September 6, 1989
"I don't care if everyone hates this LP"
by William Shaw
[submitted by Camax]
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don't care if everyone hates this LP"
She does really! Because even rock 'n' roll rebels want to be rich
and famous and adored by everyone. It's why Wendy James and Transvision
Vamp have made a brand new LP packed with thrilling tunes! "So...er....tell
us about the new album then," whimpers William Shaw.
Wendy James and the Vamp's songwriter Nick Christian Sayer are sitting
back-stage before a concert on their UK tour. It's a scene not unlike
the sleeve of their second LP "Velveteen". As Wendy says: "It's
quite nice, because there on the sleeve we're in the dressing room
and when you take the record our of the sleeve there we are performing
for you." But in today's dressing room, Transvision Vamp are actually
in a somewhat grumpy mood. They're not altogether sure whether they
want to tell the Smash Hits viewers all about their new LP at all,
so it takes a couple of minutes to coax a few words from them....
I Don't Care
(A little disgruntled at the concept of talking about her song)
We wrote it on the road, performed it live, it was a real classic
live so we recorded it and that's the first single. I don't care
if people like this song or this album, I like it. The fact that
people liked this song is a bonus.
my voice get sore from all the balling I do in this song? Oh no,
my voice is tough. Do I use honey and lemon? No, honey and lemon
is a bit of a fallacy. What I do use is royal jelly with a bit of
ginseng mixed in it.
(Sighs) Well, it's a fairly straight forward song. A love song?
Yeah, but it's not lovey-dovey, it's also saying you're the only one
who would mess me about, but that's probably why I love you. Which
is typical of women's views of men, you know? You get shat on all
your life by me but you still need them. Can't live with them, can't
live without them.
For A Goldmine
(Sighs) The only thing I want to say about this song is that
it should be like an '80s homage to Phil Spector (mad '60s producer
famed for his "Wall of Sound"). How do we work out our songs?
Well, Nick plays his guitar to me, sings what he thinks it should
be then I sing it and we work it out and the rest of the band play
it. Once the song comes through my mouth it's my song, so if there's
anything I'm not happy with then I say, but you have to understand
that Nick and I have lived together for eight years and we pretty
much know what each other likes.
A song about Marlene Dietrich (sultry German saucepot actress of
the '30s and '40s), and it's also tied in with the whole Christian
F thing (a Berlin teenager who wrote a very depressing book about
her fight against drug addiction). Strong women are infinitely
more interesting than weak women ,as are strong men. So naturally
I'm more interested in a woman who knows her own mind and asserts
her own choices in life. From what I've read about Dietrich I admire
her and her films are beautiful.
To The Stars
The person I'm singing about in the song is a personification of all
that's stupid. Arrogant, I can't bear arrogance. The song's dedicated
to anyone who has that in them. As it says: "And I ain't got a
care, 'cause I'm not down and I'm not blue," meaning you can keep
on being a tosser but it ain't gonna bother me. Let he who is sinless
cast the first stone. So I think like that myself? I think when I
was a teenager I used to have such destructive thoughts as those but
I don't any more, no. If people want to be idiots then fine that's
up to them. Karma will get them in the end.
It's quite a gentle sort of song? Yes, I suppose so. It's not about
anyone. It's anyone in your imagination. I just sing that song because
it's a beautiful song. The last line of that song is most important.
("As every beginning is the start of an end, I won't live till
I see you again.") You have to listen to it and make your own
interpretation. That song is a very tender moment.
To Be Sold
It's about tossy journalists. Numerous journalists have said that
Wendy should sod off and die and our songs are crap, and so here
we are doing a sell-out tour, about to do a world tour, but just
so long as those journalists know that they were wrong. Can I just
say one phrase? Success is credibility, credibility is success.
The rules are there are no rules. That's important, right?"
It's a brilliant live song because it is a kind of anarchistic noise
I really like this. It's about people who've all been famous and
just by being famous they've been sold. All those people were ultimately
Elvis, Marilyn, Billy The Kid, Jackie Onassis, Morrissey, Madonna....(all
mentioned in the song) I just love the sentiment of it. They're
icons, they're brilliant, they're fantastic, they're talented, they're
brilliant to read about. And so many people have side, "Oh poor
Wendy, she doesn't realize that she's being exploited by her record
company, they told her to sit on the cover of Tatler (when Wendy
posed semi-naked) and that's just a load of crap because I'm
23 years old and I know what I'm doing. no one is exploiting what
I'm doing. No one is exploiting me!
Yeah, "Bad Valentine", because.....ha ha, um....it was Valentine's
Day and Wendy didn't get any Valentine's cards, and I didn't give
her one either and she was really pissed off about it.
I wasn't really pissed off! I didn't get any Valentine's
cards and Nick was meant to send me one and he didn't. He got one
and I tore it up before he could see it because I was jealous and
I said to him "Nick you're a bad valentine." So he went "Wow! You're
such an inspiration!" and went and wrote a song. I really love Nick.
I tell him that a lot. I'm proud of him. He's written such a brilliant
album. I wouldn't be here without him. And he wouldn't be here without
me. And that's something no one seems to mention, that all of this
is born out of solidarity and love of music and love of each other.
That's the best thing I can say about it, is that we genuinely care.
Jamie Reid, who used to do our artwork, sent us a letter after "I
Want Your Love" got in the charts, saying well done and everything,
and at the bottom he signed it "Jamie. Pay The Ghosts" - and we
thought it was a really good line. The song isn't about Jamie though.
To me it's a scene from Performance - it's my favourite film (odd
psychedelic film about a decadent ex-pop star played by Mick Jagger).
James Fox is collecting money from snidey little devious businessmen
and he walks up to them saying, "You better watch your step because
if you step out of line one more time you're going to get your head
kicked against this wall." That's what "Pay The Ghosts" is about,
you know? If you mess around too much, you get hurt. Like Carl Fysh
did from Brother Beyond. He crossed us one time too many. In your
magazine as it happen, he wished I was under a bus. It would have
been a lot of bad, bad, bad karma for him. I don't think I've ever
even wished Kylie under a bus, so it was a bit steep, wasn't it?
Velvet curtains. The curtains of life. Political parties are curtains.
They block out reality. The only thing that shows you the truth
is a mirror.
idea came from Blue Velvet, from David Lynch filming through the
pretty white fences, birds tweeting in the trees, the happy housewife
and then he goes underneath the ground and you see the worms and
the cockroaches and whatever and they're all eating each other,
and that's how the planet really works. Behind every facade there's
a bit more evil, isn't there? All young children grow up thinking
the world is beautiful then they grow up and find it's a sordid,
perverse, bitter, twisted place. But don't get me wrong. I'm an
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