(The Interview CD)
Neil and Chris talk about their new album Release.
Release year: 2002.
1. This new CD, 'Release', is very much song driven, and seems to feature more 'real' instruments than perhaps before?
2. 'Home and dry', is definitely a story in song. Tell us about the musical structure.
3. And this track features the vocoder type effect on the vocals that has done so well for Cher in recent times
4. So in detail, what's different about the songs on this album? Track 2 is called 'I get along'. Sounds like a love song?
5. Track 3 is 'Birthday boy'. Is this a Christmas song?
6. 2001 was marked forever by what the Americans now call '9/11'. Did the Trade Center attacks have any effect on this album at all?
7. The Pet Shop Boys have travelled a lot throughout Europe; and you've been to Russia quite a bit.
8. And you've got a track, called 'London', on the new CD that's about a couple of Russians who escape to the UK
9. Now, if anybody was going to write a love song for the World Wide Web Generation, it had to be the Pet Shop Boys. 'E-mail', it's called, and anyone who's ever been away from loved ones and home country will beable to relate to the song.
10. Now, when I hear that ('E-mail'), the intro has a flavour of your 80's hit, 'West end girls', about it.
11. The World Wide Web: does it plan an important part in your lives?
12. The next track is 'Samurai in Autumn'. It would be instrumental, except for just one line of lyric.
13. Current TV, certainly in the UK, seems obsessed with young people trying to achieve a moment's fame or notoriety (Pop Idol, Big Brother, etc.). You've been around for 20 years now. How does this grasping for fame strike you?
14. Track 7 seems to me to be the fulcrum for the whole album. 'Love is a catastrophe' is dramatic, tragic, epic, possibly the finest moment of the year in music. It's about loss, seperation, even death.
15. Now, and not before time, we come to the contribution made by visiting guitar star, Johnny Marr. He's got some lovely sounds on 'Release'.
16. Having checked out the website, where the titles - and lyrics - of all your songs are to be found, I discovered that you have 140 songs in your repertoire. Remarkable!
17. Track 8, 'Here', is about home. Having one, wanting to have one, needing to understand the importance of one (whenever and whatever it might be)?
18. Track 9. Now, we could be forgiven for thinking that this track ('The night I fell in love') is about a school boy going backstage at an Eminem concert. He meets the rapper; goes back to the hotel; enjoys a night of passion; and pops off to school after breakfast. Have I go that right??
19. This album really seems to emphasise the importance of story in song: the Narrative element.
20. Track 10 of 10, and it's a love song. How very suitable! They've been about loss of love; seperation; anxiety about love. But about love above all.
21. So, a fine 8th album, (excluding mixes and re-workings). As you look back over the career, is there anything you regret? The stage musical, 'Closer to Heaven', took a vast amount of time and effort, but was not treated kindly by some critics, and closed earlier then you would have hoped. Sorry you did it?