Cloudbusting -- Kate
Bush In Her Own Words
- This year has been very positive so far. It doesn't have the same
air of doom that '81 and '82 seemed to hold - I hope it's the same for all of
you. (1983, KBC 13)
- Already that seems such a long time ago - last year, all over. I was
really hoping to put a show together this year, but it just seems impossible
yet again. Will it ever happen, I wonder? Yes, but when? I don't know.
- The problem is that if I don't make an album this year, there will
be at least another two-year gap before another one, and the way that business
and politics are, it would be a negative situation. So here I am writing away,
or trying to write - determined to get a new album together. If only time would
slow down a little for me, I could do it all and go away on holiday!
- I seem to have hit another quiet period. I intend just to keep on
writing for this first part of the year, so yet again I slip away from the
eyeball of the media to my home. [Actually, kate was busy moving to a new
home outside the city during this period. -ied] (1983, KBC 13)
At present kate is writing a new album, but she's got no concrete
plans for recording. Going in and doing the album depends on when I've got the
songs together. I've only started writing over the last few weeks, after months
and months off. And after a break, it always takes a while to get back into the
swing of things. But hopefully it won't be too long before I can go into the
Does she enjoy recording?
- I love recording. In fact, I'm
very lucky because most of the things I do I enjoy. (1984, Women of Rock)
Looking back, do you have favorite album?
- I think the last album you do is quite often you favorite one
because that's the one you put the most energy into recently. But, I think the
fourth album held some very precious moments for me, so I'll say that one for
A lot of people would have said that album was rather abstract and,
possibly, a bit obscure. And it didn't sell in the quantities that the others
had done. Did that influence you on your new album?
- Very difficult to say. I don't know what influences you between one
and the other, except your life, really. You change with the environment and my
environment did change between the last album and this one: I moved out of the
city and into the country. And I think those two energies are very apparent on
both albums. The fourth album is very much an oppressed city atmosphere album
and this one just released is very much a freer elemental album.
Did you feel a real need to get out to the country then?
- I was getting fed up with being in London, yeah. I don't know about
a real need, but I think it's a very good thing for me. I'm glad I did. It
certainly helped me relax as a person.
Did it drain your creative energies, then, being in the town?
- No, I don't think you can say that it drains your creative energies,
because if anything, and I'm sure a lot of people would agree with me, the
sense of oppression and energy that you can get from cities can be very, very
productive to writing songs. But, I found I was getting too many distractions
that was stopping me have the time to concentrate on my writing. So rather than
being productive, it was getting in the way.
Do you now commune with nature?
[Laughs] I don't know about ``commune with
nature,'' but certainly when I look out
my window and there's trees and fields I feel a lot happier than concrete
blocks out there.
When you see the trees and the fields, do you see a song as well?
- Um...no. no, I think it's not quite as basic as that. There's no
doubt that when you're writing and you look out the window and there is that
force out there, that it does affect you very differently than if it was a city
or by the sea. Definitely your environments do affect you, much more than we
And of course, your working environments too. You've just designed
and built your own studio. How are you finding that, working in your own
- It's superb. There really couldn't have been better decisions made
in this time between the last album and this where I've moved and we've moved
the studio to where we are. There are so many areas where it's helped. Again, I
feel much more relaxed, much freer to work in an uninhibited way. I do get
quite nervous if you've got people you don't know coming in listening. In the
London studio, people always coming in borrowing pieces of equipment, the
phone's always ringing and it's costing you a phenomenal amount of money every
hour. So, you do feel guilty if you experiment, because you feel you're just
throwing money away. at home, obviously, there aren't those pressures at all.
(1985, Profile 6)
- Where have I been? I've been working on promoting the last album
till more or less the end of last year and quite honestly I've never worked on
an album that has taken so much away from me, mentally and physically, I was
very, very tired. And I quite honestly think year has been sorta drawing me
back again - I've been writing songs and working on stuff for another album.
(1983, Unknown Birthday Call)
- ...whether you are innocent or guilty, they're going to put you
down--under the water again...
