Tom Calderone, Modern Rock Live, 16th August 1997

Maladjusted (live)

Tom Calderone: Modern Rock Live with Morrissey. Great job. What are we gonna hear next?
"We're going to hear a song called Roy's Keen."
From the new record on Modern Rock Live.

Roy's Keen (live)

On Modern Rock Live, Morrissey. You okay?
"Uh, yeah, I think so."
Yeah, you all right?
Sure. We'll take more of your phone calls after this break. 1-800-223-ROCK is the phone number. We'll be back with Morrissey, your phone calls, and more live playing after this.


We have Morrissey with us, live in New York, and Stacy, you're on the air next. Thank you, Stacy, for calling.
Stacy: Hi, I was just wondering if you've ever had stage fright or any problems like that?
"Any problems like that... Um, I don't think I've ever had stage fright. I can't remember ever having stage fright. I always feel that it's a bit too late to feel frightened because you do really have to go on anyway, so um, and I do like to do it, and I do want to do it. So, no, not really."
What do you do to prep yourself before you go onstage?
"Really nothing. Nothing, I just turn up and step on." [laughs] "That's it. Nothing at all."
"No exercises."
Ah, Liz, you're next on Modern Rock Live. Thanks for calling, you're on with Morrissey.
Liz: Hi, Morrissey. Um, my question is, um, what's your favorite song you've ever recorded?
"Ever recorded... Um, it's a song called We'll Let You Know. Do you know it ?"
... Liz, do you know that one?
"Um, what CD is it in?"
It's on Your Arsenal.
Liz: Your Arsenal, ok...
"The one you didn't buy." [laughs]
Liz: Ok, the one I need to buy, I have mostly all of them. Ok, thanks..
That's the one you have to get next. Liz, what's your favorite song?
Liz: Um, Heaven Knows.
[sighs] "Well... what can I say?"
[laughs] Thanks, Liz. Ayra, you're next on Modern Rock Live.
A: Hi, you all sound great tonight.
"Thank you."
Morrissey, I was wondering why you seem to give such defensive and even evasive interviews and are you trying to keep a distance from your fans in that respect?
"You think the interviews are evasive, do you?"
... Ayra, do you feel that way?
A: Yes, I do, I've noticed that he avoids difficult or personal questions.
"Well, that's not really true. I don't really... They don't ask me difficult or personal questions. So, that's why you don't read about them,because they don't ask me them."
See that? There you go, that answers your question, right Ayra?
A: Yes, he does, thank you.
He does? Ok good...
"No, she's not satisfied."
You're not satisfied. ... Ayra, thanks for your phone call. I mean, do you get intimidated by press at all?
"No, no. No, not in the least. In fact, not in the least."
When it comes to a point when you're releasing an album, besides your bandmates and people you're tight with, who else do you trust to give you good feedback on what you've done?
Nobody. Not even your band?
[Morrissey laughs]
[all of the band laughs]
Thanks for that evasive answer. You're not evasive, I just want to say that.
[Someone in the band says "Thanks for the compliment."]
"I've just proven the last question to be absolutely right."
No, but do you have anybody that you trust, that you...?
"Um, yes, of course I do. Yes, I do. But I'm reasonably level-headed. I don't think I do anything that's dangerously, um, unpalatable. So I think I have a reasonable view of what's happening, if only reasonable."
Has there ever been a song you've recorded that you've gone back to listen and go Ah, I could have done that better, or maybe done a
different twist to it...
"There's been a few songs which I absolutely hate!"
"Do you really have to know?" [laughs] "That was the title." [laughs] "No, there's been about four songs which I really despise and I can't imagine why they took place. But..."
Could you give us the title?
No? Okay.
"It's bound to happen eventually after, you know, several years. You know, you're bound to have an off day here and there."
Is there one song you've written and performed that I'm not going to ask that question again ... one that you've written and performed that fans have just gravitated towards that kind of shocked you a bit, to go Wow, I can't believe this actually struck a chord with people.
"No, not really, no."
"I'm sorry the answers there are so short."
That's okay! We've got plenty of time. Morrissey's with us on Modern Rock Live. The band is here too and he does trust them, by the way, he truly trusts them. That's why they're here. But we'll listen to a track from the CD on Modern Rock Live.


