E-Mail Interview by Petra
Q: Hi Wayne, let`s start our annual Q&A in the recent past. Back in July you did some sporadic solo shows in Bulgaria, Italy, UK, NL and Germany, how did it all go?
A.) Yeah, it was very good on the whole. I really enjoyed the show in Sofia as that was a small sit down theatre and I much prefer to play my solo shows in that environment rather than some noisy bar or club. First time I’d ever been to Bulgaria and we, Graham and I, were looked after superbly by the promoters, Vessi & Vlad. Also got to watch the World Cup final whilst we were there cheering on the eventual winners Spain. Italy was as chaotic as ever. I love that country as a tourist but to work there is always fraught with stress and dis-organisation. And this time was no different despite the very best efforts of our friend, Alex. York was fine although I did have to cut my set short because the earlier bands had run a little over time, festivals are almost always like that. Bristol was a great night, I really like that venue. Rotterdam, as you know, was pretty full but I’m not sure how many people were actually there to see me seeing as it was an 80’s party night. Good show though I thought. And we saved the best for last, at least from my point of view. Essen was, again, a small theatre that was sold out and I really enjoyed myself at that show, playing pretty much what I wanted to and playing and singing very well, I thought. And of course the highlight was meeting your mum for the first time after all these years, eh, Petra?
Cheers, she was quite impressed. Looks like that I will lose my best babysitter when it comes to future solo shows ;-)
Q: I was really surprised to read in a German music mag that you have major touring plans for next year (solo, not with the band!). True?
A.) Yes, I’m really surprised too. Obviously something was lost in translation (good film) as I have no touring plans at all at the moment for next year. Of course that may well change.
Q: We know that you and Julianne are still busy with your long-awaited album. We learned already about the name of the project, the title of the album and a couple of scheduled cover songs. Are you happy with the mixes so far? How is the current status? Are you making progress?
A.) You tell me, you’ve heard the mixes! Yeah, it’s going well. We do still have a little bit of recording left to do but I have started mixing and I’ve mixed 4 tracks so far. It’s hard to say how happy I am with the mixes. Fortunately, or not, I’m going on tour in a few weeks so will have to take a break from it anyway and I will load up my iPod with the mixes I have done so far and live with ‘em and see how I feel about ‘em when I come back to it. We were hoping to have this finished by year end but sadly that looks unlikely now because of my touring commitments. I would say at this point that the Hussey-Regan album will be ready for release by the beginning of the 2nd quarter of next year.
Q: How did you choose the cover songs to include on the album? Was it (or is it) difficult for you and Julianne to come to an agreement about the final songs?
A.) It’s been an amazingly smooth process so far actually. I can’t remember actually have any disagreement or even any difference of opinions. Basically, the way it’s worked and the concept that Julianne and I agreed on in the first place was that she would choose and record 6 songs and I would chip in with some vocals here and a guitar part there and vice versa. 4 songs were to be covers of our choosing (with approval from the other), 1 song a new song, and for the last choice I would cover an AAE song and Julianne would cover a Mission song......I have to say now that my favourite song that I chose and recorded was actually my AAE cover! Sorry, can’t let you know what it is just yet........ I think some of the choices will be obvious and some not so. I do also think that it’s an album that will not be what is expected from Julianne and I, it really isn’t a hippy, gothy thing at all, and probably not what ‘fans’, certainly mine anyway, will be wanting but fuck ‘em, I’ve stopped trying to please the ‘masses’ and am only really interested in making records these days that I may actually like myself. Hence no more Mission albums.
Q: In the past you often did cover versions. For you as a songwriter, is it easy to pick up someone else`s words? How long do you need to live with them before you can sing / deliver them? And have you ever said "No, I can`t sing that nonsense"?
A.) A lyric is really only a component part of a song for me, not the be all and end all. Of course there are some lyrics that touch me more than others and some that are more pertinent to my life and some songs it’s the melody or music that I like more than the words. There ain’t been many songs that I’d refuse to sing – maybe some Cranberries because her lyrics ARE crap and certainly SOM because, as Morrissey says, it ‘says nothing to me about my life’.
A word to the wise. There was one time, I think whilst recording ‘blue’, and I was stressing over a lyric for a new song and just couldn’t finish it in a way that was satisfactory to me and Andy Cousin, who played bass with the Mission for a while, said to me, “Ah, Huss, you shouldn’t worry about the lyrics, it’s only journalists and other singers that actually listen to ‘em”.
Q: In October / November you will be playing an interesting Scandinavian tour with the Swedish author Marcus Birro and the musician Mats Lernaby. It`s the first time that you`re taking part in "spoken word" shows. What do you know already about these kind of shows? What can we expect?
