January 11th, 2010
Last, but certainly not least, here are Bernard Sumner's responses to the questions asked by JDW, Alejo Parella, Shane Clarke and Shaun Hutchinson. Bernard also wanted to add to the answers provided by Jake Evans to the questions by Fiona Hooley and James LaBove: Fiona Hooley: Hi, With many artists embracing an online presence to marketing and distributing music, I'd like to know what the band's views are on the always hot topic of file sharing on the internet. Is this something that the band will be embracing with exclusive internet only fanclub releases where people can legitimately download (and share) mp3's as part of viral marketing campaigns or do you feel that this is an area which ultimately leads to loss of revenue for the band? Thanks for offering a chance to have our questions answered! Fiona BS: Well the internet is a double-edged sword, it allows us to receive more revenue for every album or son,g but people are not buying as much music as they used to. File sharing must be one of the reasons for this and it's not good. But I do understand why people do it. The reality is that you have two buttons on your computer, one marked "Pay" one marked "Free." It is human nature, business men would call it market forces. I'm sure everyone who does it knows it is wrong, and that people in record companies are losing their jobs because of it, that young new bands are finding it difficult to get a deal because of it and that somehow music that is so easily obtainable for free doesn't seem that special anymore. I understand it’s so tempting, it’s free! But it takes about as much effort making an album as it does to make a car, just one car. It’s a lot of time. Imagine the effort doing that then someone walks away with your pay packet. Can you understand it? James LaBove: Hello, I'd like to submit a question for the band: Can you tell us a little about the songwriting process? What kind of process did you guys undertake to form the songs, and were the lyrics/music chiefly a collaborative effort? Thanks! BS: Part of the process was for me to try to get to know and understand Jake’s singing style and find out what types of song he would be good at singing. We also just divided up what songs Jake fancied singing and what songs I fancied singing. It was a new experience working with Jake and to a great extent it was unpredictable what would happen, but that’s what made it an exciting album to work on and I love what Jake did especially on "Shine Like The Sun.” The Lyrics were each our own. The Guitars? Generally speaking, Jake played the twiddly bits, Phil played the Rocky bits and I played the funky bits. JDW: While I understand that Alex James only appears on a few tracks Never Cry Another Tear, and he wasn't in the final band because of "distance issues," but is there any chance of him getting a more central part in the future of Bad Lieutenant? It's a shame that a talent like his gets over shadowed by fellow Blur-mates Damon and Graham, and it seemed when he finally got his own chance to shine, he was put in the backseat again. BS: I think that’s a matter of perception. I see all the musicians in Blur with equal standing really. Obviously, the singer is going to get a bit more attention because he is doing something different to the others, is usually the focal point for the band and is usually the biggest c***. The guitarist always looks a bit clever because he's got so many strings and apparently knows what to do with them. The drummer is the backbone of the band and is the real underrated one. Mmm ... Bass players ... mmm … Alejo Parella: you had the chance to be in an independent label as Factory for many years and also signed to a major label afterwards. what do you think is the best and worst aspect of both and what would be your advice to a new artist considering how the music industry is nowadays? Alejo Parella, Buenos Aires, Argentina BS: All record labels are great if you are making money for them. If you’re not? Well things are a little different. Factory was great because they didn't know what they were doing and we didn't know what we were doing, but somehow we did it. I have to say in a different way, Warners / London were also great and we tended to get paid which of course is always an unexpected bonus. Shane Clarke: Hi guys, Now you've got to grips with the new technology for publicising your work (Myspace / Twitter, etc) and have had the chance to interact with your fans, have you been surprised by what you've found? Cheers, Shane BS: Hi Shane. I'm interacting right now. I like it really. Most of the time we have to communicate through journalists. This is often coloured by a journalist's perception of what we are, some times he's right sometimes he's wrong. It's nice to have a direct communication so you can make your own mind up. However I don't have tons of time to twitter and all that so my communication is pretty minimal at the moment. "He was a man of few words,” etc. Shaun Hutchinson: How difficult was it to make the transition from eating Tripe and Findus Crispy Cheese Pancakes in Lower Broughton in the 70's to having to eat organic, Fairtrade sun-dried tomatoes in the leafy suburbs? Many Thanks shiveringgoat BS: Well what makes you think I don't still eat Tripe and Findus Crispy Cheese Pancakes, not to mention the Brains frozen faggots, pop tarts and goblin steak and kidney puddings? If it was good enough to eat in the 70s, it's good enough to eat now! It's better than all this foreign muck they have us eating now, like that sour milk stuff I believe it's called Yoghurt!