had a car but I couldn’t drive it. So it just sat in my drive and I’d just sit in it listening to the radio. During the second test everything had gone really well, I was all excited and I thought I’d cracked it. Then we drove into the car park at the end and I went between two cars to park, I just missed the brake, hit the accelerator, went through this parking space, up a little bank and into a row of iron railings. Everyone else who’d taken their test was already back and doing their questions. Driving instructors must be unshakeable because we were sitting there, almost vertical, looking up at the sky and he just said, ‘I’m now going to ask you some questions on the Highway Code.’ Having said that, I’d just like to point out I’ve been driving for 25 years and never had a crash or claimed on insurance and have a clean driving license.

Are you going to read me your CV now?
Brett: This isn’t that sort of interview, Mat.
Mat: If anyone’s looking for a professional driver… Come on then Josh, let’s hear your interview.

It’s started already. I’m pretty much done. It’s weird interviewing you because I’ve worked with you before.
Brett: You’ve worked with Mat?
Mat: Yeah, Josh has written many things for me. But now you’re organizing interviews at The O2 with the likes of Backstreet Boys and New Kids On The Block?

Yeah, that’s a long story.
Dan: Don’t they do a New Kids On The Block cruise now?

Yes, and there’s an R. Kelly one and Weezer do one too.
Mat (to Brett): Did you know that? This is the heritage rock thing in the States – but I can’t understand them. They last for about a week.
Brett: What? With the same band playing every night?
Mat: Yeah. And they bring along some other bands as friends and then I assume they hang out with everyone on the boat. And the fans get a guaranteed photo or something.
Brett: You can’t avoid them I bet. Do you think cruises have the same kitsch associations in America as they do in this country? I can’t imagine it working here, it just sounds so naff.
Mat: Everything about it sounds horrible to me. They all crash. Always. 75 percent of cruise ships crash.
Brett: Just the thought of being stuck with the same people all the time. You’re basically in prison, aren’t you? The worst night of my life was spent on a party boat on the River Thames because you can’t get off. I went to this party and it was an absolute nightmare and I thought ‘Okay, well I’ll go home.’ When I asked when they’d let us off they were like, ‘Four in the morning.’ This was about 9 p.m. Do you know what I mean? It was really awful.
Mat: Being forced to party. So if your question is, ‘Will there be a Suede cruise?’
Brett: Definitely. Yes, Yes. Yes.

I guess we should talk about the new album. Are you already in the studio with it?
Mat: We’re easing into the studio. It’s weird how much things have changed in seven years. A lot of it has been written at home and passed around. We’ve done lots of bits and pieces at Neil’s house around the corner. He’s got the world’s smallest studio so we have to do it in shifts. You can’t fit the whole band in there at once. It’s kind of strange compared with 20 years ago, whereby being in the studio was a block of time when you made the record and nothing outside of that was involved. Now we’re easing into it and we’ll go to a proper studio where people bring you tea.

Would you say this is the most relaxed Suede album you’ve recorded?
Brett: No. No. They never are. Never. Whatever album you’re doing is always the hardest you’ve ever made. And this is no exception. They’re just hard in different ways. I always have a real crisis point with making records where I think I can’t possibly do it. And it’s always a real emotional journey. So it’s not easy in those terms. It’s not easy in creative terms. It’s kind of easy in terms of expectation and pressure and stuff like that. We don’t have a record company, we don’t have any great expectations from outside, really. But that doesn’t mean you can take your foot off the gas and make a piece of shoddy work– it’s got to be amazing. In fact, it’s got to be even more so because I don’t want to be another one of these bands that reform and make an average record and then fall apart again, as seems to be the pattern that happens. Every week I open the Sunday Times and they have ‘Dud Of The Week’ in there alongside ‘Album Of The Week’ and it’s always things like The Cranberries or Feeder – in fact, last week it was Spiritualized. You know, these bands that have reformed and made new albums? It’s my ambition not to be in ‘Dud Of The Week’.

That Spiritualized album had really mixed reviews.
Brett: It had genuinely mixed reviews, and ‘mixed reviews’ is usually a euphemism for bad reviews, but these really were mixed. I read some amazing reviews for it and also some really bad ones.
Mat: I think the thing about Spiritualized is that, by now, you must know whether you like Spiritualized or not.
Brett: And this album is very Spiritualized. You know songs about satisfying my soul and stuff like that. It sounds like a Spiritualized record, for better or for worse. I mean, if you like that, then great. Some of it’s really good.

I saw them play at Hackney Empire recently and it was really average. I appreciated it, but I didn’t enjoy it. I found it a bit too self-indulgent, which makes me sound like a proper music journalist when I say that. It was a weird audience and he didn’t interact with the crowd at all – I know that’s kind of his thing – but he was standing sideways on to us and just looked at the wings of the stage for the whole show.
Brett: I can understand that. I sometimes don’t want to interact with the crowd. I sometimes choose not to say a word. I quite like the purity of that. I think if you can do it in the right spirit. If you can come across like you’re really committed, but you’re not being aloof and distant, then it can be a really intense performance. It’s a real fine line, getting the tone right – you can come across as arrogant and distant and like you don’t care.
Mat: I think in a way, that’s better. I think there’s another real danger for when bands from our era reform and that’s kind of almost becoming like a raconteur as a job. There’s these bands you see now and they talk for four minutes before each song and explain what it’s about and tell you little stories.
Brett: It’s like a heritage thing. It’s like music to accompany a novel or an autobiography.
Mat: It’s all about, ‘Do you remember this?’ and ‘We’ve grown up together’ and all that. There is a place for it, it’s just I would hate to be one of those bands. There’s something really careerist about it.
Brett: There’s something quite self-important about it as well.
Mat: Exactly, the people are interested in hearing little tales about your life.
Brett: I quite like the idea of playing and it being a musically pure experience, and the shows we’ve been doing over the past two years have been very turbo-charged and very energetic and really sort of dense with music. It’s been another great song and another great song and battering people to death with songs.

I went to both the Bush Hall show and the 100 Club shows back in 2010 when you first reformed and they were really so frenetic and so rammed with people.
Brett: I loved the Bush Hall one especially. That was my favorite one.

