Kate Bush Talks Bone Meal-Inspired New Songs, ‘Director’s Cut’

In a rare interview with BBC Radio 4 today, Kate Bush discussed the impetus behind her forthcoming album Director’s Cut, a collection of re-recorded versions of songs from 1989’s The Sensual World and 1993’s The Red Shoes, as well as her next set of (fertilizer-inspired) new original material. The entire Q&A with John Wilson, which includes Bush revealing she hasn’t listened to her classic LP Hounds of Love in two decades and won’t be ending her extensive hiatus from live performance anytime soon, is well worth listening to in full, but here are a few quotes I found particularly intriguing:

On Analog Vs. Digital Recording

With Red Shoes i think there was a rather edgy sound, mainly due to the digital equipment that we were using at the time. Then everybody was working with digital because it was state of the art, and I’ve always been a huge fan of the analog sound, so that was one of the things that was part of the main process with making this record, was to transfer everything back to analog so the sound would be warmer and fuller.

On Reworking Old Material

There’s always a long, lingering dissatisfaction with everything I’ve done. I think it’s part of the process. I think it’s as much a part of being a human being as an artist.

In some ways, I’m just starting to get the hang of the whole piecing together of a recording process. There’s always something wrong: either I sing it stupidly or I put lyrics in there that were wrong or the production’s not right. You know, that’s why it’s this continual learning process, and hopefully you can learn from your mistakes. one thing i wanted to do was kind of strip a lot of the tracks out and create much more space, allow the tracks to breathe more and have a more laid back approach so they weren’t trying to rush through.

At one stage i nearly just gave up the whole project because I couldn’t find a way back into the vocals. And then I realized that if I took the key down, because my voice is lower now, it suddenly gave me a way in.

On Her Next All-Original LP

I’ve done most of the writing. I’ve put a packet of bone meal on my piano and it seems to be helping the sort of blossoming of the songs… It wasn’t deliberate. I was en route to the garden and happened to have a packet of bone meal and just left it on the piano. It was there for a few days and then I’d noticed, actually, I’d written a couple of songs since it had been there, so i thought I’d just leave it there and see if it sped the process up a bit.

You can watch the new Bush-directed video for “Deeper Understanding” below and stream the full interview here.