Former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce faced awkward questioning regarding accusations of racism levelled against ex-bandmate Morrissey in a new interview (and played a game called ‘Is Morrissey Racist?’). Watch the interview below.
Last week, Morrissey made headlines in a divisive interview in which he discussed accusations of racism and alleged connections between Halal meat and ISIS. He also referred to Hitler as ‘left wing’ and said that London Mayor Sadiq Khan “can not talk properly”. He later issued a new statement in which he said he “despised racism and racism” and voiced his support for Muslims, while also advocating far right political party For Britain.
Appearing on Sam Delaney’s News Thing, Joyce has now spoken out on Morrissey’s Halal meat comments, replying: “Reading it, I don’t know if that’s correct or not. If you’re going to be making quite a strong point about something, you have to be correct first and foremost.”
Speaking of his past relationship with the singer, he said: “I’ve never seen him have any kind of racism towards anybody ever,” said Joyce. “I’ve not spoken to him for quite some time. As people get older, they change their opinions about things. I honestly think he’s yearning for a Britain that was 30 or 40 years ago.
“His mum and dad were immigrants themselves. It was difficult reading, because when I read it I thought ‘hang on a minute, is this borderline? What is it exactly?’ He’s taken Spin Magazine to court for calling him a racist. It’ll be interesting to see how that pans out.”
Joyce added: “We’re talking about the idea of him being someone who ruffles feathers. [In] 1985 when we recorded ‘Meat Is Murder’, people were saying ‘you shouldn’t be in this position’, people just want to hear the music – they don’t want to hear what your opinions are. It made me become a vegetarian, and I’ve been a vegetarian ever since. Being outspoken brought out the debate of animal cruelty and animals being killed.”
The video then ends with Joyce playing a game called ‘You’re The Drummer, You’re Not The Bassist, But Riddle Me This: Is Morrissey Racist?’ – where he has to answer whether quotes are from Morrissey or what Delaney refers to as “another famous racist”. Clearly pained at speaking out on the context of Morrissey’s comments, Joyce diplomatically responded to accusations of Morrissey’s racism by saying “you’ll have To ask him.”
Responding to Morrissey’s comments that he much prefers his own music to that of his former band, Joyce said: “I’ll be honest. I prefer The Smiths’ music to the solo music – probably because I played on those records myself. I remember the first gig we ever played, he started throwing confetti around.
“He didn’t mention anything to us about it. He’s a frontman. With the flowers too, he wanted to get away from that austere, grey, drizzly Manchester that we were all living in. He wanted to bring a bit of light, colour and entertainment to the proceedings.”
Denying accusations of prejudice, Morrissey wrote last week: “I despise racism. I despise fascism. I would do anything for my Muslim friends, and I know they would do anything for me.”
He continued: “In view of this, there is only one British political party that can safeguard our security. That party is For Britain,” he goes on to say.
“Please give them a chance. Listen to them. Do not be influenced by the tyrannies of the MSM who will tell you that For Britain are racist or fascist – please believe me, they are the very opposite!!! Please do not close your mind. For Britain will keep British society together. Violence is not the way forward.”
Last year, Morrissey spoke out to clarify controversial claims he made about Donald Trump and Kevin Spacey. A German newspaper then released the full audio of the original interview. The singer had claimed that his comments were taken out of context, denying that ever “sympathised with paedophilia and rape”.
Morrissey released his latest album ‘Low In High School’ last year.