On top of all the other tour-ending ailments he has faced in recent years — bleeding ulcer, pneumonia, respiratory infection — Morrissey now says in a Spanish-language interview that he’s undergone cancer treatments and feels he may be at an age where he “should no longer be making music.”
“They have scraped cancerous tissues four times already, but whatever,” he told El Mundo (as transcribed by Morrissey-Solo). “If I die, then I die. And if I don’t, then I don’t. Right now I feel good. I am aware that in some of my recent photos I look somewhat unhealthy, but that’s what illness can do. I’m not going to worry about that, I’ll rest when I’m dead.”
The 55-year-old singer did not disclose any further details about the treatments. The list of his recent illnesses is lengthy, having had an ulcer, pneumonia and food poisoning in the first half of 2013, and a respiratory infection in June 2014. Health issues have forced him to cancel two U.S. tours.
In the interview, the former Smiths frontman flashed some of his trademark dark humor when discussing his place in the music business. “Many composers of classical music died at age 34,” he noted. “And I’m still here, and nobody knows what to do with me. With luck I will be able to stop singing forever, which would make many people happy!”
Morrissey may have been referring to his recent dust-up with former label Harvest Records/Capitol, which released his 2014 solo album World Peace Is None of Your Business. After complaining about a lack of promotion, the album was removed from digital retailers and streaming services. In El Mundo, the artist complained that Harvest Records “does not like artists to give their opinion,” and at Monday’s European tour opener in Lisbon, he made his opinion known by having his band wear shirts that read “FUCK HARVEST” on them.
Watch a performance of the title track from Morrissey’s new album below.