Music & clubs

Tricky of the trade

INTERVIEW. The magnetic Bristolian is back in both original form and Berlin, Wed, May 22 at Berghain with Mykki Blanco, sporting a new album, False Idols (!K7), a new label, and a new attitude. Sort of.

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Photo by Jarka Snajberk

Tricky was trip hop’s anti-poster boy, first making his mark with his moody sprechgesang on Massive Attack’s “Blue Lines” (Virgin) in 1991.

Forging his own conflicted path with his seminal 1995 debut Maxinquaye (Island), he garnered a following that he did his best to shake with subsequent albums. A trip hop, skip and a jump from his last output, the magnetic Bristolian is back in both original form and Berlin, Wednesday, May 22 at Berghain with Mykki Blanco, sporting a new album, False Idols (!K7), a new label, and a new attitude. Sort of.

You’ve been really confident about this album.

With this new album it’s a totally different set up – I didn’t really get [previous label] Domino’s way of thinking. Like, on my last two albums, they spent probably close to £100,000 on videos. So when I’m making the music for Domino, I’m thinking “I got to pay that back,” so I need to give them the record they need. [Domino founder] Lawrence [Bell] – you know I don’t like the man, I got no respect for him at all – that affects you. You know, like, Chris Blackwell – I love Chris Blackwell – so I wanted to do good things. With !K7 now, it’s a very good vibe, I want to do good with !K7. For instance, usually I don’t remix my own songs – but I’ve done remixes of my own songs because I’ve wanted to do it.  And now I’ve got four videos and a short movie for just over €7000. It’s more of a love affair than a business.

You feel more like yourself.

Horst [Weidenmueller] who owns, um, !K7 said to me once, “Look, see me as a button. You push me and I’ll fuckin’ – if you want to do a book, if you want to do a movie, you want to do a [makes clicking sound]” With Domino, a lot of the time I didn’t even want to tour. I’d turn up at sound check for a show and then just go on.

Sincerity means a lot to you.

Yeah, I mean, I really don’t like pretentious people. It’s like – I was working with 3D from Massive Attack last year and within two hours I had to say to him “Look, no one gives a fuck about Massive Attack. It’s a different generation. No one cares about us anymore,” you know? Because he likes being 3D. He was always the corny guy. People used to rob him, and slap him and he was the guy who was trying to be cool. You know, he had all the clothes, you know, all the latest fashion accessories. Me and my friends, we were from Northwest. I come from a white ghetto and the white guys where I come from don’t like someone like 3D because they were very true to theirselves [sic]. My friends, they’re white, they know they’re white and they act like they’re white. Don’t get me wrong, he’s got a good heart, 3D, he’s not malicious, he’s not a bad person. But he’s pretentious.

So, no Massive Attack reunion?

Well, I think I did four tracks with him, right, but now I’m getting texts: he texts me going “Oh Tricks, you want to come DJ, you want to come?” He wants a friend. Not that I don’t want to be his friend, but I got friends and I’ve got family and, um, I don’t want to DJ with him because I know it’d be trendy. 3D is always looking for credibility because he hasn’t got the confidence himself and he doesn’t think he’s a cool guy so he always needs someone who’s a tall black guy.

Margaret Thatcher is…

Dead, yeah. It’s the same with Princess Diana. Who gives a fuck about this woman? You don’t cry about a woman you don’t know. Princess Diana was supposed to be this woman who did a lot of good for people – she left all her fortune to the two richest families in the world. Not one penny went to charity. Margaret Thatcher, all these people – like fuck the Queen. These people made money off the slave trade and Queen Victoria, she had children slaves in England. You know, they tried to kill her eight times and Winston Churchill – you know he fought the Germans and he was da da da da – Winston Churchill was a fucking paedophile. He used to go to Morocco and bugger young Moroccan kids. It’s all part of a lie. So I’m glad she’s dead. It’s all false image.

And that’s what False Idols is about.

It’s just gone too far now, this celebrity culture. All these people with no jobs, no money, will stand outside and watch the royal wedding on their TV. Why would you care about people who don’t care about you? The reason you’re poor is because these people can live so rich. Like, say if I had a daughter who was six, seven years of age, there’s not many I’d want her to listen to, you know – a lot of these artists, they’re selling sex or violence. Rihanna can’t seem to keep her clothes on and also she’s not saying anything and I just think it’s such a waste of power.  Fame means nothing, fame causes mental illness no doubt about it – but fame is part of the problem, right? It used to be people like John Lennon, even Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, they were talking about the things that were wrong in the world, not just going along with it. You know, if this guy gave me $10 million I wouldn’t shake Obama’s hand. You know, if he walked in this room now, I’d have to say to him, there’s too much blood on your hand.

You must still run into celebrity a lot.

I’ve been next to Kanye West – I stood next to him in a club and I looked at him and he looked at me and he thought I was going to talk to him. That’s never going to happen. You know, I was in a club once in New York and a guy I know came up to me and said, “Hey, Lenny wants to meet you.” And I said, “Who the fuck’s Lenny?” And he goes “Lenny Kravitz.” So I said, ‘What, Lenny Kravitz wants to meet me and he thinks I’m going to get up and go over to him?” I’m not a fan of Lenny Kravitz. I don’t want to work with him. So he comes over, says to me “I love your music.” Then there’s a silence, because he’s expecting me to say something nice back to him. Then he says to me “You should come to Miami, I have a studio there.” “Why would I come to Miami? I live in New York, I have a studio here.” He’s like, ‘We could do some recording together.” I say to him “Why? Why would we record together?” He’s got no logical answer. So if he thinks I’m going to do it just because he’s a massive artist, and it would help me with my record sales – never going to happen.

It’s as if all famous people are supposed to know one another.

Some of these artists need to really take a look at theirselves. Step outside yourself, have a good look and don’t be twisted and think everybody’s impressed. It seems so old now – this pop star thing for me it seems over. Look at the state of Prince. Prince is such a has-been. He had his thing going on, but that’s a long time ago, right? So when you see him now he looks ridiculous because that stuff has ended. That pop star shit is just finished.

Certain People #12: Tricky w/Mykki Blanco and Balzer/Hossbach DJ Team | Wed, June 22 | 22:00 | Berghain | Rüdersdorferstr 70 | Friedrichshain |S-Bhf Ostbahnhof