Having just swam through a rain-drenched set at last weekends Glastonbury festival, Morrissey shot some words across the pond to the Pitchfork.com offices that alluded to his new album and his grumpy frustration with the modern music industry. Mozz says his follow-up to 2009's Year of Refusal is all written, but he's just looking for someone to pay him to put it in the can and release it. He played three songs earlier this month for the BBC as an offering to fans and bait to producers, but according to him labels are about as hungry for his new album as a vegetarian at a bacon buffet:
"I think labels for the most part want to sign new discoveries so that that label alone is seen to be responsible for the rise of the artist. Not many labels want bands who have already made their mark, because their success is usually attributed to some other label somewhere else at another time."
Mozz also bemoans artistic growing pains in trying to escape the legendary status of his former band (whose name rhymes with the Piths):
"Most artists are remembered for the albums that introduced them, or that made their success. For this reason, the press only write about me in terms of the Smiths story, and the fact that I've had three solo number one albums-- or even 25 years of eventful solo activity-- is never mentioned anywhere. Odd."
His jaded but romantic view of the industry permeates the interview, castigating the internet and refusing to take matters into his own hands as Radiohead and countless indie acts alike have.
"The music press has died because of Internet People Power-- everyone is now their own expert critic. As a consequence there are no risks taken with music anymore-- no social commentary songs, no individualism. This is because everyone is deemed instantly replaceable."
"I am still stuck in the dream of an album that sells well not because of marketing, but because people like the songs."
It's a curious time when veteran labels refuse to invest in past giants. Morrissey has lost none of his classy stature, and yet he claims to be forsaken by the modern industry. Maybe he should strategically give the album a name that begins in 'Y' as it seems to be the immutable mark of quality for all his other solo outings. So if you have a couple million dollars fluffing up your mattress making you uncomfortable at night, give the man a call. Just don't tell him how much you love the Smiths. He'll get angry. And hungry. You won't like him when he's angry. He just may forget he's a vegetarian...