Things You’d Love To Know About The Band – Suede

Names
Names have meanings, and it’s always interesting to find out what some names mean, especially their names….
>> Brett : Originally from Britain.
>> Mat : God’s gift [indeed!].
>> Neil : The champion [correct!].
>> Richard : The great conqueror [in guitar world, surely!].
>> Simon : God is listening.
>> Alex : Protector of mankind.
>> Bernard : Bold as a bear.

How Tall Are They?
>> Brett : 6′
>> Mat : 6’5″
>> Neil : 5’10”
>> Richard : 5’8″
>> Simon : 5’10”

What Size [UK] Are Their Shoes?
>> Brett : 8
>> Mat : 10
>> Neil : 9.5
>> Richard : 8
>> Simon : 9.5

listen to the music in their heads
Brett:
David Bowie, Tricky, Kate Bush, Prince, Pet Shop Boys, The Jam, The Smiths, Sex Pistols, Crass, Super Furry Animals, REM, Sheryl Crow, “that Jennifer Paige single [Crush]”, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Radiohead, Jesus & Mary Chain, The Go-Betweens, Spiritualized, Manic Street Preachers, Nirvana, Happy Mondays, Asian Dub Foundation, the Beatles, Stone Roses, the Rolling Stones, Strangelove, Supergrass, Pink Floyd.

Richard:
The Clash, Longpigs, The Fall, Strangelove, Magazine, Supergrass, Portishead, Manic Street Preachers.

Simon:
When he was guest of honour of Popscene, on Monday, 1st December ’97 on Student radio Network, played these songs:
1. Implement Yeah – Suede
2. God Save The Queen – Sex Pistols
3. Deanna – Nick Cave
4. Come As You Are – Nirvana
5. Jackson – Nancy Sinatra
6. Love You – Syd Barrett
7. Sorrow – David Bowie
8. Another Girl, Another Planet – The Only Ones
9. No More Heroes – the Stranglers
10. Help – the Damned
11. Nancy Boy – Placebo
12. Frog Princess – Divine Comedy

Neil:
The discs currently spinning round on the turntable of Neil Codling:
1. Mercury Rev “Deserter’s Songs”
2. Super Furry Animals “Radiator”
3. “that Jurassic 5 thing”
4. The Go-Betweens “Liberty Belle And the Black Diamond Express”
5. Serge Gainsbourg “The Ballad Of Melody Nelson”
6. Belle & Sebastian “The Boy With the Arab Strap”
7. Bob Dylan “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid O.S.T.”
8. Talk Talk “The Colour Of Spring”
9. Various Artists “Northern Soul”
10. Various Artists “Banging Techno”

Mat:
“I was always a radio person myself, taping stuff off the Top 40.”

Interesting Facts
In the USA, Suede are known as The London Suede. ‘Thanks’ to Suzanne DeBronkart [who? click for more info], a Washington-based lounge singer who had used the name Suede for her records. She even had the name trademarked! She sued the band after both artists’ fans got them mixed up in gigs and record buying. The band don’t like that name but they have to use it or else they’ll be exiled out of the States.

Suede members are vegetarians, except Richard and Mat. Richard thinks that vegetarian lifestyle is too modern for him while Mat eats fish sometimes.

Richard used to dye his hair black to fit with the band, but not anymore now.

Every Suede member watches the British soap opera East Enders every evening.

Simon is the only member who prefers dogs to cats. The other members, including ex-member Bernard Butler, like cats as their pets.

Brett, Neil and Mat love soccer while Richard and Simon hate it. Neil loves Aston Villa since he was seven and he idolizes Peter Withe. They even sponsored an under-12s team Kingshurst Allstars from Birmingham. Why the team? The coach of the team, Ian Gorton, is the brother of the man who married Simon’s sister. He and Simon met up and chatted about the team at the particular wedding, and that’s how Suede became sponsors of the team.

Everyone in Suede smokes, except Richard. However, his bandmates point him out as the one who drinks the most.

Brett revealed once that Neil always counts his walk to his keyboard onstage so that he will sit right when it’s his turn to play. Neil smokes between songs and he likes to stare at the back of the room. Neil often looks bored on stage, but he really likes touring and performing.

Suede’s opening song for their gigs used to be Paganini Rhapsody [Var. 18] by Rachmaninov, but since 2001 they replaced it with the instrumental version of Simon.

Suede have a very interesting stage act. In the old days, Brett would slap his arse, flap his hands and do unusual things with his microphone stand; but now it has all been replaced by Brett’s clapping – one to the left, two to the right. His old stage acts were parodied everywhere including in Spitting Image. Brett also likes to spin his microphone around, probably causing worries among his bandmates already that the microphone would hit them. Suede usually arrange themselves in the same position on stage: Brett would stand in the front middle, with Richard on his left and Neil sitting on his right, while Simon’s drum kit lays behind him and Mat stands on Simon’s right.

They don’t get enough sleep on tours. Most of Suede would be found at 2 am in the hotel bar. Neil often found at early in the morning in the lobby. That’s why Mat said he could sleep for days on his spare time.

