Interviews

Interview with Morrissey: Nobody listens to modern music

By I-S MagazineEvents - 25 April 2012 5:39 PM | Updated 9:58 AM

Interview with Morrissey: Nobody listens to modern music

Some of us can finally die in peace. LA-based Brit poet-troubadour and ex-Smiths frontman Steven Patrick Morrissey is finally comin us his latest pet peeves and other existential misgivings.

When was the last time you were truly happy? 
Truly, as opposed to falsely? I don’t expect to be happy. I might as well expect to be a world-famous sea captain.

We can't listen to modern music anymore. Can you?
Nobody LISTENS to modern music–I don’t think that’s its aim. It’s just there, in the foreground, saying nothing, with no meaning. Music is only allowed through if it is contemptuously stupid. No modern music career is praiseworthy, and most modern pop stars are over-rewarded. We are hit over the head with them, and we are not allowed to discover for ourselves.

Are poets cursed?
I think all humans are cursed. WH Auden said “childbirth is an act of hatred”, and he wasn’t entirely wrong. Once a baby is born it is condemned. We spend our entire lives snatching pleasure because pleasure is so difficult to find. As for art, people who are content create nothing. Furthermore, we’re all cursed by the aging process, which means we are all fated to suffer. At the same time, most people do not have the basic capability to explain their true feelings … should they find anyone who cares enough to listen.

Is it ever possible to forget the past?
Who said “the past is myself”? It wasn’t me; but I would have said it if someone else hadn’t…. or even if they had.

What must one do these days to get inspired?
Avoid newspaper and award ceremonies, and stop watching the news.

The worst lyricists are often...
Given Brit Awards and Grammys.

If Oscar Wilde were alive today, he'd probably say...
Wilde was always occupied with the pleasures of living, but he’d struggle to maintain that in 2012. I don’t think he’d say anything. Mediocrity has such a firm grip on the print media, on television, on music, and this would kill Oscar Wilde all over again because mediocrity hates genius – which is why the oh-so-learned and oh-so-gentle men of the British judiciary murdered Wilde in the first place.

LA is beautiful because....
Of the sunshine playing in the trees, and because of unrestrained self-indulgence … and all without the assistance of thought. Remarkable!

In your past life, you were probably a...
Bronzed troubadour.

Rimbaud once said "Life is elsewhere." Is that true?
Yes. We spend our entire lives just trying to get settled. Thankfully we only die once.

Morrissey Greatest Hits Tour Live in Singapore is on May 8 at Fort Canning Park.