Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

God’s Own Medicine: Wayne Hussey’s Favourite Albums

We put in a long-distance call to Brazil to ask The Mission frontman and former Sister Of Mercy about the gems in his record collection

“When you get to my age, the candles cost more than the cake”, run Wayne Hussey’s opening lines from the forthcoming new Mission LP, The Brightest Light. And indeed, the 55-year-old singer’s choice of favourite records could be seen to reflect an outlook more mature, balanced – settled even – than the notorious hellraiser and goth gadabout of yore. During our hour-long conversation from his long-time home in São Paulo, Brazil, Hussey is open, friendly, self-deprecating, seemingly centred and with a warm sense of humour. He’s enthusiastic about the band’s new album and their imminent U.S. and European tour, culminating in four UK dates co-headlining with Fields Of The Nephilim. And despite a general disillusionment with current rock music production and the levelling effect of digital production techniques such as Pro Tools, his interest in discovering new music seems as strong as ever.

Some may be surprised at Hussey’s selection, but what is perhaps even more surprising is that the breadth of his choices is reflected in the stylistic diversity of the new Mission album. In particular, Hussey’s love of acoustic blues, as displayed here, comes through on several tracks, alongside a smidgen of country, a touch of glam, some gnarly Neil Young-style guitar solos and great unleavened slabs of full-fat heavy rock. The Brightest Light is hugely entertaining, frequently ridiculous, in parts unexpectedly touching, always tuneful and only intermittently gothic. And most importantly, it rocks harder than a rocking chair balanced precariously upon a high rocky cairn of loose rocks, while in the grip of a force nine gale from Rockall.

“It’s a rock record,” Hussey explains. “No frills, and unashamedly rock.”

It’s also the first new Mission album since 1990’s Carved in Sand to feature Hussey alongside both original bassist Craig Adams and original guitarist Simon Hinkler, with new drummer Mike Kelly. The band originally got back together in 2011 for a series of 25th anniversary shows, which was the occasion on which Wayne and I last spoke.

“Yeah, and I probably said oh, we won’t be making any new music or records. But I’m contrary and subject to changing my mind like anybody else. And it went great; we thought hmm, you know what? We actually quite enjoy this. We did some shows with The Cult round about this time last year in the UK, and then after that I spent six months writing songs. I came up with about 25, we rehearsed 16 and recorded 16, and it went really well. We did that in April in the UK, and did a bit of recording here in Brazil, and we went back to London to mix.”

And has the chemistry with you, Craig and Simon stayed amenable?

“Yeah, it’s been good. I mean, we’ve all grown up a little bit more, and we only do things in small doses so we don’t really have a chance to get sick and tired of each other, or get on each other’s nerves. Two or three weeks at a time is fine. There might be a danger of us getting on each other’s nerves if we did much longer, but as it stands it’s fine.”

As for his choice of albums, Hussey – like most people – is keen to stress that they are subject to change according to mood and moment. “If you’d asked me on any other day or at a different hour it’d have been a different list, or I’d have thought oh, I should have put that in, I forgot that album, or maybe I should’ve changed that one, you know. But it’s fine as it is. And I’ve made a point of actually listening to these records in the interim so I would be qualified to at least say something about them…”

The Mission’s new album The Brightest Light is out now via Oblivion. Click on his image below to begin scrolling through his choices

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