“It wasn’t just ‘Pa­trick Wolf’, it was ‘gay’ or ‘bi­sex­ual’ – and then if they didn’t want to say ‘gay’ or ‘bi­sex­ual’, they’d say ‘flam­boy­ant’ or ‘camp’ mu­si­cian”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

day­light” to The Bach­e­lor’s noc­tur­nal mood. Songs such as the gen­tle folk of The Fu­ture and the disco synth sweep of To­gether, both un­der­pinned by his dis­tinc­tive quiv­er­ing croon, are es­pe­cially sweet.

“The last al­bum was ask­ing ex­is­ten­tial ques­tions about my­self, whereas this one is know­ing my­self more. I’m over al­ways be­ing the Lit­tle Boy Lost at this point. I don’t want to be stuck in that place men­tally any more, and now I feel like I can take more re­spon­si­bil­ity for my emo­tions, in a way. I think it’s down to some­body com­ing into your life and say­ing, ‘Look, you’re worth more than what you tell your­self.’ So you make these changes for that other per­son, be­cause you want to make them happy and proud of you. I went to ther­apy for a while, to un­der­stand a bit more about my life and the things that have changed men­tally, and I could start to see the wood for the trees a bit more in my life. And that def­i­nitely in­flu­enced the writ­ing.”

irish­times.com/cul­ture

As with any non-het­ero­sex­ual pub­lic fig­ure (Wolf once pro­claimed his sex­u­al­ity to be “kind of lib­eral”), how­ever, there’s also the mat­ter of be­ing clas­si­fied by your sex­u­al­ity.

“It’s only since the third al­bum that peo­ple thought I was old enough to not be em­bar­rassed to an­swer those ques­tions. I think when I was younger and do­ing my first in­ter­views, the last thing you ask an 18-yearold is about their pri­vate life or their sex­u­al­ity. So later on when it started to hap­pen, what I found quite strange was that sud­denly all these pre­fixes came along in the press. It wasn’t just ‘Pa­trick Wolf’, it was ‘gay’ or ‘bi­sex­ual’ – and then if they didn’t want to say ‘gay’ or ‘bi­sex­ual’, they’d say ‘flam­boy­ant’, or ‘camp mu­si­cian’. I’d think ‘Well, are you just rest­ing on the stereo­type of what you think a gay man is?’ I’ve been con­fused by it a lot of the time, but it’s wa­ter off a duck’s back, re­ally.

“I can’t get up­set by it. You know, a lot of peo­ple that I re­ally ad­mire get it. PJ Harvey and Björk, two of my favourite mu­si­cians, still, at this point – af­ter ev­ery­thing Björk has achieved in her life as a writer, and the re­spect that she com­mands – 90 per cent of the press la­bel her as ‘crazy’ or ‘quirky’ or ‘bonkers’, while PJ Harvey gets ‘scream­ing ban­shee mad­woman witch lady’,” he laughs.

“And the things peo­ple say about Kate Bush be­fore they talk about her pro­duc­tion or her lyrics . . . but if you’re a fan of those peo­ple, you don’t pay at­ten­tion to that. I take it in my stride, re­ally. Peo­ple will think what they think, and as long as the right peo­ple hear my work, then I’m happy.” Not re­ally. I think only one time – be­fore I did Elec­tric Blue, my first solo al­bum – I was think­ing of do­ing an al­bum of Phil Spec­tor cover ver­sions. That al­bum turned into Other Peo­ple’s Songs, be­cause Vince asked if it could be an Era­sure pro­ject in­stead. There were some songs on there I wouldn’t per­son­ally have cho­sen, but at the same time I think he res­cued me a bit, be­cause then there was that big Phil Spec­tor court case. So it was a bit of a bless­ing in dis­guise, ha ha. Apart from work­ing with an in­no­va­tor in Vince, I think it’s be­cause I’ve been so up­front from the very be­gin­ning with my per­sonal life, so we’ve never re­ally had a battle with the press. There was a time we were on the tele­vi­sion a lot, and now we’re hardly on at all – so in some ways, it made us a bit of a na­tional trea­sure, a bit of a se­cret, and I think that makes peo­ple cher­ish us a bit. It’s not like a lot of these bands now, they’re schooled in how to do in­ter­views – it’s all very safe. We’ve never been like that, and younger fans es­pe­cially love that. It’s got a bit of that Lady Gaga as­pect to it, where she sticks up for gay rights and stuff like that. We’ve al­ways been cham­pi­ons of the un­der­dog, and maybe that’s how peo­ple see us. Era­sure have been in the sys­tem and been out­side the sys­tem, and we quite like how it is now. And maybe that’s why it works.

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