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
- 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
- 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,
- 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
- 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.
Cloudbusting / Subjects / Music (Personal Element Of)