Interviews & Articles


with Christopher Ward(?)
Nov. 1985

To the Reaching Out (Interviews) Table of Contents

Date: Tue, 28 May 91 00:04:54 PDT
From: rhill@pnet01.cts.com (Ronald Hill)
Subject: More Canadian Interviews 1985

88. Good Rockin' Tonight, Much Music, The New Music, Toronto Evening News, etc.: excerpts from interviews (all dating from the same day, in the same Toronto studios) conducted by Christopher Ward, Nan Devitt and Daniel Richler in late November, 1985.

These interviews have a strikingly better atmosphere than their U.S. counterparts, which had been conducted only a day or two before. Much of the credit for this must go to the excellent interviewing techniques of the Canadian hosts, particularly Mr. Ward and Mr. Richler. Both men had prepared well for their interviews and both show evident respect for their guest on camera. Kate responds, consequently, with greater frankness and fluidity than she had in any other interviews of the 1985 promotional campaign.

[Transcribed by Ronald Hill, above note by IED. Boy does Kate look good in these interviews! ]

[Interview 1: The MuchMusic Interview. - Running Up That Hill is played]

I: Running Up That Hill, from Kate Bush. And please welcome my guest, Kate Bush. Very nice to have you here.

K: It's a pleasure to be here!

I: Yes, indeed! Congratulations on the success of Hounds of Love.

K: Thank you, it's fantastic!

I: It is going well isn't it?

K: Yes.

I: The UK is no surprise, but it looks like North America is finally falling in line. Are you happy about that?

K: I'm very happy. It's always great when people like your music.

I: You said that you anguished long over this record. Is that typical for you, recording wise?

K: I think so yes. I think, um, certainly since the third album it has been like that. It just seems to be a long process. You go into it to be that involved and before you know it's dragging you behind it, until it's finished.

I: Is that partly result of having your own studio now? That you felt you had to work out the kinks in that situation and learn to work in your own facility?

K: Yes, I think it was the last album that made me realize I needed one because I was being so prohibited by the amount of money it was costing every hour that I thought it was actually being anti-productive to what I wanted to do. We work very experimentally and it takes time. So it really made sense to get our own studio together.

I: I understand that you moved to the country fairly recently. Is that part of the process of building a home studio as well? Did that all come part and partial?

K: It did really. It was a kind of re-organization I wanted to do between the last album and this where I moved from the city to the country, we got the studio together, and I just took some time to get back in training. That kind of thing. I think I made some of my best decisions during that time.

I: Are you becoming more reclusive as a result?

K: I think I have extremes, where I'm very reclusive while I'm working and then totally non-reclusive when I come out to promote and say to people "here's the album."

I: Would you consider yourself a social creature at the best of times? Do you have a community of musicians, aside from your family obviously and those you work with, that you would see regularly and party with?

K: Yes I think there's, again, two parts of me. One that's a very social beast and the other side of me is probably very quiet and likes to work alone, and in fact can't really work if there's more than a few people around.

I: Do you have special work habits that you subscribe to? You seem like a very disciplined artist, just judging by your work. Do you have a special place you go to work, a certain environment, and certain hours? Do you do that?

K: I think the studio has become that disciplined place that I can go to now. It used to be my music room, wherever I had the piano. And I think it's helped me tremendously to actually have an environment where I can go to work. It just makes it that much easier for me to concentrate.

I: And do you set hours that you go there?

K: Not actually set hours, it depends how I feel. But normally I'll go there for a certain amount each day, depending on how well the ideas are coming through. So it depends.

I: We mentioned the old videos and you said you would like to see Breathing. What was it about particularly about that one that you felt was a success?

K: I think it's one of the few that I've done that I can say that I'm quite happy with some of the things we did in it. It's one of those things. The way you make a video, quite often the song isn't lending itself to the kind of visual ideas you'd like it to. And with Breathing, I think it had such a strong story that it was easier for us to visualize something that we'd felt was powerful.

I: The song sounds like it was built of visual ideas to begin with, to some extent.

