a short site about The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy man who sacked all his mates

Hello, Neil. Your new album includes the line, "slowly slaughtered like a goat". If you had to be slaughtered like an animal, which animal would it be and why?
A horse, so that if I broke my leg they'd shoot me. At least it's quick. Obviously I don't condone this is any way. But I'd like to point out that the goat thing was a metaphor.

Isn't it a simile?
Oh yes. People think I know everything about literature but I'm a slow reader. I find myself daydreaming for ten minutes then forgetting where I am.

How many people bought your last album?
I don't know the figures. I know it was about two-thirds of the people who'd bought the previous one, though.

It didn't precisely set the charts on fire, did it?
Well, it didn't help that the radio didn't play any of it but now everyone's quietly confident and it's going ridiculously well. It's scaring the shit out of me. (Laughts) But in reality there's the problem that people don't buy my records.

Can I have a haiku please ?
A what ? A hai... what the hell is that?

Three lines, five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables.
Hmm... hmm... OK. 'I went to the beach/And walked around for a while/A camera crew watched.' Camera is two syllables, by the way. There's a little apostrophe in there.

If your life was for rent, like Dido's, how much would it cost?
I'd say I was worth a couple of grand for the week. You'd get a lot of dog-walking and some fresh Dublin air.

So you'd throw in accommodation too?
Are you staying in my house or are you in my head like Being John Malkovich? It depends what the premise is.

The premise is pretty flimsy, to be honest. It was just something to ask.
Well, the dog-walking would be good. I have a dog lying at my feet right now, like all good dogs should. But she's only there because I have a peanut butter sandwich. She's a black Labrador called Leia, as in Princess.

Does she look like Carrie Fisher?
Not really, considering she's black. She doesn't look good in a gold bikiny. (Pause) Hrnnrh hrrnrn. Did you hear that?

That was her saying hello.

No, Neil, it was you.
Yes it was.

Do you consider, as anybody in their right mind does, that 'No Regrets' continues to be the best ever Robbie Williams single?
Easily. Head and shoulders above. (Very long pause, then a chuckly) I don't think you're going to draw me on Robbie. I'd actually forgotten that I did that (appearing on 'No Regrets'). It was a crazy time and it was all a bit weird. I'm very pleased I did it but I don't think I'd do it again. Like most of my career, actually.

Have you ever dissed someone on the internet, or did your mama teach you better than that?
The last time was on NME.COM - at the V Festival you were doing the site from a bus and I was asked for my least favourite band. I eventually whispered, 'Toploader'. When I walked off the bus, the entirely of Toploader were stood here. What made it worse was that they were really nice people.

Of course, Toploader have now split up.
I'm saying nothing. Hear the silence.


Do you speak often to your sacked schoolfriend bandmates?
Yeah, sometimes. We go out for a pint every now and again. Some of them are on the new album, one of them's off doing a film sound course, one of them's going to be a music teacher... all gainfully employed. I'm quite jealous in many ways - I should have sacked myself instead.

Well that's the end of that, Neil.
Have I spouted enough crap yet?

Yes, there's an advert on the page this week so that should be just about enough.
Well thank you very much. Bye!

Peter Robinson
NME 03/04/2004