This guy in a trench coat pushed his way through the crowds and stood right in front of me – actually on my feet. He had a bottle of red wine hidden in his sleeve. Every time he’d put his hand in the air he’d down a bit more of the wine. You can’t get angry at a guy like that.
Mat (laughs): He’s living the dream there. I love gigs like that. We kind of grew up on gigs like that – Suede did. There was always a big thing when we started off, and I guess it’s because we started off playing for two or three years to not even half-empty rooms. We played to empty rooms.
Brett: We played gigs to an audience of one person before. I remember we played in front of Neil’s cousin once. One guy. That’s really fucking depressing. That’s more depressing than there being no one in the room.
Mat: He was right at the front. We should have given him an instrument – a tambourine or something.
Brett: It really was depressing.
Mat: I think because of that, when we did that first set of Suede shows in 2010, we’d always play somewhere smaller than we could get. It was that thing where we’d rather make sure that it was sold out than made extra money with an extra 200 people in there. There’s something about those gigs that’s really hard to recapture and it just happens sometimes. That Bush Hall gig was like that. It was that thing where people were lost in it. You know what I mean? And for it to be like that you need to be kind of crushed and overheated and it needs to be too loud, so for a moment you just lose yourself. It’s a very unmodern kind of gig in a way. Because with lots of modern gigs people are set back as there are so many barriers nowadays and they’ve got their camera phone screens, which is another level of separation between you.

Has this album been more collaborative than previous ones? You said you’ve been sending material back and forth between you all.
Mat: It’s been really collaborative. I think more than anything, because we didn’t know what kind of record we were going to make – we knew the kind of record we wanted to make, but that never works out does it?
Brett: It started off as quite a different record than it has become. We wrote a load of songs last year and we’ve ditched pretty much all of them apart from one and started to make a new sounding record. It’s changing still, it’s not over yet so it’s difficult to really have an end point with it.
[The Blow Monkeys' “Digging your Scene” comes on the stereo]
Brett: I haven’t heard this record for years. It’s Blow Monkeys, isn’t it? It’s a great record. I’m sorry, I can’t concentrate with this playing. Can I turn it off? Is that alright? I do like the record – it’s not a criticism of the music, it’s actually too good. It’s the same thing as driving in the car – suddenly I’m not looking for signs anymore. What was I saying? Yeah, the album’s changing, it’s difficult to talk about while it’s still in flux. We’ll end up contradicting ourselves and we don’t know what it’s going to be still yet. But it’s kind of an exciting journey. And we still don’t know if we’re definitely going to release it either, which is another exciting thing. It’s still on a knife-edge, it feels really good. I think we will probably will, but I think all of us want it to be amazing. We’re not going to release it if it’s a half-assed album.

Are you bored of reunion questions?
Mat: Yeah. I’m bored of bands that reunite to be honest. I’d like to pretend that I think it’s a brilliant idea that everyone reunites, but it patently isn’t. One of the only reasons that it makes sense to me is to prove that it can be done right. Because it just hugely isn’t.
Brett: It’s really quite interesting how hard it is to do isn’t it? The whole dynamics of the life of a band. I can’t think of any examples of bands who have reformed and managed to outshine themselves and their past. That’s an interesting thing. I’m not saying Suede have or haven’t, that remains to be seen. The chances are, you’re competing against your past and you’re competing against when you were part of the zeitgeist. That’s impossible to fight against. It’s a strange thing. When bands often reform and don’t write new material and just play stuff from the past, I completely understand that point of view – that they’re going to do a completely retro approach. But you’re in danger of becoming self-parody there, so it’s a very, very tricky balancing act. There’s a part of me that sort of thinks we should have just stayed together and just carried on – just taken some time off and not actually officially split up. But, erm… maybe not.

I can’t imagine Suede are a particularly nostalgic band. Was getting back together partly because you didn’t have a big bang finish or a high drama split? Did you feel you had a point to prove?
Mat: Yeah, I think it’s a huge advantage that we didn’t hate each other. That’s a big deal. We all still live in the same area and we all still see each other. There is the thing that I felt we missed a moment of high drama. Because the story of Suede has been fairly dramatic, it kind of ended in the wrong way. Perhaps we should have ended it hating each other. Perhaps it should have ended with a punch-up on stage and us suing each other. That would have at least been in keeping with the rest of the history of the band. I think there was a bit in all of us when we did the Royal Albert Hall gig, I had no idea if we’d do anything after it, but I kind of liked the idea that we’d come back and finish on something quite special. Something quite interesting with a story to it. I always felt that to kind of dribble away like we did was really quite sad.

Do you feel like throughout your career you’ve had to make comebacks? After Bernard left, then after with Coming Up, the music press announced ‘Suede are back’, so this isn’t anything new to you.
Mat: Oh yeah. This is going to be our third debut album.
Brett: We’ve had a career of making comeback records. Every album that we’ve released has had this sense that it’s a comeback record. We always seem to be fighting against our own dynamic. I don’t know what’s going on. It’s really odd.
Mat: I think it’s just an aversion to being comfortable. I don’t know if it’s a deliberate thing, but it’s totally true of the band.
Brett: It’s just what happened in the history of the band. Bernard left after the first album, so there was, in a sense, a fight back after that, even though we wrote Dog Man Star with Bernard. Then, with Coming Up, we had a new lineup.
Mat: The other thing is there’s something so sweet about it. One of the reasons Coming Up is so dear to me is the fact that lots of people had written us off. It is all the more satisfying – you’d have to be a very mature human being to not occasionally get pleasure from being able to say, ‘I told you so.’ I think it’s quite a good motive for doing things.
Brett: Revenge?
Mat: Yeah. Revenge and picking on people.

Suede fans have always been famous for their dedication to you and they came out in force to fill first the Royal Albert Hall and then The O2 Arena. Is it weird to think you’ve soundtracked a lot of people’s puberty?
Mat: No. I think that’s top of my list of reasons for doing it.
Brett: Yeah it’s a lovely thing when people come up to you and say they had their first ever kiss to one of your songs – that’s happened lots of times. Or that they got married to one of your songs and things like that. That’s kind of really nice. That’s why you make music. It’s passing on the baton. There’s lots of music that soundtracked my life and you want to be part of that process. You want to be soundtracking someone else’s life – you want it to be special in that way.