K: I think when I'm writing songs, I do have quite strong visual ideas, but they're not necessarily video visual ideas if you know what I mean...

I: Yes.

K: I think in order to get to a place, or to consider yourself in someone else's position, you try to imagine an environment. And I think in some ways you think quite visually about that.

I: Lets take a look at Breathing from Kate Bush on MuchMusic and we'll be right back.

[Breathing is played]

I: There you have Breathing from Kate Bush on MuchMusic and my guest, Kate Bush. Very nice to have you hear. You suffered a fate in the early goings of you're career of being somewhat of a pin-up girl in the British pop mags. [Kate laughs]. How did you deal with that?

K: I think what worried me was that it was going to stop people taking my music seriously. I've always found it very complimentary if people said that they found me attractive. And my worry is really that it would get in the way of my music. Its not that, um... I find that so much of a problem as...as if people wouldn't accept my music. But I don't think that that has been a problem. I think people do seem to accept my music for its sake.

I: And does your sexuality have a role in your music?

K: Well I think that's something I find very confusing because I think that the essence of all art is sensuality. And sexuality, I mean I don't suppose I understand it fully, but I always tend to think that that's something that's projected. And that sensuality is really were art is at. It's a much more subtle form of expression.

I: You have interesting theories. There was an interview that I saw that Daniel Richler for the New Music did last year, he was visiting in England, and his show is done out of this building as well. And there was a quote where you said "the artist is like a magpie, pitting out little bits of gold, and storing them away" to use later. What are you picking through these days?

K: [Laughs] I think the whole process is like that, you're continually looking for lyrical ideas, musical inspirations, people that would be good to work with, people that you want to involve in your work. I think all the time you have to keep looking and listening because it's that accumulation of things that all your ideas and your work depends on.

I: What are you looking at and listening to these days?

K: Um, well at the moment I'm caught in the middle of a big promotional trip...

I: Of course.

K: ...but it's interesting for me. I'm getting a great deal of feedback from people which is incredibly rewarding. And also I suppose one positive side of it is it makes you think about areas of yourself and your music that you wouldn't do unless people were asking you these questions.

I: So you don't have any current obsessions in terms of...oh film or music or art that you might pass on to us?

K: I think my current obsessions are perhaps films. Between the last album and this one I got very into our video machine at home and taping lots of films off the television. I think they've become very inspirational for me. And I think perhaps my video work is moving away from being theatrically and dance oriented to perhaps being more cinematically influenced.

I: We have the video for Sat In Your Lap, do you have a few thoughts on that one to pass along?

K: Um, well I think that's one of the fun videos that we did, where the song is about the search for knowledge. And um, I suppose we just wanted to have a bit of fun in this video and try to express that [makes funny voice] "we're looking for that thing", yeah. [Laughs]

I: This is Kate Bush, Sat In Your Lap, on MuchMusic.

[Sat In Your Lap is played]

I: Christopher Ward on MuchMusic with my special guest, Kate Bush. And Kate as early as about 1980 you were experimenting with the Fairlight computer musical instrument. Has that changed the way you approach creating music?

K: Yes, very much so. I think it was one of the best thing to happen for me along side rhythm machines. Not only has it helped with the initial writing process, were I'm getting associations off the sounds straight away as I start writing the song, but also from an arrangement point of view, where if I want strings or brass on a track I can work out an arrangement on the fairlight with that particular sampled sound and then if want get the real musicians in to redo it.

I: Yeah, well your use of it has become more and more extensive. But you were perhaps one of the first artists that I ever knew, along with perhaps Peter Gabriel, who used the Fairlight at all.

K: I was very lucky in that I was at the studio where they decided to demonstrate the machine at a very early stage. It had only been in the country for a while and they were just setting up the company. As soon as I saw it I knew that I had to have one, and it was going to become a very important part of my work.

I: Are you an aggressive business person? We hear stories that on the first album a very young Kate Bush insisted Wuthering Heights be the first single, against some resistance. Is that true, and are you, in fact, very aggressive about your business?

