The Beautiful One

Brett Anderson, former frontman of Suede—one of the biggest Britpop bands of the ’90s—has just released his self-titled debut solo album. We speak to him about his past, present and future–and, yes, enquire about a possible Suede reunion.
With the huge success with Suede, and this being your debut solo album, did you feel very pressured when producing Brett Anderson?
Well, it was a strange experience. It was quite tough. You make a record that you’re proud of and sometimes, it gets booed by the world. But nothing is going to make you dislike your own music. There’s always pressure. It’s part of the game. You’ve got to go out and compete. That’s the damned side of being a commercial musician. Otherwise, you could just sit in your room and play guitar, but that’s pointless. And anything worth doing is always hard. There’s no short cuts in life.
Agreed. Brett Anderson seems more personal than your previous works, with more piano and strings. Was there any particular incident that made it the way it is now?
Different dynamics are involved when you make a personal solo album. You’re not playing under the name of a band. I’ve gotten to a stage in my life when I’m not hiding from things. I’m trying to control my life, my upbringing—that kind of thing.
Can us tell me more about the single “Love is Dead?”
It’s a song about loneliness. There’s a hint of despair in it. It’s more a song about social loneliness. Like, when you’re walking down the street and not feeling a part of the community. It’s a very 21st century kind of existential feeling, of being unsure or unworthy. Whether you’re rich or poor, wherever you are, you’ll feel it. It’s a human condition.
Will you perform in Singapore again to promote the album?
We missed out Singapore this time, but I would really like to come to Singapore. One of my favorite gigs was at Fort Canning Park! I would really like to come to your side of the world—I just don’t know when.
Do come! And we have to ask: What are the odds of a Suede reunion, even for just one performance?
I don’t know. I don’t have plans for Suede, but I’m not going to say anything and have to eat my words later.