Brett & CO
26 May - 8 June 1993
Submitted by: Samantha Hand
1. Suede are singer Brett "Bert" Anderson, guitarist Bernard Butler, bassist Mat Osman and drummer Simon Gilbert. They've been going for three years. Brett and Mat have known each other since they were youngsters in Haywards Heath.
2. Brett hates his hometown, which can boast that it's close to Brighton, if not much else. "It was a horrific
little place... there was a very vivid undercurrent of violence," he recalls.
3. He was born on a council estate. His mother was an artist. "I suppose seeing her paint made me appreciate beauty."
She died of cancer in 1989. His dad's a taxi driver. The front of his cab is filled with articles on Suede. (Fact: On Liszt's,
Nelson's and Churchill's birthdays Mr Anderson puts a Union Jack outside his house on a flagpole. "That used to bug me to shit when I was a kid," says Brett.)
4. Brett left home at 15 and started training as a chef.
5. Brett and Mat started a group called Geoff in 1985 in Haywards Heath. A bloke called Gareth Perry did the vocals.
6. Then there was Suave And Elegant with Mat and Brett (who had dyed his hair yellow and went round in a "yellow Cliff Richard suit". Mm).
7. Mike Joyce (ex-The Smiths, Sinead O'Connor etc) answered their ad for a drummer. He wasn't recruited.
8. When they moved to London, Mat and Brett shared a room in Edgware with another person. Brett studied
architecture at London's University College, while Mat studied politics at London Polytechnic.
9. Brett is partial to London. "I've always absolutely loved London. It's a place I've always had an extreme romantic vision of. Even when I was small and my parents used to take me on day trips, I used to get a shiver of excitement arriving at Victoria." But he has admitted to fancying a pad in Belgium. "Futuristic" it would be.
10. It's a veritable perv-fest as far as sex goes with Brett. He never shuts up about it. "We're addressing the real issues. We're talking about the used condom as opposed to the beautiful bed" and "I seem to channel most of my sexual impulses into writing." But! Hold on! "Too many people write about the phenomenon of what we are, or the idea of us being part of some sexual revolution. All that's incredibly important, but ultimately, it means nothing without the music.
11. He also reckons "a lot of the time I do feel quite feminine".
12. And he proclaims he's "a bisexual who's never had a homosexual experience".
13. But Simon says he is a "bisexual man who's never had a heterosexual experience."
14. Brett hates to "be seen as simply some mincing effeminate prancing around in a blouse women snogging, from a 70's book of lesbian photography, Stolen Glances. The shot Suede wanted to use was full-length, showing one of the women in the wheelchair. The photographer, Tee Corinne, refused so as to protect the identity of the women. It caused a minor kerfuffle. A spokesperson for Family and Youth Concern was enraged anyway. She said "It seeks to make lesbianism acceptable to youngsters and, as such, is irresponsible."
18. Similar tabloid "debates" spring up when Brett said, "The idea for Animal Nitrate came when I took loads of drugs. I've always thought them useful when it comes songwriting." Journalists filled column inches with their "concern".
19. They've had four singles out so far. The Drowners, Metal Mickey, Animal Nitrate and So Young. All are on the LP.
20. Opinion is divided upon Brett's writing talent. “As a poet he far outshines his hero Bowie, and matches Morrissey for wit and passion”; “Brett is not a great lyric writer. But like all our best songwriters he deals with Englishness"; "What do Suede's lyrics mean? Nothing and everything that's the beauty". Judge for yourself: "On the high wire/Dressed in a leotard/Wobbles one hell of a retard"; "I'm an air sign/You're a water sign/Stuffed up with valium - can you get me some?"; "She sells heart/She sells meat/Oh dad, she's driving me mad" etc etc.
21. Bert said he'd met Morrissey, once an idol, and he "didn't particularly like him. He's so ridiculously shy, it's boring not charming." Morrissey, once a Suede fan, commented: "Despite his claims to the contrary, I have never met Brett and I wouldn't wish to; he seems like a deeply boring young man with Mr Kipling crumbs in his bed. He'll never forgive God for not making him Angie Bowie."
22. Bert suffers from bad throats.The group watch Only Fools AndnHorses videos to help them recover from the stresses of tourdom.
23. Their most notorious TV appearance was on the 1993 Brits. Brett shouted a lot and smacked his bottom with his microphone. "It was a thrilling moment," he recalls fondly.
24. Bernard refuses to be interviewed any more. An Insider once gossiped that that's because he's very very boring. This may or may not be the case, lawyers, and Smash Hits reckons he's very interesting indeed, all right?
25. Brett says he has only ever read two books in his life.
26. Brett lives in Notting Hill. His answering machine has David Bowie on it (comparisons between the two's vocal technique abound, although Brett says he only started listening to the Dame two years ago). He lives in one room, which has a double mattress in it, a cat, 250 video tapes and some corduroy trousers, flouncy shirts etc. His flatmate is called Alan. He has nothing to do with the group.
27. Each of Suede has, at one point, had a job cleaning toilets.
28. When Bert first started writing songs he used to have "this character called Terry and he was a really specific person right down to what kind of shoes he'd wear, it's just ridiculous. .. he'd go and play pool and be cool and I knew exactly how he'd react to certain situations. He's part of me I suppose." Hello?
29. He writes some songs on the tube, humming into a dictaphone. "It is embarrassing," he admits. "They [other passengers] just look at me and think 'he's some kind of a pop star'."
30. Their catchphrase is "learn to love me". "When we're at our best I think we're totally irresistible. We can convert anyone."