Brett Anderson – Does Rock’n’Roll Kill Brain Cells?

Testing musicians’ memories after a lifetime of abuse


What are you doing on the front cover of NME, September 3, 1994?
“That was just before ‘Dog Man Star’ so…I’m playing a harp in a field. Every NME photoshoot, we’d try to do something rather than standing in front of a wall. I climbed statues in Hyde Park and that time we lugged a huge harp into the middle of a field. I don’t really know what the rationale was behind it.”

Which Suede B-side did Morrissey cover during his 1992 tour?

“‘My Insatiable One’. He took out the swear words! There’s lines like “shit Paracetamol”. He did a sanitised version to play at various coffee mornings around the world.”

Name the two bands who sued your former girlfriend, Elastica’s Justine Frischmann, for plagiarism.

“Wire. And The Stranglers. Everyone has inspirations, it just depends how blatantly you use them. They were unlucky. A lot of people get away with murder. I hear things on the radio that I think are complete rip-offs.”
Correct. Wire for ‘I Am The Fly’ and ‘Three Girl Rhumba’ sounding like Elastica’s ‘Line Up’ and ‘Connection’ respectively, and The Stranglers for ‘No More Heroes’ sounding like ‘Waking Up’

Bernard Butler co-wrote two songs with Duffy on her 2008 debut LP ‘Rockferry’ (which he also co-produced), including ‘Syrup & Honey’. Which product was this used to advertise?
“Some sort of treacle?”
Wrong. Nivea
“I was never going to get that.”

Who’s on the back of your imaginatively titled debut solo album, ‘Brett Anderson’?
“Oh, it’s my cat. Fluffington his name was, but he’s sadly no longer with us. He’s currently buried in my front garden.”
Correct. And looking down on us all from Cat Heaven

Ricky Gervais famously “managed you” (ie booked you to play a few gigs and sent off your demo tape). Name Ricky’s band who you once supported.
“He used to be in a band called Son Of Bleeper which were – I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me saying – pretty terrible. He’s lovely, Ricky. I’ve got a lot of time for him. He came to a Suede show a few years ago. That was nice. He used to be in a dodgy band that we supported a couple of times, and suddenly 20 years later he’s a huge comedian.”

What did you tell NME in our What Rock’N’Roll Has Taught Me feature in February 2010 that you would never do?
“I said that I’d never reform the band. Well, I don’t know what to say about that really!”
Correct. You also said it’s OK to wear your nan’s clothes!
“Did I say that?”
Sort of
“During the early Suede shows my clothes used to get ripped off me. Before the soundcheck I’d shuffle around charity shops and buy some slightly insane items that literally lasted for five minutes.”


When Bernard Butler nearly ran over you as you stepped out of a cab in Notting Hill, what did you claim he was probably thinking?
“I said he was probably thinking, ‘Should I brake or should I accelerate?’ I don’t actually remember this incident. He told me a few years later when we formed The Tears.”

What band name was on the drumkit when Suede performed ‘We Are The Pigs’ on Top Of The Pops, September 1994?
“Was it ‘The Pigs’?”
“That was a complete guess. I don’t remember that at all.”

Name the other famous Anderson who was also a guest on the Tonight With Jonathan Ross show when
you played with The Tears on April 22, 2005?

“Oh, that was Pamela Anderson.”
Correct. Are you related?
“Maybe very distantly.”

Total Score: 9/10
“I’m quite good at trivia and dates. The legacy of abuse means I’m very bad with names and faces and things like that.”