Mark E Smith: “I’m not going to give all my secrets away”

The Fall leader answers your questions

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Do you still sprinkle speed on your cornflakes?
Peter Hook, New Order
He’s a fucking idiot. That’s Johnny Rotten, not me. Do you know what the best of Revenge looks like? [Mark makes fingers into a shape to signify ‘zero’] Like that! Heh heh heh!

How do you write lyrics these days? On a typewriter, with a tape recorder, or what?
Ralph Parfect, Walthamstow
All of that, and I still do handwriting, more so than ever, really. I bought a computer in 1983, I bought a Sinclair and after a year of it, trying to be a man ahead of the times and all that, I just didn’t like it. It was getting to control me lyrics. It was paragraphing me lyrics and correcting the spelling mistakes. Doesn’t work with my sort of writing, you know what I mean?

What do you think about the upcoming smoking ban in pubs?
John Warren, via email
In July, yeah. They’ve already got rid of it in Ireland. We went there with the group, and there’s people outside in gales having a fag. Apparently sales have gone up 10 per cent. Only in Ireland! But where are all the pubs? They’ve knocked them all down, where I live. I think it’s to keep the youths away. Which is odd, because they weren’t really causing any trouble. So what they’re going to do now is make luxury apartments. They spent a million and a half quid putting up this big steel structure, with a fountain. It looks like a urinal.


What are the three worst things about south Manchester?
Tony Wilson, former head of Factory Records
That’s not Tony Wilson. [Uncut protests that it is, in fact, Tony Wilson.] It’s not! Why would he do that? Are you on the level? Why would he do that? [We say we called him up and asked him] Oh, I see, right. Well, tell him I always found south Manchester to be a fantastic place for… explorers. I always loved it and I always will. I must take time to visit it… soon.


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