Where were you in 1992? What do you remember of the Nineties? If you set your sights towards Europe, chances are that you will have memories of Britpop. Britain’s influence was worldwide, and contrary to what is happening these days, it was for something positive. Movies like Trainspotting defined cool, and in 1993, Suede’s debut record launched a new musical genre. Instrumental to Suede’s popularity was front man Brett Anderson, as lanky and androgynous as he was handsome, with echoes of 1970s Bowie in his voice.
Fast forward to the twenty-first century – Suede is still making music. And not just paint-by-numbers songs. Their 2018 record The Blue Hour has been lauded as a late-career masterpiece. Brett Anderson has also branched out into writing, publishing two memoirs, 2018’s Coal Black Mornings and 2019’s Afternoon With The Blinds Draw. Both were very well received by the British press, for their substance as well as their style. When we met Brett at his flat in London’s Ladbroke neighborhood, gone was the gender fluidity of his early days. He looks like a very serious guy – like he could almost be working in some financial asset management firm in the City. He’s incredibly fit, and can probably still wear his early 90s stage outfits if he decides to. There’s just a hint of something in the way he wears his hair, or maybe it’s his necklace. A certain je-ne-sais-quoi tells us this is not an ordinary man. And sitting alone with him for ninety minutes in his flat’s living room, there’s no doubt this is a man with a story to tell.
Photos by Charlie Gray