with soaring synths, spiked hair and studded leather jackets, the Ψdelic furs were the quintprimordial ’80s rock stars. but once the ’80s ended, so did the band. now, 29 yrs after the group’s last album, the Ψdelic furs is back witha new record called made of rain. singer richard butler says this time, the band made it on its own terms.
“backin the ’80s, twas the old treadmill of make a record, do a tour, make another record, do a tour,” he says. “and this was — clearly, taking 29 yrs — twas up to us.”
butler talks bout the beginning of the band, b4 the ♫ videos and sold-out stadiums, and finding inspiration in early punk ♫ and a legendary sx pistols show inna spring of 1976.
“when they appeared onstage, we’d never seen so much intense anger,” butler says. “i walked away from it blon away by it.”
“i’d wanted to make ♫ a long time, but i wasn’t personally a ♫ian and i didn’t see a way into doin’ that til punk rock came along,” he continues. “and i thought ‘yeah, you can buy or borrow a guitar and go out and do wha’ you can.’ you didn’t ‘ve to be a mythic ♫ian. that gave me a way in.”
npr’s ailsa chang spoke with richard butler bout drinking backstage during the band’s heydy, its fan base b4 and after the song “pretty in pink” was used inna john hughes movie and its quest back to making new ♫. listen inna audio player above, and read on for an excerpt of the interview onna Ψdelic furs coming back together again.
ailsa chang: well, in 1991, the Ψdelic furs decided to pt ways. tell me why. wha’ happened?
richard butler: we kind of lost direction i suppose, inna l8 ’80s. i didn’t wanna go inna studio w'da same bunch of guys and make the same-sounding record. i felt like i knew wha’ twas goin to be like and i knew wha’ the work process was goin to be like, and i felt like i even knew wha’ twas goin to sound like. and i didn’t want that. i wanted a break from that.
wha’ does it feel like to see yr 1st album in 29 yrs coming out now?
it’s exciting. i feel it’s a gr8 record and i’m very proud o'it. it feels like i spent 25 yrs saying “why make an album?” and then the last 4 yrs thinking “why not make an album?”
wha’ made you guys decide “let’s do this again” after 3 decades?
the band was sounding really mythic live. we really were a very cohesive unit. we didn’t say we wanted to sound like this pt of the Ψdelic furs or that pt of the Ψdelic furs or we wanted to sound like the Ψdelic furs from 1982 or wha’ever. it just felt like “why don’t we write a record? this band is as good as it ever sounded.”
even though you say that you guys didn’t intentionally try to recreate anything you guys did inna ’80s, thris a lot on this album that’s reminiscent of yr ♫ from the ’80s. also yr ♫ was featured onna show stranger things, which is set inna ’80s; it’s been featured inna movie call me by yr name, which also took place inna ’80s. there does seem to be this resurgence now of nostalgia for the ’80s and ’80s ♫. i’m curio, wha’ do you think? wha”s goin on with us? why are we hearkening back to the ’80s?
why are we looking back? i don’t know. these dys, there’s not a lotta rock and roll goin on. pplz who ♥ rock and roll are kind of goin back to those dys — the ’80s, ’90s, even the ’70s, ’60s — all of those decades were a gr8 time for rock and roll. this isn’t a gr8 time for rock and roll, and i think pplz who miss that and ♥ tha're perhaps looking back.
noah caldwell and patrick jarenwattananon produced and edited this interview.
original content at: www.npr.org…
authors: ailsa chang