10 Takeaways From Morrissey’s Latest Fanzine Interview

Photo by Sebastian Kim

True to You, the definitive online zine for Morrissey fans, posted its sixth round of Questions and Answers with the former Smiths frontman yesterday. While most outside sites have focused on the novel he’s halfway through writing, Morrissey was brutally honest about lots of other topics, especially his lifelong battle for the welfare of animals. Aside from equating slaughterhouses with concentration camps, he had this to say about the parallels between carnivores and pedophiles…

“They are both rape, violence, murder. If I’m introduced to anyone who eats beings, I walk away. Imagine, for example, if you were in a nightclub and someone said to you ‘Hello, I enjoy bloodshed, throat-slitting and the destruction of life,’ well, I doubt if you’d want to exchange phone numbers.”

And then there were these nine other possible pull quotes…

2. On the Bowie collab that never quite materialized:
“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.”

3. On the dangers of individualism:
“As soon as people decide to be themselves, the police reach for their stun guns, and governments roll out the tanks… This is why it’s always so shocking when someone stands up and gives an honest opinion.”

4. On why record companies just don’t get it:
“I am not given credit for being a universal voice, yet I see the incredible results all around me. If a record company ever promoted me on a worldwide level it would explode. I have never been with a label that saw me as anything but an oddity. I am not at all odd. I am simply speaking for now.”

5. On fashion cues:
“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… It’s important to know what suits you, otherwise you look like a buffoon… or a baboon… take your pick.”

6. On being a lifelong listener:
“I never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever stop listening to music. I listen so much that it worries me. I lie in the bath and I shout my head off… Music can bring vegetables to life, and I should know because I’m a vegetable.”

7. On the predictability of pop music:
“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.”

8. On his favorite Morrissey song, “Pigsty” from Ringleader of the Tormentors:
“Life is a pigsty because we all—without exception—end our lives in tears. Very few people die in a fit of hysterics on a Ferris Wheel.”

9. On his greatest achievement:
“Many people have told me that they stopped eating flesh because of something I said. I can’t ask higher than that, and I wouldn’t aim for higher than that.”

10. On the one question interviewers shouldn’t ask him:
“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.”

Read the rest of True to You’s open source interview here.