It’s no fun following pop stars on Twitter. If they’re not spamming you with release dates (“Please RT!”) or going on Kanye-style one-way ego trips, they’re indulging in blatant product placement. Like this recent update from adland’s favourite shill, Lady Gaga.
“Nothin like watchin Maiden videos with a Jameson diet in my paw.”
A Jameson diet, huh? Not a whisky-and-coke, then?
Then there’s 50 Cent. Reading his relentlessly boorish Tweets is like being trapped down a sweltering lift shaft with the galaxy’s most unpleasant moron. A couple of weeks ago he woke up and had a wank over internet porn – and actually Tweeted about it in real time (“I be stroking!”).
It’s profoundly depressing that over 3 million people follow this drivel. Consequently, there’s something cathartic about seeing Fiddy’s Tweets lampooned wittily by English 50 Cent, who retweets the rapper’s sexist word-splurges before translating them into flawless RP.
Hence “You fine ass freak bitch where you at?” becomes “You are sexually attractive but absent”.
But one of them most certainly is, and that’s reallybanderson, the fake Twitter persona of Suede frontman Brett Anderson. For the last few months he’s been spewing out waspish reflections on The Libertines, Suede’s Britpop peers, and his own sadly diminished place in the rock canon.
The reason it works is because the Brett persona bears only the vaguest relation to the actual Brett Anderson. Instead, the anonymous author has concocted an entirely imaginary character – a sort of surrealist hyper-dandy, who drinks “goose egg and Vimto smoothie” for breakfast, and spends his days consumed by a mixture of bitterness and self-regard.
Plus, he writes actual gags, like this one:
“Just installed a fabulous new dishwasher in my kitchen. He’s called Jas Mann.”
I was lucky enough to be granted an interview with “Brett” himself. Enjoy…
You’ve been a bit quiet since releasing your last solo album in 2009. What have you been up to?
Writing banging tunes mainly. Also reformed Suede for a Teenage Cancer Trust charity gig at the Royal Albert Hall. You wouldn’t believe their grateful little faces, wide-eyed with astonishment. Think the hospital kids were pleased too.
Speaking of your solo work, ‘Slow Attack’ peaked at No. 174 in the album charts. Was that a disappointment?
People forget that David Bowie’s third album also only got to 174. I tend to scorn commercial motivations these days. I am more comfortable tossing CDs off my battlements and coldly announcing: ‘Art’.
How are relations with Bernard these days?
Bernard’s as well as can be expected given his limitations. I try to keep in contact by scrawling HI BERNARD on his car with my house keys now and then.
Aside from music, how do you fill the days?
Yoga, probiotic yogurts, sending unrequested pizza deliveries to Toby Anstis’ house. This and that.
Which of your Britpop peers are you still in touch with?
I resent the notion that I had peers. That said, former members of Oasis occasionally ask to tarmac my driveway. I often talk to James Dean Bradfield about hair care and portion control, but he never listens. Northern Uproar do my windows.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about Brett Anderson?
Some people think all I care about is posing and having excellent hair. This isn’t true. I also care quite a bit about my property portfolio. And music.
What’s the most hurtful thing anyone’s ever said/written about you?
I think the most hurtful thing a journalist wrote was a piece about sexually ambiguous popstars in which a comparison was made between me and Richey Edwards. Thought that was quite insulting. I was way slimmer than that chubby sod.
What’s your most treasured memory of Suede’s glory days?
I think having my own rhesus monkey. His name was Eno. Unfortunately there was this three day party in 1999 and let’s just say Eno didn’t have the stamina for it. RIP.
Are drugs still a part of your life?
Not anymore. I did have the heroin abuser’s equivalent of one of those smokeless cigarettes for a while. You just sort of pretended to put it in.
Would you still describe yourself as a “bisexual man who’s never had a homosexual relationship”?
I don’t mind people questioning my sexuality. I’ve shagged Natalie Imbruglia. I win.
What was the most over-rated thing about Britpop?
I don’t actually have a grudge against Britpop. I did invent it after all. That and dubstep.
What is your greatest regret?
I think for full artistic impact I probably should have smacked my arse with the microphone for a good couple of minutes beyond the end of the song at the 93 Brit Awards.
If you could tell your fans one thing, what would it be?
You’ve made an old man very happy. Though I should qualify my ‘old’ description by saying I don’t look a day over 30 and weigh less than Miley Cyrus. Brett Anderson knows the score.
The REAL Brett Anderson is currently recording a solo album, and is touring with Suede throughout Europe this winter, including a date at the O2 Arena