a short site about The Divine Comedy

Divine Comedy Webchat

The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon will be chatting live to fans on dotmusic today (October 31) at 5PM.

Following the news last week that the current line-up were to split after the current series of live dates, Neil will be speaking for the first time about the demise of the band and what the future holds for himself.

Get your questions in now to grill Mr Hannon about the recent 'Regeneration' album and his plans for the next incarnation of The Divine Comedy.

Welcome to the dotmusic chat with Divine Comedy

the grim reefer from oldham asks: is it weird being out on your own? are you frightened or invigorated?

Neil: Umm I'm not completely out on my own just yet we still have seven dates in Ireland to do so I'm afraid I can't tell you what it feels like to be going solo just yet

Maisie Q from London asks: Loved your contributions to Father Ted. Any more soundtrack work in the pipeline?

Neil: I haven't had any TV offers in a while um..so feel free!! Although I'm currently talking to many people about ideas for musicals

abi from essex asks: anyone exciting you musically at the moment???

Neil: I'm excited musically by current acts such as John Cage, Tom Lehrer, John Coltrane and Col Portman. From the old-garde, I've been mainly listening to The Strokes

Kieran F. Hallahan from Ireland asks: Its more of a request actually, Please Neil could you record and release your version of Mr. Blue Sky by ELO as the live version I heard you play was genius &I know if you released it, you would reap immediate benifits! Cheers! K.

Neil: (mini debate!) um...we have a recording from when we used to play it with the orchestra but there were some technical difficulties with Pinkie's backing vocals

Lucy from Ely asks: Nice beard... do you consider this an essential preparation for fatherhood?

Neil: I only grow beards at times of stress - make of that what you will......

Helen from Doncaster asks: What do you think of your fans? Do you think we're mad, sad, both or something else?

Neil: something else!! I love all my fans to bits. I wish I could take them home with me and feed them tea and cake!

anonymous from nowhere asks: will we see a mini-acoustic tour in the UK?

Neil: No plans at present. Who knows how I shall perform in the future.....

ben from london asks: have you got a favourite DC album to date and why

Neil: I usually say I love them all like children, but at this moment some of my kids have fallen out of favour and little Jimmy Promenade is getting a lot of attention and making his brothers and sisters a little jealous!

Tracy from York asks: Do you feel frustrated by the lack of airplay the current single is getting on the radio?


neils beard from scotland asks: what are your best memories from your time in the Divine Comedy?

Neil: too many to mention....mmm maybe I'll write a book one day and we'll see just how much fun it all was....

Helen from Doncaster asks: Hello Neil. Are you going to keep recording under the Divine Comedy name or are you going to go for something different?

Neil: Everybody seems to be trying to make this decision for me at the moment - one way or another, but I refuse to have to make that decision until I feel confident in my answer.

Luis from Portugal asks: hey Neil! don't you think you should've stayed in an independent label to avoid pressure on you?

Neil: No. there you go..

MaisieQ from London asks: If you could collaborate with anyone in the near future, who would be on your wish-list?

Neil: All the people I want to collaborate with are dead. Maybe we shall collaborate in the after-life...??

Kate from London asks: Are you and the other guys in the band still on good terms? Please be honest.

Neil: YES! Of course

deborah byng from london asks: The new musical direction of the band is great, and i enjoy and have all the new and old material you have released do you still get the urge to write songs in the old style?

Neil: I can no more write songs in the old style as write them in somebody else's style. I write the way I write and pass them on to youse!

Kris from Cheltenham asks: Thanks for last Friday's gig - was it as good for you as it was for us?

Neil: Undoubtedly. I don't think we've ever played a better London show. Better late than never!

Ebba from Gothenburg asks: How come the sound of "Regeneration" is so depressed compared to the other albums, when it's the first album you made after you got married?

Neil: (pause.....Laughter...) Um!! Are you trying to imply that my wife made my writing depressing?! If so you're an idiot...!

benny from belfast asks: How did you get involved with recording a song for Amelie?

Neil: I actually recorded the song for Yann Tiersen and I didn't know that the track would be used for Amelie and anyway my vocal isn't on it! (chuckle). Which is probably just as well because it's perfect as it is.

