Bernard Sumner Answers Your Questions

Posted: by jade | 15 Comments »

Categorized: News

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!

15 Responses to “Bernard Sumner Answers Your Questions”

  1. Eduardo says:

    Hey guys, one simple question:

    What do you think about the “Trent Reznor system” to give away music? I mean, putting records for free is a risk in some ways. We will expect something similar with Bad Lieutenant in a future?

    Greets from Chile. BERNARD, YOU’RE THE MAN!

  2. Adam says:

    What is your favourite synth of all time?

  3. Mauro Iemolo says:

    Hi Barney, and thanks for all the Beauty and Emotion you’ve shared with us in over 30 years.

    My question is: what phase of New Order’s career was the most exciting to you, and what is the New Order’s record that you prefer, and why.

    Thank you, and good luck!


  4. patrik forssell says:

    Hi – thanks for a great album! Will you release any of the remixes of “sink or swim? regards Patrik

  5. Ana says:


    Were you thinking of having a female vocal too? I remember how Ana Matronic was a refreshing moment with then New Order…

  6. Fabiola Leyton says:

    Hi Barney
    I want to know if its possible another gig to south america, now with bad lieutenant.
    Fabiola Leyton
    Santiago de Chile.

  7. Ramon says:

    Hi Bernard:
    two questions I’ve always been curious about: one, what does it feel like being a legend; you know, someone who has made a huge impact in the world of music? And two, whatever happened to Manicured Noise, the awesome band from the 70′s which people have forgotten? Are they still around? Thanks for your time and all the incredible music. Ramon

  8. Hi,
    wasn’t too sure about the album after the first play.
    Love it now! constantly on “heavy rotation” in the car and on the ipod.

    stand out tracks for me are :

    summer days
    poisonous intent (wonder what this song is about?)

    And current fave – This is home

    Very impressed with mr evans’ vocal abilities.

    I Currently have my own New Order website,namely and have recently purchased a new domain and webhosting package.The site name is neworder********,well i aint telling,all will be revealed in due course! lol

    The new site build had recently commenced and will be ready when i get my lazy ass in gear and get it finished!

    Please feel free to visit my current site and leave a message on my shout box,if you wish.

    Some more BL gigs would be nice!



  9. Mullen says:

    Thanks for answering the questions , now I am wondering when are the

    leftover’s from WFTSC sessions coming out, I can’t wait.

    WFTSC was a very good album & Never Cry Another Tear is a great album too.

    Bernard Sumner is a genius and I hope he makes more music along the way.

  10. Eugeni_o says:

    Barney we love you here in South America, please come back soon!

  11. Mozportugal says:

    Hi Bernard!!! I´m a Joy Division/New Order long time fan, since the eighties. For me you are one of the best musicians in the world. First and last time i saw you performing was in Lisbon at the Super Bock Super Rock Festival in 2005. I wonder if you are considering the chance to perform in Portugal again, soon with your new band? Please come to Oporto in the north of Portugal! Cheers and i hope to see you soon.

  12. Steve says:

    I am more than happy to pay for the music you guys make along with other artist. If it helps to keep you lot active then the better as you deserve every cent. Keep up the great work.

  13. Cathy says:

    Hi Bernard!

    I just finished reading David Nolan’s book about you and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Your comments throughout the book added much more credibility to it, although at times I wondered “is Bernard not commenting here because he agrees with the written word or is he not commenting on purpose to leave the reader wondering?”

    Thank you for the amazing music over the years, I do hope that Bad Lieutenant makes it to the States. Please come to Texas!

  14. Paul Mckenna says:

    Hello Bernard, Unfortunately I’ve missed the recent shows in the UK supporting PSB as I was working overseas, Gutted!from what i hear they were great. I’m really enjoying the Single and Album. Great to know that you are still going for it!

    I’ve been living in Stockport for the past 17 years(not far from Strawberry as it happens) and have always been fascinated with the music and life of JD,NO,Electronic and now a fresh Bad Lieutenant. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks reading Confusion,Tony’s Bio by David Nolan,and now Peter’s book. All fascinating and all very different.

    My question, I’ve just read Cathy’s question above mine about you’re comments in confusion. I was wondering what it’s like reading about youself?, I imagine you must have found some of the book hard to read so does it make you want to put your point of view down in full?. I loved the comments you made in response but would love to hear more.

    You must be very proud of the work you have achieved over the past 30 years or so and there must be so many great stories’s to tell, I would love to think that you would consider working with Peter and Stephen to get it down on paper.

    I know Bad Lieutenant will be a success as I know that you put 100% into anything you do for us the fans. I wish you all the very best in 2010

    Great that you’ve taken the time to talk to the fans directly I may add

    All the best Paul

  15. Clem WF says:

    Dear Bernard,

    I am currently at the University of Leeds studying Popular and World Musics. I am writing my dissertation on the Madchester scene and was wondering if I could ask you some questions regarding your experiences at the time.

    Would be great if you could email me to allow me to go ahead….

    Thank you so much and looking forward to hearing from you,