New LP Behavior is nearly
finished: some songs are still being added to, and mixed,
and some new ones may still even be written. Two songs
The End Of The World" and "Bet She's Not
Your Girlfriend';have already been taken off the
provisional running order (they will appear sometime,
somewhere) and one of those mentioned below,
"Miserablism", is quite likely to disappear as well.
Nevertheless the LP may turn out to be something like
this: 'This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave"
Neil: This is about a dream, which I've had several
times, that I'm back at school in the sixth form block
doing an exam and I think (very alarmed) How has this
happened? What's happened?" and I get told to get on with
what I'm doing. That explains the title, because you
wonder where you are and you realize that you're in the
place you couldn't wait to get Out of. And also we kind of
tied it in with Eastern Europe. Schools are kind of
authoritarian places with strange rituals and I just
imagined now that dreaming you were back in a communist
state would be as bizarre as being back in your school
The words were written quite recently but
the music was written a long time ago when we thought we
were going to be asked to do the theme for the James Bond
film, The Living Daylights. Johnny Marr plays on it: some
feedback guitar and some rhythm guitar.
There's a vocoder line - that thing that Rubric Hancock
used to use like in 'One Of The Crowd" - with me saying
"everybody" then "everybody jump to attention". That's me.
Neil: Obviously it was inspired by
the fact that we're supposed to be boring or something,
and I thought what a good song title it would be. Then I
remembered that when I was 18 or 19 all my friends in
Newcastle had a party and the invitations quoted this
famous Zelda Fitzgerald quote from the I 92()s:
"we were never bored, because we were never boring". I
spoke to a friend Dave Rimmer recently and told him about
this song and he said "I've got the invitation in front of
me" - it was quite a big do at the time, it was called
"the Great Urban Dionysia Party's. The first verse is
about finding the invitation:
It then says "we
were never feeling bored, because we were never being
boning". The second verse is about leaving Newcastle to go
to college in London. And so one had said to us "the
trouble with you lot is you'll have experienced everything
by the time you're 18 - you'll have nothing left to
experience". And the third verse is me now, just thinking
where the people are who I was with then. So it's quite a
sad song, but quite jolly too.
"only The Wind"
Chris: This was written during the gales (laughs).
Neil: There were dustbins flying down the street and
corrugated iron flying about and it was quite scary. And
so the story of the song is that someone's gone round to
see some couple and... you know sometimes you arrive at
someone's house and there's obviously a major row going on
and one of themes not there. And the friend that is there
is denying there's anything wrong - he's denying you can
hear anyone crying stuff like that, He keeps blaming it on
the wind outside. And it's got a fantastic tune -Chris
wrote the music. It s also got string on it
Neil: We wrote this in a demo studio. Chris wrote
most of the music - I wrote the middle bit.
It's a Firelight track (laughs). I must have started it in
Neil: The song's about two people living
together and they are totally unfaithful to each other but
they both pretend they are faithful and then catch each
other out. The first line is " double cross you and you
get mysterious mall". There's a bit in the third verse:
"I'm always/roping you'll be faithful but you're
not, Suppose we've both given up smoking 'cause it's fatal
so Who's matches are those?" Really what it's saying the
"so hard" element is - this is the middle bit - "if your
give up your affair forever/ I will give up mine / but
it's hard / so hard". People get caught. I think very much
between their desire to have a permanent relationship and
their desire to play around or whatever.
Chris: This uses all really old synthesizers
including the Roland 700 series, the old Moog - a really
big chunky one.
Neil: The chorus goes Miserablism / is
is and isn't isn't". "Is is and isn't isn't" is a quote
from someone's father when they died. It was the last
thing their father said and it was taken to mean that what
is really around you exists and the rest of it doesn't. In
the song there's a bare statement of Miserablism: life's
terrible - don't even dream of a better future or a better
life. As quite often in the middle bit you get the real
sentiment. It sounds a bit pretentious, but it says "but
if is wasn't and isn't were/you can't be sure I but you
might find ecstasy".
Neil: This is
based on a very old song which I wrote many years ago
except that I could never quite work out the chorus. So I
said to Chris what do you think these chords should be?"
and he went "oh like that and then like that" and that was
it. We were going to do this as a Los Angeles ballad, you
know, like Whitney Houston but it sounded so nauseating so
we went back to the elector approach. It's about two
people. -. when you meet someone and either, depending how
young you are, you're thinking: do you kiss them, or will
you go to bed with them? It's quite sort of sexy in a way:
at the end of the song it's kind of resolved that it's
going to happen. It's sort of about sexual trepidation, to
"My October Symphony"
This we wrote when we went to Glasgow at the end of last
year when we wrote "Being Boring". Chris wrote the music.
It features Johnny Marr on rhythm guitar I played guitar
on the demo.
