morrissey

The Latest

Jul 25, 2014 / 88 notes

Following “Meat Is Murder”, as the violence was increasing, Morrissey said “I hope that the security don’t ruin your night too much, but I’m sure that they’ll do their best… never mind, they’re outnumbered…” He teased the struggling security by changing a line in “The Queen Is Dead” to “Life is very long, when you’re a bouncer”. When he returned to the stage for the first encore following the band-only instrumental “Money Changes Everything”, seeing how the security manhandled some fans, Morrissey exclaimed “Oh, God!” while Johnny added “Neanderthals, fucking idiots, these guys!”. Then one third into following song “I Know It’s Over”, Morrissey stopped singing to shout to a bouncer: "Jesus Christ! Don’t be so stupid! Leave him alone, you stupid idiot! Leave him!" He then resumed the song as if nothing had happened. A completely stunning moment. - PJLM

Jul 16, 2014 / 33 notes

Art-hounds look like nothing
so Art-hounds write something
And those that do are judged by those who tried 
And found they couldn’t do

Art-hounds see the Greek Ideal 
and gaze on what they’ll never feel 
The pitiless revenge of those without friends 
the pitiless, the pitiless revenge

Art-hounds know what’s around 
Because they’ve seen it somewhere written down 
And everything they’ve seen on the moving screen 
Helps them fill up the page

In European museums 
Will I see you? 
Will I see you? 
Will I see you? 
Will I see you? 
In European museums 
Will i see you?

My life is opera 
My life is opera 
My life is opera 
My life is opera

Art-hounds, in a restaurant 
They bring along their loving aunt 
But when they can’t find a table for their fat aunt Mabel 
They stamp their feet and cry

Art-hounds, in a restaurant 
They bring along their loving aunt 
But when they can’t find a table for their fat aunt Mabel 
They stamp their feet and cry

In European hushed museums 
Will I see you? 
Will I see you? 
Will I see you? 
Will I see you? 
In European hushed museums 
Will I see you?

My life is opera 
My life is opera 
My life is opera 
My life is opera

Art-hounds, very funny 
Very witty, but very lonely 
And below the belt is shrivelled and small 
It functions only as a word

Art-hounds, very funny 
Very witty, but very lonely 
And below the belt is shrivelled and small 
It knows a thousand woes

In European hushed museums 
Will I see you? 
Will I see you? 
Will I see you? 
Will I see you? 
In European hushed museums 
Will I see you?

If you cannot stand this fake world 
If you cannot stand this fake world 
Take my hand 
If you cannot stand this fake world 

If you cannot stand this fake world 
If you cannot stand this fake world 
Take my hand 
If you cannot stand this fake world 

I take sixteen pills to send me to sleep 
And sixteen pills to shake me awake 
What does it mean? 
What does it mean? 
What does it mean? 
What does it mean? 
What does it mean?

Jul 16, 2014 / 26 notes

Under the Hood of Morrissey’s ‘World Peace is None of Your Business’ With Producer Joe Chiccarelli

Today, July 15, Morrissey releases his first album in five years, World Peace is None of Your Business. The enigmatic and historically irascible Moz hasn’t been talking much about the album, what with his recent cancellation of tour dates and the finger-pointing that followed.

But after listening to the record, we wanted to unpack Morrissey’s 10th solo album and peel back the layers of the songs to see how they’re made — find out what makes Moz, well, Moz. So we sat down with GRAMMY-winning producer Joe Chiccarelli, who produced the album with Morrissey in the studio.

“He has a vision,” Chiccarelli says. “I didn’t know he would be so actively involved in every aspect of the process. I mean every aspect, down to the mixes. Even if he wasn’t in the studio, he’d send me a note: like, ‘At two minutes and thirty-two seconds, please bring up the guitar on the right, it’s not cutting enough.’ Or, ‘In the bridge, my voice needs a different treatment.’ His sensibility and style might be more akin to an old-school crooner, and we think of those people as artists who work with an arranger or a producer: they’d go into the studio, do their vocals and then they’re done. That’s not how he is, he’s very involved.”

Also impressive is Morrissey’s band, which includes long-time guitarist/musical director Boz Boorer, guitarist Jesse Tobias (formerly of Alanis Morissette’s band, he also spent a month as a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers), bassist Solomon Walker, drummer Matt Walker (formerly of Filter and Smashing Pumpkins), and keyboardist Gustavo Manzur.