K: I don't know if I'm aggressive about my business, but I do a lot of the time feel strongly about what I want or how I want to see it presented. It is an expression of me at some point and it seems wrong that as soon as it goes out into the world it should leave me and my expression behind. Wuthering Heights I felt was a much more interesting single then perhaps some that were being suggested at that time. And um, I just felt it was a good idea at the time to hang [slurs words ???- out with it ??]. I did feel strongly about it, [makes cute Kate confused face], yes.

I: It certainly paid off, number one record in the U.K.

K: It would seem so, yeah.

I: Do you rely on dreams a lot for inspiration for your songs?

K: It's strange, a few people have started asking me that question recently, and I would so no, that I can't actually think of any song that a dream has directly inspired. No.

I: Are you a keeper of a dream diary or something like that?

K: No I'm not, no.

I: I've experimented with that sort of thing and it's interesting -there's a surrealistic quality to some of your songs that might lead one to think that, [Kate makes polite expression] but not the case?

K: No, not consciously but...

I: Now I wanted to ask you about the second side of The Hounds Of Love LP - it's a conceptual piece called The Ninth Wave. And what led you to that concept and how did you go about developing it?

K: It's quite hard to pinpoint the initial inspiration, but I'm sure that it came from, um, a combination of war movies where people were, soldiers were, either thrown out of the ship or a plane into the sea. And that whole strength of imagery of water, of the sea, this enormous great power with this tiny little human being in it. And I suppose the whole parallel to things likes sensory depravation, where if you're in the water long enough, you know you start, ah, your mind starts traveling. So it gave me a vehicle to travel to different places and yet keep a theme.

I: Did you take yourself to an isolation tank or anything to achieve that particular sensation?

K: [Laughs] No, it's something that I would certainly like to experience. But I spent a lot of time writing, particularly the lyrics, by water. I was standing by the sea or by lakes. So a lot of the time there was water stimulus.

I: We have your brand new video for Cloudbusting, also from Hounds of Love. And, ah, I read an article in Number One magazine and they said something very unusual happened during the shooting of it. Is that all rumors?

K: [Laughs] Yes, I can't think of anything!

I: They talked about ghosts and all sorts of things, so...

K: Did they?

I: Do you want to straightened out any of those rumors for us?

K: Well as far as I know there were no ghosts present, but there were lots of human beings. And a particularly good actor called Donald Sutherland.

I: Of course, a well known Canadian actor as well.

K: Absolutely, yes.

I: So tell us about the video, what were you trying to accomplish? K: I really wanted it to be a short piece of film. I didn't want it to be seen as a promotional clip or even a video, but as a film. And part of that idea was having an actor, hopefully a great actor, that would play the part of the father, and myself playing the part of the young boy. And the song was inspired a book that's all about a very special relationship between the guy that wrote the book, as a child and his father. His father was a very respected psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and had lots of theories on life energy, and also had this machine called a cloudbuster that could make it rain. And together they'd go out into the dry desert and make it rain and this was a very magical moment for the child.

K: It's called A Book Of Dreams, and the man that wrote it is called Peter Reich. And unfortunately the peak of the book is that his fathers arrested, his beliefs were considered outrageous, people afraid of things that they didn't know - especially at that time. And it was very, very hard for the child to cope without his father. And in some ways the connection with rain, for him every time it rains he thinks of his father, so its a positive of him coping without him.

I: Kate thank you very much for joining us today, it's really a pleasure to meet you. And I know that there are fans across this country who love you dearly and would very much like to see you perform here, so we hope that you will be able to come back to North America and...

K: Thank you.

I: ...we'll see you on stage. I think I have a present somewhere. Yes here it is. [Kate laughs, he hands here a MuchMusic shirt]. A little memento to take with you.

K: [Makes funny Kate voice] For me???

I: For you!!! Please wear it in good health.

K: Thank you. Really nice to meet you.

I: Thanks very much Kate Bush.

K: Thank you.

I: And here we have the brand new video for Cloudbusting on MuchMusic.

K: [Looks again at shirt] Oh...!

[Cloudbusting is played]

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