|Profile of a Young Mesmer
by Simon Rust Lamb
One or two artists each decade step forward as leaders; the very best of these break boundaries between several different art mediums. They produce not only an incredible quality of music but also change the entire environment of music. In most cases, the 'mesmer' reaches a point when they can make all of their visions and dreams into reality. Their only constriction is time. David Bowie exemplifies this phenomenon. In a story about himself and Tricky, Bowie refers to himself as the first 'mesmer', short for mesmer izer. In reality, Tricky wears the aura of a young 'mesmer' and has set about smashing the ozone layer of today's musical environment.
PURPOSE: 1) To find out about the individual known as Tricky. 2) Discover what goes on in his head. 3) Explore his ideas and thoughts. 4) Figure out who Tricky wants to be.
PROCEDURE: Break down
the barriers between the subject and the interviewer. Discuss the previ
ous night's party (where subject was the honored guest) and make small
in it just for the music, just for the lyrics. I want to fuck people's
heads up; I don't want to compromise. I want to fuck the industry up. I
want to, fuck, do what I totally want. Release records when I fuckin' want
to release them, shit like that."
Question: Is there
anyone you would resurrect for a collaboration?
Do you think you're
Object #1: British Flag.
Response: "That means nothing to me at all. Except, for, the only thing is when I'm in a foreign country, I remember I'm English. The flag is, I find it quite gross actually. Quite fucking disgusting."
Object #2: A Clockwork
Object #3: Swiss
Object #4: The
are prison, getting a drug addiction like cocaine, smack. Fucking people
who ain't real. My monsters are kind of different."
Does success push them any further away? Nah. Nah. They'll just keep chasing you down. You just got to keep on moving. Keepmoving. I just got to keep on running."
Is there a point where you could stop running? "I'm hoping, as I get older, yeah."
Is there anything you're running towards? "I just get sufocated. Do you know what I mean, it's like, I get to know a city too well. You get to know people too well, you know, you start making friends you don't need. All of a sudden, you re in a situation of fucking, you have to compromise because of where you live, who you allied with. I don't feel like a free person very often. So, that's what makes me want to run away."
"New York, I know like five people in New York. That's cool. I can't go and get into a club, I couldn't just go to a club and get in for free. That's cool. No one knows me. I choose who I hang out with. I feel free."
"In New York I don't know the bad, I only know what I want to know. In Bristol, I know who the bad people are, that makes me feel uncomfortable. In New York, I got to a club, I could be surrounded by loads of bad people but I don't know it. So, you're at ease."
The British press seem to make you into something of a monster... "Sometimes I think it's because I'm black, I'm successful. They consider me not R&B and not rap, but successful. I don't think they can explain. The easiest way to explain me is this moody, dark. It's like Bob Marley, songs of suffering and strugglin'. That's what my songs are; my songs are slave songs. They can't understand that. So they take pain and suffering as demonic and devil. That's my theory. Then again, my theory changes..."
Is the prospect of death a monster? "I want to believe there's something and then some times it's hard to believe. I think half my problem is I don't know. That's why my music is confused, that's why my music is tense. I just don't know where I am going to. That's part of my pain as well."
"I don't know what's going to happen after this. I do want to live. I want to see my daughter with her first boyfriend. I want to see her as a woman and sit down and talk to her. Then she has to die as well, and her children have to die. There's a lot of pain. That's a fucking lot of pain. There must be something after that, there's no way you could go through all this pain of losing people all the time."
"When I lost my uncle, it was like my dad, I didn't feel any pain. And people, I've lost in my family, who didn't feel any that because I've number myself or is that because I know they're going off somewhere else, going to a better place. And they're probably better of f than us because we live in all the shit."
The fighting side of Tricky lashes out at the industry and anyone else who tries to control him, including himself. Boundaries are made to be smashed. When he ~oes to bed at night, Tricky listens to artists like Kate Bush, Bob Marley, Peter Gabriel or Kurt Cobain. His favorite song for the last year has been Danzig's "I Can't Speak". The possibilities of what Tricky will make in the future cannot be relegated to trip-hop or hip hop. If anyone ever manages to hole him into a description, Tricky will emerge with a different musical skin. His music swiftly avoids the stinging jabs of genref ication. His attempts at fucking things up in the musical world end up as successes.
Avoiding the bad influences, the monsters, allows Tricky to develop within a world of free dom. The vices offered by the dealers and gang sters stifle his ability to create music that everyone cam understand. His response to dodge these negative influences
|is to move
from city to city. He hopes that at some point he will be able to slow
down, rest and concentrate on his music. At that point, he believes he
maybe able to make some music that is not of this earth.
Tricky, is currently in a position where he cam do whatever he wants. He has written two scripts with a friend that will probably get made into films. David Bowie is interested in collaborating with him in the future. When there is am artist that he wants to work with, he can sign them to his label. Grace Jones will be coming out on that label, Durban Poison. The highest priority for Tricky is to remain honest. By maintaining that, it seems like he cannot go wrong. He does not have any intention of let ting his standards drop when he crosses into mew creative outlets.
Tricky has begun destroying the obstacles that restrain him. This path of obliteration will place him amongst the mesmers of the 1990s.
photos: Mike Fix