Can I just ask you something - from a personal point of view, did
you ever feel that was happening to you in the music business?
[Laughs.] no, not at all! No, I think that's very much
People have made up?
- Well, that is an outside personal view of construing subject matter.
I think that, very much, this whole thing [The Ninth Wave] is tied
in with water and if I was thinking of going under water it
wouldn't be to do with the business at all, it would be to do with myself as a
person, relationships, all that sort of thing. They're what concern me, that's
what would make me go under, I think. But no - I haven't... I don't feel that
is even relevant to things in my life because at the time when I took that
break, and I was writing these songs, it was one of the most content, happy
periods of my life for quite a while, in that I actually had time to breathe
and work creatively. And I think what's interesting is that I've always felt,
in the past - and it's almost a sort of code from certain areas of life - that
in order to write something, you know, that has meaning or whatever, that you
have to be unhappy, that you should be in some kind of torment. And what was
surprising was that for being actually very happy at this point in my life, I
felt I wrote some songs that were saying very different things from that.
- Since we last spoke, the weather has been incredible - it was the
best July since 1659, they say - but for me it's like 1976. Do you remember
that year? It was a particularly special year, when things were full of
- I was dancing every day, and singing and writing all night. I used
to go to London by train every day. It was the time of bomb scares, and
everyone would stare uneasily at unattended bags, and the trains were full of
paranoia. It was brilliant for me - I'd get back to my newly acquired
roommates, Zoodle and Pye, who were only kittens, then, and I'd open all the
windows and wail away all night. I only got one complaint from someone who had
to get up at 4:00 a.m., and as I was creating noisily until at least that time,
they were somewhat unhappy at their lack of sleep. But only that one
- I feel in many ways that '76 and this year are linked together, for
me. This year I've been seriously trying to work for an album, but found that
in the first part of the year I just needed to rest, really. It's hard to say
how I was feeling after the last album, but I needed to breathe. There are
always post-album blues, but this time I think I just wanted a break, just to
think and to gather stimulus for a new direction. After the demanding lands
that my last set of songs took me to, I had to think again about where to go -
maybe somewhere a little sunnier. I can honestly say I feel so much more
relaxed having had time to put my pieces back together; have some time with my
family and friends, which I was really
missing; and also to indulge in some books, films and records.
- After lasting three months on Chinese take-aways during the last
part of the album, I realised food was a terribly important factor to a healthy
mind and body. So now I make sure I cook one good meal a day, and have cut out
all junk food - which is unbelievable for me. It is definitely true that
convenience is not always a good thing. Cooking, especially when you're not
handling carcasses and gristle, can be a delightful thing. I always find it a
miracle to turn a few vegetables and some flour and margarine into a complete
meal - it's a bit like the five loaves and two fish. It's times like this, when
I'm doing a lot of cooking, that I realise how glad I am and how lucky I am to
be a vegetarian, to be eating nothing but fruit and vegetables - all the
wonderful colours and textures. Of course, the big trouble with cooking is
time, but I make myself set aside the time to cook an evening meal, and I
really miss it now if I'm out and not able to devour my nutritious foods, and
it'll take a while yet before I'll be able to handle a Chinese take-away.
- I have also found a wonderful new dance teacher. Her name is Dyane
Grey, and she is an incredibly beautiful dancer. Not only did I feel I needed
to be fit again, but I really wanted the stimulus and inspiration that comes
from true teachers.
- Having found her, and since taking more care of my body, I feel
recharged again. It's too easy to let bad food and no sleep catch up. I can't
tell you how good and happy I feel since I've taken these few steps.
- As you probably know, a trip to America and Canada was due, and was
unfortunately cancelled. It was very disappointing, as I was greatly looking
forward to trying to help The Dreaming along out there. But I feel I was
probably meant to carry on with the album and perhaps also to have been able to
enjoy the first British summer for seven years. [The papers printed stories
that kate's scheduled american trip was scratched solely because her planned
mode of transportation, the queen elizabeth ii ocean liner, was diverted from
its schedule for service in the falklands at the last minute. According to the
news reports, kate simply cancelled the america junket rather than consider
flying, allegedly because of an overpowering phobia of airplanes. Although she
does seem to have made such a decision, her heavy reliance on air
transportation up until this time discredits the stories of air phobia.
