Interviews & Articles


Old Grey Whistle Test
Nov(?), 1985

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Date: Wed, 4 Dec 1991 02:10:56 -0800
From: rhill@pnet01.cts.com (Ronald Hill)
Subject: Old Grey Whistle Test November (?) 1985 interview

83. The Old Grey Whistle Test: Kate is interviewed about Cloudbusting, and the video is shown, on U.K. TV, November (?) 1985.

As in most of her televised interviews from 1985 and later, Kate is here very much more on guard against patronizing or silly questions from her interviewers, and sticks to a set of carefully phrased and relatively formal replies. She projects a far more mature and reserved persona than in earlier years, contrasting sharply with the foolishness of her hosts.

[Transcribed by Ron Hill. Above note by IED]

I: [Reading the chart list] And after seventeen weeks in the chart, Madonna's Like A Virgin, is brand new at number one even... [sputters] replacing Kate Bush - I'm going to pieces [laughs] Kate Bush who by a tragic coincidence is next to me. I'm sorry you're number 2 this week, Kate.

K: Well, I think that's pretty good myself!

I: It's better then being number 3, you're right. What do you feel about Madonna and her sort of - the marketing of the image like that. It seems very different to the way you've gone about things.

K: I don't know much about Madonna. I saw her on Live Aid and I thought she was really good.

I: She's definitely a good artist, it's true, but she's seems to have gone for the sort of sex symbol approach to success. [Kate smiles sweetly] We'll talk about your album - I can tell there's a look on your face. [Both laugh] You're a very determined girl, you went away on your own terms to make this LP, didn't you?

K: Yes, I wanted to make sure that we got own studio together. That was the next move, really. I spent a lot of time on the last album moving from studio to studio and now we've got our own place and everything is brilliant, it makes such a difference.

I: Is it difficult choosing the right sort of gear to put in there, the right people to work with in that studio, and the location, of course?

K: I think it's really good, because you can get everything you want in one studio, which isn't always easy in a London studio.

I: What were you looking for, what makes your studio special for you?

K: Well, it's got all the environmental things that we want - the right kind of sounding rooms and we've got all the outboard equipment and the right kind of speakers and everything. It's what we want, which is why we did it. [Laughs]

I: You say "we" all the time, it's very much though a very solo sort of thing. I mean, you've produced the thing, you've written the thing. Even though you have other musicians playing on it, you're calling the shots, aren't you?

K: I'm in control, but there's no way I could do it by myself. I rely on very good engineers and musicians and people around me to advise me.

I: Yes, how do you keep tabs on whether you're loosing track on reality? You know, whether you're getting to self-indulgent?

K: You mean, in context of an album?

I: Yeah.

K: I think you just have to rely on a voice inside you saying that it's getting better and everything that you do to it does make it better and not worse.

I: Actually a lot of critics have felt, well the ones I've seen, that there are some very, very commercial bits in this as well, that maybe you were aware that the last LP perhaps did go away from the mainstream a bit. Do you agree with them?

K: I don't feel it went away from the mainstream. Whenever you make an album, you just do it and you hope all the songs are good and that you're trying to express what you want at that time. And I felt that I've done that, certainly with the last three albums.

I: Let's talk about a track on this LP. You've done a video, now whether it means it's going to be a single at some stage we don't know as yet. It's called "Cloudbusting". And a rather unusual story behind the song. So can you tell us the story to set up the video that we're going to see.

K: Yes. It was very much inspired by a book that I found on a shelf about nine years ago and it's written by a man called Peter Reich and the book's called A Book Of Dreams. And it's very much written from a child's point of view about his father...

I: You see the book in the video if you're clever.

K: Yes! Don't blink or you'll miss it. [Both laugh] And it's really about the magic of that relationship and how much his father meant to him. And they have a very special thing they can do, they go up onto a hill with a machine that his father's built and they make it rain.

I: We will see the story now in the video, which we ought to watch closely. Watch the people performing in this. This is the video then, for the "Cloudbusting" track from Kate Bush.

["Cloudbusting" is shown.]

I2: Kate Bush and "Cloudbusting." Rather obviously, Donald Sutherland! How did you get him to be in your video?

K: Well, we rang him up and said "would you be interested" and he said yes!

I2: And what was he... what was he like to work with? I think that is the question.

K: [Laughs] I think that is the question. He was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. And he was such a help to me as well. Fantastic! A real honour to work with him.

I2: And that's the new single as well, isn't it.

K: Yes, it is.

I2: Okay, Thanks for coming in.

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