Ammunition on Modern Rock Live, it's Morrissey, from the brand-new CD. And Mary Beth is next on the phone at 1-800-223-ROCK. Mary Beth, you're on with Morrissey.
MB: Hi, what was the first song of yours you heard on the radio, and where were you at?
"Um, it was the very, very first song, which was called Hand In Glove. And I was in Manchester, and it was played on the radio immediately."
How'd you feel?
"Oh, how did I feel?"
I mean, did you know it was coming on?
"I didn't know it was coming on, no. I felt, um, I felt incredible."
Do you remember what song was before it?
"Yes, I do."
Which one?
"It was a song by a group called Prefab Sprout. Do you know them?"
Yeah. Oh yeah.
"Yes. And, uh, but yes, it was an incredible feeling. And it sounded great."
Did all your friends start calling who heard you on the radio?
"I never heard from them again."
[laughs] Yeah, you sold out... Mary Beth, thanks for your phone call. Wes is next on Modern Rock Live.
W: Hello, Morrissey, I just want to say you're the greatest lyricist ever.
"Thank you."
Um, my question is, do you ever see yourself getting married, and if not, why?
"Um, I am married. No, I don't, actually. I don't ever see that happening. No, I want to live a life of  depressed freedom." [laughs] "Sorry, that was the answer."
[laughs] That's okay. Wes, does that answer your question?
W: Yes.
Ok, cool, thanks Wes. Brad, you're next on Modern Rock Live.
Brad: Yeah, I was wondering what the response is compared to an English audience and an American audience, like as far as the fans are?
"Um, do you mean, who's the best, English or American?"
B: Right...
"Um, obviously... English. No, um, I think American, actually. I think American are much more exciting, for me. And, uh, they seem to have a
very open approach to the music, which I really like. In England they tend to be... overcritical. So it's a very ... it's a great experience to play here. Very refreshing."
And when do think you'll be playing here? In much of weeks. I think it begins in three weeks time.
Okay. Well, we'll get some dates for you, hopefully, later on before the show. Mandy, you're next on Modern Rock Live.
Mandy: Yeah, um, hi. Having been big fan of The Smiths and now you as a solo career, um, I want to know what's your creative process in writing songs?
"It's always been the same process, always very simple and straightforward and nothing technical at all. I don't have a computer, I still use a
pen and paper, and I have very, very basic equipment. So, usually really, now, vocal melodies come first with me. And I just simply begin to sing words I like. It's very, very simple, and any explanation of it sounds, um, a bit trite. But it's not complicated."
What's the first song you wrote?
"I can't tell you that, because ... I do remember it, but it's very, very silly. I mean, I was very small."
Wha... come on. Come on.
"I was very, very small."
That's fine. Okay, so we know you were small... What was the title of the song?
"It was called I Was Very, Very Small."
Okay. [laughs]
"I was very young. I mean, I was a child at the time. I was posing as a child. Um, it was a silly song, but I remember it. I could sing it for
you now ..."
Please sing it for us! I would like to know ... I want to hear this ...
"I could. I could, but I don't intend to."
Oh, come on!
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry." [laughs]
Ah. You're killing me here.
"See, another great moment passed."
Dammit! We will get Morrissey to do this, I promise you. In the meantime we'll have some fisticuffs and ask him to sit through this next CD track from his brand new CD. This is called He Cried. On Modern Rock Live.