- I had a really good birthday this year. In fact, it was definitely
one of the best ever. Thank you all so much for your lovely presents and
wishes. It means a lot to know you're all thinking of me.
- Just a word about the compilation video that was promised in April!!
(you must be used to this by now.) Unfortunately, due to delayed
business transactions, there is still no release date, but we really do hope it
will be settled before the end of the year! (Hopefully, there will be
advertisements around the time, to let you know if we can't get an official
release date to you.) But as a sneak preview, here is a proof of the artwork at
- Well, I'll return to my work, and wish you a very happy autumn.
(1983, KBC 14)
You've got quite a reputation as a slow worker.
Why do you feel that need to take everything so slowly?
- I don't think I feel a need to take things slowly at all. In fact,
it's very, very frustrating for me that things take as long as they do. It's
never planned. It's just something that takes over once you get into the
studio, and the songs are there, they really do create their own life force and
they take over you and they just drag me behind them till they're finished. And
it's strange, cos quite often I wouldn't really want to go in and work on the
album - I was tired. But, you just sort of go in there, it drags you behind it.
Have you ever had pressure from a record company to get on with it?
- I don't have that relationship with the record company. I make an
album and I present it to them and I think if they're happy with the album then
our relationship is successful. (1985, Profile 6)
When did you start thinking about writing and recording hounds of
- It has been a big gap between this album and the last one. I hit the
end of '82 having finished the promotion for the last album and really wanted
to take a break. When you work so intensely on an album when you're in the
studio for a year really constantly, you want to spend some time at home, see
your friends. So I did this, taking in new stimulus really at the same time for
the new album, so the material would be different and interesting hopefully and
would not be the same energy as the last album, but would be something fresh
and interesting. I started working with a new dance teacher and spent a lot of
time equipping and building a recording studio which we've recorded all the
material for the album in. This was very much encouraged by my father who
thought it would be a good move and I do think that it's one of the best
decisions that I've made. It make the whole process so much easier.
- I do actually write the songs now in the recording studio, so right
from the word go, I'm writing onto master tape. I suppose the ideas were
actually forming on tape, so I actually started writing the album at the very
end of '83, and '84 was spent recording and finishing the writing. and it was
finished this year. (1985, Conversation Series
been milling about, waiting for something new. When will kate comply?
- I'm about halfway done, SHE VOLUNTEERS. I'm very pleased with the
songs that I've got so far. I think they're different then the last album.
Pressing further on this matter elicits this response. I'm only
about halfway done. The other songs could be dramatically different. I always
feel wary about talking before anything is completed. (c.1983, kate connection)
plans of a tour in the near future, kate replied that I have really wanted to
tour since the last tour we did. But, I'm in a situation that if I don't do an
album this year there will be too long of a gap between albums.
So you do have an album planed for release at the end of the year?
Yes, I'm not sure if it will make the end of the year, but hopefully the
beginning of the next year. So that's the next thing. But I do very much want
to do a show but as soon as I decide that there's an awful lot of problems,
like where do we get the money for it? (1983, Wireless)
More than three years between the dreaming and hounds of love,
that's a lot. Were you trying to break randy newman's record for laziness, or
- It seems a long time, but I didn't need all of it just to record the
new album! After The Dreaming, I decided to re-organize my life, and that took
me a certain amount of time. I left the city and moved into the country, I
started taking intensive dance courses again. Then I had to build and equip my
own recording studio, at my home; it was only after all this that I was able to
compose and put on tape what has become my new album. Eighteen months of
off-and-on work, all the same, between the first song and the final pressing.
(1985, Guitares et
you ask, has sister kate been doing during this hiatus, this self-imposed
exile? As usual kate explains much, but reveals precious little, slamming the
doors of privacy with a single coy look.
