Mark E. Smith
Hello. I’m Mark E. Smith from the Vaults. Good evening. Good morning. I’m not a musician.
You’re not a musician?
Mark E. Smith
No, I’m classed as a musician, but I’m not. I class myself as a sort of songwriter first and foremost, really. And engineer, producer. No, I sort of tell musicians what to do, really.
Art is good if you’re very pure about it, and I think there’s a difference between art and arty, I think, and artful. Artful is, you know, sort of arty, but art is a skill. But I mean, British Art is the best in the world. I think it’s just not exposed enough. It’s very under-cover. You know, my married sister is a very good artist but she doesn’t like it to be shown, and all this crap, you know. And she doesn’t want one or two covers to me, you know. Everybody from business man to bloody cocaine dealer I know in Manchester, the sister or the brother is an artist, but they just don’t go out and do it. They are as good as anybody I’ve ever seen, I must say. And so I don’t think British Art will ever be dead. I think it’s a good outlet.
I mean, somebody like Grayson Perry, whatever his name is, is very good, I think. Tapestries and all that. I mean, he’s got it more like, down like women’s scene, I think, you know what I mean? Well, I know he dresses up for it, but I mean, what he’s doing is very much like what my sister would do. It’s very, very good. I think it’s marvellous, his stuff.
It’s amazing what they read into the lyrics, for instance. Most painters, Anthony Frost and people like that. They say things to me that I wouldn’t never even have thought of, know what I mean? Sometimes it bounces back, I get ideas off them. I think what it is with The Fall, it’s open to interpretation, I think, so it helps them to sort of use the brushes quite freely. ‘I only paint to your music,’ ‘I only draw to your music.’ Quite a strange thing, really. So you wonder, you know, what other kinds of music do you like – do you like all other kinds of music? But they only paint to the Fall, or something like this. So it would be like on a building site or something. Music while you work! Painters.
I know this, I know that. Here’s my list. Therefore I am. I mean, all these art schools, groups that came from art school. This is all like the Who and Beatles. The Who and Beatles came from art schools in the Sixties. So the dads say to them, ‘So you’re from an art school or something.’ It’s sort of pseudo-art, and there’s nothing worse than a half-educated man. ut I mean, the Talking Heads did start like that.
I like it. He (Wyndham Lewis) doesn’t seem to like any of his subjects or anything. Have you ever noticed? I used to dislike him intensely. He’s got all these society women like this. Self-portrait when he’s like this. I like all that Blast shit, you know, with the writer… which has obviously, I think, influenced me a bit on that. That Hex Enduction, you know, blast France, blast London, and all this…
Anybody recalls about ‘Rotting Hill’ – remember what that was, right?
So Michael Clark threw steel on his head when he was in the front of our audience. Did you know that? He used to go to all our gigs, apparently, and stand in the front row And Michael Clark sort of fell in, and he did this – he danced through to here, and he got this steel and he threw it into the audience and it hit Damien Hirst right smack on the head. He was in full front again! Clark’s fault. Maybe that’s what made him more crazy. Didn’t know that – that’s a good start innit?