Music Q&A: Theatre of Hate

Kirk Brandon, frontman of the 1980s post-punk band, chats ahead of a new tour playing Sheffield, York and Manchester before Blackpool's Rebellion Festival in August

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What informs your music and songwriting?
The songs have many themes to them, cross-references in them too. A lot have historical references to them. People, places. Sometimes I’ve written about the women that have affected my life, but a gentleman never pins a name. A lot of places carry an emotional charge for me – this also finds its way into them. Some by accident, some by design. No escape from your own footprints.

How have you evolved as an artist over the years?
For myself I’d find that incredibly hard to assess. What limited amount of wisdom I’ve gained, like most people, always comes with a cost. A lot of my lessons have been learned uphill backwards. I may have many regrets, but ultimately I refuse to live in the past – a country no one can go back to.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
I’ve begun writing the new Theatre of Hate album. I have six or seven songs but as yet no narratives or themes. Lyrics are always the hardest to write. You will be judged by them. Worse than that, you’ll judge yourself by them.

What’s on your rider?
Becks, Morretti. Pussers Rum.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
Took pink microdot at 18, gone for three months. I’ve written about it in the memoirs I’m writing. It changed my tiny mind forever.

What song do you wish you’d written?
Bodies by the Sex Pistols. One of, if not the greatest guitar intros ever, by Steve Jones. That and the Gimme Shelter intros are the best ever.

What’s your worst lyric?
I’ve had more than a few. All My Love makes me cringe. What started out as a semi-decent song ended up as a mockery. CBS Records loved it and “did me a great favour” by releasing it as a single. But I was the muppet who wrote it. Doh!!!

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