rs: this is really me, isn't it?
Press: who got you involved in this?
uhm, david... phoned me up and asked me to do it...i have no idea.. i haven't asked him why... i've been asked three times in the last fifteen minutes... and it's dawning on me that it's very strange that i haven't actually asked him why he invited me to do this.
Do you have any idea why?
(laffs) ..uhm, well, yea.. i've got a couple of ideas, yea... i'm so... when he phoned up i said, 'yea.. i'll have to phone you back up tomorrow and tell you if i can do it or not ...' (robble... robble...) but i was just being cool... but uhm it's one of the very few ambitions i ever had when i was young was like a pipe dream, to be on stage with bowie so... i didn't really hesitate for a second. i suspect no one else would ask me to do this kind of thing anyway... but their isn't really anyone else i would do this with anyway.
Do you remember your first david bowie experience?
The first album i ever bought was ziggy stardust. So between about 70 and 75 i was a big bowie fan... went like all the concerts. i never tried to look like him, thankfully...(laughs)... i haven't got any embarrassing photos but uhm, he just represented, along with hendrix and a local called alex harvey, who is a Scottish singer, they were the three people that represented, like, this other world when i was at school that was something to aspire to and i think that i still do like him for that reason, that he's created a world that is just his. Even though i haven't liked some of the stuff that he's done over the years, i still feel he's one of the few people that's managed to do something that's so unusual that you kind of know it's him... it's very distinctive. i used to want to sound like him when i was young.
How about the tin machine album's?
(laffs) i got given all the albums on CD but i must admit i didn't buy any tin machine albums. i liked a bit of suburbia, i bought that, but, uhm... i did actually say to him... i met him once before about two years ago we kind of interviewed each other on the radio station and i was... a bit... drunk... and a bit... abusive... and i gave him, ya know... i said '...ahh, tin machine, come on!'... so he knows what i think about tin machine. But he's a solo artist... it's weird...the conversation actually went around to that i've always been in a group environment and i could never do anything on my own and he's like... he only exists really as himself. i think that was what was wrong with tin machine, the idea of subjugating david bowie into a group is kind of redundant really, despite whatever you thought about the music, just the concept itself is pretty stupid.
Have you heard the earthling album and if so what do you think?
i've only heard, uhm, four songs off it. The four that i've heard are really good. i'm not sure how many they are doing tonight, i think it's about six or seven. There's one i don't like (laughs). But, uhm, it's good, i mean, it's very... it's weird cause, it's contemporary in a way that i suppose the cure isn't. i think that's probably the biggest difference. i'm very... i mean, i'm conscious of what's going on, what's current, what's hip, you know, what people are supposed to be listening to, but it never really affects what i do. And uhm, we get a lot of stick for that, a lot of criticism, which is, you know, fair enough i suppose because... To me, it would be incredible if we brought out an album with jungle rhythms on it, as the cure, because it would be just so fake because... i like listening to it and if i'm out of it enough and i'm out somewhere then i really get into it but, uhm, but it's like, a lot of the new stuff that he's doing is very contemporary but then everything he does is like... sometimes he hits the mark and i think sometimes he misses wildly and from what i have heard so far of the new album, i think he's close to hitting the mark. i hope so anyway.
What are you going to be performing tonight?
i'm doing one new song called 'the last thing you should do,' and 'quicksand' from hunky dory, which is... you didn't get a choice, apparently, (laughter from crowd) although he finally said, 'what song would you like to do?' and i kinda started reeling off all these songs, like 'driving Saturday,' 'young Americans,' and he said, 'oh, well how about quicksand?' and i thought, 'oh, you bastard!' (more laughter from crowd) but uhm, the difficulty with it, i mean, i'm really pleased... there's really only two old songs in the set... he's doing 'the man who sold the world' on his own and i'm doing 'quicksand' with him. But i learnt it, when i was young, phonetically because the lyrics were never printed on bowie vinyl albums and (laughs) i've learned the wrong song and i'm kind of like singing, 'deutsche faith' (a reference to a line in 'quicksand,' not the cure song) and all this kind of stuff , and he's like, 'no, that's not in the song...' and i kept having these blackouts, singing these lines, and he's going,' that's a very interesting version, but it's not right.' So, the first time i did it, i came over on Sunday and i had a run through on Monday with him and i had to listen to him do it because i kept thinking, 'if i was in the audience i would just want to hear him sing quicksand, not me.' That's the biggest obstacle i've had to get over is like, having the self confidence to kind of, to compete, in a way, on stage... it doesn't come naturally... normally i'm just up there with simon and perry... (laughs) and it's not to hard to win, hee hee, i hope they never hear this. But it's very different being on stage with him because, even i'm looking at him when i'm singing. i'm pleased we're doing it ... it's just, i've never been this nervous about anything in my entire life as i am about tonight.