He Cried

...We're live here with Morrissey, and taking more of your phone calls, including this one from Jeff. Hey, Jeff?
Jeff: Hey! Um, yeah, Morrissey, your new song Ammunition, you talk... you say that you have no place or time in your life for revenge. I was wondering, is that true, and did something happen that triggered that?
"It's not true, I'm afraid. It's not true. It's a nice idea, but not true. I've got lots of space for revenge," [laughs], "and, uh, long may it live."
Eh, what... Um... hmm...
Okay. All right, okay. Allison, you're next on Modern Rock Live. [laughs] You know, we could sit here and have a whole therapy session.
Allison, are you there?
Allison: Yeah, hi. I was wondering if you enjoy having such a devoted following of fans or if you'd rather just be left alone?
"Um, no, it's very enjoyable. Um, some of them are quite mad. And some of them are quite frightening. But most of them are really nice, very,
very nice. And the mad ones are nice as well. And the frightening ones are nice. They're all nice."
Um, from ... I guess from the fan base, for wherever you've traveled, where is the most fanatical people that you've seen in the States, what
city is it?
"Um, definitely the West Coast. But then we've been to some very small cities and it's been insane. And Grand Rapids is one that springs to
mind. And in the strangest places we've had an incredible response, so.."
I guess because your fans are mad or what have you, it's probably hard for you to kind of get out and do things. I mean, is there anything
you like to do when you're here in America?
Nothing, huh?
Well the guys were just talking about how they went on the Empire State Building yesterday, and... but you have no...
"Well, I've been at the World Trade Center, and that was twenty years ago, and I don't want to go back up again." [laughs] "It's too high."
It's just too high? Well, what ... when you're touring, what do you do, kind of, besides hitting the stage?
"Um, just conserve energy. Just, you know, really just conserve energy. And watch television and listen to the radio."
What TV shows do you like?
"Um, I really like the news." [laughs]
"No, I don't."
[laughs] Okay.
"Um, I just like to flip from channel to channel and complain about every one of them." [laughs]
[laughs] Is it amazing, you'll sit in a hotel room with fifty channels, and, and pay-per-view movies, and everything.
"Yes. Yes, that's my life completely. In a nutshell, yes."
How many times, when you're in a hotel room, do people ring the room and actually get to you?
So you're pretty...
"No, they ring the room, but I just don't..."
[laughs] You just don't answer... you're not a phone person.
"I'm not, no. I can't quite get used to the telephone yet."
Wh-why? Lack of intimacy, or..?
"Lack of interest! There's usually always a person on the other side."
[laughs] That you just don't want to talk to?
"Well, that's the draw of it." [both laugh]
Okay. Morrissey is with us on Modern Rock Live, as we're ... we're digging deep here folks, we're digging deep. We're trying to ... can you ... you don't want to do this song, huh?
"Well, I'd frighten you if I did it, so..." [exasperated sigh] "I'd much rather not do it. I'll wait till ... I'll come to your death bed at the hospital of your choice."
OK, good, all right. So when I'm passing on, Morrissey will be there to sing, and I'm sure right now people are rooting for that anyway. All
right, Morrissey is with us on Modern Rock Live. And what are we going to do, three in a row right now?
A triple-shot of Morrissey, as we say here on American radio.
And what are we going to hear?
"The first song is called Trouble Loves Me."

Trouble Loves Me (live)

On Modern Rock Live, it's Morrissey, and, uh, performing live exclusively on Modern Rock Live and, ah, as we do a little guitar change here, we're ready for our next song, which will be...
The next song is called Satan Rejected My Soul.
On Modern Rock Live.

Satan Rejected My Soul (live)

Modern Rock Live, with Morrissey, live from Electric Lady Studios in New York City. 1-800-223-ROCK is the phone number and we'll get to your phone calls in just a little bit, but in the meanwhile we're ready for our third song as we tune up and get ready to go. Quick tune up and... take your time. 1-800-223-ROCK is the number. Morrissey, are you having fun tonight?
"Yes, I am."
Good. I'm glad to hear that...
"It's very worrying." [chuckles]
Why? Why are you worried?
"I'm not worried."
No, you can't be worried.
"I'm kidding."
No, you're in good hands here.
"I'm in good hands, yes." [both chuckle] "Whose?"
Band member: Ok. All set.
Here we go.

Alma Matters (live)

On Modern Rock Live, it's Morrissey. Great job, you guys sounded great tonight.
"Thank you. [laughs] Thanks."
You really did. ... Wha... You're laughing, what are you...
"It's been a great pleasure. It's been a great pleasure."
We're going to take a quick commercial break and we'll be back with more of your phone calls, more music on America's number one
alternative music show, Modern Rock Live, with more Morrissey.