You’ve always been seen as outsiders and that brought a lot of your fans together as they identified with that. Do you still see yourselves as outsiders?
Brett: Yeah, absolutely. It’s really strange – we never feel part of the music industry. I’ve always felt that Suede has a healthy disrespect for everything. I still don’t feel part of it – it doesn’t matter what happens or what we do, I still feel that we’re not really part of it. And I think that’s a great thing.
Mat: I think there’s a reason why so many bands come out of the suburbs and out of the provinces. I know that’s a dreadful word. Apart from the Pistols and The Clash, London doesn’t really do bands. It does, like, Jamiroquai and stuff like that. I think there is that thing about growing up somewhere where the world of art seems so fucking remote that the idea of being part of it seems so strange that even when you’ve got your foot in the door you don’t even feel like you’re there. I was at some drinks last week and this 20-year-old girl was asking me about the band and she was asking me which famous people were my friends. I said I don’t have any famous friends. She couldn’t understand as I’d met all these people. I was thinking of the history of Suede and that we had met all these people but they always seemed to me like big city, media people and it never really occurred to me that I was one of them. I don’t think that still, we don’t have a lot of contemporaries or safety net of friends in the music industry. I don’t know people at record labels who can offer us huge publishing deals. There’s always a part of you that will forever remain 15 and from the suburbs.

You have known each other for absolutely ages. What would you say is the secret to your friendship?
Brett: I’ve known Mat for, God – since 1985, when we met in college.
Mat: I think the reason we’ve never fought and we’ve got on is that everyone in Suede has a vision for it and it always comes first. It’s one of the things that I like when I look at other bands. I’m glad we’re not like them. Everyone in Suede puts the band before themselves, partly because it’s brought us so much. I think the reason why we didn’t ever fall out was that the vision we all had was pretty similar. It may have taken us on some strange routes to get there, and I think that’s maybe why splitting up was a good thing, because the last record we made together wasn’t anyone’s idea of what a Suede record should have sounded like.
Brett: No. It’s a terrible record. We should never had made it.
Mat: It’s true. It would have been a great thing to have recorded it and then decided not to release it and then split up.
Brett: You can pick bits and pieces that are good out of it, but as a body of work it would have been better if we didn’t release it.
Mat: It just doesn’t have that living, beating heart.
Brett: It’s a confused record.
Mat: It’s not a misunderstood record. That’s the most frustrating thing about it. It’s not one of those records that will be found as a lost classic. People were entirely right about it.
Brett: It’s interesting, because the album before Head Music, I think, actually is quite misunderstood. I think if we lost about three songs off that album it would have been absolutely great. We did all this with the reissues last year. It’s just sort of mental masturbation really. All the ifs and ands. But you can’t let record companies choose these things like that though. War is too important to be left to the politicians, choosing track listings of ‘Best Of’ CDs is too important to be left to the record companies (laughs).

Mat, wasn’t the first thing you said to Brett was, ‘Do you want to be in a band?’
Mat: I think that’s totally true.
Brett: It was, yeah.
Mat (to Brett): You were playing Beatles songs in the common room at Sixth Form college.
Brett: Yes, I went through quite a busking phase.
Brett, I read that you when you first saw Mat, he looked like Franz Liszt.
Brett: Mat? Yeah he did used to look like him. My dad used to be slightly obsessed with Mat because my dad was obsessed with Franz Liszt.
Mat: Seriously obsessed with Franz Liszt.
Brett: We used to go to his birthplace every year. We’d drive to Raiding in Hungary in a Morris Traveller – one of those knackered, old, wooden cars and pick up soil from his birthplace and bring it back.

Soil? Did you plant stuff in it?
Brett (laughs): No, he used to keep it in a vial around his neck.
Mat: There is a picture of Liszt – I can’t remember if it’s on a book or a record that Brett’s dad had and Franz Liszt had the same haircut as I had then and he had a mole on his forehead where I have one, so there was some part of Franz Liszt born into me in his eyes.

Is being a rock star all it’s cracked up to be?
Mat: I still find those the weirdest fucking two words together.
Brett: It’s such a loaded term isn’t it? It’s so full of cliché. Straightaway you’re seeing people snorting cocaine and wearing shades and riding in limousines, aren’t you?
Mat: Being in a band that people love is all it’s cracked up to be. There are lots of things about it that are absolutely fucking great. I would recommend it to anyone. There are very few things in life that are as fulfilling – if it’s what you love. There are downsides to it, but there are downsides to absolutely everything. It can be a great, great thing. There are those moments when you do a good gig where it is so ridiculously easy and everyone seems to win – it seems to be exactly the kind of thing which never happens in the outside world – everyone goes home happy.
Brett: I often wonder what sort of person I’d be if I hadn’t done this. That’s kind of tied up in the question really isn’t it? You never really know. It’s that whole Sliding Doors thing. Would I be deeply, deeply unhappy or would I be happier in a different way? It’s a fascinating mental game you can play with yourself. I think it gives you extreme confidence and power and love. I think it’s a pretty good thing at the end of the day. I think it’s a great thing to have spent time on the earth and made it a slightly better place in your own small way. I think that’s probably the point to life really – to try and make the world a slightly better place. I think by making music, you kind of do. It’s quite a positive thing.

Is that what you want Suede’s legacy to be?
Mat: I really like the idea that there’ll be some fantastic band that sounds nothing like us, but got together because they were Suede fans or met at a Suede gig.
Brett: There’s lots of those. That’s the funny thing – bands like Klaxons and Bloc Party who don’t sound anything like us but are massive Suede fans. I think that’s quite nice.
Mat: Yeah I know, I love that idea. I really do. I love the fact that there are people who really matter to me because of their records who I’ve never met and possibly liked who sit nicely in my head. Before this interview I was listening to that Lauren Hill record. And I’m sure I have nothing in common with Lauren Hill, and it’s a record full of Christian rap, which is my idea of hell, but it’s a brilliant record and there are some beautiful parts in it.
Brett: C-rap.
Mat: Yeah, the big C-rap. But the idea that you stick something out there and it’s like a virus and will live on in little bits of music and people’s dress sense.