David from Kent asks: What will you miss most when the Divine Comedy split up?

Neil: The steady supply of people to beat at scrabble! And to be serious, but seriously I'll miss the camraderie..um good times and friendship.

Matthew from Cardiff asks: Honestly, where do you think "Perfect Lovesong" will get in the chart - and are you bothered?

Neil: My current estimate when studying all the demographics, graphs and flow charts is approximately 62 in the hit parade. And no it doesn't bother me

unremarkable from UK asks: If you had to pick a DC album to represent your personality, which would it be?

Neil: A short album about love because of its mindless escapism.

david from london asks: on a brighter note - has Michael Jackson finally lost the plot?

Neil: I think poor Jacko lost the plot many years ago. It is so strange that people are still prepared to put up with the power-mad rants of Frankenstein's monster

Mr DC from camden, london asks: can we expect a more pop orientated future for the divine comedy?

Neil: You can expect what you like! I have no idea....um....

Neil: Only by close friends who enjoy confusing me or us rather. Um... although we're quite able to some up with ridiculous ideas of our own

msboyd from California, USA asks: Have you been inundated with ill-advised baby names?

Neil: My current favourites being Garfield for a boy and Hildabran for a girl...

Sophie from Middlesbrough asks: Neil, I read a nasty piece in the NME about the split. Is any of it true and what do you think of the article?

Neil: This article appears to be based on the pathetic ramblings of someone who used to work for the band. there are too many factual errors in the piece to go in to now, suffice to say it's quite upsetting and is not representative of the band's views

rumple foreskin from londres asks: do you plan to work with Nigel Godrich again

Neil: I'd love to work with Nigel again. He's a good friend and a very clever man

unremarkable from UK asks: Are you jealous Jarvis Cocker's working with Scott Walker? Hee hee!

Neil: (chuckles).....I'm not jealous! Um, I think Pulp are great and Scott Walker is as we all know 'God'! I personally wouldn't be able to put myself in that position being too much in awe of the man myself

prj45 from London asks: MAngo Chutney or Lime Pickle with your popadoms?

Neil: Mango chutney....although sometimes I put both together to be daring...

John_Malkovich from TDC BBS asks: Do you think you'll ever sing on any of the other guys new project after the split?

Neil: If they'll have me

17thBeatle from France asks: I once read a review in some rag saying that you alternated between the sophisticate and the twerp. This could equally well apply to me, and I wouldn't mind. But do you accept that criticism, and if so, which do you prefer, sophistication or twerpery?

Neil: mmmm... sophistication and twerpery are both important traits in the well-rounded man-about-town. But I would like to be credited with other characteristics also....like being good at my job

Ben Robson from Guildford asks: Who has been your favourite support act over the years? personally i liked I Am Kloot at the Kentish Town Forum

Neil: They were good, but um of all the bands and people gracious enough to support us over the years my personal favourite has to be Mark Eitzel of American Music Club

Kris from Cheltenham asks: What's your tip for some good telly?

Neil: Only ever watch BBC 2 and Channel 4 after 9 o'clock on a weekday. And current favourite shows are Band Of Brothers and The West Wing

paul from scootland asks: is it true that the band has split up because of your evil marmite obsessions, hence you carrying jars of it around with you for protection?

Neil: The marmite obsession did take us near to breaking point, but I relented and switched to Vegemite at the 11th hour

dotmusic: just time for one more question...

divineness from london asks: have you been pleased with the reaction to 'Regeneration'?

Neil: Yes. Everyone who's heard it has nothing but good things to say about it. I wish more people could hear it.

Karlis from Latvia asks: What would you do if it was year 1960 and you were 18 years old?

Neil: I would move to Latvia, join the communist party, rise quickly through the ranks till in my role as head of the KGB would single-handedly end the cold war and make everybody happy. Then I would join a rock'n'roll band and take psychedelic drugs

dotmusic: Cheers everybody, V. good questions this time don't fret about the future. I 'm going home to write some songs right now! See y'all soon

Thanks for all your questions, but our time is up. Thanks to Divine Comedy for answering them.

dotmusic 31/10/2001