Morrissey took to the Internet this weekend to clarify a previously announced booking at the upcoming Isle of Wight festival, for which he claims to have been confirmed in error. The former Smiths frontman also lashed out at his label, Sanctuary Records, and declared he would sign with a different company prior to the release of a new studio album.
A statement on Morrissey’s Sanctuary-run official Web site blamed the Isle of Wight confusion on the artist’s busy schedule. “The pressure of preparing the new album and losing his drummer [Dean Butterworth] earlier this month has made it impossible to do the gig without massively compromising both the gig and the album,” it said.
But Morrissey rebutted that information on well-respected fan site True To You, claiming, “I have not ever, at any time, agreed to play the Isle of Wight Festival. The announcement that I would play was made by Sanctuary — and it was their error. However, record companies will never take the blame for their own mistakes and Sanctuary’s press statement … reflects this.”
“In truth, I am not at all under pressure with the follow-up to [the 2004 album] ‘You Are The Quarry’ — everything is in hand, and ready,” he insisted. “However, my contract with Sanctuary ended last year and hasn’t been renewed.”
“In truth, since our closing dates last year in London and Dublin, my personal involvement in anything that has followed has been sub minus zero,” he continued. “There will be a new signing for the new album, so please wait until you hear the news from my lips. Everything else is just gossip.”
Further, Morrissey said he had not split with Butterworth, who recently agreed to tour with Good Charlotte. “I am annoyed that Sanctuary have thrown this in without consulting either Deano or myself,” he said.
“You Are the Quarry” revived Morrissey’s career in North America, debuting at a career-best No. 11 on The Billboard 200. It has sold 193,000 copies in North America, according to Nielsen SoundScan, his highest total since 1994’s “Vauxhall and I.”
The subsequent tour spawned a DVD, “Who Put the ‘M’ in Manchester,” as well as the album “Live at Earls Court.” Morrissey also signed Nancy Sinatra and the reformed New York Dolls to the revived Attack imprint via Sanctuary.
“We have worked closely with Morrissey over the last two years and out of respect to our artists we have a policy of never publicly commenting on our relations with them,” a Sanctuary spokesperson tells Billboard.com.