Reactor 105.7 on March 19th right after Morrissey canceled his gig at the Vive Latino festival. The radio station aired the interview today. Morrissey sounded in fine form and fans should be relieved that he didn't at all sound sickly, etc. While we wait for a rip of the interview to be posted, I transcribed most of the interview while listening to the live stream. The interviewer asked the questions in Spanish and Morrissey answered in English, and there also seemed to be another person in the room who asked questions or made comments from time to time. There were one or two questions that I couldn't figure out exactly what was asked, but tried to infer the question from Morrissey's answers. A big thanks to Roberto Ferdenzi, who tipped me off to the live stream of the interview. :) Also thanks to Married to the Moz, and Moz Army.
UPDATE (3/23): The full audio is now available to stream online
UPDATE (3/20 at 9pm): Morrissey News just sent out a tweet with a link to download the interview. The interview below is now updated and fully transcribed.
The interview began with Morrissey discussing his recent medical issues:
"Had a very bad time, I had internal bleeding and was rushed into hospital, and I lost a lot of blood and they tried to patch me together, over the following five weeks, but it didn't quite work, and I was on a lot of IV drips for almost five weeks, and each time it seemed as though i was back to robust health I would decline. So this is what happened, I'm afraid with the festival this week I saw the doctors and they said, "no no no no, you cannot" because I had lost so much blood and I had became anemic, but I'm still receiving ongoing treatment and I'm very optimistic now"
(follow up question about his health)
"Yes I know, it almost became absurd, the number of things that happened to me but, but everything just and the double pneumonia, everything was a result of the fact that I had lost so much blood. So the immunity, immune defenses were very low and couldn't cope with anything, so therefore the slightest gust of wind and I would have a terrible cold. So I have received treatment as I've said I've been in hospital, I've seen doctors constantly and I've been on many IV drips for a long time, so hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, I will be saved from death."
(interviewer asked about Morrissey being advised to stop touring)
"I've been cautioned, I've been cautioned to but it's difficult for me because, it's very engrained, within me, and I know it's the best of life, that when you tour and when you make music and when you sing, it is actually the best thing you can do in life. There is nothing better. Can you think of anything?"
(on the new songs played during his BBC session)
"Well I did a radio session years ago, and the radio session is being released as b-sides but not as studio recordings, of those songs and the radio session doesn't belong to me so whatever happens to it, it's not really anything to do with me. But the songs will be recorded in a studio, one day in the future, whenever the future is whatever the future is."
(asked about when he might record music)
"I have no idea, I have no idea, I don't get approached by ANYBODY to record, so nothing ever happens really. So I wait, and I wait, and then I wait in order to wait, so here I am, sitting here waiting"
(another question about recording new music)
"Yes, I have A LOT of songs. A great deal. We could record three studio albums immediately, very easily. But none of the majors (labels) are interested. And I've approached a few and they've said no, and I think it's a question of age really. I think that they're only interested in very young people who will fly by and ask for nothing in return."
(question about recording on a DIY/do it yourself basis)
"It doesn't interest me, it doesn't interest me really. It wasn't the way I was raised. I've never had any interest in doing it yourself. It's not the instinct I have. I was always interested in major labels and being a part of major labels, and being a part of the machinery and I began on an independent label so it's not something I want to relive twice"
(question about Rough Trade)
"Well they are big I think, I think the time with the Smiths saved them (Rough Trade) because until the Smiths came by they were a dull label, they were not a hip label, nobody knew about Rough Trade, and when the Smiths happened, the Smiths saved Rough Trade and made Rough Trade into a youthful record label, which they've hung onto. And they continued to sign anybody who resembles the Smiths"
(question about Smiths/Morrissey covers)
"No I never cringe, I never cringe if anybody sings or covers a song, I find it very moving even though it might be quite bad, I still find it very moving that somebody would be bothered or interested to do it. Some of them really do affect me emotionally. But I find it extraordinary that every single day, that I hear new cover versions of songs, somebody is covering a Smiths song, every day, which I find incredible. Because British radio would never play the Smiths and they've (the Smiths) proven to be one of the most influential bands ever, despite everything. Despite many obstacles and they were never helped, they were never helped. So it's interesting how, if you do have something important or special or meaningful that it will seep through eventually and nobody can stop it."