...we have those tour dates for Morrissey, so have a paper and pen ready and we'll give them to you in just a moment, but first, Brian blesses us on the phone. Hi Brian, you're on with Morrissey.
Brian: Oh, hi Morrissey. Hey, I'm calling from Kansas City, and if you ever get here, you can stay at my treat. [all laugh] Hey, the reason I'm
calling, I really liked your Your Arsenal album, and I know that was a change in your music, and I was just calling to see what kind of impact Mick Ronson had upon that album, and his death on your future music?
"Uh, he was a wonderful person. And he had a big influence on me simply as a person, not really just as a musician or a producer. He was a
great person. And, uh, I'll never forget him. And his death was incredibly sad. And, uh, an absolutely wonderful person."
Is there anybody else besides Mick that has influenced you as far as your... recording, or..?
"Um, well, yes, the producer Steve Lillywhite, who has done the last few albums, he's incredibly gifted. It's been a great pleasure and enlightenment to work with him."
What does he bring in, besides, uh, I mean, his mixing is obviously amazing and everything else, but what does he bring...
"It's, um, it's very difficult to answer. It's, uh, an atmosphere, it's positivity, and it's a matter of drawing the best out of everybody. And that's very hard to do. And Steve Lillywhite does it incredibly well, and makes you feel... more, um, adventurous and more sure of yourself than perhaps you normally would do."
That's a great answer 'cause everybody I asked that that worked with Steve says the exact same thing, I mean, it's... he's an
amazing, um, presence, even when he's not there, people feel him in the studio. It's amazing. Brian, good question. Brett, you're next on Modern Rock Live.
Brett: Hey, Morrissey. Thanks for everything, all your songs and all that. I just wanted ... a two-part quick question, do your songs have one
specific meaning when you write them or can they have ambiguous meanings, and how do you feel when people attach their own meanings to your songs?
"Well, it does depend on the meaning they attach, but yes, the songs are... open. And I like them to be. I wouldn't like to write a very closed,
very rigid or narrow song. So, yes, I mean, originally, I felt that the songs would be for everybody. I'd hoped that they would be. And that's the approach I've always taken."
Good question, Brett, thanks. Matt, you're next on Modern Rock Live with Morrissey.
Matt: Hi, Morrissey. Ah, I was wondering how much more acoustic work we can expect from you as you've done in the past and near future and whether or not you plan to visit Fairmont, Indiana, again?
"Whether I..?"
I'm sorry, what's that, Matt?
Matt: I was wondering how much more acoustic work we can expect from you as you've done in the past and whether we can expect that in the future and whether or not you plan to visit Fairmont, Indiana, in the future?
"Oh, right, I see. I didn't catch the end of your question. Do you prefer acoustic numbers to.. electric?"
Matt: I do, a little bit, although I've liked here what you've done in the recent future. I really do enjoy that.
".Yes. Well, um, hopefully, lots more. I mean, I also love gentle, acoustic numbers also. Very important."
But your shows are not that way, though.. I mean, the live shows are not..
"Well, they tend to be very... very quite hard, very expressive events. And, but there are always, usually a few gentler numbers, but it seems
more of a celebration of the night, and people seem to want to express themselves, and move, and, uh, obviously harder numbers... lean towards that."
It's interesting, for the first concert experience, to see you live, it does surprise a lot of people, because you don't know what to expect. You
know, sometimes, from whatever the album sounds like, it's usually got more of an edge on stage.
"I think the songs are usually better live, and much stronger."
"And so many people write about me as if I'm some kind of, um, gentle folkie. And therefore, I think the live performances are usually surprising
to many people because it's very, very... volcanic, and.. volatile."
And your band's great for that, too. I mean, they really, they nail it every time. I've seen them a bunch of times and they just..
"Yes, they nail it."
They nail it. Hey, let's get some tour dates out before we get to Chris on the phone. ... Thanks for calling Modern Rock Live, Chris.
Chris: Hi, uh, Morrissey? Um, hi, um, I was calling, I had a question. Um, What inspired you to remake, uh, the song Moonriver, and, you know, does it mean anything to you?
"Yes, it does mean a great deal to me. A very passionate song. I always found it a very passionate song and very lonely. Um, I don't
know why, because I never really understood it, to be honest. But, um, always a very lonely sound."
Hmm. Someone alluded earlier ... allured, actually ... asked the question about writing books and... Do you get questioned or asked a lot to do things like that, I mean, outside just the music and performing, I mean, as far as whether it's acting or whatever...?
"Yes, I do. I get asked to do a lot of strange things. Um, television commercials, and so forth, things which, um, I would never do, and mystify
me. But yes, I do get asked to do lots of very peculiar things." [laughs]
What was the most peculiar thing someone asked...?
"We can't go into that."
Okay. [laughs] But as far as TV commercials go, I mean...
"Um, I was asked to do a commercial for Rice Krispies, and I was asked to lie in a bath full of Rice Krispies." [laughs] "Rice Krispies! I can't even say it! And, uh.. I refused."
Really. Just ?cause that's just not you.
"Well.." [both laugh] "You can think of a million reasons ... That's just not me."
Now did it have milk in it as well or was it just you and the dry Krispies? 'Cause that could hurt...
"Totally immaterial. Totally immaterial." [both laugh]
Some more dates here, ... Um, we talked earlier about, you know, when you visit America you're
obviously watching.. television and things like that... Is there any movies that are out that you like right now, that you've had a chance to see that maybe we haven't seen yet...?
"Um, well, I'd like to see the new Mike Lee film Career Girls. Have you heard of that one?"
Yes, it's opening here in about two weeks, yes.
"Yes, apparently, there's an interesting sex scene in the film and one of the people in the film is wearing a t-shirt with my face on it."
"Which is probably the nearest I'll get to a sex scene... on film. Maybe not, I don't know."
[laughs] Maybe not.
"Um, there's also a Czechloslavakian film called Kolya. Have you heard of that?"
"And that's really excellent."
Ok. So check Morrissey's picks, two thumbs up for Morrissey on his films there, so... Career Girls is a very good movie, or is getting really great reviews, so... Uh, we've got another song from Morrissey's brand new CD. This is called Papa Jack. On Modern Rock Live.

