There are few frontmen today as legendary as the almost-mythical Mark E Smith. As leader and only constant member of UK’s post-punk icons, The Fall, Smith is as famous for his biting, enigmatic lyrics as his quotes outside of the music with thirty albums and over thirty-five years of history to his name. In honor of the news of yet another new album from the as-ever-prolific Fall and the announcement of upcoming tour dates, collected below is just a sampling of Smith’s greatest lines culled from interviews.
On Pavement: “[I]t’s just The Fall in 1985, isn’t it? They haven’t got an original idea in their heads.” On Northern English pop: “I think that the Kaiser Chiefs and Arctic Monkeys should open a chain of chip shops in North Yorkshire.” On drinking: “I used to be psychic, but I drank my way out of it.” On performing live and aging: “I don’t want to be like Brian Wilson. I’m already starting to sit on a chair.” On John Peel: “The thing about me and Peel is I only spoke to him about four times ever. I always told him we never depended on him, and he knew that, God bless him. If we’d depended on John Peel, we would have starved to death.”
On Mumford & Sons: “I just thought they were a load of retarded Irish folk singers.” On Kate Bush’s comeback: “I never even liked her the first time round. It’s like all these radio DJs have been raiding their mam’s and dad’s record collections and decided that Kate Bush is suddenly cool again. But I’m not having it.” On Ian Curtis and Joy Division: “I never liked Joy Division. The week before he died he came over and said ‘I’ve got a serious need to talk to you’ and then all the people hanging around Joy Division said ‘don’t talk to Mark’…that was my reputation.” On Motorhead/Lemmy: “He has one week in bed every month though doesn’t he? You’d never catch me doing that. Sloppy.” On The Fall: “If it’s me and your granny on bongos, then it’s the Fall.”