[Here, finally, is the brief interview which is Kate's only contribution to the 22nd issue of the Newsletter It came out in late December, 1987).]
How is the new album going?
"Well, as usual it is slow, but I keep writing new songs, as I feel the urge. And I now have lots of songs, but most of them have pieces missing or sparse lyrics, and sorting these things out takes a lot of time."
How are you approaching this album? Is it different from the last one?
"Again I am working straight onto master tape in our home studio. As I get ideas, I put them onto tape. Sometimes this causes more problems, because I'll like parts of it and not others, but I try to re-do as little as possible. I like to try and keep the performances quick and spontaneous. It's the sorting out of these performances afterwards, and the rethinking of structure or arrangements, that take the time. Each musician changes the feel of the track dramatically, and it's important to keep the track moving in the right direction and to communicate what is wanted, which in my case is achieved through images, humming lines and letting the musicians do what they feel is right and saying if I don't like it. It seems to have worked, so far, and I always find musicians so inspiring. Quite often they'll put an edge to the track that gives it greater potential, so I sit and re-think bits again. The tracks continually change, and yet the original "feeling" doesn't seem to. I'd like to think that by putting the initial "muse" onto tape, we've captured its soul, so that whatever we put on top of it, it is, in essence, the same."
Are you using a lot of synthesizers? If so, which ones, and how?
"I'm using the Fairlight again, and a DX-7; but a lot of the songs have been written on piano initially, and it does definitely give the songs a different flavour from those written on Fairlight. A lot of rhythms are arranged by Del, and we tend to keep bits and replace a lot with real drums, but still keeping his "feel". But there are a few tracks which are just synthesized drums. It's whatever works; but I am using a lot of real instruments on this album. I really like working with musicians, they approach things from a different angle. They have fresh ideas."
When will the album be finished?
When do you think it will be finished?
Have you been doing other projects besides the album?
"I've been mainly concentrating on the album and catching up on my life a bit, but I did write a song for a film by an American Director: John Hughes. The piece from the film is extremely moving, and I really enjoyed writing to it. Let's hope when the film is released (hopefully some time in '88) that you get to see it. The director has a very distinctive style (he directed The Breakfast Club, which I really like), and I think this, his latest film She's Having a Baby, is well worth a watch."
You also appeared at Peter Gabriel's live concert at Earls Court.
"Yes, it was very much a last minute decision. Peter had asked me, and I wasn't sure if I was brave enough to perform unrehearsed in front of such a large crowd. It is such a beautiful song to sing, but the reception from the audience was so overwhelming, I couldn't hear what I was singing. So if anyone reading this was there that night--sorry if I was a bit out of tune; and if you were one of those people--thanks for an incredible experience, I don't think I'll ever forget that welcome. It was a fantastic concert and I am, again, very honoured to have been involved in Peter's work."
I know you like animals and I hear you keep cats. I wondered how many you have?
"I used to have two cats. Zoodle and Pyewackit, but I'm afraid that Zoodle died earlier this year. I was very upset, but she was eleven and had a good life. She was a beautiful cat. Pyewackit is absolutely fine, although she missed Zoodle at first. A few months ago we adopted a stray, feeding her and letting her live in the garage, and she had three kittens. We now have the 3 kittens. They are called Rocket, Sparky and Torchy. And although Pye didn't like them all at first, they all get on really well now, and we find them cuddled up on a chair together when we get in. They're such good company for her, and they all have such different personalities. It's so entertaining just sitting watching them play. It's bringing out the kitten in Pye: I've noticed her springing across the floor and leaping onto ledges that are far too small for her. She does things she hasn't tried for years and seems to be enjoying it all. I guess we're all young at heart, but sometimes it takes something to rediscover it!"
Hoping you have a very special Christmas and a great New Year.
'Til '88--All the best and lots of love,
KaTe's Newsletter Writings Table of Contents
©1990 Andy Marvick