Brett Anderson on the band’s music: ‘It’s a shot at immortality’

Brett recently spoke to The Express in the UK as he does some media in the run-up to Suede’s headline gig at the Royal Albert Hall in just 11 days. Here is the article in question.

Suede frontman Brett Anderson on the band’s music: ‘It’s a shot at immortality’

AS HE prepares to rock the Royal Albert Hall for the Teenage Cancer Trust, Suede’s singer reflects on the Britpop group’s fame, their musical legacy and the records he still wants to make

By: Giles Sheldrick

For a man who once sang Long Live Rock, it was perhaps a surprising thing to say.But then again, after a 50-year career at the top table of British music, The Who’s Roger Daltrey has earned the right to mellow.His weary cry of “turn it down, will you?” during Brit-pop band Suede’s sound check ahead of the legendary Teenage Cancer Trust gigs is proof the rock god and former hellraiser has changed.He never did die before he got old, to misquote My Generation. And it’s a good job too, because now his energies are focused improving the lives of young cancer sufferers across the UK.

For more than a decade, he has been the charity’s patron and driving force behind its unrivalled Royal Albert Hall concerts.

And it was during rehearsals for Suede’s sold-out gig on March 30 that Daltrey, 70, marched up to the stage to moan the quintessentially-British five-piece were causing too much of a racket.

Speaking exclusively to the Daily Express bassist Mat Osman said: “Teenage Cancer Trust gigs are great because they’re very straightforward – that’s the thing we like about everything we have done with them.

“They are really good at spending the money raised because they don’t faff around.

“When the call came in it was like, ‘would you like to play a gig – and can we have all the money?’ There’s never any complications with them.

“Plus we got to hear Roger Daltrey say we were too loud. How cool is that?

“I’ve never seen our sound man look so happy – he appeared with this massive grin saying, ‘Daltrey says we’re too loud’.”

suede, brett anderson, mat osman                                      Our man Giles Sheldrick (centre) with Suede’s Brett Anderson and Mat Osman [PH]

“The unconscious manifesto was to sing about my life and the world I saw and that meant talking about council houses and the prosaic side of life”

Brett Anderson

This year’s week-long series of gigs kick-off on Monday, March 24, climaxing with Suede playing their seminal second album Dog Man Star in its entirety.This year will be extra special – and for Suede it marks a homecoming. It’s the 14th year the charity has staged major-league concerts at the iconic venue which have raised £17million since 2000.For Suede, it marks exactly four years since “a one off” reunion for the charity.They called in a day after the lukewarm reception of A New Morning in 2002 but reformed in 2010 especially for Teenage Cancer Trust.

The gig, singled out by frontman Brett Anderson as a personal highlight from 25-years playing live, led to the band reforming and subsequently releasing critically-acclaimed album, Bloodsports, last year.

He said: “It’s great being involved with Teenage Cancer Trust again. It’s amazing what they do. It’s a fantastic charity and we have a proud history of involvement with them. The gig we did in 2010 was possibly my favourite ever show in 25 years of playing live.

“The Royal Albert Hall has always been a special place. I used to go there with my dad who was a huge classical music fan.

“I remember we once went to see a Sergei Rachmaninoff piece which was preceded this by avant garde composer, whose name I can’t remember, but he really hated it.

“In the split second between the piece finishing and the applause my dad got up and shouted ‘rubbish’ inside a silent Albert Hall – it was absolutely brilliant.”

Where chemicals once coursed through his veins, Anderson is now 46, clean-living and married with two children.

It’s a long way from the formative years he spent in the dreary suburban town of Haywards Heath, the West Sussex nowhere town that provided such a rich source of material for the band.

The unparalleled singular history of a group triumphantly described in 1992 as “The Best New Band in Britain” includes such anthems for the disaffected as Animal Nitrate, Trash, So Young and Metal Mickey – and saw tickets for their appearance later this month sell out within minutes.

The set list for March 30 remains a closely-guarded secret but if past gigs are anything to go by it will be littered with surprises, treasured B-sides and rarities.

Anderson said: “I understand why fans like Dog Man Star. I think it’s a complete record, a journey you can get lost in. Is it my favourite Suede record? I don’t know. I think the two either side of it are pretty good (Suede and Coming Up).

“But it just happens to have my favourite Suede song on it, The Wild Ones. It’s a special song. I love the melody and I like the sentiment. It’s bittersweet and just the right side of easy listening. Most of all, it speaks to people.

“The unconscious manifesto was to sing about my life and the world I saw and that meant talking about council houses and the prosaic side of life.

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