Do you always want to divide opinion as Suede?
Brett: No. But we seem to. It’s never really been an intention – it probably was in the early days. We probably liked polarizing opinion. But it just seems to happen. People seem to react to us extremely.
Mat: You always want an extreme reaction, whatever it is.
Brett: I think we just wanted to be very, very popular. But we weren’t able to be very, very popular. When I was writing songs like “The Wild Ones” and “So Young” and things like that, I thought they were massive international, crossover hits like “I Will Always Love You”, or something like that in my head, but I wasn’t good enough at it to write those songs, so they came out as these twisted versions of my own take on these things. My view of the songs I was writing was different to everyone else’s view. It wasn’t to polarize opinion, it was an attempt to write these amazing, affecting songs. But they didn’t quite affect people the way I thought they were going to (laughs).
Mat: It’s that thing about falling short in interesting places.
Brett: Yeah, exactly.
Mat: It’s one of the reasons why debut albums are often so great. You’ve got these bands aiming to be The Beatles or Stevie Wonder, and they’re not capable, but they try and they fall in an interesting place. They go outside their comfort zone. I think for most bands it’s the way that they fail that people love them for. You just have to make sure you fail in an interesting way.

Flight attendant
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Re: big press!?

Post by sunshine » 08 Mar 2013, 22:17 ... -than-war/

Suede : interview about the new album and their comeback : Louder Than War
Posted on February 5, 2013 by johnrobb
With their anthemic yet androgynous songs and their glam tinged guitar swagger, Suede were one of the key British bands of the mid nineties.
They epitomised and, in some ways, launched Britpop, yet were the misfits of the scene. What started as a reaction against grunge and was the rest of country finally catching up with Madchester in its own idiosyncratic way swiftly became an exercise in laddism.
Suede were hardly typical Loaded fare with their smudged mascara gender bending but their very British songs were thrilling enough to crossover from the hipsters to the streets and for in the mid nineties they had their number ones and helped soundtrack a rare period of time when the best bands in the UK were the biggest bands in the UK before imploding in 2003 for solo careers or semi anomonity.
In 2009 the band reformed for a wildly successful series of gigs as they answered the eternal questions posed by many returning groups. How do you find that elixir of youth and regain that quicksilver moment of divine inspiration that made you so special in the first place.
Suede’s sojourn was like the classic rock n roll career compressed into a few years. They coalesced on the London pub circuit in the post baggy fallout of the early 90s. When they had honed down their part glam, part art school post punk of the likes of Adam And The Ants with a sliver of the prime time Smiths and a southern take on the idiosyncratic mancunians like the Fall and Joy Division with the added mystery of kate Bush and a sniff of the Englishness of David Bowie into a perfect whole that was very much their own they burst on to the scene in 1992 with accidental and perfect timing.
I interviewed a pre fame Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler in a pub in Camden. They were two skinny and hopeful musicians with a future in front of them and a head full of dreams and schemes. They finished of eachother’s sentences in a race for their own version of the band.
Suede were at the vanguard of the Britpop scene- a very loose confederation of bands bitching about eachother who were lumped together by stumbling into the spotlight at the same time and being sort of British.
Musically these bands only had little in common and Britpop as a term had been knocking around for years since I had invented it in Sounds in 1987. In many ways the Britpop scene was the catch up to Madchester by the rest of country but Suede stuck out from the pack.
Their darker take on glam and their androgynous image and songs were a long way away from the core of Britpop and they were on their own trajectory. Two albums the glam shocks of the singles tuffed Suede and the more ambitious and darker Dog Man Star in 1994 were number ones and then Bernard Butler left after tense sessions for the second album
The band brought in 19 year old Richard Oakes and keyboard player Neil Codling, and went on to greater commercial success with their third album, Coming Up which was full of great singles before they stared to lose direction in a sea of drugs, indie celebrity and losing that edge.
Brett Anderson became addicted to crack and heroin in the inevtibale hangover from the glory days of Britpop. Despite problems within the band, Suede’s fourth album Head Music (1999) was a British chart-topper but their final album, A New Morning (2002) was a relative flop and they bailed out for solo careers and the shadows before the reformation for a series of triumphant gigs where they did the daredevil tightrope walk between nostalgia and cutting edge.
It could then have been an easy ride of peddling the old songs for the Christmas and festival circuit like so many of their contemporaries but they had bigger plans that fitted into the creative context of the band and have risked it all with a new album to be released in March called Bloodpsorts.
Fortunately the album sounds great. No mere retread, it takes on the classic hallmarks of the Suede sound and vamps them up for the 21st century, adding a neo Simple Minds stadium sheen to their sound without ever loosing its edginess and soaring choruses and there is always that undertow of mystical glam darkness that was always so much part of their classic moments.
In short, in 2013 Suede sound in rude health.

Brett Anderson and Mat Osman are sat in their manager’s west London office having a press day. Relatively unchanged by the years of the ups and down of rock n roll they are pondering their decision to do more than just reform and endlessly churn out the hits in what is known as ‘the Pixies syndrome’ and to take the challenge to write new songs.
Brett Anderson :
‘We had to not become retro band from 20 years ago. We never wanted to do that when we came back. It was fine for a couple of years to play the old songs when we came back but after a while that becomes a death. You are faced with that decision when you reform a band- whether to go backwards or forwards and when you don’t write new material you become death.’

Was it difficult to write new stuff after ten years away?
Brett Anderson:
“It was difficult in that there were two extremes- on one side you’ve got your sound which you reference because there is no point in reinventing yourself as a completely different band because that would be crazy. On other hand you don’t want to sound like a pastiche or a parody. That was the really tricky thing about the album to get right because of that, which was specifically to get that balance between those two parts of the spectrum.’
Mat Osman :
‘I think we were also really aware of kind of how shit most returning band’s albums are. It’s almost become a kind of law! I kind of see how it happens because the thing is when you get back and you are a bit older and the band may not be the central thing in their life anymore and that’s fair enough but just make records any more…’
Brett Anderson :
‘People get back together blinded by their own legend. It’s like, ‘oh great the band are back together, great, brilliant…’
Mat Osman:
'…and what ever we make in a room will be great.’
Brett Anderson :
‘Exactly. And that’s all based onever what we did in the past and not how you are currently are as artists. Anyone can perform a song, their own song or a great song written throughout musical history- if it happens to be your song then great but it doesn’t mean what you are doing now is relevant. In a funny kind of way bands are blinded by their own legends and go back into the recording studio assuming anything they commit to tape (laughs) is pretty special.’