Chris: This is the track on the album I
like most. It sounds the most different from anything on
Actually. There's all the different musical styles. It's
got the sort of James Brown drums,. then it's got the
Balinese String Quartet from our tour
Neil: We asked
Alexander Balenescu to write vaguely in the style of
Shostokovitch. The song itself is about the changes in
Russia, but it\ quite obscure because it's a bit dreary
writing songs about perestroika. It was the idea that the
Russian Revolution was obviously the seminal event in
Soviet Russia and eventually it's being called into
question. Since it happened all artists and painters and
musicians in Russia have been called upon to produce
paintings or symphonies or whatever to celebrate the myth
of the October Revolution. In the song you've got some
Chris: He's basically had to scrap
his October symphony.
Neil: He's written this
symphony but at the same time he's pleased, and he's
thinking how to salvage it. In the chorus he asks whether
he should rewrite it or change the dedication 'from
,revolution revelation". So it's really about the end of
the myth of the Russian revolution The trigger of this
song was reading about Shostokovitch - for some reason
that made me think what it would be like to see these
changes from the inside. Because the person singing this
song is a communist, or has been one. He \ someone who's
compromised himself to survive.
"To Face The truth"
Chris: It's an old one but it sounds dead
contemporary. It's got the softer edge that most of the
album's got. It sounds quite black. It's otherwise known
as "the Gloria Estefan track's
Neil: It's very very
sad. Heartbreakingly sad. When we do it live I'll probably
burst into tears at the end. I shall leave the stage and
have some smelling salts. It's a bit of a highlight of the
album, this. It started off as a song I began writing on
the guitar one Sunday morning lying in bed in the King's
Road and I though it sounded like Everything But The Girl.
This was 1984. Then I played it to Chris in its original
mega-wimp form and he changed the timing of the chorus.
Chris: And a middle bit's been added since. This
used to sound like "Juicy Fruit" by Mute. Neil: The words
are almost the same as "Jealousy" -it's about lying in bed
and your lover's somewhere else. "The truth" in the song
is to face the fact that the person you're in love with is
not in love with you. But you can't face up to it.
Neil: You wrote the music, Chris, a
very long time ago. We now travel back 8½ years to the
dining room of the Lowe family household in Blackpool.
Chris is up for the summer holidays
Chris: I can't
really remember it. It's my mum's favorite track ever.
Neil: I can remember Chris coming back from Blackpool,
about June '82, and he'd actually gone to the bother -
astonishingly enough - of putting it on a cassette.
Obviously I nearly dropped down dead at this point. I
thought, "It's really good I'll write some words to that".
And they haven't been changed, unless I change them when I
do the vocal. For lyrical content, see "To Face The
Truth". When I first knew Chris, other friends,
particularly one very old friend from Newcastle, was
jealous that Chris and I used to spend a lot of time
writing songs and that I didn't want to go out and play as
much. And it was kind of, not about that, but inspired by
Chris: There's some good lyrics in there,
like "you didn't 'phone when you said you would". You know
when you stay in and they say they're going to phone at
eight o'clock and they don't phone all night and you go
Neil: I'm not quite sure why we
haven't put it on a record before. I think when we did the
first album we were a little bit insecure about our early
songs. We thought that because we wrote them a while ago
they can't have been very good. When we did the second
album we decided that Ennio Morricone was going to arrange
it and there was that convoluted thing which ended with us
writing "It Couldn't Happen Here" with him. So "Jealousy"
didn't goon the record. Row Can You Expect To Be Taken
Seriously?" Neil: It's about loads of pop stars. In the
lyrics there are at least six major pop stars mentioned in
it. I'm not telling you who.
Chris: We were trying
to do a Bobby Brown track, crack the American market
Neil: It was that whole shuffle thing.
Chris: It's got a guitar on. (Despairingly) You know,
readers, there's a guitar on nearly every track.
The words are about the aspirations and porn-posity of pop
stars and it just lists all these things that pop stars do
and at the end it says "how can you expect to be taken
seriously?" It's got a bit about supporting charities in
public and about meeting the Royal family and-my favorite
bit-"do you think they'll put you in the Rock 'n 'Roll
Hall of Fame?" That's this appalling thing you have in
America now where, if you're some aged rock'n'roll star,
probably really talented, you get nominated into the
rock'n'roll Hall of Fame. When I was writing the song
Chris said "do you think you should make the words
nastier?" because actually the words at the start were a
It hadn't occurred to me suddenly
I thought "oh, it should be really horrible?' It's a bit
of a "You're So Vain" concept really. The things that
really annoy us about pop stars are the Prince's Trust
concerts, the telling-us-what-every- primary
-school-child-already-know s-about-ecology, which they've
just discovered ten years after everybody else. The word
"longevity's not in there at the moment but I might put it
Neil: This hasn't got any
words yet, but it's a really gorgeous tune, elegiac but
danceable. Even Chris likes it. We haven't really got the
concept for the song yet because Madonna and The Beloved
have ruined the concept for it - a list of famous names:
(sings to the tune of "Paninaro") "Monroe, Dietrich and
DiMaggio... living legends... oh-oh-oh".
Areagraphy Ltd: All Articles have been Taken
Literally Issue 4