“Their team spirit was impressive,” he noted. “Morrissey really does trust and rely on these guys. They all separately bring him songs.”

We went through the album, track-by-track, with Chiccarelli, who has also worked with some of the greats over the past few decades. He engineered albums for the famously demanding and moody Frank Zappa, and in more recent years, he’s produced/engineered/mixed projects for Jack White (for both the White Stripes and the Raconteurs), My Morning Jacket and the Strokes. So when he says that Morrissey is an artist with a vision, the man knows of what he speaks.

Chiccarelli was enthused about the project and happy to talk about the behind-the-scenes story about each song. Whereas artists may sometimes burn out on this sort of interview, lower profile team members like Chiccarelli aren’t interviewed as often, leading to (perhaps) more detail than you’d get in an interview with the Mozzer himself. Read on.

~

“World Peace is None of Your Business”
We were recording in February, and the Ukraine was just exploding; the importance of the song was really evident to everybody. After I heard it for the first time, I thought, “Bravo, Moz.” With a lot of the rhythms, he was very specific. Matt Walker really understands him, and Matt will come up with parts. And the guitar solo on the song is outrageous, it’s wonderful. The first time Jesse played it, it was like, “Wow!” We probably spent a day per song on tracking. A typical day was: we’d all have breakfast together, come in at 11:00, we’d get the band in the studio, do guide vocals and build the song. By dinner time — 8:00 p.m. or whatever — we would have something that was close to the framework of the song.

“Neal Cassady Drops Dead”
Gustavo had the basic feel of the song in his demo, with those big rock guitars. That weird sort of washing machine sound that comes in at the end, that was part of his demo. I was fascinated with how he took Gus’s demo and turned it into this song about the Beat poets. I jokingly called the part about “babies with rabies,” “the rap section.” Moz looked at me and said, “It’s not really rap.” He’s very quick-witted, he’s very colorful. But I thought of the “babies/rabies” thing as a poem. If you come from the punk rock school, it’s about pushing the limits and seeing what you can get away with. He’s a master of words, he’s a novelist more than anything.

“I’m Not a Man”
He wanted the rhythms to sound “thuggish,” as he put it. He wanted it brutal. I thought, “We have to bust out of this groove at some point, and have some release!” All those intro pieces, all those sound effects pieces, those were all his design. I suggested that we trim down the amount of time in the intro before “I’m Not a Man.” He said, “No, it’s fine.” He would come up with concepts for the instruments that he wanted. Regarding the lyrics: my personal opinion is: there are a lot of stupid things that we do in the name of “manhood.” I have to tell you, I remember when we cut that track and hearing those words for the first time, I almost cried. I thought, “No one has ever said this in such a bold way.” I was blown away by that song. That might be my personal favorite on the record. As producer, there were plenty of times where I was like, “Moz, can’t we cut the intro down, this song is seven minutes long!” Or, “Couldn’t we change the beat here?”  All those are things that you think of as a record producer, because you want to invite as many into the music as possible. Part of the job is: you’re acting as a fan, but at the same time you’re acting as the most objective, removed person possible. At the same time, I felt like, “This is so powerful, that perhaps the consistent beat almost becomes invisible, and keeps you more focused on the lyric, and it makes the song all the more important.” Honestly, it took me a little bit of time to warm up to the issues that I had with the track but now, I get it. I get the intention.

Part of this job is, I have to trust the artist. There’s no point in me working with an artist if I can’t (1) buy into their vision, and go along with and help them execute that vision and (2) have the trust that vision is the right thing for them as an artist, and that it will be something that people will want to hear. Obviously an artist like this has a track record, so with him, it’s about “Okay, how can I make this the most interesting recordings possible.” As the songs started to evolve, and I noticed the theatricality of them all, I realized I had to basically add the flavors. I had to add the colors that the songs demanded, in some cases I had to make them stark.

“Istanbul”

It’s a very, very, tricky, complicated beat. It’s not a drum loop. Matt was very clever, he used drums from different drum kits. A lot of the songs needed big drums sounds. This one needed a very dry, ’70s kind of sound with very funky tones. Moz’s direction was that he really wanted it have the feeling of the streets of Istanbul. The previous tour, I think they did a few shows there, and they got to experience the city. Moz was very clear: he insisted that it had to have the chaos and the clanking and the madness and the intensity that the city has. There were times that I questioned that on the beat, “It feels a little overly complex, can you chill it down?” I think we even tried that at one point, but we went back to it because the herky-jerky quality of it helped the sense of unevenness of a cobblestone street.

