KT Cloudbusting -- Kate Bush In Her Own Words


I was almost empty. I had to fill myself up again.

Peter gabriel had introduced her to the ``rhythm box'' when they worked together on songs like ``no self control'' and ``games without frontiers'' It was the micro-chip that set everything in motion. Kate experimented with oscillators, sequencers and the like. This whole new world, kate marvelled, struck me with awe.

But don't expect her to adopt the showroom dummy-style dour faces and a relentless electronic bleep. Her aim is to combine the old with the new, craft with discovery. As she explained: I'm very fond of nostalgia and new sounds. But I'd like to apply the future to nostalgia rather than the future to the future. (1981, what I did on my holidays)


Offstage he's very normal, and that's the kind of thing I believe in. [ Kate helped out with the backing vocals on his excellent recent album, and describes the experience of walking into someone else's work as] lovely - especially after the pressure of going out under your own name.

I was thrilled to do it, and it's not often that I meet people in the same position that I can relate to. It's not like relating to people at EMI, as they're on a completely different side of the fence. (1981, RM)


The first stage of making Never For Ever happened last summer, when I actually decided to be brave enough to go ahead and ``produce'' with Jon Kelly, trusting him as a friend and an extremely talented engineer. (1980, KBC 7)


So, with that settled, we ``produced'' our first master tapes. We put down ``Blow Away", `` Egypt", `` Violin", and `` The Wedding List'' at Air Studios, with the bright and bubbly Jon Jacobs as assistant. As you will see besides communication, ``Jons'' are also a theme of the album. Never a day passed without at least two or three Jons popping in to say hello, and as the album grew, so did the number of Jons, reaching a total of fifteen turning up on the last day, all in the same room. A fatal move to say, ``John?"

Having been rehearsed with the band for two days, the tracks went down, and our first ``productions", with the help of ideal musicians, were a success. All the tracks full of ``Air'' and ``space", Jons and tea!

Early this year we moved into Studio number 2, Abbey Road - the land of Beatles, tea, smiles and sticky buns - where we met another bright and bubbly John, John Barrett. John became an important part of the album and completed a threesome, like Teddy with Andy Pandy and Loopy Loo (Jon Kelly and myself).

I would always use a notepad with each page designated to a song, each song needing various instruments, effects, harmonies, etc., which I would list and tick off appropriately. This helps my memory, and keeps some kind of logical working order. Thanks to dear Andrew Powell, where I learnt the necessity for a ``prod.'s pad''

The basic process is to put down all the backing tracks first. Then all overdubs, including vocals, and then to mix. The responsibility as a producer was something I felt a great deal - you have to keep on top of everything, and sometimes it can be difficult. It's hard to push people you love; talking and drinking are easy to give in to. But the trouble, sometimes, was we were having too much fun.

We always work until the early hours in the studio. It's a very creative time, and with Roy Harper and Sky working at Abbey Road, too, we were rarely alone, and felt very at home. However, discipline did exist, so all was completed with care and tender hearts. I really deeply appreciated the understanding and respect from all the musicians, and after all I am only little, a female, and an unlikely producer! But as I squirmed and contorted my way through explanations of visuals and audials, they stood patient, calm and open, and not one uttered ``You weirdo!", unless in jest. (1980, KBC 7)


Hello. Can you feel spring beginning to happen? Every day on the way to the studio I go past a winter tree, surrounded by lots of yellow and purple crocuses, and it makes my eyes spin with the colours.

Things are going well with the album. Although we've still got lots to do, we can feel the tracks speaking to us more and more - telling us what we want to hear. It's very exciting being so involved in something you love. Doing the production with Jon Kelly is a fabulous combination and the room is always full of Jons, as our assistant engineer is called Jon, too, and often our visitors are donned the name Jon!

The next visual event is a Dr. Hook special. I hope to depict two new songs from the album, with the help of Paddy for one. It should be lovely to meet Dr. Hook as I've heard nothing but praise of them as people. One of the things I've enjoyed this last year was to work with other artists on their projects. Isn't Peter Gabriel's single ["Games without frontiers"] fantastic? I can't wait to hear his new album [Peter Gabriel NUMBER 3]. Peter is an extremely talented and lovely man, and to work with him was really fun and a great experience - as it was to do some vocals on Roy Harper's new album [The Unknown Soldier]. I've been a fan of Roy's music for years, as have all my family, and to work with him on his music was very special. (1980, KBC 5)


We've almost finished the album and I'm on holiday for a short while. The Club convention was great. I came along just at the end, when everyone had been there for hours, and it was a strange feeling going along to something where people that you know very well had been for hours watching you, although you weren't actually there. When I got onto the stage it was incredible. There were so many people, and they all looked so happy, and I felt really nervous - much more nervous than I do for gigs, because I didn't know what I was going to say. It was fantastic: it was like we all knew each other, and I thought the best thing we could do was to scream and try to take the roof off.

There was a lot of effort put into the convention, particularly by Terry Walker and Bill Clark, and that was so useful because it made it what it was. Without the effort it wouldn't have come across so professionally and people wouldn't have had such a good time.

I've been doing lots of crosswords! I got into that while we were doing the album. We'd do a crossword every day, and now I can't not do them. And I've come out in spots and I'm not sure if that's because I'm eating too much chocolate or because my system's spitting out the city. My skin feels full of the city - I can feel it oozing out, but here the air is so seablown and new, I feel it's helping to get me fit and awake.

But before the album's finished and released, there will be another single - sometime in June, probably. We're a bit sad about the delay, but there's such a lot of good music around - it's going to be a summer full of music! (1980, KBC 6)


And the album still came in at number one.

I can't believe it, still. Every time I tell someone I feel like I'm lying. I couldn't have asked more for such an important step in what I'm doing, because I feel that this album is a new step for me. The other two albums are so far away that they're not true. They really aren't me anymore. I think this is something the public could try and open up about. When you stereotype artists you always expect a certain kind of sound.

I'd really like to be able to leave myself open to any form of music, so if I wanted to, I could do funk tracks on the next album, I could do classical, I could do bossa novas. I think it's best to stay as open as you can. As a person I'm changing all the time, and the first album is very much like a diary of me at that time - I was into a very high range. The same with the second album, and I feel this is perhaps why this one is like starting again. It's like the first album on a new level. It's much more under control.

You took a long time doing it.

Yeah, it did. It took a lot of work, but it was very beautiful work because it's so involving and it's so like emotions. It's totally unpredictable and you can fall in love with it or you can hate it or if you want to you can ignore it: you know, all the things that you can do with people. (1980, Zigzag)


Gaffaweb / Cloudbusting / Story / 1980