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[Herald Interview] Suede’s ‘Beautiful Ones’ to rock final stage at Jisan

British alternative rock band to play for first tims in Korea since reunion


As the U.K. rock group Suede had a strong presence in the Britpop movement in the 1990s, the disbanding of the act in 2003 was quite disappointing to alternative rock fans around the world.

However, the band was reunited last year and is coming to Korea to hold their first here since the reunion.

The act is to be on the final stage of the upcoming Jisan Rock Festival, which is slated for July 29-31 at the Jisan Forest Resort in Icheon in Gyeonggi Province.

Debuting in 1993 with the album “Suede,” the group released five studio albums over a decade. 
U.K. rock band Suede is to hold a concert on July 31 at the Jisan Rock Festival in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. (CJ E&M)
U.K. rock band Suede is to hold a concert on July 31 at the Jisan Rock Festival in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. (CJ E&M)
The Korea Herald asked lead singer Brett Anderson why and how the band got back together and if he wants to work with ex-member Bernard Butler again.

Korea Herald: You guys got back together in 2010. Can you explain why and how?

Brett Anderson: Suede broke up in 2003 because we felt that we were operating in a very safe sort of rut that was proving very difficult to escape from. We all felt that we needed new challenges to make things exciting again.

We were asked to reunite for a gig in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall in London. When I spoke to the rest of the band about the offer, we all felt that we had unfinished business to attend to regarding Suede. As though we had let it end with a fairly unexciting whimper which didn’t do justice to the exciting heritage that we had worked so hard to establish originally in the band.

KH: How did you feel when you performed at festivals including the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California in April?

Anderson: Well, America has always been a bit of a poisoned chalice for Suede. Not in terms of the fans ― the fans have always been amazing ― but in terms of having our equipment stolen on the road there, running into legal battles over the band name, etc. we just always seemed to be cursed somehow when it came to the States. So, Coachella was brilliant. It almost felt like a vindication of all those troubles we’d run into in the past. And Coachella is such a great festival. It was an honor.

KH: While other bands tend to keep their music style quite similar whenever they release new albums, you guys are introducing quite different styles in different albums. Do you agree?

Anderson: Let’s just wait and see what happens. I don’t want to give anything away. To be honest at the moment there’s not an awful lot to give away in the first place

KH: Have you ever considered working with Bernard Butler again?

Anderson: We have just put together very extensive reissues including b-sides, lost and very early tracks, videos, live footage, interviews ― everything but the kitchen sink really. Bernard and I spent a lot of time going through dusty old cassettes and photos and footage together. And then we went in together to clean up the tracks from the first two albums a little. However, the last thing that Bernard wants in his life is to go on tour with a band. He’s much happier and settled doing his production work.

KH: Do you think Britpop has lost its glory these days? Will it revive in the global music market?

Anderson: Well, to an extent, I feel like some of Britpop bands compromised an idea that we helped pioneer. The idea of singing about where you were from, combined with a more seedy yet glamorous, dirty escapist sound. It was about where I was from and not some beery-cartoon of Englishness that it got turned into. We wanted nothing to do with that. We wanted to get away from that totally and always blaze our own trail.

KH: How have the members been doing until the reunion? Is there a change in the group after the reunion?

Anderson: Those two things are kind of unrelated to a degree. When we formed we went through a two year period where no one would touch us, which is when we discovered our identity and became a strong unit.

KH: What should the Korean audience expect from your show at the Jisan Rock Festival?

Anderson: With so many festivals you are really spoiled for choice on incredible music to go and watch happen. I like to go and see a few bands if I get the chance. The sense of people coming together for the sake of music is beautiful ― particularly at festivals in Asia.

KH: Are you planning on a new album? What’s your next move?

Anderson: We have written tiny, tiny bits of music but it would only ever be released if it was totally, totally brilliant and in no way compromised what we had done in the past. Other than that we have a pretty full summer of festivals to get on with.

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)
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