“Earth is the Loneliest Planet”

His direction, many times, on songs like “Smiler With Knife” and a few others, would be something like, “This song is about death,” or “It’s about murder, and it’s kind of ugly.” He’d pull me aside – he liked to give the guys in the band their space – and say, “Have him play violently.” I loved the spoken word videos promoting the album. I thought it was a very unique way to present the songs. I thought it was great: it just gets into the lyric, the message, the story.

“Staircase at the University”

[The lyrics include “‘If you don’t get three A’s,’ her sweet daddy said/’You’re no child of mine and as far as I’m concerned, you’re dead.’”] I went through that: I got a scholarship, and my parents were like, “You’re not going to coast by, just because you got a scholarship!” I went to Catholic school, so I understand guilt. Who can’t relate to this song? Everybody at some point in their life gets that torture from their parents, to different degrees. It’s so universal. This one was maybe, in some ways, a little more difficult to put together [in the studio]. There were those long musicial sections that Moz really wanted in there. So I had to figure out what to do, to keep your interest. There’s one section where the strings are featured more, one section where the guitar is featured more. There were definitely challenges. Gustaov’s nylon string guitar solo was great. I don’t think anybody in the organization knew what a great nylon string guitar player Gustavo was. He’s the keyboard player; I think everyone knew he could pick up the guitar and play, but it was kind of a surprise when he started soloing, how fluid it was.

 “The Bullfighter Dies”

On the lyrics, “Hooray, hooray/ The bullfighter dies/ And nobody cries/ Nobody cries/ Because we all want the bull to survive!” Only he could say that! That was one of the ones that, the tracking of that was very simple, very quick. I think we did maybe one or two overdubs, but next to nothing. Moz insisted that we keep it bouncy and light and simple and innocent so that the message could survive without all the layers of production and all of the intensity. I had mixed maybe half the album, and I kind of felt like the song almost felt trite, in contrast to what I’d done before it. I’d done a mix that was much more tense and “rock,” and to me sounded more like a complete pop song. He just sent me back a note saying, “No, it’s way too ‘rock.’ You missed the original intent of the song.”

Then I did the next version, and he said, “Ok, you’ve got it now.” Never did I see him waffle. He knows what he wants, he has a vision. He was great to work with. He would share the intention of the song with myself and the band, and then he’d let everybody go and do their thing. He’d leave everybody their own space to have their own input, to own the song, but was very, very clear about how he wanted the end result to hit you.

“Kiss Me a Lot”
The chorus is sweet, the verses are darker. That one wasn’t gonna make the album, it was a B-side. All of the sudden, when we put the album’s sequence together, he felt like there needed to be a little bit more energy, a little bit more lightness. It was his idea to have Gustavo sing the “Bésame mucho” part. I remember him asking Gus, “How do you say ‘Kiss me a lot’ in Spanish?” It’s “Bésame mucho!”

“Smiler with Knife”
We used an acoustic piano that’s been distorted, and there’s also some backwards piano fills that have been treated through a guitar amp. So, some of the sounds that sound like guitar on that song is actually piano. Jesse is playing with an Ebow, there’s also Ebow on [bonus track] “Julie and the Weeds.” Jesse is really good with an Ebow.

“Kick the Bride Down the Aisle”
I thought it was outrageous, but I would expect nothing less. That’s one of the ones that sort of came to life in the studio. We didn’t know what to do with it, originally. All of the sudden one day, it sort of materialized, and I remember Moz saying, “This is really good, this has to be on the album.” We cut 18 songs, I think. There were always two or three songs that were in question, but this is one of the ones that rose to the top in the studio. Some of the rhymes are just incredible.

“Mountjoy”
That was one of Boz’s songs, and I believe the demo was just simply two acoustic guitars. I think started that with just Boz playing an acoustic guitar and Moz singing a vocal. Boz went back and did the second acoustic guitar. The drums were programmed. Moz really wanted them to sound like the metal of a prison door, to evoke the concrete, the unhappy inmates. When he sung that, most of us were in the control room then, and most of us were like, “Wow, what a story.” That and “I’m Not a Man” are probably my favorites. A lot of these vocals on the album are those initial vocal takes. He was able to deliver the emotional intention of the song up front, early in the process.