Papa Jack

On Modern Rock Live, it's Morrissey from his brand new CD Maladjusted and that is Papa Jack. And, uh, we go now to April. April, thanks
for calling Modern Rock Live. You're on with Morrissey.
April: Ok. Um, I would like to know what human characteristic you find to be the most intriguing.
"Most intriguing... Um, well, I think I'm a very non-judgmental person, but, I think... realistic people... and witty people... and I find them to be the best company, really."
Have you hung around with pretty much the same people for most of your life, as far as...?
"Uh.. no. No. Not at all." [laughs]
Did you change your... ah, well, some obvious people, but I'm just saying as far as other, say, non-musical friends, let's put it that way...
"Um, not really, no. I do have a few friends who I've known for a very long time. But, no, I'm very open. Very open person."
Kevin, you're next on Modern Rock Live with Morrissey.
Kevin: Hi, Morrissey, I've been a real big fan of yours for the past five years, ever since I saw you on Saturday Night Live. And I wanted to ask you, um, what made you leave England, and go to Los Angeles and live there, and also I wanted to know if you're a vegan or just vegetarian? Um, I'm a big fan.
"What, am I a beginner vegetarian, is that..."
No, a vegan, I think he said, or...
"Oh, vegan. Um, no, I'm not vegan. I can't quite manage to be vegan because, uh, I like dairy products, unfortunately. Um, and I don't live in
Los Angeles, which is the second part of that question. I don't live in Los Angeles. And I haven't lived in Los Angeles. So, I don't know why you thought I did."
Yeah, I guess a lot of people thought maybe the time while you were recording one of the records, I forget...
"Well, I've spent lots of time in Los Angeles, but I don't live there. I really do like it. I like it very much."
Would you ever live in the United States, if...?
"Um, yes, I would."
Yeah? Where?
"Um, Buffalo."
"No. I would live in Cheyenne. I quite like Cheyenne."
Cheyenne, ok, so I could see you on a farm, uh, you know, just hanging...
"Teepee, actually."
In a teepee with Morrissey. [laughs]
[laughs] "Yes."
All right, so Cheyenne is a place you can check out Morrissey, and we'll add that to the tour date, uh, very soon.
"It's already there."
It's already there! [laughs]
"Five nights."
[laughs] We'll be back in a minute with more from Morrissey on America's number one alternative music show, we call this little ditty Modern
Rock Live.


...So let's wrap up what we learned about Morrissey tonight, ok? You're not going to get married because you like your depressed freedom...
"Yes." won't sing your childhood song because it'll just frighten me, you're saying...
...and you passed on being in a TV commercial where you'd be in a tub surrounded with Rice Krispies,
...that delicious breakfast cereal.
"That's my life."
Now, you're telling me Morrissey's evasive, people? There you go, he answered the three big questions.
Hey, thanks so much for spending time with us.
"It's been great."
And, uh, I know you don't do these things very often, and, uh, it meant a lot to us that you spent 90 minutes with us on the radio.
"And me, too, thank you."