Has the songwriting changed as you get older? The creative chemistry in the band any different?
Brett Anderson :
‘It’s pretty much the same thing really. Those relationships work. They are what they are and part of it is not wanting to change the chemistry of what works.’
Mat Osman :
We thought that when we back to the rehearsal room there would be 5 times 7 years of experience and wisdom like you said but there really isn’t. It’s like going back to your family at Christmas and doesn’t matter what you have done. You’re still 7 years old and someone is getting picked on. It’s set in stone.’
Mat Osman :
‘What is really common now, I think, is the notion of music as a souvenir, you know what I mean? It partly come s from the X factor thing where people buy singles as a souvenir of this guy’s journey on TV. Partly it’s also to do with record sales. A band sell records at gigs and suddenly the record has become a badge, a symbol of ‘I like this band’ but when you start off making records it’s your life summed up and more important than that. The first record you make, you are kind of saying, ‘this what I have done in 23 years’ and I think it’s hard to get that back, it took us a long time to get that creative intensity.’
Mat Osman :
‘I think like anything you have to get good at it. When we started the band people always thought of us having this overnight success which was weird because it took us three years to get that overnight success but we had that lovely thing where we wrote so many shit songs that we never used and nobody heard them. We were working out what we did in private and that’s far more difficult now for people.’
Brett Anderson :
‘There must have been a whole album of shit songs we never sued…(laughs)’
Mat Osman :
‘It’s hard for bands nowadays. The first thing you write nowadays everyone hears it but then the first thing we wrote, thank fuck, no one heard it.’

Is writing a different process when you are older?
Mat Osman :
‘Unfortunately you have to put the hours in! I would have loved it had the five of us started writing and the first five things we wrote were brilliant and we recorded them. It wasn’t that way at all. We worked and worked and wrote some shit then threw it away and wrote good stuff. It took time. Everyone was amazing about it. And pretty focussed on what was good for the band. It’s never been that kind of band where you have two tracks on the album so I need three. I have no idea of who wrote what on the new album. We all work on the idea and then Ed (Bueller- producer) comes in and has a say and things get fairly managed by the end of it. It’s meritocratic in that sense. We were lucky to have success quickly and we were never scraping around for pennies and stuff.’
Brett Anderson :
‘But we did have that kind of attitude that we were a new band and we wrote some stuff and then more stuff. We wrote a whole album and played most of it live at a gig, a festival, in Russia but it didn’t feel right. We played 8 new songs at the festival.

There was that real thing which, I’m sure you know as a musician, that when you play a song in the room when you rehearse and when you play to an audience they are completely different experiences. You learn so much about a song when you are playing to an audience. You see the holes in it. You see it through the microscope. That’s what we did. We looked at the songs we had been writing in the cold light of day and thought most of them have not been right, maybe a change of direction here and we thought about what we were doing.’
Mat Osman :
‘The problem was that it was not that interesting to us, slightly boring.’
Brett Anderson :
There was some interesting stuff in there but it wasn’t quite the sort of record we wanted to make. It was a bit more post punk sounding and not really us.’
Mat Osman :
‘If I listen back to those songs there are some really unusual ideas there that must have come from the eight year backlog that everyone had to go through since we had split up.’

Was there maybe an attempt to sound a bit more cutting edge than you really were? Maybe trying to hard to sound modern instead of playing to your real strengths?
Brett Anderson :
‘Yes, we were sounding like Interpol or the Horrors and referencing them although not too slavishly. We suddenly thought, relax what’s wrong with our own sound and not mining that seam that comes from Public Image Limited and the Banshees land post punk onwards. We were listening to a lot of that stuff and it was not quite us. We relaxed a bit and I think we always write best when we write instinctively and don’t over think it. The first three albums were pretty much like that, we just made Suede albums and it wasn’t until we got to Head Music that we were thinking what sort of album do we need to make. And that’s the death of it.

You should just get on with it but there was a huge pressure, especially in the nineties, to reinvent yourself. Sometimes it’s great like when the Beatles and Bowie reinvented themselves but some bands being themselves over and over again really works and there is nothing wrong with that and I wish we had someone to say that there was nothing wrong with being yourselves. It’s ok to be yourself and not disappear up your own arse like at the end of our nineties career.’
Most bands discover this. A band trajectory seems to be start of brilliant then get lost trying to anything other than what you are before coming back to what they did in the first place!
Brett Anderson :
'There is nothing wrong with that, if you do something well. There’s loads of great artists that pretty much made the same album over and over again and there is nothing wrong with that not that was our plan! I’d advice bands not to be scared of that. It may not be what you want to hear from an interviewee or what you want to promote as a journo because it’s almost like the death of imagination and ambition bit it’s also kind of the truth because there are some good bands who stay doing what they do.’

The album certainly plays to Suede’s strengths but also twists it with a certain modernity and even adds a kind of Simple Minds stadium gloss to the sound without ever losing its edge.
Brett Anderson :
‘Obviously we wanted it to sound like Suede but we had been away ten years doing our own thing. I had been making solo records and this lot had been doing their own thing as well. There was a whole new set of influences in there and that’s why it would have been wrong to make a slavish Suede record. It had to remain fresh and that was the fresh element getting the selection of ingredients right, getting the right amount of this and the right amount of that in there which made it feel fresh and still us.’

Your singing voice sound sounds more powerful.
Brett Anderson :
‘I’m a better singer now, technically better. Your voice changes as you get older. You’re much better controlling the low end of the register and the baritone end and obviously the falsetto goes. There is no singing Black or Blue now!’
Mat Osman :
‘maybe we should get Neil to sing it now (laughs)…’
Brett Anderson:
‘It’s a myth that the voice get worse as you get older. It just gets more character. Look at someone like Sinatra who added this amazing phrasing and richness to his voice. Lots of those early Suede songs are naively written in terms of where I put the singing notes to the chord and are right up there and really hard to sing now. These days I’m more capable of writing somewhere more comfortable but at the same time more edgy.
I wouldn’t theorise about stuff like that and I would not work out vocal lines as mathematical things. I know instinctively where my voice sounds good. I suppose before I would be more theoretical and I would write a song and kind of worry about the singing later but now I sing a song more musically and less theatrically.’