The song "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" was played on the program
(question again about cover songs)
"I agree, I agree, and many cover versions are recorded everyday, which I find fantastic, but once again if I released a single tomorrow in England nobody would play it, which is extraordinary, they would not play it on the radio. Because it doesn't have the modern silly electronic beats that everything has now. So, no matter what happens I always seem to be against the grain whatever the grain is"
(A question about his upcoming autobiography)
"Yes it's there and it's sitting and at the right time I'll press the button, but it's not the right time yet, it's not the right time. But it's there"
(someone in studio asks "do you have a title")
"Yes, I do, but I'd rather not say anything until it's launched."
(another question, presumably about whether anything shocking is included in the book)
"No I don't think so, it depends, it depends how people are shocked, I don't know how people are shocked. It seems these days people aren't really shocked by anything, but, it's not grotesque."
(question on what is the biggest misconception about him - he struggles for a few seconds before answering)
"I'm an extrovert, and I'm very introverted, and a very shy person, yet if I explain anything in a very gentle way, they'll reprint it like I'm screaming and I'm shouting and having a big outburst against the Royal family. "Morrissey had an outburst" and but everything I say is very gentle and very measured, quite slow. So I think the Most common misconception is that I'm an extrovert. I'm not at all. Not at all. And I'm ANGRY and a monster. It's not true. I'm not a monster. Not, not, not."
(on being outspoken)
"Well I'm alive and a I'm a human being and see what happens around me and I can comment and I have a view and I don't accept the things that happen automatically in the political world and so forth. So therefore I'm asked and have a chance to speak, whereas most people aren't asked and don't have a chance to speak. But I've never been a part of the crowd I don't go along with the crowd just in order to please others and to let the and (pause) let the boat sail smoothly."
"Many things I do appreciate, I do appreciate wit and it's rare. And I appreciate very measured wit, and it's very very rare. Most people use the same words every day, say the same thing every day and will give you the same responses all the time. And if the power of language is the power of description because sometime everyone speaks to you they're asking you to describe something - describe where you are, describe where you've been, describe the (?) you just bought, so all conversation is power of description. And most people can't describe anything! And if you ask people how they are they'll just say "oh fine, yes very well" which isn't true. So I, I like people with depth."
(someone in the room asks him, "and that's it?")
"Yes, I don't ask for much."
(question on Morrissey conventions)
"It has influenced me because they exist, and I find this incredible and i find all the tattoos incredible because many of them are just covered in Morrissey tattoos and I don't know of any other artist who has that kind of effect on their audience. And to me, it's extraordinary. But I have to point out that audiences everywhere are generally fantastic. There aren't many places I go to where people are disinterested. But a great deal is said about the L.A. Latino audience, and I understand why, but I have to say that in most places, the audiences are incredible and give so much, they don't sit there, they GIVE. They turn up to a concert and or a show in order to give and to move forward and express themselves. Whereas I've seen many artists who are very major league, and multi-plantinum and on the television all the time, and I've seen their concerts and the audiences sit in their seats, they don't move, they don't want to touch the person they don't want to go near the stage. And the audience I have is very, very expressive, and it's incredible and it's ignored largely by the media."
(on being ignored by the press)
"Well, that's true but it becomes tiresome year after year achieving so much yet being ignored. It does becomes tiresome. I'm not begging for recognition but it's fascinating that I don't get it and it doesn't matter what I achieve without management, without a record label, without a financial injection. I achieve so much by myself. And it isn't acknowledged. I don't know another artist who does it really. I seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the music industry, and I'm surviving very, very well."
"I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" is played on the program
(question about reviews and if he reads reviews)
"It helps, it helps if there are good reviews, I don't seek them out anymore. because when I released an album called You Are The Quarry, it had some terrible reviews, and I thought that would be the last time I would read reviews because it was just so silly and annoying. So I don't read them anymore, I don't read them."
(more on reviews)
"One review is one review. So, but no, I don't simply single out the good ones and get rid of the bad ones. You have to have a frame of mind whereby if the reviews are good or bad you still continue in the same way, on the same course. And you can't let anything affect you, even if all the reviews are incredible you can't let it affect you. Because it might be unrealistic. You have to have your path and stick to it and it doesn't matter what other people say, because otherwise you are acting on other people's advice and I think that is no good."
(question about who he writes with now. Not exactly sure who he was asked about, but possibly Alain Whyte [thanks to Joel for heads up])
"Well, he wasn't no, no he wasn't but he had written some tunes a long time ago which were used, but he's been gone now for almost 10 years. Ten years in fact."
