Morrissey gives Billboard updates on his latest projects, plus unfiltered opinions on everyone from Kirk Douglas to Sarah Palin
You've always been outspoken about U.S. politics. We'll be heading to the polls in a few weeks. Do the Democrats deserve four more years?
There is no doubt that they do not, but they'll get it because they have zero competition. It would be exciting if Hillary Clinton had been handed the baton for this new election, but I expect she'll be the main Presidential bait for the next election. It would be fascinating to see a President who was female, but only because we expect so little. Would America ever elect a president who was single? Or does being married automatically make a candidate wholesome and lovely and caring and nice?
Your forthcoming autobiography has been in the works for years. What's the hold up on publishing? Aren't you anxious to get it out to the world?
Modern books are usually publishing events and not literary events, and I've attempted to write a book that will have meaning for a very long time. Generally, modern autobiographies are launched as sensations but are forgotten by the following Thursday - usually just before lunchtime.
Speaking of literary events, what's the last great piece of literature you've read?
Probably 'Bleak House' by Charles Dickens, which was written in 1201, as you know.
When's the last time you visited Manchester? What's your current impression of your old stomping grounds?
It's difficult for me to move around in central Manchester because the local newspapers usually run a craparazzi shot with a 'Heaven Knows He's Incredibly Fat Now' headline. The city is not the place I knew as a teenager, which is much to its credit.
A music blog recently uncovered an article you wrote in 1976 with the headline 'Ramones Are Rubbish.' Do you still believe the Ramones should have been "rightly filed and forgotten?"
I came clean about this many years ago. When I bought the Ramones first album on import, I was enraged with jealousy because I felt they had booted the Dolls off the map. I was 100% wrong. Three days after writing that Ramones piece, I realized that my love for the Ramones would out-live time itself. And it shall. Well, it virtually has already. If the Ramones were alive today, they'd be the biggest band in the world. It takes the world 30 years to catch on, doesn't it? I mean, look at poor Nico. Every modern teenager now seems to love Nico, yet while she was alive she couldn't afford a decent mattress.
Lastly, with the incredible legacy you've already created, is there anything you still desire to accomplish as an artist?
The solo years have been more meaningful to the audiences than the Smiths years, but the press in England only write about me in relation to the Smiths era. This exhausts me. I wish the press were more willing to chronicle these recent tours and the most recent albums. But they won't do it. Their needle stuck at 'The Queen is Dead.' I've sold out large venues throughout five continents this year alone - with incredible reactions everywhere. Yet the press will only blather on about Smiths reunion rumors. You can well imagine the frustration. Thank God I have a strong chin.