Mike and Lyrics
Rather than pretend he enjoys writing lyrics, Mike prefers to get straight to the point, "lyrics are the bane of my existence"he moans. "I love writing music, but I hate writing lyrics. It's easily the hardest thing for me when I'm writing a song. A lot of the time I wonder why I spend hours watching all the little details because most of the time I don't think it matters.
Usually I'll have the song and I'll put the lyric on top. So generally it's a line that develops into an idea - like we have a song on the new album which I wanted to be about technological jargon. I found that when I had to put it into rock 'n roll speak, it was immensely difficult."
Although he looks up to the likes of Morrissey and Elvis Costello for their lyrical prowess, Mike has some problems "baring his soul" poetically.
"I don't usually express a lot of emotion on our records, and I've been trying to make up for that recently, but it's very hard. At the moment all of our songs seem to be about the modern world around us. Our new songs are about things like computers or magazines."
And while other lyric writers aren't keen to divulge what they consider their best and worst works, Mike is pretty forthcoming with his lyrical peaks and troughs.
"'Right Here Right Now' I think is the best thing I've done so far because it managed to encapsulate a lot about the time and a lot about the attitude of the band - and made it all rhyme as well....mostly. As far as the bad lines are concerned they are so many to choose from! Huge chunks of 'I'm Burning' make me cringe, but strangely enough, it's the stuff that makes you cringe that makes people write to you telling you how much the song means to them! This is the crux of my problem. As soon as you open yourself up a little bit, people really enjoy it, but I find it really difficult to do."(NME '93)