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The Mission U.K.’s Wayne Hussey Talks ‘Silver’ Anniversary, New Single ‘Swan Song’ + More

Mission UK
Rhory Danneills

Since the ’80s, the Mission — or the Mission U.K. as they’re known in the States — have been winning over fans with their mix of goth and alternative rock. Despite two hiatus periods and numerous lineup changes, the band has managed to put out nine albums (not including compilations and other projects) and maintain a strong fan base beyond their native Leeds, England.

In celebration of their 25th anniversary, the group has released ‘Silver,’ a double DVD and audio CD set chronicling their 2011 performances in London, Cologne and Frankfurt. It also highlights the reunion of original members Wayne Hussey, Craig Adams and Simon Hinkler.

Diffuser.fm had a moment to speak with Hussey, the Mission’s frontman, about keeping the band alive, his initial problems with Americans and what’s up with the technical name change.

You just celebrated the 25th anniversary of the band with the release of ‘Silver.’ Can you talk a bit about this particular release?

Well, we got back together in late 2011 to play some anniversary shows, and we figured that it’s maybe a good idea to film some of the shows with view to a DVD release. So we filmed our London show along with a couple of the German shows. And hence, here we are. ‘Silver’ is what you get when you’ve been together for 25 years. I don’t think we’ll make the gold anniversary though.

Some bands are lucky to last a year, but you’re still going so many years later. What keeps pushing you to do music?

The love of it. I am, firstly, a music fan, and I love listening as much as creating. And you know this is the path I chose to take when I was in my early teens. It’s too late now for me to change the road I’m on. This is what I do and who I am.

You played in the U.S. a couple of months ago — the first time in over a decade. How did it feel to play to your American fans again?

Actually, it felt a lot better than I anticipated it doing so. The audiences were very warm and very receptive to the new songs, as well as, of course, the old. My opinion of Americans had been somewhat tainted by bad personal experiences in the interim, so I was gonna try to get through the whole tour without actually speaking to any of the natives but failed miserably from the off by employing an American tour manager and guitar tech. And I ended up having the best time on tour that I’ve had in many a year. Met some lovely people and realised that not everyone in the U.S. was a supporter of that madman you had running the country who really damaged your public image around the world. It was also a lot easier to be a vegetarian in the U.S. than it was the last time I was there. Will gladly return and hopefully sooner rather than later. I have heard rumour that it could be as soon as April next year.

Which was your most memorable gig?

From the U.S. tour? My fave shows I would have to say were Las Vegas and Portland. I had a really good time onstage, and I thought we played really well. Also Chicago was memorable because I’d lost my voice through laryngitis, and I was supping on brandy throughout the show. Needless to say by the end of the show I was happier than a sailor who found himself in a whorehouse after he’d been at sea for the last six months.

San Francisco, sadly, was my least favourite show, as we endured technical problems onstage which we overcame eventually but it did sully the experience for me somewhat. The support band, Wax Idols, were rather good that night, though, being four girls and a guy. The singer and drummer were particularly bitchin’. I’d like to see them again and take a trip to their dungeon.

You also released a new album this year. How is this different from your other albums?

Well, it’s an album whereby I wanted to try and emulate how we, in my pretty little head, sounded live. We basically set up in a room together and just played. Of course there were some overdubs and some fixes, but the vibe was there, at least for us. Oddly, we’ve never really ever recorded like that before.

What’s ‘Swan Song‘ about?

Mmmmm — well, it’s not about a swan. Just because I wrote the song with the help of David M Allen it doesn’t mean that I know what it’s about. It’s your prerogative to decide that.

What is your definition of success?

I’m still here, aren’t I? That’ll do.

What’s next for Mission UK?

‘Swan Song’ released as a single [in November], and then we have a short nine-date Euro tour leading up to Christmas. Oh, by the way, we don’t have to use the U.K. bit in the U.S. anymore, so you can just call us the Mission. OK? Lovely. And thank you.

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