KT Cloudbusting -- Kate Bush In Her Own Words


If you're writing a song, assuming people are going to listen, then you have a responsibility to those people. It's important to give them a positive message, something that can advise or help is far more effective than having a wank and being self-pitiful. That's really negative. My friends and brothers have been really helpful to me, providing me with stimulating conversation and ideas I can really sink my teeth into. (1978, The Blossoming Ms. Bush)


Have three years as a superstar changed her at all? Yes, she admits; I've become a perfectionist, for one thing. (1982, kerrang!)


Do you enjoy being famous?

I don't think I enjoy being famous. You see famous is one of those words, isn't it, it's so created. Sometimes, it's a buzz, being honest, sometimes it really is a buzz. But alot of the time it embarrasses me, it makes me feel awkward with the people I'm with, because they get embarrassed. But its something I'm learning to accept. They're just saying hello in there own way. (1980, Profiles In Rock)


I know a lot of people enjoy it, they really like giving autographs and everything and I think that is important. If anyone asks you for an autograph you must give it to them. I think of myself when I was a kid and saw a star and I thought, ``Oh, god!'' and I'd really want their autograph. I'd go up and say ``hello'' and I'd be so shy. I'd nearly die and I couldn't get the words out. So it is a matter of respect to give that to them because even if they've never liked your music and they've recognised you it's a gesture that I think is nice to give. (???, AVD)

*Well you haven't changed, that's my first question because uh you became a big star. You have [Had] started when we met the first time, but now you are one. Would you say you've changed?

Uh, Yes, I think I have. Yeah, I've learnt a lot so obviously that would change me. But it's good, I'm really glad that I've learnt a lot and there's so much more to learn.

Kate bush normally I ask questions you know people may interest but that's a question that interests myself. Kate I see on stage that makes you a little bit special. You are sometimes a little unreal on stage it's a you're dancing, you're full of expression, but have you here it's a very normal, nice and friendly girl. What's the true kate bush, the very you know sophisticated on stage which is dancing and actin', or the girl sittin' here smoking, laughing, whatever?

I think we're all her. There's many of me, and I'm me at the moment.

Mmmm and you're you at the moment here, and you are on the moment on stage.

Uh yes. When I'm on the stage I'm there, and when I'm me I'm here. Yeah. (1980, Unknown German Interview)


*I do notice, of course, that we've missed singles from you coming at the rate that they used to. Are you aware, when there is a gap are you afraid ``oh people might be forgetting me?''

Yes, very scared indeed and I think there's just this pressure on you that when you're not in the public eye that perhaps they'll forget you. But I think in many ways people say how fickle the public are, but I don't that they really are, in a lot of ways. I think if they like something then they are willing to wait for it, which is beautiful, it's wonderful. (1982, Pebble Mill At One)


When I was younger I used to dream about being famous, the way everybody does - but even now I'm not sure I can cope with it. Being so successful and so famous so quickly really did freak me out. It was an incredible break for me. All I really wanted to do was to get the music out and make it better all the time. I think if you go into the music business simply because you want to be famous, you have to be prepared for it to fall around your feet. Fame is really a very strange situation to be in. Anyone who thinks it's what they want should think again!

She doesn't actually enjoy being famous, then?

Well, it certainly help me a lot in some ways. For example, I can ring someone up and say, ``Hello, this is Kate Bush,'' and they react in a different way then they used to - though they don't always believe me! I don't think it's necessary for me to use my name unless I really need something - otherwise, it's just silly and arrogant. But I'm very pleased that people like my music and want to buy it, because that means I can go on writing songs and making albums.

It the everyday problems of being a well-known face that kate finds hard to handle.

I do feel self conscious when I go to the shops and suddenly realize that everybody is looking at me. I can't imagine what it must be like to be Paul McCartney!

Sometimes I can go unnoticed, which I like. It's not that I mind people coming up. I don't at all - because they are so lovely, they really are, very sweet and understanding. I always try to be nice and, if they ask for an autograph, of course I'll try to give them one. Why shouldn't I?

I do worry sometimes that people won't treat me like a human being because of who I am. I'd hate to feel that that was happening. Luckily, most of the people I meet now are doing the same thing as I am, so there's no problem - I just get straight in there. I really enjoy meeting and working with talented, aware people because I find I can learn such a lot from them, and it helps me grow and develop.

Of course, kate has her own idols and admits that she's a bit of a sucker for hero worship!

She recently went to see peter gabriel in concert, and she says that, when she played pink floyd's the wall, it almost made her give up writing songs, because she felt the floyd had said everything there was to be said!

