18 December 2018

Richard Ashcroft slams press for 'Mad Richard' label

The former Verve frontman has hit out at the press for his treatment over the years and talked about their changing attitude towards mental health.

Richard Ashcroft has talked about being labelled "Mad Richard" by the press and in his early days.

The former Verve frontman took part in a special conversation with Radio X's John Kennedy at London's Hammersmith Club in front of an intimate audience on Monday (17 December), where he discussed everything from parenthood to the inspiration behind his biggest tracks.

Asked about fatherhood and his perception in the press, the "Bitter Sweet Symphony" singer said: "That image of Richard Ashcroft keeping his shit together, marrying someone and having a family and not fucking up funnily enough wasn't the image that people wanted projecting, which I think says a lot of where we are now."

The "Surprised of the Joy" singer added: "It was all about death, negativity and nihilism - that was the engine of this industry. That's why Kurt Cobain's estate earns so much now. Death sells in this industry, nihilism... They want that to be projected at all times.

"So when you're suddenly saying hang on a minute, I was in this crazy band and I was this lunatic. Check me out now. So not only were you calling me 'Mad Richard,' when I was a kid... So now we're all so right on about mental illness now though aren't we?

"But I was 'Mad Richard' then a few year's later I was picking up an Ivor Novello Award for "The Drugs Don't Work." So who's the mad one? Who's the mad one?"

"So you've got Kanye saying people are exploiting him for being bi polar," Ashcroft continued. "Did Kanye have for the first X amount of years of his career, did he have the prefix of "mad" before his name? No he didn't.

"And would any of these oh so PC journalists now do the same thing to anyone else? Oh no they wouldn't."

"So I'm proud of that tag. You can call me mad. Call me mad. Ban me from music at school, don't let me take it as a GCSE, ban me from art, call me the cancer of the class because it's all food for me.

"It's motivation."
  • Source: Radio X