Midge Ure on ‘Brilliant’
Midge Ure speaks out about returning to the recording process with Ultravox
"There was a reticence about doing this as we didn't know what the public response would be, and especially with a band like us, Ultravox just seemed to be a fantastic punch-bag for the media back in the day and we tended to think: "Do you really want to go and stick your head in the lion's mouth again?"
"But I think all that disappeared when we started working together again, it just felt natural, it felt right, it felt, not easy but comfortable and it was exciting because it was new technology. It was even more exciting when we decided to stand up for ourselves and say: "You know what? We're going to do it the way we want to do it. Whether it's for anybody else, this is how we want to do it." And there was something really nice about that. So the process of getting it right musically, first and foremost, was imperative.
"What happens to it now, when you give it to the wide world, is completely out of our hands so the response from people, the reviews, whether they like it or hate it, there's nothing we can do about it now, that's what making music is all about, you make what you think is right and then hopefuly it will translate into somebody else's life.
"The great thing about Brilliant I think, I'm not sure what Billy thinks about this, I think it's quite possibly the best collection of songs that we ever did. Period. And it's because Billy's continued writing, I've continued writing all the way through the twenty odd year break that we've had and I think that you can hear that. So that, in a way makes everything else redundant, it takes it really back to: 'Is this an intersting piece of music, is this an interesting lyric, is this a good melody, does this do something to you, does it make you cry or laugh or smile or dance or whatever?' That's the core of what it should be, and that's why we stopped talking to Universal because they didn't want that, thay wanted an X-Factor version of that and we weren't prepared to go there. It became very obvious to us they wanted a record with Ultravox's name on it, some signature sounds and my voice on it, but they weren't really interested in what the music was other than the fact was it commercially successful?, and that really hasn't made an awful lot of difference to us. When we got together in the first place, Vienna wasn't a commercially acceptable track, it was completely and utterly out there, it's only become successful and seen as an obviously commercial track in hindsight, but at the time it was radically different, so I don't think our attitude to that process has changed."
Extracted from a full and fascinating interview with Midge Ure and Billy Currie, featuring more of Keith Martin's wonderful photos. Read the whole piece in the new issue of Artrocker available today from all good shops or direct from us here: artrockermagazine.com