A.) I’m not sure yet, to be honest. I’ve seen a provisional script and it looks like it’ll be part poetry reading/spoken word, part theatre, and part song. Thankfully no dancing. I get to play about 6 or 7 songs on my own per show and then I back Marcus for a couple of readings and then Mats and I make music and we all have a singalong. I’m looking forward to it, it’ll certainly be a new and different experience for me and it’ll be nice to be on tour with some new people rather than just Graham and myself again.
> see TOUR for more details
Q: Time flies and soon it`s going to be 2011, the year of the bands 25th Anniversary. Last thing we heard was that Mick – unfortunately - won´t be performing with you and that you`re thinking about 2 UK shows and some shows in continental Europe but nothing was finally settled. Do you have any news to share? Found a drummer yet? ;-) And how was the overall response to your latest statement on your website?
A.) No, no news yet. I believe our agent, Steve Backman at Primary, is still putting it all together. It’ll be Sept-Oct time I believe. And no drummer yet. Shame about Mick but there’s not a lot we can do. There were rumours that Mick was really ill but that’s not the case. I saw him recently for the first time in 13-14 years, I went to visit him at his home in Leeds, and it was absolutely brilliant to see him and made me realise just how much I’ve missed him all these years. He’ still the same lovable, funny Mick that he always been. A few years older but then aren’t we all? There are absolutely no problems between Mick and I, that was another rumour doing the rounds. The bottom line is that Mick just doesn’t want to do it. I suspect, knowing the kind of person Mick is, that because he hasn’t played drums for so long he just doesn’t want to let anyone down, including himself, and, whilst disappointed, I totally respect his decision. As for his replacement, well, I just hope we find someone who plays drums in a straight ahead ‘Mick Brown’ way rather than the ‘crazier than a mad woman’s shit’ style than some of his latter day replacements have exhibited.
The response on the MWIS forum to the idea of the anniversary shows has generally been positive but of course there always dissenting voices. There are some people you just can’t please no matter what you do so I give up trying and just end up pleasing myself. It’s a funny thing, having an audience, because they are, quite largely, shackling. Someone posted on the forum recently that of course Wayne would much rather play to 2,000 people going mad for ‘amelia’, for example, than to 60 people in the back of a pub. Not true. If those 60 people are receptive to me trying new things whilst also enjoying older songs from my songbook then I’d much rather play to those 60 people than an audience that just wants to hear the ‘severina’ or ‘deliverance’. I loved the recent Essen show as much as any Mission show I’ve ever done. Of course a Mission show and a Wayne Hussey solo show is different but for me as a creative musician over the last few years it’s become a lot more about my own performance than the performance of the audience.
Q: Last question – due to recent events on the official MWIS website:
You are thinking about to shut down the forum in October. Why and mainly why now, with the potential reunion / anniversary going on next year?
A.) Well, that was as much news to me as it was to you. I only read Paul Morgan’s statement on MWIS just the same way as anyone else. I didn’t hear directly from him but I do know that Paul has been as frustrated as I’ve been with some of the postings on the MWIS forums. A lot of people, probably like yourself, just take a look every now and then and only occasionally contribute. I know I do. But there is a small group of people that regularly post on the forums and get quite nasty and vicious with each other and it all seems so petty and needless to me and I don’t want to be party to it so closing down the forums has been a serious consideration for some time purely because of that. A healthy debate about the band that you all like and it’s members past and present and even distantly related topics is something that I’d actively encourage. But unfortunately there does seem to be a prevalence of cynicism and negativity amongst this particular group of people and I, for one and Paul for another, don’t like to see it. It sometimes even seems to me that some of these people don’t actually like the band and I certainly get the feeling that I am not the most popular person in the world with some of these posters.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the vast majority of these regular contributors are British as I do think that the UK has become a very cynical and repressed place in the last 14 years or so since I last lived there. It’s everywhere – tv, radio, music, magazines, on the street, in peoples faces, their conversations – everywhere. Negativity seems to blanket the country like an early morning autumn fog and whilst I always enjoy going back to see friends and family I’m always ready to leave when it’s time to. I don’t know if it’s something that has changed since I’ve not lived there or if it was always there but living in, first California and now, Brazil makes it seem more obvious to me every time I visit. But whatever it is I do think the British people, and I’m being very general here, have changed for the worse over the last decade or so and it’s manifested in the way that people treat each other even on a band internet forum.
Anyway, enough of me on my soapbox......back to the forum. I suspect that Paul’s posting was more to do with frustration than a serious consideration to close down the forum. We’ll see.
> The Mission Forum
Thanks very much Wayne! Have a great time on tour with Birro...
For The Mission "25th. Anniversary Show" updates please check The Mission UK or And The Dance Goes On