(asked who he's writing with now)
"I write with Jesse Tobias, the guitarist, I write with Boz Boorer the guitarist, and I'm very happy with it."
(question on writing music)
"It's, it's very difficult for me to describe because I just follow on instinct I had from the beginning, and I don't over analyze it and I just simply sing the words I want to sing, whatever they may be. I don't think in terms of new things and new periods and and changing because I think I'm quite happy with how the songs go, nothing has ever been dreadful, so why make any drastic changes?"
(on writing music)
"Yes, the lyrics, and the melodies, and then I just search for the music cause I'm a non-musician so I wait for new music that surprises me, catches me."
("is there a phrase?")
"Usually I find that if I have a few words then I begin to sing them and suddenly it matches perfectly well. Because all of my life, when I was a very small child I was obsessed with vocal melody, so always in my mind I have vocal melody even though I might not have words, but they come eventually."
(on remastered collections)
"Well I like it, it was presented to me and I like it, and also Viva Hate was remastered and re released, and Kill Uncle is released next month, that's also remastered and re-released, and it's attractive, they're very attractive packages because a lot of the earlier stuff and certainly the Smiths stuff certainly in the U.S. has just been left in its original form and it looks very boring. So I think it's good when releases are given some attention."
(not sure what question he was asked)
"It's just a perspective thing and maybe I just live in a cave, I don't know, maybe I keep away too much from people, I'm not sure. But I did go into Saks the other day here and they were playing the Smiths. Which I thought was extraordinary, because you wouldn't hear the Smiths in a British department store. Never! Never, never, never, never! Katy Perry yes, the Smiths...no! Morrissey, no."
(on the Mexican festival cancellation)
"Well, I do feel it, I do feel it, which is why I feel immense sorrow at missing the festival, I mean, the pain I felt, was just incredible, I just hope to God I can make it up to people, so I'm sitting here wondering how."
"Well, I had to, I had to because of medical reasons, because I've had so much medical attention, that it had soaked up all the insurance. So we couldn't actually continue anymore, because we weren't insured to continue. But I'm hoping to return here in June and play in as many places as I can. I've been told there aren't really that many places that you can play (in Mexico), which surprises me, when you consider the population, of most of the cities, are absolutely enormous but I am told there's only 3 or 4 cities, and I would like to expand...but I think they're worried that people just won't turn up."
(asked about persistent Smiths reunion rumors )
"Well, they persist ALL the time every day, every year, yes, constantly and I, I constantly have requests to reform. But people forget that I did not break up the Smiths, so I don't know why people ask me about reformations, but I would always say no because we're all very different people now, and it's been a very long time, and the truth is, we don't know each other, we're not friends, so why would you be in a band with people who you don't really know? We're linked because of the distant past, but we have no links in our lives now. So it doesn't really make any sense to me. Also, I'm very, very happy with my life, with my musical life as it is now, so I don't feel any to, for, a musical reformation. I don't see the point. If I'm so happy singing now, why would I want to play with strangers?"
(question about reunions)
"Well I think people become obsessed with things they can't really have, and then once they get it, they say, "really, well, it wasn't that good" and then they move on. Because every time groups reform, it's insane news for 2 weeks and then it's very ho hum, and it's very "uh, what's next?" I don't think any reformation has ever been incredible, I don't think it's made the world free or excited people beyond recognition. Can you think of one?
(someone in room says "fake excitement" and Morrissey agrees).
"It's fake, I don't get it, and also when bands reform I find they go straight into stadiums and they have big merchandising deals. But you never hear of a band reforming quietly, and rehearsing for a year, in the countryside, and playing together. They always reform and go straight for the money and straight for the stadiums. And it doesn't bode very, very well.
"Because when you, when you first form a band you have a certain attitude, the world isn't listening to you, and you want to make it listen to you. But if you're in a situation where everybody's waiting it's not the same thing. And it can never be the same thing. And you're not the same person. But people, people have, it fixed in their mind, when they listen to music and when they listen to older music, that the person who made that music is still the same person. But they're not. And if you meet many people, like, David Bowie, etc, etc, and you talk to him about the past, he doesn't really know. Because he's not that person anymore. He's not there and he doesn't feel all those things anymore, and he's quite rightly, living in the now. But the listener, the person who listens to the music always thinks, that the person is still the same, and it's not true.
"This Charming Man" is played and interview is over