The album contains more melodramatic songs, with that an attractive undertone of darkness…
Brett Anderson :
‘I never wanted to be nihilistic. In the early Suede songs I found nihilism too easy as an attitude. I have let go of that now. I like something relatively bleak but now it’s an ideology change. I grew up with the Smiths and before that Crass and things like that which were from a nihilistic sense of that time but reacted against that.’
Mat Osman :
‘The brutal thing is that as you get older it gets harder as opposed to when you are younger with hope running through your songs. When you are younger it’s easier to be always hopeful about stuff (laughs). When you are 45 there are some lives that are unrelentingly bleak and you can’t ignore that. One of things about being in a band that does well is that you feel that everything will be alright and it will all work out but when you get to 45 you realise that’s not true and things can go horribly wrong…’
Brett Anderson:
'It’s about thinks not being so blindly romantic. The romantic notions of early Suede were lovely in a way. I was very careful not to reference anything lyrically from the first three albums, even the subject matter from the lexicon like hire cars, nuclear and pigs. I obviously didn’t want to do that as it would be a self parody but I wanted to to talk about how is life through my eyes now rather than through my younger eyes.’

With an older perspective is there some lyrical wisdom?
Brett Anderson :
‘Possibly but that’s debateable! (laughs) anyone can find wisdom. I’m not saying it’s there. It’s an album about relationships like a million other albums but I specifically wanted it to be almost like a kind of documentation of a relationship form the start to end.
The original idea of the album would be that the first song would be about meeting someone and then infatuation and the go through periods of suspicion, obsession and all these things like co-dependency and finally they split up and a new beginning. It’s about the cyclical nature of relationships not that it’s slavishly plotted butevery song deals with different aspects of being in a relationship.’

Was it a fictional relationship?
Brett Anderson :
‘No, it was a real relationship…’

Is it hard to write about the personal?
Brett Anderson :
‘I don’t find it hard to write about personal things because you can write about in so many tenses and not always write from the first person or in the present tense. I’m a human being and I can write from memory and I have been through a whole load of things in my life to draw from. I don’t find it hard and I fictionalise as well sometimes. I think every writer does a bit. I don’t think every single word in every pop song every written has been the truth! What is the truth? you see things there that are different truths.’

Your words have lots of imagery…
Brett Anderson :
‘The sense of great writing is never about nailing it down completely. For me poetry and journalism are completely different things. Poetry in a sense is like song writing- that’s the closest art form to writing lyrics, even though it’s quite a way away. Poetry and journalism, do different jobs. It’s not the songwriter job to explain things. It’s the songwriter’s job to deepen the mystery as Francis Bacon once said. I always go back to that, it’s a fascinating quote because all the great art it doesn’t have any answers, it makes you think. It’s a colour and it suggests new possibilities…’

Art should never explain or apoligise?
Brett Anderson :
‘I often refuse to explain if there is not an explanation. I find my explanation is not the definitive explanation of my own songs. I love that about art and song- that it’s open to interpretaion. I wrote the songs and someone elses explanation is just as valid as mine, so when people have their own explantion then that’s cool with me. A bloke came up to me in a foreign country once after a gig and said one of my songs is about blah blah and I said ‘is it?’ (laughs) but for him it was and that’s good enough.
I wasn’t thinking, you stupid idiot and it’s that thing I love because what it’s about to me is just my interpretation. Often I use words because of the sound they make and the same word sung with different melody, tone and register has a completely different meaning and that’s the subtlety of the language isn’t it?’

Is the new album an attempt to stand out as Sude and away from the clutches of Britpop?
Mat Osman :
'The the point of being in a band, for me, is that I love playing live and the reason to be in a band is also to make records, to make beautiful things that were not there before. There is something fanstically democratic and simple about making a record. One of great things about coming back these day is that you can just put it out there. With Barriers we just gave that away for the simple reason it was a track that we liked and we thought people wanted to hear it. There was nothing complicated about it. It wasn’t like we were going on tour where you spend 6 months reaching a quarter of a million people. It was lets give this track away because it sounds really good and two months later it was online and a million people heard it . That was a fucking great, amazing, wonderful thing. There is nothing more to the point of being in a band than that just getting your stuff out there.’

You have returned at a different time
Mat Osman :
'It’s totally different. It’s a different world. Before we and the music press were living in this little world which I think must be strange for people from outside the UK to see British bands slagging each other like it was in the old days. It’s kind of like when you get SWP and the Revolutionary Communist Party slagging eachother off when you know that, deep down they really care about these little differences and it’s all the same kind of thing.’
Brett Anderson :
(laughs) I really like that analogy…the People’s Republic Of Judea! (laughs)
Matt Osman :
‘What would Blur v Oasis mean in Texas? It’s nice to come back and we don’t mix with the other bands. We are not part of any scene and it’s quite liberating. We just get on with being Suede and we spend hopefully lot less time doing that stuff and more time on the music this time round, he said in the interview room! (laughs)’

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Re: big press!?

Post by sunshine » 08 Mar 2013, 22:45 ... eview.html
Suede: 'Bloodsports' - Album review
Released on Monday, Mar 18 2013
Published Friday, Mar 1 2013, 09:00 GMT | By Mayer Nissim | 2 comments
"Suede records always get sniping," Brett Anderson recently complained to Digital Spy when talking about the reception to this album's lead track 'Barriers'. That's true, but being brutally honest, the band's last couple of efforts before their original 2003 demise more than deserved a snipe or two.
And the hardcore aside, is anyone interested in a Suede album in 2013? Probably not. Does that matter? Not in the slightest. Because Bloodsports is one of the most raw, gutsy, fearless and punchy albums you'll hear this year.
If you've already spun 'Barriers', you'll know what we're talking about. All lipstick traces and undying, pathetic love that is bigger and stronger and more real than anyone else's love, dammit. After 17 years - some present, some absent - Suede are most definitely back.
The next couple of tracks keep up the pace. 'Snowblind' could slot in on the band's debut without you blinking an eyelid, as though the last two decades never happened. 'It Starts And Ends With You' might not be the single that brings Suede to a new audience, but it's the sort of emotionally naked ("I fall to the floor like my strings are cut") Britpoppy swirl that entranced so many skinny-trousered followers way back when.
The only two missteps arrive together a way through the record. Catchy it may be, but 'Hit Me' feels a bit too close to 'New Generation' for comfort, and its lyrics get a little nudge-nudge, wink-wink Suede-by-numbers ("Come on and hit me / With your majesty / Come on and hit me/ With all your mystery"). Of the slowies here, 'Sometimes I Feel I'll Float Away' saunters around the ring without ever landing the emotional wallop it's looking for.
Otherwise, the winsome torch balladry is spot on, reminiscent of some of the band's finest ever moments ('Still Life', 'The 2 of Us') in the best possible way. Closing double 'Always' and 'Faultlines' are especially proof that for all their enduring flaws and foibles, it's passion rather than profit that has driven Suede back together again. What more could you ask for?

