The article by the then-teen was originally published in her eighties music fanzine, Audivisse.
A fur piece
by Nancy J Price [A Myria exclusive]
We managed to stop RICHARD BUTLER of the PSYCHEDELIC FURS long enough to ask a few questions…
Nancy J Price: I’ve read that you don’t like writing songs about love, but you seem to use the word ‘heart’ a lot.
Richard Butler: I don’t mind writing songs about love — I don’t like writing love songs. There’s a big difference… most of the “Talk Talk Talk” album was about love, but they weren’t love songs, like “I love you, baby” — all that kind of shit. I can’t do those.
I don’t think I really use ‘heart’ a lot. [“Heartbreak Beat,” “Heartbeat,” “Shadow in my Heart” – Ed.) I think I used it a lot on the last album — more that I’ve ever done before. On the first album, I used the word ‘stupid’ a lot. I just get different words that I like using at different times. On the last album, I think I used ‘rain’ a lot.
N: I’ve heard of plans for a solo album…
Richard Butler: At the moment, I’m just doing a lot of writing… whichever it happens to be for (Furs or solo]. I’d like to get enough to be able to do both.
N: How would the solo material be different from what you’re doing now?
Richard Butler: I’d like to think it’d be more…not country music, but a bit like country music, but a bit janglier than country music, you know? I’ve got a sound that I want it to sound like, but it’s very difficult to explain. I like a lot of the Doors’ music — it has the feel about it I want. A lot of the Velvet Underground’s early music has the kind of feel that I want. It’s kind of jangly-countryish almost… but not quite.
N: Why do you think other bands sometimes consider the Furs an influence on their own music?
Richard Butler: I think it’s just the fact that we’re a rock band. I think that any rock band who’s not making pop records is influential to people, in a way that it shows there is another way to make music. Especially in England–it shows there is another way to make music besides being in the charts all the time.
N: When bands come out with material that sounds a lot like the Psychedelic Furs, without really copying a song directly — do you feel as if they’re being unoriginal?
Richard Butler: I don’t think anybody starts out being original. I think you’re always the result of your influences. If someone was to start a band and they were influenced by Captain Beefheart and The Doors, people would go, “God, that’s incredibly original — what an original mind!” If someone came out and did the exact same thing with Duran Duran and Howard Jones, everybody would go, “That’s unoriginal — that’s crap.” But the person has only done the same thing, which is to mix up two influences.
I’m not saying that I like Duran Duran or Howard Jones, but that’s the process that goes on when you start a band. It’s not really about originality — you’re just taking all of your influences and all that you’ve taken in yourself, and putting it all together.