- After the last album, I had to promote it, and that took me to the
end of '82, so it hasn't really been that long. My life is quite
extreme really; I go from a very isolated working situation, to going out and
promoting my work and being very much a public creature. After you've been
through months of that kind of over-exposure, you're left feeling a bit
shell-shocked. I need to take some time off and go somewhere quite different to
write this new album. I didn't want to produce it in the wake of The Dreaming.
A wise move. Music vogues move with such alacrity, that two years
off can finish off a career. In fact, such a time-span is the beginning and the
end of most groups lifespan!
- I didn't really bother thinking about that sort of thing. I spent
the time seeing films, seeing friends, building my own studio, and doing things
I hadn't had a chance to do for ages.
Things? You couldn't elaborate on what these strange and wondrous
things would be? Trout fishing? Hang-gliding? Hamster hunting?
- I found an inspirational new dance teacher, KATE REPLIES WITH
GROWING ENTHUSIASM. The teacher's energy made me really enthusiastic about
writing again. (1985, Melody
naturally, we turn to kate's new album, hounds of love, and the current success
of the new single. Another new departure? Another rebirth? Another quest for
- Yes, I wanted something new, and to begin with it was extremely
difficult. All the songs I seemed to write sounded too much like the last
album. I've never seen any point in repeating things you've already done
before. I think it's a dangerous thing not to search for new ways of
approaching songs. Too many people sit and think 'it'll just come to me',
instead of getting off their arses and going for it.
Kate, of course, is far too polite to name names...
- If you get out and go for things then those things will come to you.
I think it's too easy to wait and expect things just to come to you.
A certain mrs. M. Thatcher said similar words, but this time they
ring with verity. Must be her smile. Kate's new studio, hidden away in the
overgrown wilds of kent, enable her to exorcise the ghosts of the dreaming
without sending emi executives into prolonged thromboses over the expense of
- The pressure of knowing the astronomical amount studio time cost
used to make me really nervous about being too creative. You can't experiment
forever, and I work very, very slowly. I feel a lot more relaxed emotionally
now that I have my own place to work and a home to go to. (1985, Melody Maker)
herself and the music to the country so I could finally have fun and experiment
on fairlight, which now acts as keyboard on bush's work. Former melodic tones
have been replaced by a desire to make the music stronger.
- We bought and equipped our own studios and then recorded all tracks
there. It made a really big difference. The Dreaming TOOK TWO YEARS AND
COUNTLESS POUNDS OF STUDIO TIME. IN HER NEW DIGS, The phone stopped ringing all
the time and it stopped the pressure [Because] you can experiment
without the clock ticking away. I found it more conducive to the whole creative
process. (1985, Pulse!)
- It has
always been an ambition of mine to have my own studio so once we found a house,
we set about putting one together in the back garden. Although I can work under
a certain amount of pressure, paying an hour at Abbey Road got to be too much.
It also meant having to travel into London every day which can be pretty
exhausting. (1985, The
- This time I
wrote a lot of songs and just chose the best ones to put on the A side of the
album. I like to think there's not a song there that's been put there for
padding. Sometimes people get the impression that if you take a long time over
something that you're literally going over the same piece again and again, and
instead of making it better, you're making it worse. I hate to think I've ever
This striving for perfection might well be cause by fears about
disappointing her audience or her pet cats. The longer the wait, the greater
- There are always so many voices telling me what to do that you can't
listen to them. All I ever do is listen to the little voices inside me. I don't
want to disappoint the little voices that have been so good to me. (1985,
- People ask what I really did in the three years between
The Dreaming and Hounds of Love. I spent it with my family, living a normal
home life. Recently I've been getting fit and healthy again and dancing with my
teacher Dyane Grey. That's why all the mirrors are here. I hate looking at
myself all the time, but for practice they're essential. (1985, What Kate Bush Did Next)
This is your first album for quite a while. A lot of people would
say that being that amount of time away from any kind of business, let alone
the pop business, can be quite tricky. I mean, why was it necessary to have
that break, as far as you're concerned?
