KT Cloudbusting -- Kate Bush In Her Own Words

Music (Personal Element Of)

Playing at the amateur psychiatrist, I contemplate whether she writes songs from fiction out of fear about exposing too much of herself.

Whenever I base something on a book or a film I don't take a direct copy. I don't steal it. I'll put it through my personal experiences, and in some cases it becomes a very strange mixture of complete fiction and very, very personal fears within me.

"The Infant Kiss'' had to be done on a very intimate basis, it be a woman singing about her own fear, because it makes her so much more vulnerable. If it had just been an observation, saying ``She's really frightened; she's worried,'' you could never really tell what she was feeling. So I put it as coming through myself.

I'm not actually thinking of myself falling in love with the little boy, I was putting myself in her place. Feeling what I do for children - I love children - and then suddenly seeing something in their eyes you don't want to see.

It's like when a tiny kid turns round and says to you ``You're a bastard'' or ``Fuck off": it's instinctive to feel repulsed by it. [???] -that experience into a different situation. Otherwise I'd be writing and singing about situations I've never experienced, and in order to be convincing you have to have a certain amount of knowledge and conviction. It's a strange mixture, I know, but I rarely write purely personal songs from experience.


I have done it. On the other albums more than this one. But I often wonder how valid it is to write a song purely about oneself. I worry about being too indulgent, and there is the thing about giving too much away.

It doesn't worry me giving it to the public because I think the public understand how personal it is, but when you write a song for an album it's up for everyone to pull apart. `` Fullhouse'' was probably quite autobiographical, you know: talking about how hard I find it to cope with all the feelings I get, from paranoia, pressure, anger, that sort of thing.

My feelings are in there, but they're probably disguised. I've really enjoyed artists who indulge in personal writing. People like Leonard Cohen. I admire him, but I just can't stand listening to him. At the end of the album you feel so depressed. (1980, Oct 10, Melody Maker)


I tell her about jackson browne, whose wife committed suicide while he was recording the pretender. she's agog.

Well, I guess when you have something so extreme happen in your life you have to write about it. That's probably another reason why I tend to put my personal feelings into another situation: because you can come up with so much variance. I've never actually shot anyone, but in a song I can do it, and in some ways it's much more exciting, more symbolic. (1980, Oct 10, Melody Maker)


It would really worry me if I thought my art was being untruthful. Being true to something is the closest way to express things. But then in another way, the whole thing is untruthful - I'm being someone I'm not; I'm writing about situations I'll probably never be in. Behind it there has to be sincerity. Insincerity doesn't ring right; it has a nasty taste. (1982, NME)


The worst thing? The pressures, I suppose. They come in from so many different levels - from so many people - that they feel destructive towards me as a human being. Although it happens very rarely. And I have so little time to do things I want to.

Are you ever worried that you are absent from your art?

Oh, no. I am expressing myself, but it's also something else - it's something that's coming THROUGH me. My intentions are to put across situations that aren't even close to me but which are more interesting.

It scares me that I work too hard. I can be so tired and involved in work that I'm not living on another level. It's a reality of the situation. I have to do things I don't want to, so that I can do what I want the rest of the time. It's that I don't seem to have time to myself. (1982, NME)


Many of your songs are very intimate and extremely revealing of your own inner life. Does it ever happen that you write a song for self-satisfaction but then decide it is too intimate, too personal, too compromising perhaps, to offer to the public?

No, that's never happened yet. The only reason a song will get dropped is that it's not good enough - you know, the tune is a bit weak, or the lyrics aren't good enough, or the concept isn't tight enough. If it was good enough it would go on. (1985, Musician)


If they are personal that's because they reflect influences digested from, say, films, books or painting. My personal experiences aren't anywhere near interesting enough to justify autobiographical writing. I just use them as guides.

I've had a calm life but I am fascinated by the negative aspects of terror. Isn't everyone? Horrible things fire my imagination. Without them there'd be no film industry. And tragic and scary things are disturbing and powerful. I do have a special fascination for films like _Don'tLook Now and The Cruel Sea - watery films. I hope I'm not writing from a morbid point of view. I like positive endings. Humour is just as important as a means for relaxing. (1985, What Kate Bush Did Next)


When you're writing songs, you're not embarrassed about getting extra personal and really baring yourself on your albums.

I think all art to some extent has to be personal and I think what's difficult is not handing that work out to the world but its having to then justify it and explain it to people. That's what's difficult. Then you are caught in a moment where you have to analyze it or somehow go back on moments that were moments ago. It somehow takes things out of its context. I think really you should just go out to the world and be as personal as you dare. (1990, KDGE)


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