"I think what The Smiths are is something quite beyond popular music, which could almost sound like an absurdly brash statement, but it really is the truth. I think that's why I'm asked very serious questions."
"When we started, inflated and elongated names were the order of the
day. I wanted to explain to people that it wasn't necessary to have long
names, dress in black and be po-faced. Our task was to choose the most
ordinary of names and yet produce something of artistic merit."
"I think of our music as a really passionate human cry. The main thing
is to convince people that there's another train of thought that they can
open up. I think people are generally afraid of emotionalism, and I want
to change that."
"People are dedicated to us because we deserve it. We try."
"The Smiths is a very stray kind of name, very timeless."
"We're out to prove that you don't need dazzling technology to produce
music. There's a horrendous myth in modern music that you need the most
complex equipment and the most far-reaching ideas, otherwise you don't
rate. We've got back to a very traditionalist structure with the
four-piece setup which has been severely underrated in the past couple of
"Control of artwork, etc., is of maximum importance. This is our
product; we haven't come this far for some stranger to step in. We're
not hollow musicians."
"What is important is that we have a conviction that is quite rare. We
write songs that have good lyrics and everything we do and say, we mean."
"I wouldn't want the Smiths to be considered to be in any particular
"People cannot trivialise The Smiths and people cannot trivialise
anything we do."
"For the first time in a too long a time, this is real music played by
"We never listen to anyone else. I think the only thing to do with
advice is ignore it, because people will never understand the real you."
The message of The Smiths: "That people should discard any notions of
in-ness or hip-ness or cool-ness, and simply relax and be themselves,
whatever that may be. Ninety per cent of immediate daily anxieties are
"The image The Smiths provokes is so strong. It does provoke absolute
adoration or murderous hatred. There are people out there, I know, who
would want to disembowel me - just as there are people who would race
towards me and smother me with kisses."
"The music industry absolutely detests The Smiths."
"To be honest, we are very angry. We are angry about the music
industry. We are angry about pop music."
"The Smiths have been successful without any help from a living soul
anywhere on this planet."
"For a manager-less group like us to survive is miraculous."
"What we're ultimately hoping to do is to make them laugh and cry at the
"One of The Smiths' skills has been to take subjects which people might
lazily presume are dark and morbid, and make them interesting, or turn
them into the subjects of interesting songs."