The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

ANDREW ELDRICH

THE EVER ENIGMATIC FRONTMAN AND CREATIVE FORCE BEHIND THE LEGENDARY SISTERS OF MERCY

TALKS TO MARK ABOUT THEIR FIRST TRIP DOWNUNDER, THE POSSIBILITY OF A NEW ALBUM AND SEAFOOD SUPPERS...

 

 

SISTERS OF MERCY
www.therockpit.net INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW ELDRICH
FEBRUARY 2012

 

 
Mark: One of the first shows I ever stood outside and listened to because I was too young to get in was the Sisters many years ago in Nottingham on (actually 2nd May 1984), by the time I was 18 you’d stopped touring and then a series of unfortunate events meant I never got to see the Sisters live! The curse of moving to Australia! What do you have planned for this new audience?

 

 

Andrew: We love playing new places that have fewer preconceived ideas about us. We’ll be playing a choice selection of the band’s biggest hits – some harder, some faster, some slower, some groovier – and a smattering of new songs that we’ve been working on for anything between three months and twelve years. With the usual liberal dose of onstage smoke and mirrors.

 

 

Mark: How did the invite to Australia and Soundwave come about?

 

 

Andrew: Book us, and we shall come. Remember to pay us enough and give Ben enough oranges.

 


 
Mark:  Are there any other bands on the festival bill that you are looking forward to checking out?

 

 

Andrew: Chris is buzzing about seeing Devin Townsend and Kvelertak. Ben wants to see Bush and Biohazard. Andrew’s looking forward to a nice seafood supper.

 

 

Mark:  Any preconceptions of Australia that you would like to shatter on this visit?

 

 

Andrew: None whatsoever. Our only preconceptions about Australia involve fine weather, good beer, amazing seafood and very attractive people. We wouldn’t like any of those to be shattered, thank you very much.

 


 
Mark:  It’s great to see you playing some of your own dates too especially at iconic venues like The Corner Hotel in Melbourne. Are you looking forward to an expanded set at a decent hour?

 

 

Andrew: Yes, very much. Although we’re looking forward to the festivals (big stage, headline set, big kahunas), it’s sometimes difficult to get your point across in a shorter set. The headline gigs will be under our steam with two different sets designed to take the roof off the place. Metaphorically speaking of course. If the roof came off, all of the smoke would disappear.

 


 
Mark:  I always saw the Sisters as a Rock and Roll band first and foremost but movements have grown out of very little but timing and buzz-words before. How does it feel to have spawned the entire Goth movement that may have moved on since the eighties, but is still relatively alive and well today?

 

 

Andrew: We just do what we do. We are lucky enough to have fans from all walks of life. One gratifying thing during the recent dates was seeing kids with Mohawks down the front with their dads. The problem with a lot of other bands is that they often spectacularly miss the point, while we carry on wishing we were Motorhead. Or Hawkwind. Or Ramones. Or Pink Floyd, on a particularly good/bad day.

 


 
Mark:  I must put my hands up to owning a good few of your early vinyl releases. Your own label and self-releasing singles as you did in the early80’s seems to be something that the music industry is revisiting these days. Do you have big plans for Merciful Release?

 

 

Andrew: Not at the moment. It’s a lot of hard work.

 


 
Mark: You always had a way with wonderful cover versions whether it be: 'Gimme Shelter', ‘Jolene’ or Hot Chocolate's 'Emma'(always my favourite, a great song) are there any in the repertoire this tour or any new ones you’re thinking of tinkering with?

 

 

Andrew: We have a long list of covers which we like to bring up every now and then. No doubt we’ll pull a few of those out of the bag in the longer gigs.

 


 
Mark: How did you feel about the imitators that very quickly seemed to grow up around the Sisters? Were any of them any good?

 

 

Andrew: As I said before, we just do what we do. What other people get up to is their business.

 

 

Mark: How do you get on with ex-Sisters these days?

 

 

Andrew: As I said before, we just do what we do. What other people get up to is their business.

 

 

Mark:  The Sisters last album of all new material came out over 20 years ago now. I know there have been historical problems with labels that probably meant we got less material than we wanted to hear, but did you ever stop writing for a prolonged period?

 

 

Andrew: We never stop writing.

 

 

Mark:  Sum up the whole WEA / East West story in a couple of sentences?

 

 

Andrew:  Stupid people with limited world view forget how to do their job.

 

 

Mark:  Will there be another Sisters release and in this day and age does the album format itself still have any relevance?

 

 

Andrew:  I don’t know. We’re quite happy moving along under our own steam doing the concerts that we like to do and the occasional festival. That said, we never say never.

 

 

Mark:  I know there is new unrecorded material out there what will we be hearing Down under in addition to the classics?

 

 

Andrew: A smattering of new stuff, some of which isn’t that new anymore, but will be to you. And the odd odd cover.

 


Mark:  Where do you see music heading over the next ten years?

 

 

Andrew:  Further up its own arse, I’d imagine, but further away from the labels. The kids are taking the power back, but unfortunately the kids aren’t politicised, so we’re not going to see a new punk rock, which I was very hopeful for five or six years ago.

 

 

Mark: You seemed to be touring a lot over the last few years though there was a break in 2010-2011, what was happening on the Sisters front then?

 

 

Andrew: Sometimes you just need a break.

 

 

Mark:  If you could have been involved in the creation of any piece of music at any point in time what would it have been and why?

 

 

Andrew: Ramones – It’s Alive. A brilliant live affair, non-stop punk rock and roll.

 

 

Mark:  What are you plans musically for the rest of 2012?

 

 

Andrew: To have a bit of a break.

 

 

Mark: Where is the best place to go to keep up with all things Sisters of Mercy?

 

 

Andrew: A gig. Or the bar, afterwards. Or Ben’s bunk, even later on...

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to speak to The Rockpit. We’re looking forward to catching you at Soundwave.

 

 

CATCH THE SISTERS OF MERCY SIDEWAVES:


Tue February 28, 2012
Corner Hotel, Melbourne ** Sold Out**

Second Headline Show
Thu March 1, 2012
Corner Hotel, Melbourne

 

 

 

Andrew Eldrich spoke to Mark Diggins February 2012