“Oboe Concerto”
The sample at the beginning is a guy named Rex Jamison, a comedian from the Britain from the ’60s and ’70s, and he had a character not unlike Dame Edna, it was called “Mrs. Shufflewick.” Boz, or maybe Donnie the tour manager, had a bunch of videos of this guy’s performances and we were all kind of obsessed with him. He was hilarious. He did this character for some time, maybe twenty years or more. One day Moz decided to use it, and I remember him looking for this one particular line in the video. So, we cleared [the publishing on] it. There’s no oboe on the song, it’s actually a clarinet. Boz is a great guitar player, but he picked up the clarinet on that song. That solo in the middle was one take. He’s really good at it.  I have to say, the band is a great combination of having [musical] skills but also understanding the artist. They’re really good at communicating with each other and Morrissey, and they know what he’ll like. They have a great understanding and respect for him.

Jun 17, 2014 / 13 notes

This Gilbert O’Sullivan cover was never recorded by Morrissey for official release. It was only performed twice in Dublin in 2002. 

If I give up the seat I’ve been saving 
To some elderly lady or man 
Am I being a good boy 
Am I your pride and joy 
If you’re pleased would you please say I am
And if while in the course of my duty 
I perform an unfortunate take 
Would you punish me so, unbelievably so 
Never again will I make that mistake

This feeling inside me could never deny me 
The right to be wrong if I choose 
And this pleasure I get 
From say winning a bet 
Is to lose

When I’m drinking my Bonaparte Shandy 
Eating more than enough apple pie 
Will I glance at my screen and see real human beings 
Starve to death 
Right in front of my eyes

Nothing old, nothing new, nothing ventured 
Nothing gained, nothing still-born or lost 
Nothing further than proof nothing wilder than youth 
Nothing older than time nothing sweeter than wine 
Nothing physically, recklessly, hopelessly blind 
Nothing I couldn’t say 
Nothing why ‘cos today 
Nothing rhymed

Jun 16, 2014 / 3 notes
  • It has been speculated that the “The more you give your trust, the more youre bound to lose” line in “If Love Were All” (written by Noel Coward) inspired some words in Morrissey’s “Found Found Found”.
  • Her version of “If Love Were All” was played in 1994 during a Morrissey signing session at HMV for the release of the album "Vauxhall & I".
  • Twice on the Tour Of The Tormentors MMVI Morrissey started the show by singing a few lines from “If Love Were All”: “I believe, that since my life began, the most I’ve had is just a talent to amuse…” before going into his own song.
Jun 16, 2014 / 2 notes

Skaghead by The Business played during intermission on the 1999-2000 Oye Esteban tour.

Jun 14, 2014 / 33 notes

"There was a story today in the british newspapers about a slaughter truck on the way to the abattoir full of pigs and one of the pigs climbed to the top, squeezed out the window, climbed on top of the truck, the car behind filmed everything, then the pig hung on the side and then jumped off the truck, landed on the freeway, motorway, highway and then of course human beings being what they are they brought the pig back, brought it to the abattoir and they slit its throat in the name of, in the name of the human race." Morrissey, before singing Meat Is Murder at Boston Opera House, 6/7/14

True-To-You Statement:
Morrissey announces the close down of the present U.S. tour with “unimaginable sorrow”.On Saturday, June 7th, following the show at Boston Opera House, Morrissey collapsed and was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital where doctors treated Morrissey for “acute fever”. Difficulties had arisen on May 31st following Kristeen Young’s opening set at the Miami Knight Concert Hall, after which Kristeen confessed to “a horrendous cold”, the symptoms of which were passed on to Morrissey resulting in the cancellation of the next show in Atlanta.For the good of all, Kristeen was asked to step down from the immediate upcoming shows, but instead she decided to leave the tour entirely. Morrissey and the band wish her well and hope she is now in good health.Morrissey received medical attention in Miami, and once again in Boston, but it was not enough to shake off the virus, the recovery time for which is too lengthy to meet the final 9 shows of the tour.Morrissey and the band are otherwise delighted and very grateful for their experiences on the U.S. tour, some shows of which they considered to be their best-ever, most notably:
1 BOSTON Opera House2 LOS ANGELES Sports Arena3 BEAUMONT Julie Rogers Theater4 NASHVILLE Ryman Auditorium5 MEMPHIS Orpheum Theater

