Suede's brutal game of love

Lead singer Brett Anderson (above) performing in Singapore in 2011.

Suede frontman and vocalist Brett Anderson wants to take his listeners out of their comfort zone and into a place of darkness with the band's sixth and latest album, Bloodsports.

The veteran British pop singer, 45, who spoke to Life! from his home in London, says with a slight chuckle: "I'll probably take them somewhere where they really don't want to go, like the back of the laundry room in the dark."

Bloodsports (2013), a reference to the brutal and sometimes fatal game of love, is a melting pot of different elements of being in a relationship. He says the album follows a story arc, which touches on the first meeting, infatuation, obsession and the end, when "things fall apart".

"It's about friction, not where relationships go wrong but when they start to slip. I try to pinpoint those moments and get inspiration from that."

Prod him a little bit about the relationship that inspired the album and Anderson, who is married with children, brushes off the question.

He wants to keep a sense of mystery to this album and his personal life, adding: "That's the kind of beauty of being the artist, you look at the work. Who cares about the gory details, it's not the gossip columns, you know?"

Fans in Singapore will be able to get a taste of the new material when the band perform at the Coliseum at Hard Rock Hotel on Sept 27. The band were last here in 2011 and played at the Singapore Indoor Stadium as part of their Greatest Hits tour.

Suede comprises Anderson, bassist Mat Osman, drummer Simon Gilbert, guitarist Richard Oakes and rhythm guitarist Neil Codling. This is the same line-up since the band reunited in 2010 after a seven-year hiatus.

The album, Suede's first in over 10 years, has received favourable reviews from music critics since it was released in March.

Glowing reviews tell of how Bloodsports has captured the essence of Suede's early guitar-driven albums from the 1990s that brought them fame, including their Mercury Prize-winning debut self-titled album (1993), Dog Man Star (1994) and the critically-acclaimed Coming Up (1996).

Indeed, Anderson himself admits that he had those early albums in mind when the band wrote and recorded Bloodsports.

Collaborating with producer Ed Buller, who had previously worked on Suede's first three studio albums, also played a big part in bringing back that definitive Suede sound - signature guitar-driven rock melodies accompanying Anderson's lyrics that give listeners a glimpse into his personal experiences.

Anderson says of Buller: "The record would sound completely different if we had chosen someone else, we're talking chalk and cheese. He's a massive fan of the band... the band has defined him and he has defined us."

Touring and performing their greatest hits for close to two years also re-ignited that old spark.

Anderson says: "It was really key in our attitude to Bloodsports. You're reminded of how great the songs are and we really wanted to capture that live energy of being Suede.

"We didn't want to re-invent the band, we just wanted to capture what was great with the band and try to do it like that."

Suede were one of the leading pioneers of Brit- pop explosion in the 1990s. Asked what he thought of the genre, Anderson adds that "it was the last defining musical movement".

He says: "I'm not a big fan of the music that was made under that umbrella term Brit-pop but I think the good thing is that it had people singing about their lives, which is very much my original vision for it... that it gave people the confidence to sing about real life."

Book it

SUEDE

Where: The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel

When: Sept 27, 8pm

Admission: $115 from Sistic (call 6348-555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg), $130 at the door


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