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New German interview with Kate

New German interview is here. Read the comments of this post to see translations from our German friends – thanks!


BBC iPlayer today – listen to The Red Shoes and This Woman’s Work


New interview on Irish radio this Saturday morning


  1. A new album by Kate Bush isn´t just a new album, it´s an event. During 33 years, the 52 year old singer has produced only 8 albums. But what kind of albums! With her new album “Director´s cut” she is freeing herself from overtly opulent damages from the past in order to clear the way for a fruitful future. Michael Loesl spoke with her.

    ML: Mrs (sic) Bush, your new albums brings us rewritten versions of your older albums TSW and TRS. so pyramids have to be rebuilt over and over again?

    KB: How flattering, but looking back, parts of these songs seemed more like Towers of Pisa. (Laughs.) Usually, I´m not listening to my older albums at all, but with these, I had the feeling that they were letting me work more freely with them, after I´d stripped away their original sound.

    ML: You´re already working on new material?

    KB: Yes, and it was a helpful lesson to take two or three steps back in order to get a vision for the future.

    ML: Does that mean that the new songs will be more simple?

    KB: I was very ambitious at that time, maybe over-ambitious. It´s the spaces between the sounds (the original word may have been “nuances”, though a verbal translation does seem Katier) that are more important to me now. Music becomes more and more precious to me, the older I get. That´s why I allow my music to be a bit more vivid and let it breathe.

    ML: At the end of the album, it sort of gets out of control. You slur your voice as if drunk, the band is rambling. Do you mean to destroy the myth of Kate Bush?

    KB: If the album´s finale sounds like the destruction of a myth, I can be pretty content with your evaluation, because, seriously, on other records there are ideas that were created in a pretty knackered mood. (Here the german translation is irritating, I´m sure she said “knackered” and he translated it into “stupid”.)

    ML: But then, your body of works is being discussed as a holy kingdom of pop.

    KB: I never challenged or asked for the serious interpretation and evaluation of my music. A sense of quality does not exclude humour.

    ML: Do you have an ideal or predecesor for that?

    KB: Frank Zappa was a very smart man. He said that, as an artist, you can live a free and untamed life, in case you have a solid family life. I love this idea.

    ML: Why?

    KB: I´ve never met Zappa, but people who have portray him as a very dear person, different from his image. I have always preferred my privacy over my public life, because I work best with a stable home base. The idea that the artist who suffers ist the best doesn´t apply to me. I work better, when I´m fine.

    ML: Are you happy?

    KB: Yes, I have a great family and the privilege to create music that interests me.

    ML: For this privilege, you have turned down most of the stunts the pop market requires. Are you proud of that?

    KB: I should have said No a lot sooner. The other day, my son discovered a pcture of myself that was taken at Abbey Road studios. I was made up so terribly that he asked me why they would allow me to be portrayed that way at such a young age.

    ML: You have only toured once, in 1979. Can you end the rumour, that you actuallly will go on stage again some time?

    KB: I had grat fun doing the tour, because it was more of a circus, actually. I can´t give you a definite answer because I might regret it some time later. Never say never.

    ML: Is your music an atithesis to the uncontrollability of life?

    KB: The wish for quality, which I can´t really control outside of the studio, is a motivation in my work. When I´m working on an album, the quest for excellence is there. As is the certainty of failing at this quest. I´m just as fallible as everyone else.

    ML: Does this knowledge hurt?

    KB: That´s what art is about.

    (Sorry for typos, this was done in a rush!)

    • And another translation below, from Rico – thanks guys!

      Failing with good sound

      Aachen. Singer Kate Bush talks about pain and art, exemplary things of Frank Zappa and her new album Directors Cut. “When I am working on an album”, says Bush, “there is always the question of excellence present.” – And that of failing.

      A new Kate Bush album is not just an album, it is an event. In 33 years the 52 year old produced only eight records. But extraordinary ones! With her new work Directors Cut she frees herself of overly done relicts of the past in the face of a procreative futur.

      -Mrs Bush, your new album consists of reworks of songs of your older albums “The Red Shoes” and “The Sensual World.” Do we constantly have to rebuild the pyramides in your opinion?

      -How flattering, but looking back a few songs of these album actually appear rather lopsided. (laughs) Normally I do not listen to my old records but with these two I had the feeling they would let me go on more freely if I let them out of their old sound package.

      -You are already working on new songs?

      -Yes, and it was informative for me to go back two or three steps to create a new version for the future.

      -Does the mean your new songs will be more simple?

      -Back then I was very ambitious, maybe overly ambitious even. Today intermediate tones are more important for me. Music gains value as I get older. Therefore my music can also be more lively and breath freely.

      -Towards the end of your new album things get a bit out of hand. You mumble as if you are drunk and the band strums. Do you want to destroy the legend Kate Bush?

      -If the end of the record indeed sounds like the destruction of a legend I am glad. Because, honestly, with the previous albums there were always moments that arose out of silly moods.

      -Then again, your work is regarded as a sanctuary of pop music.

      -I never invoked this overly serious debate about my music or me as a person. Quality does not exclude humour.

      -Did you have a role model?

      -Frank Zappa was a very clever man. He said that an artist could freely revel in his work if his private life is settled. I love this idea.


      -I never met Zappa but those who knew him said he was a lovely person who lived differently from what his image conveyed. In my life always chose private over public because I work best if I have my home as a basis. The belief that an artist works best if they suffer does not apply to me. I work better if I am doing well.

      -Are you happy?

      -Yes, I have a wonderful family and the privilege to make music that interests me.

      -In order to have that privilege you often said no to the demand of the pop market. Are you proud of that?

      -I should have said no a lot more early. Recently my son discovered a photo of me from the Abbey Roads Studios. I was so ridiculously dressed up for that that he asked me why they already photographed me as a little girl.

      -You only toured once, in 1979. Could you address once and for all the rumour that you will tour again?

      -I liked that tour because it was less of a concert actually and more of a wandering circus. But recording became more important for me. I cannot give you a definite response to your question because I might regret it in the future. Never say no!

      -Is your music the counterdraft of your uncontrollable life?

      -The longing for quality, which I cannot influence outside of my studio, is a motivation in my work. When I am working on an album there is always the question of excellence present. And the certainty of a possible fail. I am as little inerrable as anybody else.

      -Does this awareness hurt?

      -It defines art.

  2. I don’t know much German, but I bet she wasn’t pleased at being described as a ‘failure with good sound’ in the translation!

  3. Pyewacket

    Thanks for the translations — I love her quip about the Towers of Pisa (so quick and self-deprecating, our Kate) and I am so happy she’s said music becomes MORE important to her/gains more value as she gets older.

  4. momentum

    It immediately strikes me that German print journalists ask much more interesting questions than some of the British and Irish print journalists

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