Dotmusic interview

Dotmusic website - July 1999
Interviewer unknown


Twenty-one years after forming Scritti Politti, Green Gartside is back with his first new work since 1991. As innovative and striking as ever, he blends everything from rock to rap to soul. While his new album 'Anomie & Bonhomie' is undoubtedly a pop record, it also has strong rap influences. Thus the remixers on debut single 'Tinseltown To The Boogiedown' include Pyscho Les (The Beatnuts), Ali Shaheed Mohammed (A Tribe Called Quest), Pete Rock and Rob Swift (The Executioners). Green told dotmusic what he's been up to since 1991:

"After rushing around the world in the mid-Eighties with 'Cupid & Psyche 85', which was a huge album, it was the same old story about then going straight into the next record without having had enough time off and making a totally disappointing record, 'Provision'."

"The final straw was having to then go and promote something that you don't really like. That's totally soul destroying. I died a bit more every day. Doing a radio interview in Oregon and it would be like, 'Hey, it's Green. Let's play your new record.' I'd be sitting there thinking this is awful. So by 1989 I came back to Britain, went to Wales, and was like, 'See you later'. Split with my girlfriend, split with my management. Didn't speak to Dave Gamson from Scritti or any other musicians for years and years. Total withdrawal, just living in a cottage in Wales."

"However, I continued to listen to hip-hop. I'd come up to London to buy records and go back to my cottage. Eventually the desire to make my own beats was overwhelming and that's what got the better of me. I just did tons and tons and eventually I thought I'd like to do it again and experience what it was like to go into the studio again properly. So I called Dave Gamson up and asked whether he wanted to produce and he said yes. It was Davewho got Me'Shell Ndegocello in to play bass."

"Aside from rap I'd got back into guitar because of these things coming out of America like Foo Fighters and Pavement. The one way of tying all those different influences together and stop it sounding like a complete dog's breakfast was to make it a guitar, bass and drum record with rappers like Mos Def on top."

"This time round I won't take it so seriously. If the record gets dissed it's the record they're dissing, not me. In the past I used to dread success and failure in equal measure. If someone said something good I'd feel I wasn't worthy and vice versa. This time I won't take it so much to heart."