Cloudbusting -- Kate
Bush In Her Own Words
How did you get on with rhythm machines?
- It took me quite a while to get used to working with them because
they seemed very limiting. I like rhythms to ``move", especially in the ballad
songs where the tempo would ebb and flow with the words, stopping and slowing
down as necessary. Suddenly, having to work with a very strict rhythm, I found
it almost impossible at first to tie myself down to the rigid beat. Once I had
got used to this, I found that I could work in between the beats.
(1982, Electronics Music
- The Dreaming was really my first move into production by myself. So
it the first time I could try things that I didn't feel brave enough to do
before. There was a lot of weight on the drummers, and they were fabulous
because it was very difficult for them. I was trying to get them to do things
they had never done before. They were wonderful.
- By the time we were getting on to Hounds of Love, being in our own
studio, and working with Del, I think the rhythms took on a more solid feeling.
There was a tremendous amount of experimenting going on in The Dreaming, and it
was great. It was more controllable doing the rhythms from, say, a Fairlight or
a Linn drum machine and then getting a drummer in. That way, what we found was
that we started getting an interaction built where the drum machine would have
a nice strong mechanical feel which works for tracks a lot. Then you add a very
human feel to the same song by putting a drummer in there with it. That's the
technique we've carried on with, and obviously the more we work together the
more we're developing that process. (1990, Option)
Kate's always used a wide variety of musicians on her records, but
drummer stuart elliot seems to have been there from the beginning, even though
he sometimes shares the drum stool with charlie morgan.
- He's the only one that's worked on every album - he's lovely work
with. I think it's good to keep that long term relationship. He's so easy to
work with because he knows what I'm like. Occasionally I even ask him to use
cymbals on a track now! He's been through that whole stage where I just
couldn't handle cymbals or hi hats. Now that I'm actually using them again he
- I always found them something that we used too much. I felt they
were leant on too much. It held the music down in such a specific way. They're
very marked. Not using them is just a way of opening up the music, I think. I
learnt a lot from it. It's always been, ``this is the drum kit, so let's use
it.'' I always found that extraordinary. But I think now that I've taken that
break from it, I see it very differently.
Even though both stuart and charlie get to contribute on most
tracks, the sensual world features more programmed drums than earlier
- We replace a lot, but there's a lot that's still there. We used the
Fairlight for the drums this time, and because the quality was so much better
we could keep them all. It's just the last album, with the Linn patterns, they
had to be much more disguised because they sounded like a Linn machine. We had
much more finished drum tracks to work with - that caused some problems. They
were so good that I didn't want to get in and replace them at an early stage
like on the last album. I had to be quite brutal and get drummers to just get
in there and throw bits of the Fairlight away, just to give it different
levels. On the next track, ``HeadsWe'reDancing", it
was all based around the Fairlight pattern that Del did, which is the basis of
the whole song. The only thing I think we replaced was the snare.
- Because I think it gives it a human feel, even though he's got to
stay in with the machine. There's still a certain amount of movement, and
there's all this human energy. I even believe that the sounds a drummer makes
can be part of the track - they all make sounds, sing along while they're
playing, grunting... It puts air in there. It's nice to get someone else's
input as well.
- I like to use real musicians - it's so exciting. Machines are great
but you can get such great feedback from people when they think they're working
on something intimate. Things you'd never think of. Like Mick Karn's
``HeadsWe'reDancing'' puts such a different feel to
the song. I was really impressed with Mick - his energy. He's very distinctive
- so many people admire him because he stays in that unorthodox area, he
doesn't come into the commercial world - he just does his thing. (1989,
Cloudbusting / Subjects / Rhythm Machines / Drums