Do you think david bowie means something different to British audiences compared to American audiences?
On Monday night i talked to his band about this and some of the people who have been with him for quite a few years and i hadn't realized that there is a big difference in how Americans perceive him, as opposed to how English fans do. i was beginning to think it was my age, because i'm thirty-seven now so when i was like a young teenager it was glam, it was david bowie, t-rex and stuff like that. And that was my growing up. So obviously... but i think it's the same with anyone who has been going on for a certain amount of time it's like, where you picked up on them, you're obviously going to have a different perspective on bowie if the first thing you ever heard was 'let's dance,' you're not really going to understand what all the stuff was before... and they had a documentary on the BBC Saturday, just before i left, which they touched on that, not long enough really, which is one of the things i would like to ask him... that his biggest commercial success was with something that he himself doesn't like and that he actually thinks it was one of the (low points?) of his career and they kind of just like, skipped over it. But it's weird because i kind of understand that... it's like, an interesting part of what he does because he knows that he can do that, if he wants. And that's actually why i've admired a lot of what he does because he chooses not to do that. i think sometimes he kind of slips back into that and tries to do something that he thinks people would want but a lot of the times he does stuff that he generally thinks is good which is like, so whatever you think of it, it doesn't really matter. Because i admire anyone who does things they genuinely believe in.
(laffs) problem in english. (laughs). Uhm, not very much. The conversation i had with him on the radio station was weird because a lot of the things that i've got... i mean, i'm actually kind of completely different to him in most things. i've got, uhm... i know people that i went to school with and i've got... and i go to see my family and... i've got a family, i suppose is the difference, and i've got a very, uhm, comparatively stable existence compared to him, you know. He kind of buys different houses and he moves around the world and ... i don't. i mean, it sounds funny, but i kind of go home, i like being at home, and that's like a huge difference, like with everything we started talking about was it's just that sense of belonging somewhere because i live in the same county in England as i did when i grew up. And he doesn't have those kinds of roots. And he was actually telling me that he went back to where he grew up and they've knocked it all down. And that really upset him. So there are huge differences. But having said that, as an artist, which he's comfortable calling himself an artist and i never am, but there are similarities i think in what we try to do. Because i've always just wanted to do what i want to do and in that sense he's been one of my inspirations, particularly when i first started, was realizing that you could do what you wanted and still be successful because he's done it.
Where do you see yourself musically at age fifty?
(laughs) uhm, performing at his... sixty-third birthday. i don't know. it's weird because on the documentary as well, like with 'let's dance,' he was thirty-seven when that came out, which is how old i am now and i hadn't really thought about it in those terms... it kind of drove it home to me that he was suddenly successful at the age that i am, in global terms. i don't know, i honestly don't think i'll be doing this when i'm fifty though. Not because i, you know, uhm... if i want to i suppose i will but, uhm... that's where the difference is, i think, he's... he is very, very comfortable with what he does and he's defined himself in a certain roll. And i've, actually, as i've got older, become more uncomfortable with what i do, so... like with this (the interview)... i'm sort of used to this but i'm not very good at it because it doesn't come naturally to me. it's like, even being on stage is strange... doing it with the cure is like, but i'm singing my own songs and it's something i've choosing to do and it works but i've actually found this pretty why i'm nervous, because it's ah, it's like, performance and i'm a performer in front of people and it's very difficult... i'm not really sure what of shapes to throw (nervous laugh).
What do you think of david turning fifty and what is like when you look at him?
He looks fantastic! Uhm, it doesn't seem like he's fifty, actually. it's kind of like... it's a weird thing... with a lot of people that... that do things creatively, age is, despite what you are led to believe by the popular press and the media... age isn't really that important. i mean, it is if you are going to like, look a certain way and like do certain things, it is driven home, you know, that you're too fat... it becomes an image problem. But i think mentally he's probably like fifteen and.... a hundred, you know. if he's anything like me about what he does, like how he thinks about what he does, because i never think of myself in terms of years. it's like, because some days i wake and i feel (laughs) a thousand years old, you know, like this morning (laughs), other days you kind of feel like you are actually doing something that you really always wanted to do, that you can actually make something out of nothing, makes you feel like your really little. it's like that kind of feeling of being young again. So... i don't know... ask him... i mean, he's given up drinking... a long time ago, so... that's the biggest difference between me and him (laughs... crowd laughs). Thank you very much. (appaluse).