13 Temmuz 2012 Cuma


By on 08:56:00

© Zülal Kalkandelen
Cumhuriyet / 14 Temmuz 2012

Published in the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.

First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking time out to answer my questions. You are the musician who changed my life. I became a vegetarian under the influence of “Meat Is Murder”. Soon after, I went vegan and have always felt like you have given me my own special personal music for so many years. Meeting you in person is my dream and now I get to “meet you” on paper, or on a computer screen. Although we are confined in two separate worlds, we dream the same dream about animals. How does it feel to know that that song has had such a big impact on so many people all over the world?

You might not thank me when you hear the answers. The fact that you listened meant that YOU saved MY life. I am genuinely grateful to anyone who turns up. I don't see myself as a shepherd calling to the flock.

You have been one of music’s most outspoken and controversial high-profile artists. Have you ever had to compromise your art?

My views often seem harsh because most pop artists don't even register as nonentities. They have no views and their thoughts are not even skin deep. When I'm interviewed the headline is usually BIGMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN, yet my voice is very soft and very quiet. It's almost as if the world cannot cope with someone who speaks their mind. Why be a zombie?

You have never been shy away from expressing your true feelings on the royal family. While you say “the Diamond’s Jubilee is an expression of loathing and abhorrence of the British poor,” some musicians, who use the title “Sir”, happily performed for the Queen this year. Recently Paul McCartney praised her by saying, “She’s fabulous. I’ve got a lot of time for her.” What’s your take on this kind of close relationship between the Queen and musicians?

I think it's silly because she isn't fabulous, and it was Paul McCartney who once sang Give Ireland Back To The Irish, directed at the Queen. She didn't give the six counties back to Ireland and she never will because she wants the ports. That isn't fabulous to me. Obviously, when anyone is made 'Sir” or given a royal gong, it quietens them down and they trot into line. I am proud of David Bowie for refusing a Knighthood. Albert Finney also refused. The British royals are not royal to me. They are cunning parasites, and it's quite breath-taking that the Queen has gotten away with it for so long. The Queen is suddenly surrounding herself with pop stars because it's her PR way of reaching young people. She might die soon, and she must ensure that the British public continue to keep her useless family in excessive and unnecessary luxury. Every day British newspapers tell us how William and Kate are loved throughout the world. I travel extensively and I can honestly report that global interest in the British royal family is sub minus zero.

When you look back over your musical output in the last 35 years, do you see a common spirit or ambition to what you do? Could you define your underlying drive in making music?

There's always the chase to achieve full artistic growth, and because I stand apart from everything and everyone within music , I feel that there's continued interest in my position because it's so odd. The audiences are such impassioned advocates and they alone confirm the importance of the music.

There are a few lyricists I consider poets, and you are one of them. But some people think the lyrics are not poetry; they are the words to a song. What’s your view on this?

Even to be a verse-maker is quite something, especially if it all amounts to witness evidence as opposed to the usual mish-mashed give-it-to-me-one-more-time. Poetry appears to be dead now, and certainly most modern British poets are a joke. You find poetry wherever you happen to find it, and if the singing line tears at your heart then you are actually dealing with something that is more than poetry, because they aren't simply words written on paper. There is a moving body in motion calling out to you with words that you must hear. This emotion is, I think, stronger and bigger than mere poetry.

A lot of artists create a second character around themselves, as protection. But I believe that you tell the truth in your songs that always involve individualism and social commentary. I feel that whenever you use the word ‘I’ on the record, it is always about you. Am I right? If so, how do you bare your soul so easily?

I can't think of anything else to do with it. Hide it?

You have been criticizing the music scene for years, and I agree with your views. There seems to be contradiction in the fact that there’s more music around and more free downloading music and yet at the same time, in some ways music doesn’t seem to be as vital as it once was. Do you think that people still treat music as a one off experience that can be treasured in memory? If not, is this all because we live in a world of ever-growing commerciality?

People seem to make music simply because they can, and all of the techno hip-hop kids do exactly the same thing with no variation, and they think it's great. The mystery and intrigue in hip-hop is zero, and the people who make that kind of sound usually can't even speak, know what ah mean, know what ah mean, know what ah mean? Do THEY know what they mean?!

I know that you lost your faith in record companies. But your fans desperately want to hear your new songs. Would you consider releasing an album as a digital download self-released?

I only want it to be released by a label who cares about it, and who will promote it. If not, there's no point. It can be heard in the live arena and on You Tube. I won't beg a label to sign me. Fate has always come to the rescue somehow.

The one thing I am very excited about these days is your autobiography. Oscar Wilde once said, “A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.” How much did you reveal about yourself in your book?

I'm very proud. I won't be hurried. I don't want it published this year. It's very dramatic and action-packed, and those who criticize everything I do with untiring hatred have probably already written their malevolent reviews. Oh, you know the drill.

Thank you very much. I cannot wait to see you in Istanbul again!


Yazan: Zülal Kalkandelen