- Whenever I do something, it's really sort of going in at the deep
end of a project, and I do find that things take me longer than I thought. It's
not something I plan, it's just that the work takes over and in order to make
it better you just have to be patient and spend more time with it. After the
last album at the end of '82, I'd just spent an intense period in the studio
doing an album. I wanted to get a break. I felt that I hadn't really had any
time to take things in because I'd been working so constantly, really since
1978 - and we'd just moved as well, out of London - so I wanted to spend some
time at home, see my friends, take in new stimuli, and try to create a new
energy for a new direction that would be different from the album I'd just
written. Also, I wanted to get together our own recording studio, which was
definitely something which was being pointed at all the way through the other
albums - that it was the thing to do. And I found that just during
that time that I was taking off to discover things right, get the studio
together, I made some of the most important decisions - and very beneficial
ones - that I have done. And I think it's all good, and I understand just what
you mean about that time, in that, in a way, you do get scared that you're
spending so long away that you won't be able to come back. But the priority -
and again, I really did feel that this was what I wanted during this time - was
the work, and not necessarily being successful or famous; that what I was
working on should be the best it could be, at that time.
Was the business itself getting on top of you? Were you missing -
did you feel you were missing out on things, you know?
- I don't think I was missing out on things, but I wanted to get away
from the exposure that being consumed - that can start to happen to you if you
don't get away. And, I think, too, that when I spend so long on projects, I
want to get back to that more and more when I'm out doing promotion, because I
know that everything takes me such a long time to do!
So you built the studio, and that was a giant step as well, I would
have thought. Did you actually physically get in there and help build the place
yourself, or was it just...
- No, I was really involved in the design, and really the inspiration
behind the whole project was my father. He was totally encouraging, and really
did put a lot of it together himself, and he was in there building it and
advising on putting the studio together; and so really the studio is very much
a lot to do with his effort and enthusiasm. (1985, Homeground)
I am sure you are fed up answering this question, but the obvious
thing people want to know first is why there was such a long gap between your
last album and this one.
- Yeah, it really is the question! I wanted to sort out my
environment. I was living in the city, and I wasn't happy working in London
studios - so we moved to the country and built and equipped our own studio,
which we then recorded everything in. Also, I was taking time to go dancing
again, to get back into training. Whenever I make an album I just stop
completely, and it's those gaps in between when I can throw myself back into
it. And things like learning to drive, going to see a few movies - actually I
wanted to go to see people. Just to do those things that you don't
get time to do when you are so busy. And I think it was all really beneficial.
It really was. (1985, Hot
Is that partly result of having your own studio now? That you felt
you had to work out the kinks in that situation and learn to work in your own
- Yes, I think it was the last album that made me realize I needed one
because I was being so prohibited by the amount of money it was costing every
hour that I thought it was actually being anti-productive to what I wanted to
do. We work very experimentally and it takes time. So it really made sense to
get our own studio together.
I understand that you moved to the country fairly recently. Is that
part of the process of building a home studio as well? Did that all come part
- It did really. It was a kind of re-organization I wanted to do
between the last album and this where I moved from the city to the country, we
got the studio together, and I just took some time to get back in training.
That kind of thing. I think I made some of my best decisions during that time.
[??? What have you been doing?]
- Well after the last album, I really wanted to take a break. Working
on an album is a very intense process for me, really, locked away in the studio
for maybe up to a year working on it. And when you get to the end of a project
like that you really want to go and get some new stimulus, create a new energy
for a new album. So I took some time out, finding a new dance teacher, and a
lot of time I spent building and equipping our own recording studio, which we
then recorded all the material in. (1985, Rockline)
- All of last
year was really spent recording the album and the time before that was actually
spent building our own recording studio and equipping it. Getting the teething
problems over and writing the songs.
