Andy Rourke: 'life Would Be Boring Without Morrissey' - Music News
Today marks another huge landmark for the show as Red Stripe and This Feeling announce its biggest coup to date, bassist Andy Rourke, famed for being in arguably the best Indie band of all time, The Smiths, featuring on hit singles such as ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ and working alongside the iconic partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr, brings his new outfit, Blitz Vega to Nambucca for its first ever UK performance and interview – exclusively for the viewers of the show.
Hosts Radio X DJ Gordon Smart and TV presenter, broadcaster and journalist Laura Whitmore chat with Blitz Vega’s bassist Andy Rourke and frontman KAV about their debut single ‘Hey Christo’ and recording at the famous Abbey Road Studios, as well as focusing on Andy’s time in The Smiths.
One of the most revered bass players in alternative music, Andy Rourke helped craft the iconic sound of the '80s with The Smiths, who critics have called the most important alternative rock band to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s.
Andy has been based in New York since 2009, composing, writing and recording on various projects. He recently appeared live with fellow Smiths member Johnny Marr and over the years has toured and collaborated with The Stone Roses Ian Brown & Mounfield, Sinead O' Connor, The Pretenders, Badly Drawn Boy, Killing Joke, Peter Hook, Bonehead from Oasis and the late Dolores O’Riordan.
KAV has been in LA since 2010. He helped Shaun Ryder reform legendary Manchester band Happy Mondays, getting the band back together to perform to 10,000 people on London's Clapham Common for his inaugural Getloaded In The Park Festival. He went on to tour internationally with the Mondays for four years.
Now, fresh from recording a live EP at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, Blitz Vega is promising big driving tracks, guitar hooks, heavy beats, loops and live drums, aimed at fans of Iggy & The Stooges, Queens Of The Stone Age and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, to name a few.
On the subject of recording at Abbey Road and the tradition of bands stealing something from Abbey Road front man of the band KAV said, ‘They stole our leads actually!” before bursting into laughter, followed by Andy who said, “There were some Abbey Road jelly babies I may have stolen!”
Turning attentions from jelly babies onto the music history ingrained within the studio walls, KAV said, “It was a long day. You walk in there and for me it was the first time I had ever been. You felt the history especially the Beatles and Pink Floyd. They were the first two (bands) I was into as a kid. I was like wow I am going to play guitar in this room, if it all ends today then that is fine.” Andy pitched in with, “We were talking earlier about it has a smell to it, you can smell the history as you walk into studio two.”
Venturing away from the new material and into Andy’s previous life in one of the most loved indie bands of all time, The Smiths, Gordon asked: “What’s the most common thing people ask you about in relation to The Smiths?” Andy quickly responded, “What’s Morrissey like?” before grinning to himself. In his comedic fashion, Gordon jested with Andy, “And what is the answer to that question, seeing as you brought it up”. Andy politely responded, “That’s a leading question. A unique individual and a real talent… it was special working with him [Morrissey].”
Laura followed with, “Do we need those controversial characters, if we didn’t have them then the music industry would be different?” Andy calmly responded, “I think you definitely need some colourful characters, you have got to love John Lydon people like that and Morrissey obviously – without that it would be a boring world.”
Speaking of Morrissey’s right hand man and guitarist in the 80s band, Jonny Marr, Gordon said, “One of my highlights of last year was listening to Jonny Marr’s audio book, because he read it himself.. He spoke so highly of you, Andy, and it was lovely to hear because obviously a lot of water has passed under the bridge. What is your relationship with Jonny like now?”
Andy humbly responded with, “It’s great, obviously he is very busy… but whenever he is in New York we meet up. I always go to his shows. He’ll come to my apartment and we hang out, go for breakfast, stuff like that. He’s one of my oldest friends; we were at school together, known him since I was 14. No matter what happens we are always going to be friends.”
Check out the Music News interview with Andy Rourke's Blitz Vega on the day too: