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The crucial question one comes back to is the examination; without that experience is meaningless. And I think it's true that society is becoming more and more passive, less and less fired up with enthusiasm, in many spheres.
Actually I think Art lies in both directions - the broad strokes, big picture but on the other hand the minute examination of the apparently mundane. Seeing the whole world in a grain of sand, that kind of thing.
I do flip between being chatty and argumentative - and being a psycho-loner werewolf.
More people seem to know the Van der Graaf Generator material than my solo work - thanks, I suppose, to their parents' lingering vinyl collections.
I continue to believe, contrary to the given wisdom, that it's more interesting to have an album - or, indeed, an individual song - which has variety rather than homogeneity.
I suppose, in a way, one could say I may be less interested in my career than the audience is. Not to mean that I'm disinterested in my career, but I don't see it in terms of one stepping stone or, 'Now I'm going to go into my blue phase,' or what have you.
Being used to scientific terminology and theory it was always natural for me to push this stuff into songs.
I had then and still retain an interest in science for its own sake and as a metaphor for our current lives.
If you're going to have a heart attack, mine was the kind to have. I'm thankful that it hasn't affected my output or my capacity to perform. And it has given me a lot to think and write about.
So I, for one, didn't feel alienated by what happened in 77.
Marc Almond has done a couple of covers, a few people in Europa have done them. I own all the publishing. It's never really been addressed, as I haven't had the time to go out and tout the songs.
Seriously, these days I tend to shut up in terms of external analysis and DO try to let things speak for themselves, while still trying to get some depth into them.
It costs so much to promote something these days that almost always safety is the preferred option, reference back to things which have been successful in the past. Also, people are simply not given the time to develop and find themselves and their audience as we were.
I had a vision of myself as a novelist because that was where I could be serious. I couldn't with music.
The passage of time is a continuing thing. At 18, you're going to live forever, and you are definitely not at 52, so that is a recurring topic. I still think it's the main stuff.
To be honest, I don't know really what I do on stage.
I'm not sure that Jesuits ever produce faithful Catholics. Because they're too fierce. It is Sturm und Drang, and it is guilt - it is all that battlefield stuff.
My dictum has always been: 'This show is happening just here, just tonight, with these people who are in this hall, and nobody knows what's going to happen until it's done.'
My mother was from West Bromwich; my grandfather was Pakistani. I had an aunt who started trying to trace the family tree and stopped when she saw what turned up.
There's always a Van der Graaf audience that wants to hear the band's sound. And totally fair enough. Why not? It's a band. You like the band, you like the band.
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We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.
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