When I do get to meet people I admire, I hope I treat them like people and don't get freaked out by it. I was thrilled to meet Stevie Wonder after his Wembley concerts, because he emanates a really beautiful vibe. And Bowie - he's been so important in the last 10 years, and I'm sure he will in the next 10. I'd like to meet him, too. Your job must be so interesting. Meeting all these people and following their careers. I AGREED THAT IT'S THE DREAM JOB FOR A ROCK FAN TO HAVE. (1982, Nineteen)


She admits that she found her initial success hard to cope with at times.

I still find some things frightening. I've adjusted a hell of a lot, but it still scares me. There are so many aspects that if you start thinking about are terrifying. The best thing to do is not even to think about them. Just try to sail through. (1982, Kerrang!)


*It's so hard to understand how people see me - even here in Britain I have that problem. People may have a funny image of me, but once they meet me and talk to me, I think they understand what I'm trying to accomplish as a whole. I think a lot of the misconceptions occur because I explore so many areas open to misunderstanding.

What I think is nice about it though, is that if people look at the album covers and buy the records, then listen to them and perhaps read the lyrics, then a lot of this mystery about me will fade. I think you can only be mysterious for so long before people get to know you, and really, I'm not strange at all. I'm just ... well, you Know what I mean, don't you? (1983, Music Express)


*It hasn't changed much - things move very quickly for me. I spend quite a bit of time on an album and then I have to work hard to make sure it's heard. (1985, Pulse!)


You had success at an early age. Do you feel you've missed out on anything?

No I don't, really, I'm glad that it happened so early, because it's enabled me to be able to do what I'm doing now. For instance, being able to build our own studio, and having had that much more experience behind me because I started younger. No, I think I'm very lucky. (1985, Picture Disk)


I can see why people do have nervous breakdowns and so on, but it all depends on the person rather than what happen to be doing.

Sometimes I have felt that I'm loosing control and that it's all running away with me, but all I have to do then is to say to myself ``Well leave then, give it all up'' and I know I never would because my life is really music and I love it so much.

I would like to survive like people like Cliff Richard or Paul McCartney. If you look at them they're so strong and solid and happy, they'll be able to go on for as long again as they have already. (C.1980, Music is my life)

*Do you... With your family, in particular, I mean obviously they've took an enormous interest in your career as such, do they help you out with a lot of the pressures involved? Because there must be, for a lady, for instance with male adoration which you must feel a considerable amount of. And I've met some of your fans, who are very, very, very pleasant people, but absolutely on a real cult following. How do you cope with that?

It's something that I'm not that aware of, you know. I think people around me would probably be aware of that more. When you are actually the source there's lots of things you don't realize are happening. And also when you meet people face to face, which is the time you get to hear stuff, they behave very differently, I think. And I've not really had any trouble from any of the guys that are fans, in fact they've been so helpful, they're wonderful. They say great things, they write wonderful letters.

Protective element, almost.

Yes, maybe. Although I'm not so sure about the protectiveness, but I really appreciate that people are so good to me. (1980, Never For Ever Debut)


*I think it's wonderful that people out there have kept up their faith in me and my music. I think then that maybe it *IS* all right, and that gives me strength to carry on. (1983, Music Express)


Everything was so different. I had a life that was no longer that. In fact, I was really taken away from making music, which was a very hard thing to come to terms with. I was spending more of my time doing interviews, promoting, traveling, doing televisions, and I started thinking, you know, hang on, I'm doing this instead of making music, but what I want to be doing is making music. So I kind of had to take a hold of that and reverse the whole situation so that most time is being spent creatively, and then the promotional work back that up at a later point. (1989, MTV)


Since 1978, when everything really started happening to me, with ``Wuthering Heights'' reaching number one and the British Rock and Pop Awards, I've been very lucky in the sense that people have really helped me out. It made me feel that people were really interested in my music, and it was great. It gave me an incredible amount of courage to go for things, never to be scared of a challenge. I'm sure that if people hadn't accepted me so warmly, I would have become a more conventional performer. (1982, Popix)


Do you think you've changed much, kate?

I think I've definitely changed a lot since it all started happening, the last three years. You can't not change. I think in some ways I don't worry about things so much, but in other areas I probably worry much more. I can't work it out. Maybe I'm a bit harder... (1982, ZigZag)


People say there are these people [Obsessed fans]... I don't know what they mean. No, nothing that was written about me ever hurt me, no. Music is such a powerful force. If people are affected by my music the I was by...early Roxy, or Lotte Lenya or Sgt. Pepper, for instance - that, to me, is staggering. I can't relate to that at all. (Blitz, 1985)

Do the birthday and christmas cards and presents you are sent actually reach you?

