Singer and writer Brett Anderson is celebrating his birthday today, so let's tell you 20 interesting facts about him:
(Photo: Roberto Ricciuti)
1. He was born Brett Lewis Anderson in the town of Lindfield near Sussex in the south east of England, on 29 September 1967.
2. In his youth he grew up on classical music he heard at home mostly from his father whom he described as an obsessive classical music fan.
3. As a teenager he played guitar in various garage bands, including "The Pigs and Geoff" in which he also played with his childhood friend Mat Osman, who would become the bassist of "Suede".
4. After high school, Brett began studying architecture at University College London, where he met Justine Frischmann who became his girlfriend.
5. In the late 1980s he formed "Suede" with the bassist Mat Osman and his guitarist girlfriend Justine Frischmann.
6. In the beginning they did not have a drummer and they played, with the help of a drum machine, cover versions of songs by artists such as: "Roxy Music", "The Smiths", David Bowie and "The Cure".
7. At one point Justin and Brett realized that they were not good enough to be lead guitarists. At that point guitarist Bernard Butler was recruited and later also former "Smiths" drummer Mike Joyce was recruited.
8. In 1991 drummer Simon Gilbert replaced Mike Joyce and became a regular member of the band. It was during this time that Justine began flirting with Damon Albarn from "Blur", which led to her dismissal from the band, in October 1991. She went to form the band "Elastica".
9. Justine's dismissal from the band brought with it a change in the band's musical style and also a change in the writing dynamics, as the collaboration between Brett and Bernard Butler began to crystallize as the band's lead writers. Brett said that if Justine had not been fired from the band they probably would not have changed their style and probably would not get anywhere either.
(Photo: Kevin Cummins)
10. In 1992, the band signed a contract to release two singles with the independent label "Nude Records". After the release of the singles, many major record companies were interested in "Suede", including "Island Records". It turned out that even before the release of the band's first album they had already been crowned as "the next hot thing" and even received the front page of the Melody Maker newspaper with the accompanying title: "Suede: The Best New Band in Britain".
11. It was during this period that Brett's sexual preferences preoccupied the media in the UK. The androgynous style and dress as well as his statement that he is bisexual who has not yet experienced homosexual relationships, have given the band a lot of media attention. The media buzz was fueled when the debut album "Suede" was released and the controversial cover was revealed in which the gender of the two kissing characters was not clear.
12. The debut album "Suede" was released in March 1993 and returned the spot to the British music industry as a worthy rival to the grunge revolution that took place on the other side of the ocean. Before "Oasis" and "Bush" and before the breakthrough of "Blur" and "Radiohead", it was "Suede" who kept the British fire burning. They were an alternative to American dominance in the music market in those days. The band's debut album soon became the UK's fastest-selling debut album in about a decade.
13. During the recording of the band's second album - "Dog Man Star" released in 1994, disagreements began to arise between Brett and Bernard Butler. What fueled the friction between them was an interview given by Butler in which he noted that Anderson is very slow in writing and that he is not a musician at heart. Butler and Brett have not met since then at the studio, when Butler records the guitar parts in the mornings and Brett arrives in the evenings to record the vocals. The climax of the friction was in an ultimatum issued by Butler for the dismissal of the producer. Anderson took advantage of the momentum and kicked Butler out of the band.
14. Butler's departure sparked rumors as to whether the band would be able to proceed at all in the absence of one of its essential writers. But in 1996 Brett proved that he was quite capable of writing even without Bernard Butler and released with the band their third album "Coming Up", with which the band broke into a worldwide consciousness. It is also the band's most successful album to date, from which five successful singles have been released.
15. Brett and his friends will ride the wave of success of "Coming Up" and release two more albums before disbanding in 2003. After Suede disbanded Anderson surprisingly teamed up with Bernard Butler. The two formed the band "The Tears" in 2004 and in 2005 released the album "Here Come the Tears", which included the singles "Refugees" and "Lovers".
16. In 2007 Anderson started his solo career with the excellent album named "Brett Anderson". The album included the song "Color of the Night", in which he mentioned the city of "Tel Aviv" as the place his lover dreams of. Or in his own words: "My love she dreams of Tel Aviv". Brett expressed his fondness for "a city without a break" and for Israel.
17. Brett has performed in Israel with "Suede" no less than 6 times, the last of which was in September 2019. In addition, Brett arrived in Israel as part of his solo career accompanied by Matt Osman, for an excellent show held at Zappa Tel Aviv.
18. More about the Israeli connection, in 2008 Anderson collaborated with Aviv Geffen on a number of performances that took place in the UK and Israel.
19. And if that is not enough to understand how much Anderson is connected to Israel, we note that in 2012 Anderson was a guest on a "Blackfield" album, which is known to be a project of Aviv Geffen and Steven Wilson, and in 2019 he was a guest hosted by Aviv Geffen at the Amphitheater in Rishon Lezion.
20. Anderson has released to date 9 studio albums along with "Suede", one album with "The Tears", and another 4 studio albums as part of his solo career.