a short site about The Divine Comedy

Party Pooper

That particular joke isn’t funny anymore, says singer.

Have you used pastiche to maintain a distance from the otherwise rather vulnerable business of expressing yourself?
Yes, probably. You’ve got to hold things back otherwise you’ll have nothing of your personality for yourself. That’s why I feel some of the more transparent individuals in pop music lose themselves in their media image, they get confused in themselves about who they are. I don’t think there’s much danger of that with me.

You say that, but there’s a distinct sense of troubled identity in the two new songs. “I thought that I / Was doing fine / But now I’ve changed my mind.”
That one is full of neuroses. It’s about removing the suit of armour, which has become a little bit of a milestone. I’ve gradually got rid of all sorts of elements over the years. I will be re-invented in some form. It’ll be fun to see what. I’ll have to think about that. But really, it can’t go on as it is.

You sing “I’ve lived a lie / Since the day I arrived.” You mean that?
At this point in my life, yeah. I don’t regret anything, it was exactly what I had to do at the time and used the armour to hide behind the mask. And all the themes and album structures were there to cover my ass. But you know, as you mature, it feels a little…teenagery. I probably didn’t much like myself back in those days, I desperately wanted to be in a Merchant-Ivory film. There are worse things to want to be, but I’ve kind of come to grips with who I am. Well, a bit better. I’ll probably have another suit or armour but maybe not quite so heavy.

Chris Ingham
Mojo 09/1999