AS WELL AS BEING in the middle of a new weed-free existence, Bristol music institution Tricky has a new album Adrian Thaws – his birth name – due on September 8. MOJO caught up with him to talk about this new music and his career longevity.
Why exactly is the new record called Adrian Thaws?
Tricky: “Because I’ve realised, in the last couple of years, I need to work on myself. All my life everything was based on my music, drinking and smoking – that was my life. So I’m trying to grow as a person. Like I’ve stopped smoking weed, not forever, but usually I’d wake up in the morning smoke a spliff and I’d smoke until I go to bed. Now I want to be in the present.”
You’ve got covers of Janet Kay’s Silly Games and London Posse’s Gangster Chronicles on the new album.
T: “When I cover a song it ain’t just because I love it, it’s because I want new people to hear it. Say for instance, we’re going to Russia in September, so people in Russia they sing along to Public Enemy’s song Black Steel, because I did a cover of it. So when we go and do Janet Kay, it’s introducing it to people. I’m real lucky because I get young kids coming to my shows, some 16 upwards. So I’m introducing a new generation to a great song.”
You’ve been going for some time – how do you stay hungry?
T: “My music is still edgy, because I haven’t got comfortable. I’m really lucky I don’t have to get radio. I don’t have to get into the charts. Massive Attack, I know they have to get into the charts. If they come out with an album and it don’t go Top 40 that would be deemed unsuccessful. I think people get trapped by their success. My life ain’t going to change if this album don’t go Top 40 or Top 10. I might have a bit more money if it goes Top 10, but it’s not going to change, because I haven’t compromised.”
Adrian Thaws is out on September 8 on Republic Of Music.
Check out album track, Lonnie Listen, below.