Interviews & Articles


Tower Pulse
"Have The Masses Finally Found Kate?"
by Richard Laermer
December 1985

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Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1992 16:24:51 -0800
From: tessi!john@nosun.West.Sun.COM (John Zimmer)
Subject: Tower Pulse by Richard Laermer December 1985

Following is the full text of the interview from Pulse!

From Tower Pulse!, December 1985

by Richard Laermer



To the unacquainted ear, Kate Bush's music may seem esoteric, obscure. To millions of followers and admirers, she's Britain's 27-year-old pop genius. Bush has proved she can withstand pressure to "go commercial" by sticking to her blend of unusual lyrics and mysterious tunes, and still sell records. Her newest, Hounds of Love, is biting off Billboard's Hot 200 in 20-position chunks.

Bush, who began recording at age 16, is a former protege of David Gilmour, leader of Pink Floyd; a debut single, "Wuthering Heights", was Europe and Asia's big '77 smash. In her London home Bush acknowledges that "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."

The latest of five Bush collections just hit the bins and now Hounds of Love is being stacked alongside such long-standing successes as Heart and Motley Crue. Before, The Kick Inside, Lionheart, Never For Ever, and The Dreaming were but small cult items. But Hounds of Love is even getting Top 40 airplay in the disco-takeoff "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)", now on MTV's medium rotation list.

"That song is going to puzzle a lot of people," says Bush. "I think perhaps the word God conjures up a sense of religion but it's quite often used symbolically," particularly on her disc. She sings "If I could/ I'd make a deal with God/And get him to swap our places," as God is the "only person who can make the true bond of love possible." She laughs: "Hopefully there are enough people who listen to the music and see that it's actually not that religious."

The three years between The Dreaming and Hounds was both a hectic period of reorganization and a time of internal growth. Bush shocked London single-buyers and American fans by not releasing anything (outside two French-language remixes of old songs). She moved herself and the music to the country so "I could finally have fun and experiment on Fairlight [synthesizer]," which now acts as keyboard on Bush's work. Former melodic tones have been replaced by a desire to "make the music stronger."

"We bought and equipped our own studios and then recorded all tracks there. It made a really big difference." The Dreaming took two years and countless pounds of studio time. In her new digs, "The phone stopped ringing all the time and it stopped the pressure [because] you can experiment without the clock ticking away. I found it more conducive to the whole creative process."

Bush says Hounds of Love serves as "half a concept album, the first side being five separate songs." The flipside's dubbed "The Ninth Wave" or, "a journey for a woman asleep on the water: There are people trying to keep her awake and not let her fall asleep ['And Dream of Sheep']. Then she falls asleep and has a dream -- but wakes up from the dream only to find herself underwater ['Under Ice']. And then she has hallucinations where people are saying 'Wake up, wake up, don't sleep anymore,' and trying to get her out of the water. Except a witch finder pushes her right under because he assumes she's a witch ['Waking the Witch']. Soon she travels home and see s her loved ones but they can't see her ['Watching You Without Me'] and hopefully it all leads to the hope and salvation of the morning ['The Morning Fog'] where everything comes to life again. The sense of loneliness is taken over by the sense of someone saving them."

Though that is exemplary of the Bush style -- extreme characters and odd concepts -- she has been known to go even further. Several albums ago, "The Wedding List" described a protagonist "coming for" the ex-lover who killed her new husband.

"Yes, the last records tended to be extreme," she says, noting how songs that changed "from mood to mood" made it more difficult for her to fully get involved with an entire record.

"Perhaps there's more of a sense of continuity on this album," she comments, "but that's just my humble subjective opinion." One thing's for sure: "It's the lightest album and the easiest for me emotionally."

But being able to "turn ideas into pieces of plastic" has remained her emotional high. "What is wonderful is I may read a book or see a movie and get a lot of visual imagery. Except the influence won't surface in my music for maybe ten years," and she points to the latest single -- "Cloubusting" -- as case in point. "I read this book, The Book of Dreams, [sic] about nine years ago and reread it during my break. It was calling to me, this beautifully written story, through a child's point of view." Sighing, she adds, "When the ideas feel right they just come to the front and sort of go, 'Hi there.'"

Plans of late are "getting on with the next record as soon as possible" and creating a full-length video version of "The Ninth Wave." The future "isn't really planned. I hope to keep doing what I do -- but go into slightly different areas." Bush calls herself lucky as her wildest fantasy is coming true: the ability to remain true to her inventive mind without worrying about its results being accepted by the commercial world.

Bush sings about that fantasy on Hounds of Love.

"You want my reply?- What was the question?

I was looking at the big sky."

To the Reaching Out (Interviews) Table of Contents

"The pull and the push of it all..." - Kate Bush

Reaching Out
is a
Marvick - Hill
Willker - Mapes
Grepel - Love-Hounds