All the ones I've received have reached me. (1984, KBC 17)


So, kate, do you get recognised when you're out shopping at saintsbury's?

Yes. I find it very interesting and very positive, because I haven't actually been in the public eye for a while and people do constantly recognise me, and they're very nice. They're very nice people.

What do they say to you?

Hello. (1985, Bitz)


When you're not presenting a public eye, you're like a very private person. Nobody can seem to get through to you, as it were. Do you feel the need to have a certain amount of isolation?


Is that essential to your creative feelings?

Yes, absolutely. They're two very separate things, two completely different energies, and I can only really concentrate if that's all I have to do. If there's other things to do besides make an album, they just become distractions. (1985, Picture Disk)


The years between seventeen and twenty-seven are normally considered to be the most developmental in an artist's life. [This is absolute nonsense.- ied] when Mozart was seventeen, he was playing to the crowned heads of Europe. When Kate Bush was seventeen she had her first hit single with `` Wuthering Heights.'' I asked her how spending those 10 years as a successful pop singer influenced her art.

I'm not convinced they are the most influential years, I must say. I think when you're a kid, they're incredibly influential, I mean so many writers, and I don't know about singers... But from a creative point of view you're always drawing back to things way back in your childhood. But a lot of things have changed for me in that period you were talking about, and I think it's been incredibly useful for me to be successful during this time, in that I've been able to work with people and find sources of information that perhaps I wouldn't have otherwise. Unfortunately, so much of what we do in this business is based on money. Equipment is so very expensive. So if you are successful, you stand a chance of having more of this equipment available and that does definitely affect the way you work. (1987, MuchMusic)


Kate's debut some eleven years ago provoked an epidemic of weak knees amongst schoolboys and grown-men alike. Many have never recovered and in fact seem to get worse with each new bush sighting.

Well, I think they must be completely mad. [Laughs] It's extraordinary. You know, I find that even more extraordinary than the fact that people are willing to wait four years and then want to buy an album, and the fact that people still even bother to ask me if I'm going to tour, you know... I think you're all completely mad... [Laughs] and thank you very much, but ... [Laughs] (1989, Rapido)


I think most people tend to think of me as the weird `` Wuthering Heights'' singer - that is definitely the image that's stuck with most people, which I find extraordinary because it's...so long ago.

She laughs and, when she laughs, her cheeks dimple like a disney chipmunk.

Extraordinary is a very good word, I think. I don't know why people are still keen on...I don't know why people bother with me.


Really. (1989, MM)


*I went through a period where I didn't actually speak to anyone [In the press] at all. Or if I did I was very careful about when I did it and who I spoke to. And I think two very positive and interesting things came out of that...

Firstly, I think I achieved what I wanted - suddenly my music started speaking for me instead of this personality whom the press had tremendous preconceptions about anyway. And though that I think people took my music more seriously.

And, secondly, it created this sense of mystery about what I did; I think that helped a lot as well with the way people were ready to receive my music. (1989, RAW)


*Is this reluctance on her part due to a fear of giving too much of herself away?

Ooh, is that deep! I think you're absolutely right. I loved touring, but it left me completely exhausted. Not necessarily at that stage, because I was going from the road straight into recording another album, but I did reach a point a couple of years after where I felt incredibly exposed. I felt really vulnerable... and I didn't like it. And, yes, I wanted to get those pieces of me back that I felt had been taken away.

For me, that's what this kind of exposure did - it made me feel like I'd lost pieces of myself. That I'd become a public person, and the private person - and that's who I really am - was actually getting very frightened and lost.

I think this is a problem for any famous person, particularly for creative famous people. Creativity and sensitivity are very similar and you do have to be very, very strong. It doesn't surprise me at all that people go mad or become incredibly addicted to things. Because it's the psychological pressure of what happens to you when you're famous. Everyone sees the glamour, the fact that you have fame, lots of money, riches - it's all incredibly superficial stuff. Money is no longer a problem, it's more the psychological pressures which come in when you get famous that people crack up. (1989, RAW)


*I'm continually surprised by how nice those people are. Not that I would expect them to be horrible, but for people to take time to write to you and say: ``Are you alright. We don't want to hassle you or anything but the album has been a long time coming and we just want to check that you are alright? Are you working on an album or have you done something else? Whatever you're doing we just hope you're alright.'' I think that's fantastic, it's so affectionate, it's such an incredible thing to do for someone that you don't even know. But presumably they feel something for my music that makes them feel affectionate like that toward me. And I think that's absolutely incredible, very moving.

