Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

9. The CardigansLong Gone Before Daylight

Nina Persson has one of the best recording voices, ever. She sounds great on a record. It is properly emo. It has that Nordic super-gloomy thing that I am attracted to. It’s quite druggy and depressing. But it’s brilliant. When it came out, I was finishing off We Are The New Romantics, part of the reason I feel so fondly about it. I didn’t have any doubt that I’d be writing forever after I’d finished the first book. I always thought that I’d be writing books until I was 80, no matter who supported them in publishing or not. I was so green then, in terms of how publishing works. The publishing world was a whole new world for me, coming from music. But in a lot of ways, I knew too much. Publishing is always ten years behind where music is, in terms of how things move and work. I was used to working with artists, but I was also used to talking units, getting stuff out there, making sales happen. I would have meetings with my editor, then I’d meet the wider team and they’d be a bit unnerved because I’d be asking really dreary questions about when they’d start pitching to retailers. They’d say, “nobody ever asks us these questions” but that was where I’d come from. I wasn’t yet part of a writing community. It took me a couple of books to find my own people, not just within publishing but other writers that I felt genuine kinship with. That’s the most important bit, in some ways. For me, generosity is my buzzword for work. If you’re going to have a career as a writer, you have to be generous with people. It’s the same with music and film. If you connect with something and you’re lucky enough to meet that person, you should tell them. I’m always one for stopping people in the street and saying, “oh I love what you did what that thing.” It’s so much easier now with social media. I never did meet The Cardigans, alas. But I’d tell them, even now if I did.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Nicky Wire
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