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Believe me….I am fine. I am not whiling away my days weeping about this. But I HAVE to correct lies about my health, behaviour, etc. I DON”T WANT BACK! Quite the opposite. I WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE AND NOT LIED ABOUT. It seems like I’m not the one who can’t get over it…EVERYTHING comes from HIM. He controls all aspects of his tour. Do you really think he would let other people talk for him?…Anyway….I really don’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to talk about it….and I HADN’T fucking talked about it because I am beyond over it and on to the rest of my life…..but, you know….I had to respond to the lies. Ok. Good night all…Um…..I will say again. I had moved on. I was happy to move on. It looks like someone else hadn’t moved on and decided to bring it up. I have every right to address false public statements made about my health. I can actually do both at the same time! Move on AND correct false statements. IMAGINE…Also……stop trying to stifle people from expressing themselves…I’ve about had it with people trying to scare other people…Please don’t say offensive things about morrissey either. This is not the point. - KY
Jun 11, 2014 / 20 notes

True-To-You Statement:

Morrissey announces the close down of the present U.S. tour with “unimaginable sorrow”.
On Saturday, June 7th, following the show at Boston Opera House, Morrissey collapsed and was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital where doctors treated Morrissey for “acute fever”. Difficulties had arisen on May 31st following Kristeen Young’s opening set at the Miami Knight Concert Hall, after which Kristeen confessed to “a horrendous cold”, the symptoms of which were passed on to Morrissey resulting in the cancellation of the next show in Atlanta.
For the good of all, Kristeen was asked to step down from the immediate upcoming shows, but instead she decided to leave the tour entirely. Morrissey and the band wish her well and hope she is now in good health.
Morrissey received medical attention in Miami, and once again in Boston, but it was not enough to shake off the virus, the recovery time for which is too lengthy to meet the final 9 shows of the tour.
Morrissey and the band are otherwise delighted and very grateful for their experiences on the U.S. tour, some shows of which they considered to be their best-ever, most notably:

1 BOSTON Opera House
2 LOS ANGELES Sports Arena
3 BEAUMONT Julie Rogers Theater
4 NASHVILLE Ryman Auditorium
5 MEMPHIS Orpheum Theater

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Believe me….I am fine. I am not whiling away my days weeping about this. But I HAVE to correct lies about my health, behaviour, etc. I DON”T WANT BACK! Quite the opposite. I WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE AND NOT LIED ABOUT. It seems like I’m not the one who can’t get over it…EVERYTHING comes from HIM. He controls all aspects of his tour. Do you really think he would let other people talk for him?…Anyway….I really don’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to talk about it….and I HADN’T fucking talked about it because I am beyond over it and on to the rest of my life…..but, you know….I had to respond to the lies. Ok. Good night all…Um…..I will say again. I had moved on. I was happy to move on. It looks like someone else hadn’t moved on and decided to bring it up. I have every right to address false public statements made about my health. I can actually do both at the same time! Move on AND correct false statements. IMAGINE…Also……stop trying to stifle people from expressing themselves…I’ve about had it with people trying to scare other people…Please don’t say offensive things about morrissey either. This is not the point. - KY

Jun 9, 2014 / 8 notes
I know you don’t have ghettos in Boston, but use your imagination.
Morrissey, after Ganglord at the Boston Opera House, June 7, 2014
Jun 9, 2014 / 32 notes
Jun 7, 2014 / 11 notes

Maya Angelou’s No No No No was played during intermission on the 1999-2000 Oye Esteban tour.

Jun 5, 2014
Jun 4, 2014 / 3 notes
Just before I left the hotel, I heard some shocking news on the television…apparently there’s a sinkhole outside Legoland. They spoke about this for 12 and a half minutes, absolutely outraged…Try living in Syria…Maya Angelou, she’s not even settled in her grave yet, and on the news, they’re worried about Legoland. Is that weird?
Morrissey, May 30, 2014, Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg
Jun 3, 2014 / 68 notes
Jun 3, 2014 / 447 notes