Morrissey has responded to a new round of fan questions on his semi-official site, True To You, where he discusses topics ranging from vegetarianism, musical and fashion influences, the creative process, global impact, self-opinion, and disinterest in his former band, The Smiths, along with subtly announcing work on a new album and debut novel, as well as issuing an almost-apology to David Bowie for past criticisms, and hinting at plans to tour in the future.
Check out a few excerpts below, and head to True To You for the full Q&A– a must read for Moz fans!
“Who inspired you to sing?
Bobby Hatfield. He was the smaller of the two Righteous Brothers, and his falsetto swoop made me jump backwards over the settee. You should You Tube their You've lost that lovin' feelin', and you'll see what I mean. When I made the record Ringleader of the tormentors, the producer (Tony Visconti), who is a very close friend of David Bowie, tried to get both Bowie and I together to do our version of You've lost that lovin' feelin', with David doing the deep Bill Medley parts, and me doing the Bobby Hatfield shrieks. I loved this idea, but David wouldn't budge. I know I've criticized David in the past, but it's all been snotnosed junior high ribbing on my part. I think he knows that.
I was lucky enough to see you in Istanbul in July 2012. It was an amazing night, very intense, and it was a dream come true. How was it to be in Istanbul, and what do you think about the audience and the concert?
Well, we are about to record our new album, and one of the tracks is called Istanbul. It is second to Rome as my most favorite city in the world. When I'm in Istanbul I feel as if I could never die. My life is matched. I have been trying to book the Istanbul Opera House, and I long to play Ankara, Izmir and Bursa, but local promoters say I am not well-known enough. Even if I sing to one hundred people in Izmir I'd be happy!
I am a fashion head and I adore your look as much as your music. Where do you get your influences from?
When I was a kid – yes, a kid! – I was greatly fascinated by people such as the New York Dolls and Lou Reed and Patti Smith and Iggy Pop who gave new definitions of sexuality. But the truth is that I have always loved very defined male clothes and styles. You possibly haven't heard of Fabian because he's practically pre-history these days, but I loved the way he dressed in his heyday. I always loved traditionally masculine suits and accoutrements and classically designed trousers. I don't like the modern urban peasant look and my mind stalls at clothes that don't work with the physical contours. It's important to know what suits you, otherwise you look like a buffoon … or a baboon … take your pick.
You are one of the few personalities in modern times who have really influenced my thinking about art and life. Have you ever thought about writing a novel?
In 2013 I published my Autobiography and it has been more successful than any record I have ever released, so, yes, I am mid-way through my novel. I have my hopes. The actuality is that radio stations will not play my music, and the majority of people have lost faith in the music industry, and it's generally assumed – quite rightly – that the number one chart positions are “bought” by the major labels, so there really is no passion left in pop or rock music, and I don't think people believe for an instant that the faces we constantly see on television and in magazines are remotely popular. It's all, now, solely a question of marketing. All success stories are safe and dreary, and you will never be taken by surprise by a hit song that sounds out of place. This is not just my view but the view of everyone I know.
What question do you secretly wish an interviewer would ask you, and what would the answer be?
I haven't done an interview with a British music magazine since 2007, so the process doesn't drill through my head anymore. As an entity, I have no interest in the Smiths, so as long as I'm not asked about the Smiths, I won't slip into permanent unconsciousness. And that's a promise.”
Following a year plagued by tour cancelations and illness, Morrissey recently stepped out for his first live performance in nine months, at a Nobel Peace Prize event in Oslo, Norway. In 2013, the singer released both a memoir, Autobiography, to great success, and a concert film, Morrissey 25: Live. If his Q&A is any indication, Morrissey will have a very active 2014.