Interview: Tim Burgess, The Charlatans

Interview: Tim Burgess, The Charlatans

At last month’s Liverpool Sound City, BIMM London’s Music Journalism course leader Dr Jennifer Otter Bickerdike interviewed Tim Burgess of The Charlatans.

Stood under the tent at Tim Peaks Diner, a creation of Burgess himself, he talks about his books, the band’s latest album Different Days, LA and one of his favourite records. Maria Galea listened in and picked out the choicest cuts.

What compelled you to write your memoirs, Telling Stories? 

I was asked to write it and I said yes straight away, even though I did not know what I was doing and it took a while to get round to doing it. I kept going to the meetings and saying that I’d done something, when I hadn’t really. I wanted there to be quite a few things that you didn’t know already – and to be brutally honest.

Your new album, Different Days: did you think it was going to be this much of a celebration?

I didn’t really think about it at all, to be honest. I just felt good about the record after we’d finished it, that it was good enough to present to the rest of the world. The response has been really amazing.

We’re sitting in Tim Peak’s Diner. Was this the vision you had for it?

Yeah. The vision is to have a space where people can come and have a great time. Talk to like-minded people and drink coffee. 

Do you miss Los Angeles at all?

I do, very much so. I miss the weather for a start; it’s unbeatable. I was there for longer than I should’ve been. I needed to reconnect with the band and I didn’t have much of a personal life over there, but because I loved it so much it kept me there for as long as it could. I never go back there now unless it’s with the band.

Nico’s Chelsea Girl - why is that an important record for you?

I just love the stillness and the calmness in the songwriting and the production and I think Nico’s voice speaks to you in a different language; it’s not really singing or talking, it’s more a presence so it sounds like it’s from another world. The songwriting is so good that it lasts. It’s just 3D music.

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