BRIX SMITH: MARK E SMITH AND I WERE SOUL MATES AND PUT ON THIS EARTH TO WRITE TOGETHER
12 September 2019
- The former Fall guitarist and post-punk rock legend Brix Smith features on the latest episode of Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV
- She reveals to the show’s host Laura Whitmore that her late ex-husband and The Fall frontman Mark E Smith were ‘soul mates and put on this earth to write together’
- Famously, Brix left Hole after 24 hours in US rock band Hole and shares how Mark E Smith convinced her to return to the Manchester outfit
- With all the ups and downs in The Fall, Brix believe it was her mother’s fierce spirit that helped her to progress as a women in the music industry
- As well as releasing new music with her new band, Brix and the Extricated, Brix exclusively reveals she’ll be appearing in the highly anticipated film Creation Stories
- The full interview is available to watch via Red Stripe Presents This Feeling TV Episode 10.
Brix Smith had a legendary status in music was all but confirmed by her rock n’ roll entrance to the music scene, from seeing The Fall In Chicago, within weeks swapping the US for Manchester to join the band, and the rest is a brilliant history. Today, she joins host of Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV to re-live her eventful career in the music industry, from the ups and downs in The Fall, 24 hours in Courtney Love’s rock band Hole, to her up and coming appearance in Irvine Walsh’s new film Creation Stories and new album with Brix and the Extricated, plus much, much more.
Kicking off the interview on the subject of her time in The Fall, Laura asks Brix about whether there was any doubt that falling in love shouldn’t mix with music, Brix whacks it out of range by saying: “In this case it was the right thing to do because we were soul mates and we were put on this earth to write the things that we did, and that’s why the songs have stood the test of time… And you go back to them now” she continues, “and they’re pretty much as fresh as the day you wrote them. It was meant to be for the time that it was.”
Aside from The Fall and her new band, Brix and the Extricated, Brix features famously in Courtney Love’s band Hole for 24 hours before returning to play in The Fall. Brix explains: “You know I did join Hole – but I lasted one day. So I was in The Fall twice. After Mark and I split up, I stayed along until we started to record Extricate, which I recorded, and then left right before it was quite finished. And then I went to LA for a few years and I gave up music because I was completely broken by this point.
I was broken. I also had carpal tunnel syndrome from playing guitar – it was so bad and they said ‘you might never play again’. I went to LA and I changed my life. I had to work, so I got a job as a waitress and studied acting at night.
Then Kristen [Pfaff] died in Hole, and Courtney [Love] was looking for a bass player and rang me up and said, ‘would you come to Seattle and play in Hole?’ Yeah! So I flew up to Seattle and went into rehearsals with Hole and stayed the night with Courtney. It was quite an experience and she’s an extremely smart woman. I like her very much.”
Brix continues: “The next day when I woke up in her house, I received a message from Mark [E Smith] saying ‘Brix, we need you back in The Fall. Come back, we need you to kick ass’. And I was like, stay in Hole? Or go back to The Fall, which is the band that began it all?
“By this time we were divorced so I would go back as a song writer and guitarist in my own right, without having to worry about shenanigans that go on when you’re a couple in a band. So I went back and re-joined The Fall. Disastrously!”
The Fall was notorious for having a revolving door of members coming and going, over the years, but with all the pressures, on and off stage, Brix’s determination to reach the top was never in doubt thanks to fierce spirit that equipped her to cope with the situation. She says. “I grew up with a very strong mother who was an incredible role model for me – and she said you can do anything you want in your life and you can be anything you want in your life: don’t let being a woman hold you back.
So I went out there to play guitar and I wanted to play as good and as hard as a man and I wanted people to close their eyes and not know whether it was a woman or a man playing. I played so hard my hands would bleed every night. I’ve got the scars to prove it.”
Talking about women in the industry, Laura comments that in the 70’s women were seen as the ‘muse’, where the men were the ‘musicians’. But not Brix Smith: “I was the muse and the musician”, she says. “It’s interesting because the muse is actually a very important thing to be because it helps facilitate and wind up the creativity of the artist but it’s the feeding of the energy between the two people, so it’s just as important as the artist because loads of musicians feel bereft without their muse. It’s like the light that lights the firefly.”
Putting her days in The Fall and day in Hole behind her, Brix’s new band Brix and the Extricated are still going strong with their third album coming out before the end of the year. Brix added, “It’s called Super Blood Wolf Moon and it comes out October 25th – that’s our third. Four of us were in The Fall but we formed this new band about four years ago, maybe, and it’s a mixture between something new, something special. But you still have the sonic thread of The Fall days going through it. It’s very strong.”
As well as the new album, Brix and the Extricated will be going on an extensive British tour starting October 30th. Fans can visit www.brixandtheextricated.com for further info.
Among the benefits of good friends such as Alan – Brix is also godmother to his daughter, Charlie – is a wild wedding DJ, as she says: “Alan and Liam [Gallagher] were my DJ’s [at my wedding]. He’s [Alan] a mentor to me, and what a DJ to have at your wedding!”
In true punk style, Brix reveals, “The first song he played, can you guess? The most perfect thing! Guns in Brixton!”
Brix appeared on Episode 10 of Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV alongside Miles Kane, Ian Broudie from The Lightning Seeds, and exclusively, Leo Harvey-Elledge and James McClelland who play Liam and Noel Gallagher in the new film, Creation Stories, as well as exclusive performances from Miles Kane, Only the Poets and Hands Off Gretel.
Born out of a need to bring back music TV programmes after the likes of MTV and Top of the Pops abdicated their thrones, Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV has counted over 1.7 million views with stars including Hollywood legend Stephen Graham, daytime TV favourite Holly Willoughby, to household names like The Kooks, The Vaccines and Slaves.
Since its inception two years ago the show has helped to launch career of new, emerging talent such as Tom Grennan and Gerry Cinnamon who have since gone on to headline tours, features at festivals, release their own successful albums, and become Radio X and Radio 1 regulars.
Beside Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV, Red Stripe and This Feeling host over 300 live club nights with 1000 acts performing each year.