Brett reveals that he cried at Watership Down and wishes that he'd never written 'Stay Together'...
What’s the worst insult anyone’s shouted at you? (Fred Telfer, London)
Mat: “‘Effete southern wankers.’ Someone shouted that repeatedly through our first ever Scottish gig.”
Simon: “I was in the toilet at that gig, and this bloke came up to me and said, ‘Have you seen Suede? I’m going to smash their teeth in.’ I just pretended to be from Scotland. The hard part.”
Brett: “Someone once shouted, ‘You sound like Rod Stewart.'”
Mat: “No, they said, ‘We remember Rod Stewart.'”
Brett: “Oh, that’s it. That was at a time when everyone was into bands like The Wonder Stuff, and we were playing ballads. I think the Scottish crowd thought we were old hat.”
Brett, did your arse ever get sore from hitting it with your tambourine? (Kieren Kelly, Ireland)
Brett: “I used to get a lot of bruising, that’s why I don’t do it any more. I put my aggression into singing these days rather than self-flagellation.”
Are there any songs you wish you’d never written? (Debbie Harding, York)
Brett: “‘Stay Together’. I don’t know why, it’s just not one of my favourites. It was the sole time in our career when one of our records has been successful because of hype. We’ve been accused of that a lot, but that was the only time when it was true. It was just style over content.”
Neil: “I’ve only written three, so I haven’t got much to regret.”
I read somewhere that after you moved out of one of your flats, the council had to have it fumigated. Is that true? And do you like vacuuming as much as Nicky Wire? (Gary Regis, Leicester)
Mat: “That was in The Mirror, wasn’t it?”
Brett: “That’s a bit of an exaggeration. What happened was we were in the middle of a tour, and we finished a gig and I had one too many shandies and a couple of other things, and I was moving house.
“Me and a couple of friends were sitting on my bed while these removal men went around my house throwing things in plastic bags while we were off our tits. It was a bit of a mess when we left, and I apologise to the people who moved in afterwards.
“These days I find vacuuming and washing-up quite therapeutic. I hate having a messy house, it makes me really depressed, so I try to keep my environment clean.”
Which one of you has got the biggest ego? (Softywat, West Sussex)
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Brett: “Definitely not me, ha ha. I don’t think any of us has got a big ego, to be honest. It’s another popular misconception about the band. We don’t all need to be pampered, none of us are that fragile. Possibly a few years ago, I had a bit of one, but I think I’ve managed to chip away at that. I don’t feel particularly ego-driven any more.”
If you could stick pins in a voodoo doll of anybody on earth, who would it be? (Kirsty Irving, Grimsby)
Brett: “I don’t have any bad intentions to anyone really. I think when you have bad intentions to other people, you’re just looking for someone else to blame for where you’ve gone wrong with your life. It’s just a coward’s way out, and I try not to entertain thoughts like that. So, nobody.”
What were the first records you bought? (Emily Mugford, Chertsey)
Richard: “My first record was ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson. I think I was about six.”
Brett: “‘Never Mind The Bollocks…’ by the Sex Pistols was the first album I bought, and the first single was ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Kate Bush.”
Mat: “I think it was ‘Abba – The Album’. The one with ‘Thank You For The Music’ on it, anyway.”
Neil: “Mine was ‘Another Brick In The Wall (Part Two)’.”
Brett: “Woah, what a record!”
Mat: “What a youngster!”
Neil: “I thought it was amazing.”
Brett: “I loved the video with all the kids and that. I used to have the sleeve painted on my wall. The headmaster.”
Simon: “Ever? David Bowie, ‘Low’. Shall I tell you why? I thought he was a punk, because he had orange hair. I then went out and bought ‘Never Mind The Bollocks…’ after that.”
Brett, were you good at games at school? (Clint Stone, Yeovil) Brett: “Yeah, I was actually. When you’re young, sport is really important, or at least it was at my school. I held the school record for the 800m for a couple of years. I was a good middle-distance runner. I used to play for the county at football as well.
“It was the only way to avoid getting beaten up. All the bullies tended to leave the kids who were good at sport alone, and not take them into the corner of the field and kick shit out of them. I fancied being an athlete when I was a kid, and then what happens, you get into cigarettes and girls and pop music, and you just end up a fat bloated fool.”
Which member of Suede can drink the most beer? (Mike Crisp, Brighton)
Mat: “Richard, probably.”
Richard: “I don’t think so.”
Brett: “Well, you’re the one who regularly empties their mini-bar wherever we go. Even if we’ve got day rooms. He brushes his teeth with vodka, he does.”
Richard: “Not really.”
Brett: “Well, yes. Who are you trying to kid? This is the man who has a bar in his bag. You sit in the back of a taxi with him and when you get out there’s glasses littered everywhere. That’s no exaggeration. After the pubs shut, you don’t try to find a dodgy offie, you just look in Richard‘s bag. That’s the truth, Mate.”
Simon: “He drinks anything, him.”
What do you say to NME’s editor, who recently included you alongside Ocean Colour Scene, Cast and Reef in a list of bands who “have nothing to say” (NME, April 3)? (Dave Thorley, Shropshire)
Brett: “I don’t think it’s true, to be honest.”
Mat: “There’s always this assumption that if you have something to say, you have to say it in terms of politics and social conditions.”
Brett: “I totally agree. When we’re in places like Germany, we’re always asked, ‘Why are you not political?’ and my answer to that is always the same. If you don’t understand the politics of the songs, then you haven’t looked into them. The songs aren’t flag-waving, they’re more subtle than that.
“I think I’m getting more interested in the music as I’m getting older, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I don’t think you lose that fire for life. As long as you’re inspired and have a real passion and rage for your music, that’s something to say in itself. That’s not a cop-out, that’s just how I feel about music and the band.”
Brett, you’re always photographed wearing a silver bracelet. Who gave it to you? (Samantha Jones, London)
Brett: “It was from a fan, actually. Someone sent it to me for my birthday. It’s just a cheap, silver-plated one, but I like it. I’m quite superstitious, and I wear a lot of my jewellery for that reason. This bracelet is a perfect example, it’s been quite lucky. I wrote lots of the album wearing it, so it’ll continue to be on my wrist until something goes wrong.”
When was the last time you cried, and why?(Gontie Tommy, Belgium)
Brett: “I think the last film that I cried at was Watership Down when I was young. The closing scene was really fucking sad.
“My sister used to read books to me, she liked reading to me so much she used to pay me 2p an hour to listen. She’d read stuff like Watership Down and Lord Of The Rings, and I’d cry at that too.”
Simon: “I don’t think I’ve ever cried while watching a film.”
Simon: “Oh, he’s a butch lad.”
Click back tomorrow for part two.