I find the whole process completely extraordinary. The fact is that the last time I toured was ten years ago, yet people are still asking me whether I'm going to tour again. Why on Earth haven't they given up? Why are they so patient with me? Why do they even care?

And not to do an album for four years... for all those people knew I could've been off in the Bahamas, flying private jets. They didn't know I was actually in a studio working hard. (1989, RAW)


Your critics might say that because you were discovered and signed so young that you never really had to deal with real life so that you kind of have a different view of things.

Well I think you know, I wasn't famous that young. It wasn't like I was child prodigy. But I guess you know everyone has to go into life in their own way and we all seem to have paths chosen for us somehow don't we, that don't necessarily have that much control over.


So I've just been doing my life the way I do it [Laughs]. (1990, KDGE)


Your fans are among the most devoted in music. Lacking the feedback of a live audience, are you aware of many people's more than averagely intense interest in you and your work?

It sounds really corny, but I feel so honoured that people into my music are so .....patient. Their priorities are gorgeous; I don't feel there's a fickleness - they're happy with whatever I do. It's almost a form of love. When we did the shows last time, I did love it. The contact with the audience was fantastic. But I did feel a tremendous sense of intensity towards me and I felt very exposed. I'm really quite a quiet, private person, and it was very difficult for me,and that's got a lot to do with why I haven't toured, which has left me without a great sense of contact with an audience. It's quite a surprise to me to think I'm a famous person. It jolts me and I think, Oh my God! Right now, I would like to have more contact with audiences again. I think it would be a nice thing. (1990, Q Special)


It's a lovely question, actually. It says, ``DOES IT COMFORT YOU WHEN YOU'RE A BIT DOWN TO KNOW THAT WHATEVER YOU DO FOR US WE WILL LOVE AND SUPPORT YOU?'' [Massive cheering and applause, lasting twenty seconds.]

You've left me all afluster! Particularly when I'm in the middle of making albums, when I don't know when I'm going to finish the project, and I don't know if I'm a songwriter or a singer, or what I am; and I get the odd letter that says, you know, ``We'll wait! [Laughs.] We'll wait for you till you've done your time! [Laughs.] And you're out in the free world again.'' Um, it really means a lot, so thank you. Thank you! [Massive cheering.] (1990 Kate Bush Con)

I wanted to know what you do when you go shopping.

[Laughter from audience.]

Whether people come up to you and sort of disturb you, or if you just want to stay in.

Shopping is one of those facts of life, right? You, you have to do shopping. I find supermarkets really difficult. They're like... What's the room in 1984? What's it - 1 - 0?


101... That's kind of my room 101. I'm all right if they're empty. But, uh, big supermarkets, they freak me out. Actually I found out I'm not alone in this. I have a friend who uh, completely freaks out every time he goes to the checkout counter, and leaves this huge basket of shopping just at, you know - and goes off, because he can't handle it!

It made me feel really good!

But I must say, generally people are just so nice with me, and the problem I have with them is, is in here [Points to her head]. You know, if I'm feeling a bit vulnerable and tired, I - I feel vulnerable and tired. But people are generally just really nice to me. I'm very grateful for that. I know some people that have a very hard time, and you're very kind to me. Thank you. (1990 Kate Bush Con)

Now, the thing is, people wait with bated breath for the next kate bush album, and they get very excited about it. How do you feel about it? How do you feel about that - knowing that people are still excited about you?

I think that's quite hard for me to take in, really. I just feel so lucky that I can spend as much time as I need to to make an album, and that people are actually still waiting to hear what I do. It's very exciting for me, and I think sometimes it feels like a big responsibility. It is really important that I put as much as I can into each album, so that it is, hopefully, worth waiting for. It's not something I'm terribly aware of. It's almost too much for me to think about, really - that there are people who want to hear it after such a long time. (1989, Greater London)


My contact with them has been fantastic. I get letters, a lot of nice ones. When I'm in the middle of an album and I'm worried because it's taking so long, I'll get a letter that says, ``I don't care how takes, I just hope you're happy with it.'' They're very supportive and enthusiastic. I'm impressed with them as people. They seem very intelligent and respectful of my privacy. I can't thank them enough for that.

Del Palmer: You do get the odd one or two. But they're usually very discreet. They just want a picture or an autograph. And they're quite patient to wait almost five years for an album with no complaints! (1990, Option)


The showbiz life simply doesn't appeal to me. You find yourself being pulled in all directions by people who are trying to persuade you to behave differently. It's all very seductive. But not for me. (1989, Daily Mirror)


Gaffaweb / Cloudbusting / Subjects / Fame & Fans