"I dreamed about Grant Mitchell," admits Brett...

Have you dumbed down your lyrics to the point where they’re patronising to the listener? (Tom Stubbs, Dartford)

Brett: “I don’t think they are patronising. If you want to look for intelligence in lyrics, there’s a lot more of it in simplicity. I think the lyrics to our new album are a lot more intelligent than anything on ‘Dog Man Star’.”

Mat: “There’s a difference between dumbing down and being universal. The majority of people who buy Suede records aren’t English, their first language isn’t English.”


Brett: “When you go abroad people are just mystified about what the early stuff is all about. This is an interview for an English music paper, so everyone knows all the cultural reference points, but there’s a whole world out there and I think it’s important to communicate to them as well.

“As I’ve said before, the blueprint for a lot of lyrics on this album came from reading writers I really like, like Camus. His words are just like a simple painting of a triangle or a square or something. There’s nothing clever-clever about them, they’re just there. They describe a situation with a couple of simple brush strokes. That’s what I was trying to do on ‘Head Music’, and if that’s patronising, then sue me.”

What sort of cigarettes do you smoke? (Laura Pike, Aberdeen)

Brett: “Benson & Hedges. It’s always been the same. Mat smokes Silk Cut, but then he doesn’t count.”

If you could be any character in EastEnders, who would it be? (Sarah Glanville, London)

Brett: “I quite like Matthew Rose. I like the real ones P Matthew, Tony, people like that. I can imagine being one of them, they’re in the same sort of age-band. I really like the Mitchells as well.


“Actually, I think I’d be like Phil in the old days. He’s lost the plot a bit as a character since he gave up drink, but I used to love Phil. I’d regularly have dreams about hanging out with him and Grant, and committing various crimes.”

Simon: “I’d be Ian Beale, because I’ve always wanted to own a 50p/’1 shop.”

Brett: “Everyone hates him though, he’s the most hated man in the square.”

Simon: “Suits me.”

Neil: “I’d be Reg Cox (Reg Cox was found dead in the first episode after never speaking a word P EastEnders Ed).”

Richard: “I’d like to be Nick Cotton, but I don’t think I could pull it off. Every time he’s been in it, it’s been great. The time he tried to murder Dot was brilliant.”

Brett: “The best one was when he came back and pretended to be a Christian. That was really sinister. And I love Dot Cotton. Charlie was great as well.”

Tell us about your brown rice diet… (Johnny Robinson, Kettering)

Brett: “I still eat brown rice every morning. You get hooked on it, because it’s just so clean and good for you. I’m really looking after my body at the moment. I spent so many years abusing it, it’s time to give it a break I think.”

Mat: “I met someone at a Super Furry Animals gig who was such a Suede fan he’d started just eating brown rice. I was trying to convince him that you don’t have to do that to be a Suede fan. He should have seen Brett a few minutes earlier, he had a whole load of prawns stuffed into his mouth.”

Brett: “You’ve got to make sure you get the right sort of rice. It can’t just be brown, it’s got to be wholegrain. What I recommend to our fans is go to a standard Indian restaurant and have a fish masala. That’s very nice. I eat like a horse these days. Brown rice just gives you energy.”

Brett, did you ever want to punch Damon Albarn? (Paperback Rioter, Walthamstow)

Brett: “Punch? Nah, I’m not a violent person. Lots of people have had a go at me, but you just have to learn to deal with it because you’re always going to be a target for someone.”

Suede always seem well-groomed. How vain are you? (Jackie Long, Manchester)

Brett: “Personally, I’m pretty vain. You can only afford not to be if you’re really confident about yourself. If you’re always sticking your face in front of a camera and looking like a dog, you try to do something about it, don’t you? I spend a lot of time looking in the mirror just to iron the creases and get rid of stray bits of fluff.

Simon‘s quite vain. The first thing he does when he gets into a hotel room is unpack his huge case of toiletries. He’s got five different sorts of aftershave, you name it. So actually, he’s the vainest member of the band, and probably the best dressed.”

Simon: “Yes, I’m glad you’ve noticed my Gucci shirt. Mat‘s got the best shoes, though.”

Mat: “They’re from Prada.”

Richard: “They’ve still got that revolting stain on them.”

Mat: “(Sheepishly) Yeah, someone was sick on them. Me, actually.”

Brett, are you still an eco-warrior (A reference to a recently unearthed school essay in which Brett complained about vandals defacing trees)? (Leonard Brown, Portsmouth)

Brett: “Oh God! I was eight years old. Listen, right, all that stuff from my past, anyone who wants to criticise that, I’d like to ask them what they were like when they were that age. When you’re eight years old you’re not boozing and injecting drugs into your eyes, are you? You’re just into stupid things. And no, I’m not an eco-warrior, it’s not something that keeps me awake at night.”

Neil: “He does live in a tree, though.”

Brett: “I have concessions to a green lifestyle, but it’s only buying eco-friendly washing powder. I’m not obsessive about it.”

Is it true you only listen to your own music and surround yourself with people who admire you in obsessive and fanatic ways? (Moa Ranum, Sweden)

Brett: “No, that’s bollocks. A lot of my close friends are into the band, but there are a lot of friends who’ve never heard a Suede song. A lot of our friends are ravers, and the music we make has no connection with their life at all.”

Simon: “My best friend in Scotland hates us.”

Brett: “I don’t think we’re that fragile that we need a load of people telling us we’re great. I think we’ve grown out of that to be honest.”

The final part of Ask Suede will be posted tomorrow on