When you go throughBloodsports, tracks like "Snowblind" or "For the Strangers," we're talking classic Suede. Was that electricity apparent right away in the studio? No, not really, we had to work at it. I think it took a while to click into gear, and we actually wrote a whole load of songs that we rejected, and I think that was very — it's a very painstaking process, rejecting songs, and I didn't want to have that thing where, when some bands reform, you can tell that they think because they reformed and because they can play the songs from 20 years ago, that the magic is still there. And they assume it's still there in the studio as well.
You kid yourself, almost, and I didn't want to make any assumptions like that. And I wanted to be really brutal about whether what we were doing now was good enough. And Ed Buller, the producer, really helped with that, he was a really good guiding force, and he's got a really good pair of ears when it comes to Suede. He knows what makes a good Suede record; he's made four of them now. And four of our best albums. He was great, being involved with this record.
Was it a given to work with Ed Buller onBloodsports? Oh yeah, definitely, there was no other option to me, as far as I'm concerned. Ed isn't the youngest bloke on the block nor the hippest name in the book, know what I mean? But he's a member of the family, the Suede family, and he's made all our best records. We made out reputation with him, and he made his reputation with us, pretty much, and I think there's no other choice. I wasn't gonna go get some hit name out of the directory of producers just because they are the thing. Ed's got that passion for Suede that you simply can't buy, he's got that commitment, he was obsessed with making this record, as much as the band was, maybe even more. That kind of energy you just can't buy.
When word of the new record surfaced about a year ago, there was talk, maybe you had said it as well, that you were striving for this combination ofDog Man Star andComing Up. How did you end up pulling that off? [Laughs]. It did seem like quite an ambitious thing, didn't it?
Most of the fans probably said "Oh sure, everyone says it's a combination of this and that." But you fucking did it. Well, thank you! I don't know how we pulled it off, like I said, we kind of just really, really cared about it. And I think, this whole reclamation thing we've done is a lot about rewriting the mistakes we made towards the end. The last two Suede albums, maybe not so much Head Music, it's half a great album, but definitely the last album, A New Morning, we shouldn't have released it, it wasn't good enough. And I think splitting up, and the way we split up, on a bit of a low, it left a sour taste in our mouths about what Suede were. The real motivation with this was reminding people of the kind of music we used to make, and still can make. And it was trying to rewrite history a bit, which sounds impossible, but that was our main motivation