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Interview: Suede talks first U.S. concert in 14 years, reunion, new album
What the U.K. rockersâ€™ frontman Brett Anderson wants you to see at Coachella
Brett Anderson swears that his band Suede isn’t making some big cash-in by coming to America, that performing at Coachella actually means the U.K. rockers will be “making a loss.”
Perhaps that's one deterrent that's kept the band from American shores for 14 years?
“No kidding,” he laughs. “And we’re beyond honored.”
The London Suede reunited only a year ago -- after splitting in November 2003 -- and toured in their native region and at festivals around Europe. But it was 1997 when they last performed here. The streak ends this coming weekend.
“Coachella is just one of those festivals, with an amazing reputation. It’s getting stronger as a name on the world stage. It just seemed like a good place to end a 14 year silence,” Anderson continues.
He describes the experience of playing out again as “dipping our toe in the water,” to gauge the experience if there will be a more extensive tour in the future. And it couldn’t come at a more optimal time. A double-album collection “Best Of” was released just last month, and their five albums “Suede,” “Dog Man Star,” “Coming Up,” “Head Music” and “A New Morning” are getting the remastering and reissue treatment for a drop in June.
Anderson says he spent three months earlier this year going back through all the album tracks, then old tapes and photographs, material to add as deluxe extras. He called his archival activities one of his “obsessions… I loved every second of it.”
“I didn’t want to airbrush the parts out [of the recordings] that I didn’t like. It’s a very honest collection of stuff, warts and all… all the lo-fi demos and things, from the early ‘90s. Remember, you didn’t have Logic or GarageBand then.”
As for new material, he concludes that London Suede is “definitely thinking about” making another record, insofar that they’re currently writing new songs.
“That doesn’t guarantee there will be a Suede record. We won’t put out a substandard Suede record, I wouldn’t bother releasing it. But we have no managers, no labels. We have indie things to think about.”
It helps that time has healed some old wounds, band infighting and friction of personal creative directions that blistered the interpersonals.
“I think we have a lot more respect for each other. It takes time and distance to see what you’ve lost or missed in a relationship,” Anderson says, concluding that seven years did the trick for the “touring lineup” of Rich Oakes, Neil Codling, Simon Gilbert and Mat Osman.
He adds that, for former collaborator and longtime member Bernard Butler, touring with Suede again would be “the last thing he wants,” conceding Butler’s busy with producing the remasters and other acts these days.
So with a full lineup in place, Anderson says he’s gained clarity on Suede’s objective with this weekend’s fest and other tour stops this summer.
After pouring over the old recordings and years of separation, “You get a real strong sense of where you went wrong and where you went right. I’ve so much more perspective. It’s incredibly powerful, I can see what the amazing Suede songs are,” he says. “Coming back, I want to play to our rock heritage. We’re a snarling punk rock band. That’s the side we’re going to show.”
Check out all of Suede’s overseas festival tour dates here.