Q – Have you ever had someone to teach you the vocal techniques (i.e. breathing, placement, posture, etc.) or are you completely self-taught? Do you make vocalises or some kind of exercices to warm up your voice before a gig? Are there any special conditions needed to record your voice in the studio compared to the recording of other instruments? Any favourite part of the day?
A – I took a lesson in 1986 from the famous Tona de Brett and all I got of worth form it was some excellent gossip about Morrissey – apparently he’d been for a lesson but had refused to actually sing for her… In truth all she said was – that I’m doing just about everything wrong but that I shouldn’t change otherwise my voice would change so drastically that I wouldn’t be able to sing in my own style anymore. She gave me some scales to practice to strengthen the voice and to help pitch control and that’s about it. For a few years I could be heard, from time to time doing her ‘Va va va va, vee vee vee vee, va va va va, va’, but no more. My voice is what it is, these days, for better or for worse. Rest and not too much beer or whisky and it works fine. Tea if I’m feeling ill.
In the studio anytime after mid afternoon is fine and sometimes, if pressed, I’ve sung early in the morning, but that is a perverse idea – my music is not for the morning. I did a Satellite Radio session for that show The Loft recently and it was about 11AM. I couldn’t get into it.