If you like this, you'll like: Mansun, David Bowie, Pulp
Tracks to download: 'Barriers', 'Snowblind', 'Sabotage', 'Always'

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 08 Mar 2013, 23:40

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 09 Mar 2013, 20:08

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 09 Mar 2013, 20:12 ... and-tracks

Editors' Picks: Our Favourite Albums And Tracks
John Doran , March 8th, 2013 14:07

John Doran, Luke Turner, Rory Gibb and Laurie Tuffrey sift through 2013's releases to bring you a guide to their favourite albums and tracks.
In one way, the 'beginning' of every year has a pleasant air of Groundhog Day to it over at Quietus HQ. When writing reviews I always find myself having to avoid the well-worn idea of declaring something "an early album of the year contender even though it's only January!" or whatever. As Winter turns to Spring, I'm always relieved to look at my iPod (which I only load with new releases after emptying it each December 31st) and see that yet again, it's shaping up to be another brilliant year for new music. The so-called dying record industry, whatever its financial status, is in rude health creatively; which is the main thing.
So it seemed only logical to provide a rolling account of what we think are the greatest releases - albums and individual tracks - to come out this year so far. This is based on a broad consensus between all the Quietus music staff - Luke Turner, Rory Gibb, Laurie Tuffrey and myself - of what our personal favourites are. To put it as simply as possible - this is the music we play the most. We're not really interested in what the cultural worth of it is, how popular/ unpopular it is, how many units it'll shift or - God help us - how "important" other critics who have one eye on posterity judge it; this is simply a list of new music we enjoy listening to.
For the main part this list currently includes albums and tracks which were released between January and March this year and will be (hopefully) updated at the end of every month. It's unranked.

Suede - Bloodsports
"Rather than the instrument-swapping approach of their previous two albums, Anderson, Osman, guitarist Richard Oakes, drummer Simon Gilbert and keyboard player and second guitarist Neil Codling were back in defined roles, rather than contributing here and there. Bloodsports is a fantastic record by England's most contradictory band - loved by some, derided by many, still "the best British punk, rock n roll, sex-pop-glam band of the past 20 years" as I described them in NME a couple of years back." Luke Turner

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 10 Mar 2013, 16:54 ... sports.htm

March 18, 2013
Review: Steve Bateman

Arriving 11 years after Suede's last studio album and following their lauded 2010 reunion, Bloodsports is scheduled to be released on March 18th through the band's new label, Warner Music. Taking its title from the cyclical nature of relationships (twinned with very-Suede sleeve art), Brett has revealed that "It's about lust, it's about the chase, it's about the endless carnal game of love. It was possibly the hardest album we've ever made but certainly the most satisfying. It's ten furious songs, which for me have reclaimed from ourselves what Suede was always about; drama, melody and noise." The LP also sees the group teaming up with producer Ed Buller once again, who previously collaborated with them on what almost everyone regards as the unparalleled Suede eras. With Ed reportedly pushing the band to challenge themselves, to be self-critical and as ambitious as possible with their songwriting after re-entering the studio, in order to rediscover the 'Suede voice'. Notably, in seeking artistic renewal, around 40 tracks were scrapped, with Brett even admitting to seriously considering deserting the sessions / project midway through and finally calling it a day for Suede. Understandably though, the individual group members all felt that they still had unfinished business and wanted to make up for the way in which the band originally bowed-out, where they painfully limped-over the finish line. With an incalculable amount of fans and music critics agreeing that Suede deserved a much more celebrated ending than this and to be remembered as so much more than a footnote in rock 'n' roll history.

Thankfully however, the reformed group persevered through blood, sweat and tears, eventually finding the chemistry between them, their hunger, vision and muse (Barriers was the turning point), successfully completing work on the record after spending a year recording in Brussels (ICP Studios) and London (Sarm Studios). Summing up the sound of Bloodsports, Brett told one journalist, "It was difficult in that there were two extremes - on one side you've got your sound which you reference because there is no point in reinventing yourself as a completely different band, because that would be crazy. On the other hand, you don't want to sound like a pastiche or a parody. That was the really tricky thing about the album to get right because of that, which was specifically to get that balance between those two parts of the spectrum. Sometimes it's great, like when The Beatles and Bowie reinvented themselves, but some bands being themselves over and over again really works and there is nothing wrong with that and I wish we had someone to say that there was nothing wrong with being yourselves. It's ok to be yourself and not disappear up your own arse like at the end of our nineties career." So then, with much riding on this, their highly-anticipated sixth long player, Bloodsports is where the next chapter of Suede's story begins. Is it worth the wait?

Opening with the polychromatic, sunshine sparkle of Barriers and the romantic notion of two lovers jumping over barriers side-by-side (a feasible nod to Suede's return as well?), sonically, the warm, galloping drums sweep you off your feet and are unlike anything you've ever heard on a Suede composition before. Also supported by glittering riffs, burnished bass and luscious crystalline synthesisers which vie for your attention all at once, Brett's effulgent and starbursting vocal range, tone and vibrato, only serve to make the whole audio experience even more uplifting! In reference to a quote by Francis Bacon and convinced that "it's the songwriter's job to deepen the mystery," it's also heartening to hear Brett bringing new and interesting ideas, analogies and symbolism to his language, wordplay and literate lyrics for Suede, which he first began exploring a lot more during his years as a solo artist. With its concept of being "frozen by the moment," Snowblind is a vivacious and chrome-plated all-out rocker, featuring a riot of guitars with pyrotechnic power chords to spare and lots of penetrating "Ooh's" from Brett. A track that will no doubt be a set highlight when performed live, which is something the quintet were determined to 'capture' on Bloodsports - their restless energy onstage. You'll know by now, that Suede's comeback single proper, It Starts And Ends With You, is an exhilarating, hook-filled pop banger which has so many overflowing, ear-candy and canyon-sized choruses, that even the band argue amongst themselves as to which chorus is the main one! Not that it matters, as they're all superb!

