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Friday, October 15, 2010

Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch Does Not Want to Bore You

Posted By on Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Belle and Sebastian in the studio for the SF Weekly cover shoot. - CARRIE SCHECHTER STUDIOS
  • Carrie Schechter Studios
  • Belle and Sebastian in the studio for the SF Weekly cover shoot.
In the hour I spoke with Belle and Sebastian singer-songwriter Stuart Murdoch for this week's SF Weekly cover story, we got to talk about a lot of things that I didn't end up using in the larger piece. Rather than doom Murdoch's thoughts to the dustbin of my hard drive, I thought I'd share a bit more of our conversation before his band headlines the Treasure Island Music Festival this Sunday. Read on for Murdoch's take on the band's rough early live shows, why it's not doing much publicity for the new album, and how the Internet is changing the music industry. The photos here are outtakes from our shoot with the band in New York City.

What you were thinking when Belle and Sebastian started? Did you have any idea that it would develop into what it has?

I definitely didn't have that ambition. There are some people in pop music ... and I call them lifers. I'm talking about the people who know that this is what they were born into, and this is what they're going to do from now until the end of time. They love nothing more than simply holding a guitar or just singing to people -- and that's not me. I just like to make stuff. I kind of stumbled into pop music as a way of expressing what had happened to me, being ill for so long. But it just so happened that Belle and Sebastian were way more than I had bargained for, a living, breathing, 14-legged thing. Also it became in a sense a therapy for rme as well. It was hard, at first, to catch up physically with the group, but eventually I think it was a great stimulus for me.

  • Carrie Schechter Studios
  • Carrie Schechter Studios
You made a conscious decision to hold back on advancing the new album for reviews, and haven't done much press for it. Why?

It was easy, nothing furtive. As I said, you get a little bit older, you feel like you have nothing to prove. And sometimes, talking about music, there's only so many times you can do it. This is maybe my second interview since we made the record, and it's nice talking to you, but if I have to do many more, it would get boring. Basically stuff gets boring, you know? 'Cause I'm 42 now, and if there's one thing you learn in this business of entertainment, you just don't want to bore anyone.

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Ian S. Port


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