25 May 2000

Richard Ashcroft Draws Inspiration From Joy Division

A little more than a year after formally putting The Verve to rest, Richard Ashcroft is nearing the much-anticipated release of his first solo album, "Alone With Everybody," and has already issued the initial single and video from the LP, the sweeping "A Song For The Lovers."

According to the former frontman for The Verve, "A Song For The Lovers" was inspired by his wife, Kate Radley, as well as a certain Joy Division song Ashcroft heard one night while holed up in a seedy U.K. hotel.

"'A Song For The Lovers,' if I look back, it's kind of inspired by my own love affair with Kate and a moment when I was in a hotel room," Ashcroft explained. "It was a pretty basic punk rock hotel room, and there was a kind of Formica bedhead with a built-in radio. There were only two stations that you could pick up on there, and for some reason one of these stations played 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' by Joy Division.

"Even though it seems like an odd one to compare with my [song], it seemed to fit the moment, because it was so odd to hear this great piece of music on this very dour, boring radio station."

"So, that fused a few ideas and I had some chords," he continued, "and it was sort of playing on a 'Play Misty For Me' vibe, mixing a bit of me and my thing and then rollin' it into the imagination [about] those moments when you're on the verge. You're on the verge of something.

"You're on the verge of a love affair, and the fact that this could be the love affair of your life, this could be a complete disaster, this could be a mistake. [It's] that anxiety and excitement you feel beforehand, when it's 'Moving like a train/Into some foreign land/I haven't got a ticket for it,' but I'm on it. I'm doing it," Ashcroft said, paraphrasing the song's lyrics.

"It's just kind of fusing an emotion into a track," he added, "and when the track bursts into its instrumental bit after that rant, that's it. That's the moment for me. I should have put just that on the record, just that one moment."

While in New York City last week to complete promotional rounds for the new record, Ashcroft shot scenes on Wall Street for his next single and video, "Money To Burn."

"Alone With Everybody" is due in stores on June 27, and Ashcroft is tentatively expected to tour the U.S. following its release.
  • Source: MTV, written by David Basham