English musician and actor, Tricky is famed for his fusion of hip hop and rock, and this is evident on new album, ‘Adrian Thaws’. Here, he divulges his thoughts on his childhood, covering a range of well known songs and touring.
Tricky, you’ve returned fairly soon with your 11th album after ‘False Idols’ was released just last year; was the material of ‘Adrian Thaws’ waiting to be released or were you itching to get back into the studio?
Some of the stuff on Adrian Thaws, songs like Lonnie were ready. They just needed someone else on the track so I forgot about them for a while. That track is about three-years-old. I had my vox on it and Fran’s. It fell into place meeting Mykki Blanco.
It seems to really be stirring things up, which you manage to do with every release. With quite a dark and brooding sound accompanied by distorted album covers, do you aim to be something of an enigma?
No I don’t try. I think that’s the secret of music. You don’t make music. Music makes you. You hear a lot of artists now trying to do left field music, but you can see right through it. Your music is different or it’s not. I don’t try to do, it’s the way things come out. It’s me.
If ‘Vulnerable’ was you laying yourself bare, what is ‘Adrian Thaws’?
It’s me coming back to claim what’s mine. I’ve done a lot for this music industry, a lot of people sound like me, and I’m still fairly underground. A lot of people have made money off of me and my style of music. Some artists are doing stuff I did 15 years ago. Calling it trip hop… stupid name, and I keep moving.
You have returning vocalists Nneka and Francesca Belmonte, who both appeared on ‘False Idols’; is this an if-it-ain’t-broke-why-fix-it deal?
No, they are just better than most.
You discuss politics in the eerie ‘My Palestinian Girl’ and the skit ‘The Unloved’; considering there’s so much the public disagree with, argue and protest, why do you think there’s such a lack of music and artists representing that?
Artists don’t want to be outspoken about what’s going on in the world. The huge mainstream artists don’t want to go there because they won’t get their radio play. Some of these artists like their fame time. Warner own media and most of the music companies, and they will shut you down.
You’ve covered a range of songs including Kylie’s ‘Slow’, Nirvana’s ‘Something In The Way’ and ‘The Lovecats’ by The Cure. Why did you choose to cover Janet Kay’s ‘Silly Games’ for this album?
Because it’s a classic song.
You’re very honest about your upbringing influencing yourself and your craft; who from your past has influenced you the most and why?
My grandmother influenced me most. She taught me to not conform.
You’re touring the UK, Belgium and Russia over the next couple of months. What do you enjoy about touring now?
Touring is constant traveling and I’m a gypsy and it keeps me busy. If I don’t stay busy I can get into trouble.