PET SHOP BOYS FRONTMAN Neil Tennant has speared the "fake intimacy" of social media in an interview with MOJO. In a deep and wide-ranging chat, Tennant reflected critically on our over-sharing times.
"I don't think anyone's really inclined to 'share'," he said. "My thing about social networks is that it's fundamentally insincere. I know from the record company perspective it's part of the marketing process, and the fans can communicate with you... but it creates a fake intimacy, which in my opinion results in frustration and ultimately makes people angry. And I think that's why, on Twitter, or indeed in the Guardian comments, everything turns into a row, and it's because it's presented as though they care what you think, but you realise they don't, and then it turns nasty. It's a sort of fake democracy. And we prefer to be not fake."
As Pet Shop Boys poise to release their 12th studio album in 25 years (the excellent Electric emerges on July 12), Tennant's social media stance is typical of the group's tendency to appear prominently, if inscrutably, out of step (he describes Pet Shop Boys as "the loyal opposition"). With reflections on his uncloseting as a gay man in the mid-'90s and (ironically) revealing about his childhood pop schooling by The Beatles, Bowie and (shockingly) The Incredible String Band, the full interview, with MOJO's Ian Harrison in the latest issue of the magazine, is a must-read.
Ultimately, claims Tennant, the Pet Shop Boys are all about "doing things in our very own way, in our own culture – like The Incredible String Band."