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Suede interview: it's all about attitude - Suede: It's all about Attitude

2006-03-29 10:56

M-WEB: Why release The Singles? Is this an opportunity for the band to reflect on the past and look forward to the future?
ALEX: It is that, that's true but also we didn't want to leave a two or three year gap before our next album came out. So until then this record will hopefully keep us in everyone's minds really. And also the other thing is we've got to release a singles compilation whilst they can all fit on one single CD!

M-WEB: Do you see yourselves as a band having back catalogue appeal?
ALEX: I hope so. I think the singles compilation is a pretty good way for people who've maybe heard a couple of songs to get into the band. Suede is particularly good at writing singles. So, It's not an easy thing to do - it has to reflect where the band's at musically, but also has to be a success commercially. And also vaguely has to fit into a sort of...you know, "palatable" package as well. That's rare, while I think a lot of bands today have good albums, they don't necessarily make great singles. Which is something that I think sets Suede apart from a lot of their peers.

M-WEB: Listening to the new songs there seems to be a new wave Duran Duran feel?
ALEX: Which song are you talking about?

M-WEB: "Love the Way you Love Me" -
ALEX: No, the new single is Attitude. Have you heard "Attitude"?

M-WEB: Yeah, that's more difficult to pigeonhole -

ALEX: Exactly. Which is exactly what we wanted. Because it wasn't tied to any album it doesn't have to represent a coherent body of work, which is what you normally do when choosing the first single off an album. It has to be an advert for the album. With this it's not. So it was a good time to be a bit more loose, experimental and a bit freer. Without having to kind of rip up any Suede rulebook that might have existed in the past, you know?

M-WEB: Given the hyper-speed "revivals" - this year it's garage rock - is it time for the next wave of Brit-pop yet?
ALEX: I'd be surprised if it happens. I don't see the British music scene at the moment really concentrating on that guitar sound at all. We've just been inundated with cheesy kind of club tracks. But you forget that music starts up again which I'm looking forward to 'cos I've had enough of that. Those endless summer remixes and that other bunch shite that's being thrust upon us.

M-WEB: Are you still a band that distance itself from the tabloid press?
I think so and sometimes it's been to the band's sort of credit, but sometimes it can really help your career. You can really get carried off by it - you know, when the wave comes you just have to jump on it? And Suede have always tried to avoid that, they've always stood on their own, always sort of marginalised themselves, gone this is our world and you can come into it if you want. It's not a wilful, fierce independence, it just means you don't want to get involved in a scene. You know that whole tabloid scene will cut you dead as readily as it'll give you a leg up. So, I dunno, I think if a band's good enough, you don't need that peripheral bollocks, you know?

Back in 1993 the UK music press hailed them as the best band in Britain before they'd even released a single. On groundbreaking releases such as Dog Man Star (1994) they helped re-ignite post-glam guitar rock while refusing to accept the VIP pass to the Brit-pop revolution. After a decade of remaining faithful to their love of all things indie-rock, Suede have decided to release The Singles. We quizzed guitarist and keyboard player Alex Lee about garage rock revivalism, Brit-pop blowouts an

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