Off their tours they spend many times together. However they won’t be found easily hanging around London streets. Simon confessed once in an interview that they would go round each other’s house having crazy drug parties. He also admitted that they listen to their own music almost exclusively.

Brett’s longtime girlfriend, Sam, was immortalised on a Suede b-side entitled – what else – Sam. She can be seen in the beginning of Introducing The Band video tape; or the advertising of Spice Girls’ deodorant.

Brett and Richard were doing guest vocals on Strangelove’s album, Love And Other Demons. They appeared in two songs: She’s Everywhere and Living With the Human Machines. Richard played strings on Living With the Human Machines, Beautiful Alone, Sway, and Spiders & Flies. And now, guess what – an ex-member of Strangelove has become a member of Suede: Alex Lee.

About Their Albums
Coming Up
Bonus tracks in the US version of Coming Up are:
1. She [Tivoli Theatre, Dublin for MTV’s Live And Direct on September 10th 1996, free for Irish fanbase]
2. By The Sea [Midfyns Fest, July 5th 1996 for 60.000 revellers]
3. Europe Is Our Playground [Tokyo, July 28th 1996]
4. Saturday Night [Same show as She]
5. Killing Of A Flashboy
6. Lazy

About Their Songs
In the beginning of So Young, Brett was saying: “She can start to walk out when she wants….”
Sweet FA in Sleeping Pills is an English saying in which FA stands for Fuck All (=nothing).
Winterland, mentioned in Introducing The Band is a concert venue where Sex Pistols held their last gig.

The Power was originally set to be the next single of Dog Man Star. They didn’t do it in the end because they didn’t want to expose Bernard’s departure any further. The b-side prepared for the single, Have You Ever Been This Low? was then featured in Trash.

In the end of The Asphalt World, we can hear a clip from an old movie… this is rumoured to be a sample from Alfred Hitchcock’s movie titled The Birds.

Trash is a very romantic song for Brett, and as he said it’s quite an autobiography for him.

Lazy is like Trash, about two people in the morning, watching the procession of other people from the window.

In By The Sea:
Seven Sisters is actually a place in London.

She is about female feline power, which is dark, quite sexual and sinister.

Picnic By The Motorway: Brett used to go on picnics with his aunt and uncle while he was younger, bringing boiled eggs and sandwiches. They would stop on the lay-by somewhere heading to Cromer, and he would have these strange imagination about cars crashing and people sipping their tea.

In Lonely Girls: “Tracy still hears 808 ringing in her brain.” 808 refers to the old rave band 808 State.

The song title WSD stands for We’re So Disco. It was written years ago by Brett in his tiny flat before Suede had really started. They played it on their early days but the song didn’t do too good.

The title Asda Town is actually a supermarket chain in England while Whipsnade is really a natural reserve in Bedfordshire, England.

In Europe Is Our Playground:
Heathrow is the international airport in London.
Hounslow is a borough in London (in Middlesex).
The Eastern Block is the Warsaw Pact countries.
France and Spain are countries, I think we’ve all heard of.
Camber Sands is a place in East Sussex.

Sad songs that were mentioned in These Are The Sad Songs:
Lay Lady Lay by Bob Dylan
Band of Gold by Frida
A Day in the Life by the Beatles
And Dream of Sheep by Kate Bush
Seasons by Robert Wyatt
Vincent by Don McLean
Death Disco by Public Image Limited
Venus in Furs by Velvet Underground
Occasional Dream by David Bowie
Sign o the Times by Prince
Bill is Dead by The Fall
Lazyitis by Happy Mondays
Big Louise by Scott Walker

working titles
Dog Man Star had several working titles like Old Man’s Car, National Anthems and Sci-Fi Lullabies. It is also rumoured that they almost named the album Misery due to Bernard’s departure.

A New Morning, this name was inspired by the movie Amelie from Montmartre. This album had working titles such as Instant Sunshine [a background line in the song Lost in TV] and Subject to Nicotine Stains [more of a joke, really].
The first pressing [limited edition] of this album contains a special bonus track You Belong to Me as well as a hidden track: Oceans, which will also be available in regular version.
With this CD fans can access alternate versions of each track that was produced by Tony Hoffer, on the internet.

Bentswood Boys was Acoustic Cakes while Together was Electric Cakes. This is from a polite nickname given to Richard by his bandmates: cakes.

So Young was Stonesy and then Let’s Chase The Dragons.
To the Birds was The Bike Tragedy.
The Big Time was Samba.
The Living Dead was Oboe.
We Are The Pigs was EAG.
Heroine was A Man’s Song.
New Generation was Losing Myself.
This Hollywood Life was Trashy.
Whipsnade was Plinky Plonky.
Beautiful Ones was Dead Leg/GBH.
Starcrazy was Tiswas.
Saturday Night was Ballad Idea.
Trash was Pisspot.
Another No One was Elaine Page.
He’s Gone was John Pong.
Electricity was Stompy.
Untitled was Bony.