Fall To Release “Greek Heavy Metal” Album

Mark E Smith speaks to The Quietus

Quietus pilot John Doran caught up with Mark E Smith before their gig at Camden Electric Ballroom last night. The full chat will be published next month but first we felt we had to share the following information with you: that Smith says the band’s new material, due to be released next year, is heavier, sounds like Greek heavy metal and agrees that one song even sounds a bit like Aphrodite’s Child. Here is the excerpt:

How have the sessions been going in Hustle Studios in Manchester?

Mark E. Smith: Very well, actually. Very well. I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Because we’ve been doing a bit of soundtrack music on the side. I can’t say too much about it because it’s supposed to be a secret but it’s the worst kept secret in all of bloody Manchester…

So there’s definitely going to be a new album next year?

MES: Oh definitely yeah.

Is it in a similar Country and Northern, rockabilly vein?

MES: No, [the new songs] are a lot heavier actually. We do this song and it’s… it’s like a Greek heavy metal group. We’ve rearranged the song and put totally different lyrics on it. It sounds really good. It’s like… well, I can’t describe it really.

Greek heavy metal?! What like Aphrodite’s Child?

MES: Ha ha ha. Yeah, sort of. A bit like Aphrodite’s Child, yeah… but better!

Did things pan out with Domino as you expected them to. Because they’re a bit like Rough Trade were when you were signed to them aren’t they?

MES: It never occurred to me what would happen. It never does. Not really. I should have been ready for it because I went through it with Von Sudenfed, y’know. But it was bit like going in a fucking time warp. It’s a different mindset altogether and I get a bit frustrated with that y’know.

So you’re looking for something that’s the opposite now – a label where you can just go in and bang out an album?

MES: Definitely.

It’s worrying for the fans when you skip a year isn’t it?

MES: Oh definitely. Straight up. I was being attacked on the bloody street. “What are you doing?” You know, people who like The Fall, they don’t usually hassle me but they were about that. “Where’s this bloody LP? Where’s fucking ‘Cowboy George’?”

The Fall played a blinder last night with a set that included ‘Theme From Sparta FC’, ‘What About Us’, and a sharp version of ‘Muzorewi’s Daughter’. Despite Smith telling us that relationships in the group were good, he was in a righteously indignant mood, shouting "I fucking hate you Cowboy George! Why have you done this to me?"

During new song, ‘Greenway’ Smith went into what appeared to be an improvised rant against These New Puritans saying that he’d heard them on the radio and seemed to be saying that out of all the groups who have "leant" on The Fall he finds them the most irritating.

The song then mysteriously mentions a phone call, Birmingham, £1.50, a CD, Jason from These New Puritans and then something that sounded like "they discarded their furniture outside my house".

In fact Birmingham seemed to be on his mind as another song had its refrain changed to: "I’m not from Birmingham!"

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today