‘Hyper-Ballad is about the thing that happens to most people when they fall in love.’ she explains. ‘For three years. people only show the people they love the best side of themselves. because love is too personal. you don’t wanna destroy it. so they just show the best sides and keep all the badness behind their back in a bag.
‘80 after three years this bag is getting too big. but they don’t wanna destroy this relationship. so what most people do is go down the pub with their mates and get really drunk and do out-of- character things like standing on tables and being rude. Then when they come back. they’ve got rid of all this aggression and it’s like [squeaky voice] “hi. honey”. It’s not insincere or fake. I think it’s very human. Because this relationship they‘ve got with this person is so precious. they don’t want anything to damage it.
‘So I wrote a lyric about two people who live on a mountain. surrounded by ocean. and they’re on a high cos they’re in love. but they’re very isolated. Then the three years pass and she’s still sleeping with this guy. but she’s full of all this aggression. so before he wakes up she goes to the edge of the cliff and just throws everything off, glasses. ashtrays. tables. and she really concentrates on them falling down and crashing and then she goes back home. It’s therapy. It’s
8 The List 30 Jun-13 Jul 1995
about how to remain in a relationship. I was trying to make that into a fable cos I think it’s very common. it’s happened to everyone.
‘I write lyrics all the time. and I only put out. say. live per cent of what I write. because the things about me. the autobiographer. I keep to myself. I don’t want to show off my dirty laundry. so I only put on record what everybody
‘l’ve got a long way to go, which is why I’m going to make records for another 50 years.’
has experienced at some point. That. in a way. is my job. as a pop musician. to write songs about things that everybody feels. y’know. to sympathise with that.’
It’s in her defence of pop that Bjork displays the kind of passion that she channels into her best vocal performances. like The Sugarcubes‘ rapturous ‘Hit’ or on ‘Play Dead’. her
collaboration with David Arnold which was released between her two albums. She knows she’s lucky to have that enduring drive to make music. but what else is there for her to do‘.’
‘I’m just a junkie for music. I need a fix.’ she
says. ‘lf everything goes wrong one day and I’m unhappy. I put the right song on and it sorts me completely out. and that’s what music should be like. Fuck psychiatrists. they don’t do nothing for people, but I think pop music saves lives every day.
‘Take the average person who gets a problem like heartbreak. Who are they going to ask for help? Aretha Franklin or Bill Clinton? Aretha. They’ll go to the shop crying because none of their friends can help them with their heartbreak. but they buy an Aretha album, put it on, and it’s the only thing that can help them out. If you want to celebrate life, which is just as important on a Friday night after a week of hard work, who y’gonna call? Not Glzostbusters. Not Clinton. You call Aretha Franklin.
‘l’m not saying l’rn like Aretha. but I think it’s
okay to have a target. even if it is a very ambitious one. I’ve got a long way to go, which is why I’m going to make records for another 50 years. and ljust hope I eventually get there. And that is why pop music exists, to sort people‘s heads out.‘ C] From an original transcript by Chris Todd, copyright One Little Indian Records. Bjork plays Barrowland, Glasgow on Friday 7 July. Post is out now.
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