The Music Slut


8 Questions With: Andy Rourke

It's not every day that you get to chat with a former Smith. Last night, I had the opportunity to speak with the bassist extraordinaire about past, current & future projects...

1. Welcome back to NYC. Are you excited for CMJ?

Well, I'm very tired. I just got off of a transcontinental flight and I have a busy week. Busy in the good sense. I have 3 or 4 DJ gigs over the next 5 days. However, I'm excited to see Friendly Fires, supposedly they are pretty awesome.

2. Can you tell me a little bit more about Freebass and if an LP will ever see daylight? I'm itching to hear the collaboration between Peter Hook, Mani & you.

Oh god yes! We're making headway. Initially, we couldn't find a vocalist. Now, we have Tim Burgess on one track. We're attempting to pin down Liam Gallagher. That's a work in progress. We're also working with Ian Brown. We've got 8 songs in the bag, so hopefully the album will be out next year. At the very least, a single. I can't believe it's taken 3 or 4 years already. It's almost to the point of embarrassment. I've done interview after interview and we haven't shared anything yet. People actually think that it doesn't exist! It does. It's difficult to match each other's schedules. But, as I said, we're making headway.

3. When watching your recent documentary, Inside The Smiths, it's quite clear that you and former Smiths drummer, Mike Joyce, are still very close. How has your friendship stayed in tact through the last twenty seven years?

Back when we started, I knew Johnny quite well. I knew Morrissey. I didn't know Mike, but as we were on tour, Morrrissey kept to himself & Johnny was with wife. Consequently, Mike & me began sharing hotel rooms together. We got to know each other and became close friends. At the moment, Mike's with a great new band called Autokat comprised of youngsters. By comparison, me & Mike are a couple of oldies!

4. If you were to select your favorite Smiths tracks, what would you choose?

I'm proud of all of them. I guess I'd pick 'Rubber Ring', 'The Headmaster Ritual' & 'How Soon Is Now?'. When I consider the back catalog, I must say that we were quite prolific. We were perfectionists about what we did. Not a single song was banged out lightly.

5. You recently toured with Ian Brown. How'd that go?

It was great. I met him at a friend's 40th birthday party. He was in full Clockwork Orange gear & it scared the shit outta me. Though he quickly turned out to be good buddy.

6. You ended your DJ stint on XFM Manchester a few months back. Why so?

I did it for about a year. I enjoyed playing the music. As for as the talking, when the red light would come on, I would freak out. I needed a few bottles of wine to get through each program. It was a good experience but I prefer doing it live. Mike Joyce has a show called 'Revolution'. He will sit there and talk for ten minutes! Amazing.

7. You've worked alongside a bevy of musical artists. Have any of these collaborators been particularly challenging or demanding? Also, who's been easy?

Chrissie Hynde gets bad press but when I worked with her she was fantastic & passionate. She is a beautiful person. I had great fun working with Morrissey. Sinead O'Connor is often portrayed as a crazy banshee, but she was great, as well.

8. Lastly, do you have any further cancer benefit gigs lined up?

Oh yes, that's an ongoing thing. There's one in Scotland next month. There will be another show in March of next year. I plan on doing these on a regular basis for quite some time.

Visit Andy Rourke on MySpace.

MP3: The Smiths - The Headmaster Ritual [alt link]

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