- What gets hard is to actually sustain the energy - to go into a room
that you spend twelve hours in every day. Some days that got hard, but then it
can't be all fun, can it? (1985, BAM)
very determined girl, you went away on your own terms to make this lp, didn't
- Yes, I wanted to make sure that we got own studio together. That was
the next move, really. I spent a lot of time on the last album moving from
studio to studio and now we've got our own place and everything is brilliant,
it makes such a difference.
Is it difficult choosing the right sort of gear to put in there,
the right people to work with in that studio, and the location, of course?
- I think it's really good, because you can get everything you want in
one studio, which isn't always easy in a London studio.
What were you looking for, what makes your studio special for you?
- Well, it's got all the environmental things that we want - the right
kind of sounding rooms and we've got all the outboard equipment and the right
kind of speakers and everything. It's what we want, which is why we did it.
You say ``we'' all the time, it's very much though a very solo sort
of thing. I mean, you've produced the thing, you've written the thing. Even
though you have other musicians playing on it, you're calling the shots, aren't
- I'm in control, but there's no way I could do it by myself. I rely
on very good engineers and musicians and people around me to advise me. (1985,
The Old Grey Whistle
- As spring arrives, the songs are being finished, and it's lyric
time. I'm in Ireland, and it is
incredibly beautiful; a very creative environment. It's not until you're
somewhere this quiet, this peaceful, that you realise all the distractions
there are at home. There is no television, no phone except for a wind-up one
that is reluctant to produce an operator at the other end, and the nearest
house is made of stone and has no roof and only three walls - it is bliss.
- Having written most of the ``tunes'' for the album, and feeling like
I'd done most of the hard work, I remember now how difficult it can be to work
on the lyrics! And when that is finished, and I'm feeling smug, I'll suddenly
remember all those wonderful problems that start when you begin to record - and
I can't wait. It's been quite hard this time to decide which songs to use - not
that there's a great choice, but it is still nice to be able to choose.
However, there can be a time problem even when you have made your choice. The
last link in the chain is definitely the weakest.
- Even when you get a beautiful cut, after the record is mass-pressed
in the factory the result can be heart-breaking, and the only way to help this
situation is to cut down the time on each side, getting a deeper cut.
Especially rock music has to heed this, as classical or acoustic music can get
away with a slightly shallower cut because they don't usually have the kind of
bass frequency that requires a deep cut.
- I find this the ultimately frustrating part of the process. It seems
wrong to me to have to cut down on tracks to get a great sound. Surely people
pay enough for an album (and wait long enough in some cases)
without finding there are only six or seven short tracks on the whole album.
Until there is a universal compact disk, or everyone decides to change over to
cassettes from records, unfortunately this can't be solved.
- But this is the nitty-gritty of the Biz, and not much fun, and it
couldn't be more remote from this spot in Ireland. It is like ``Old'' England -
I've never stepped thro' a time-warp before - I definitely recommend it.
- While we're here, I'm hoping to get together with Bill Whelan (who
did the fantastic arrangements on `` Night of the Swallow") as I am hoping he
will be able to do some arrangements on the coming album.
- I am so pleased at the reaction, both to the video and the boxed set
of The Single File. It was a buzz for me to get the video
released, and to see five years sitting in a little green box, but the feedback
to them is stunning. Thanks to all of you for feeding-back.
- There were three dates planned for me to go to W.H. Smith and sign
anything anyone had, but unfortunately only two of them were executed. The
first was Cardiff, and I would like to take this opportunity to explain what
happened. Without mentioning any names, a certain person representing EMI who
accompanied me ``misjudged'' the train departure time, and I will never forget
the look on their face as we walked thro' the gate and the train pulled away.
The next half an hour consisted of running from platform to platform, and
eventually ending up on a train which happened to be going the wrong direction!
Now, we could say that my profession is renowned for a certain untogether
reputation, and so unfortunately a great deal of presumption goes on. What can
I say? At the second P.A. I ended up running the last mile to the shop. The
clouds had opened and the streets had jammed with traffic, and I arrived
somewhat wet and out of breath. And at the third P.A. everything was great -
third time lucky, I guess. (1984, KBC
Cloudbusting / Story /