Having listened to the record on repeat several times over, which gets better and better with each play, I would say that Sabotage is one of my favourite songs - a definite choice-cut which managed to grab me instantly, as it's a gleaming pearl that ventures into unfamiliar pastures. Beginning with a precision-tooled, electronica feel and never-before-touched-upon industrial flirtations, it exhibits some of Richard's most impressive fretboard work to date (his solo is absolutely gorgeous!), not to mention some of Neil's most memorable neon and smooth-surfaced synth lines as well, steadily transforming into a slick stadium rock song that electro overlords Depeche Mode would be proud to have written. One of Brett's key lines on this has to be, "Her touch is like a raven's shadow." For The Strangers is timeless and in the mould of other stunningly beautiful and breathtaking Suede ballads such as The Wild Ones. Incorporating an anthemic, coiling chorus with a moving sentiment, "For all the strangers out there..." this marks it out as the LP's centrepiece and thematically, it's very much what Suede are unfalteringly about. Also proving the power of understated restraint, eloquent expression, being economical with words and that sometimes, it's not what you play, but how you play it - here, every moment counts. Hit Me meanwhile, takes you over with yet another infectious floodlight chorus, "Come on and hit me, with your majesty... Come on and hit me, with all your mystery." Underpinned with Coming Up-style atomic guitars, it's also garnished with some fantastic hallmark "La, la, la, la, la's."

"All the colours in the rainbow don't compare with one look in your impossible eyes..." croons Brett on Sometimes I Feel I'll Float Away, which has an undeniable, widescreen Dog Man Star / Bowie feel to it. Brett - who is a sensational singer - really utilises his distinctive and versatile voice to great effect here, which has a luxurious, enchanting and hypnotising quality, delivering and emphasising every word with all of the unbridled passion that we've come to know and expect from him. In turn, complimenting the soaring symphony by exploring every corner of the song and fitting together with it like clockwork. Another diamond-encrusted winner! What Are You Not Telling Me?, Always and Faultlines, were likely very carefully sequenced together for a specific reason, as musically, they are less bright-eyed / hook-driven and more melancholic / introspective than the rest of the album, thus establishing a mood and sitting well next to each other in this order. As the final three songs, they help bring the long player to a suitable close, with the echo-soaked reverb on Brett's vocals and the longing way in which he begs, "What are you not telling me?" - melded to ghostly harmonies and subtle orchestration - adding an atmospheric, choral and haunting quality to the track. It will give you goosebumps. The oriental intro, Bond-esque middle-section and swelling climax of Always, along with the Ennio Morricone-tinged filmic strings, immaculately played decorative piano and the slow-build of the coalescing guitar, bass and drums of Faultlines, also warrant a worthy mention.

Early information about Bloodsports indicated that it was going to sound like a cross between Dog Man Star and Coming Up, and although there are identifiable strands of DNA from each of those seminal records present amongst the 10 songs, with a flab-free, 39 minute tracklisting, Bloodsports sounds like a sophisticated 21st Century version of Suede (thanks also to Andy Wallace's mix) filtered through a modern consciousness. Which should please the hardcore who wanted everything that they loved about the band, but with something new added to the equation. While at the same time, ensuring that there's enough here to attract adoration from new listeners as well, should the group wish to reach a wider audience and continue making further LPs in the future - which is something that Brett has expressed a desire to do, "Who says our best isn't yet to come?" On a side note, it's been said that behind most great albums there has always been a great producer, and Ed Buller clearly brings out the very best in the band. As this is a really rather wonderful return to form, with a triumphant, confident, bold, sleek and consistent collection of songs (there's no shortage of classic tunes here) that are going to become much-cherished staples of live shows, and of course, part of the soundtrack to many people's lives. You can hear the love that has gone into this long player - which fulfils its brief and is both inspired and inspiring - and the sheer joy of Brett, Mat, Simon, Richard and Neil creating music in a room together and being on the same page, is almost palpable. Interestingly, to help create a strong group identity / dynamic, Brett deliberately focused all of his energies on penning lyrics and thinking up vocal melodies during the recording process, putting all of the sonic responsibilities in the more-than-capable hands of his bandmates.

Riding a wave of genuine goodwill, reverence and respect after returning to the spotlight, this is an extremely special and stylish group who have come out swinging and are once again ready to scrawl their name across hearts and to rewrite their history. Welcome back Suede!

A very special thanks to Gary @ Warner Music, for all of his time and help.

1. Barriers
2. Snowblind
3. It Starts And Ends With You
4. Sabotage
5. For The Strangers
6. Hit Me
7. Sometimes I Feel I'll Float Away
8. What Are You Not Telling Me?
9. Always
10. Faultlines

*Bonus Tracks are available on the Box Set, iTunes and Japanese versions.

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 11 Mar 2013, 06:37 ... loodsports

First Listen: Suede, 'Bloodsports'
by Otis Hart
March 10, 201310:30 PM

We're just two months into 2013, and it's already been a huge year for living legends of British pop. David Bowie bucked the exaggerated reports of his decline with The Next Day, his first album in 10 years. Kevin Shields and My Bloody Valentine created an Internet frenzy by posting their 22-years-in-the-making m b v online on short notice. Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr released a solo album almost 30 years after we first fell in love with that shimmering black Rickenbacker.
Next to those names, Brett Anderson may sound anonymous, especially to American audiences. But make no mistake: Twenty years ago, there was no bigger band in Britain than Suede, a.k.a. The London Suede in the U.S. Some even credit Anderson's sinewy glam jams with kicking off the Britpop era. The band's first album topped the charts and took home the 1993 Mercury Prize; the rest of the decade didn't turn out so bad, either, with two more No. 1 albums and a handful of Top 10 singles.
It's been 11 years since the last Suede record, so when Anderson announced last year that the band (alas, still without guitarist Bernard Butler) was returning to the studio, there was no reason to expect anything along the lines of Suede or its incredible follow-up Dog Man Star. So it's frankly a little surprising how great Bloodsports sounds — perhaps even better than the comeback albums by Marr, Shields or Bowie, Anderson's thin white role model.
Anderson's New Romantics redux sounds as melodramatic and persuasive as ever on Bloodsports (out March 19), and he can still belt out choruses with the best of them. The opening one-two punch of "Barriers" and "Snowblind" is greatest-hits material, and the rest of the album doesn't lag far behind. "For the Strangers" is raised-lighter-worthy, while "Faultlines" closes Bloodsports on a deliciously defeatist note: "Celebrate! / There is no feeling / for us to feel."
That sentiment isn't entirely true, because for Suede fans, Bloodsports will likely evoke a powerful feeling of relief. It's the best kind of comeback album: one you'll actually want to come back to.

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