Morrissey: “The Stage Is My Social Network”


In a new interview with the Paraguayan publication “Ultima Hora”, Morrissey covered his life in music, the influence of the New York Dolls and Irish playwright Oscar Wilde, his platform of social networking and more frank and open answers to prying questions. The full interview (in English) can be seen here.

One of Morrissey’s earliest influence has been the New York Dolls. He actually incited them to reunite a couple of years back and enjoys some kind of relationship with the band. Of their legacy and influence he says:

“I was very young when I first saw them in 1973, and that is the time when one seeks to belong. Immediately I became another person. They made the perfect balance between shouting, anger, humor and violence, and suddenly everything made ​​sense. If you love music, but haven’t got those two albums: New York Dolls (1973) and Too Much, Too Soon (1974), then you are losing out. David Bowie and Roxy Music were receiving all the praise, but never were as ingenious. However, the New York Dolls were funny and deadly.”

Of Irish author and playwright Oscar Wilde (of whose work and name he has made reference to in his music), Morrissey spoke on what first “drew him” to his work:

“I think he becomes more important over time. Everybody quotes Oscar Wilde … so far, in 2015. His words can be applied via any modern society, while Shakespeare’s and Charles Dickens’ words can’t. Wilde understood everything about the human condition, but remember that he was killed by the British Judical System, which wanted to destroy him because he was too smart for them. If he were alive today, they would have killed him anyway. Even now in England all who speak out are sacrificed by the newspapers. One can be a zombie or something and you just will be reduced. Oscar Wilde got scoffed by the establishment for being smart and right, so I got it.”

Morrissey’s attitude towards the music and industry, especially these days, may seem unconventional (integrity is a four-letter word these days) but it really works for him. He claims that “the stage is my social network” and it’s very true. Having seen Morrissey four times (soon to be five), he absolutely utilizes the stage for the issues he is passionate about, like animals rights and objection to issues like police brutality and the British monarchy, showcased through mirages of film set along seamlessly to music. Though he has an incredibly dedicated fanbase and large platform to speak his mind, he has considered leaving music as he described in the interview, “the music business is difficult. I have been cheated many, many times, and so it becomes difficult to live with that, because people who cheat you are protected by well-placed friends in high places. But I love singing, I can say that honestly. I dream of creating and working in an animal sanctuary, but around the world there are offers for me to continue singing and I’m happy to do so as long as people want me.”

It will be Morrissey’s first show in Paraguay after a number of complications prevented him from touring South America several months ago. He expressed concerns with Paraguay’s social issues, “I know that people [in Paraguay] struggle and that there is a big problem with potable water, but the media in the UK and US are obsessed about what is happening elsewhere.”

Most promising, however, is Morrissey’s will to not be anyone else than himself:

As a living music legend, I imagine that you’ve got a very chaotic life. On a normal day, where do you discover beauty?

“Nowhere. I feel much better when I avoid the news. It’s all so predictable, poisoned and prepared for horror. We all seek a system that helps us to find the meaning of life, but it’s getting hard to find, and it’s a great relief when we discover that nobody speaks to us. We all live our day to day trying to deal with it. Educated people have made a mess of the world, however, they have made ​​uneducated people feel responsible. One will not find a corrupt banker in prison.”

You can catch Morrissey in a limited US tour in the next following weeks as we reported here. Tour date are also below:

December 29th – San Francisco – The Masonic
December 31th – Los Angeles – Galen Center at USC
January 2nd- Las Vegas – The Joint

AlternativeNation’s classic interview with Morrissey, of which I participated in, is available here. If you haven’t read it, it’s a worthwhile read.