Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Sisterhood

After the March 1985 release of the first Sisters of Mercy album First and Last and Always the band prepared themselves for a follow-up. Eldritch: "The next Sisters album was going to be called 'Left On Mission and Revenge'."

Singer Andrew Eldritch saw the time ripe for a change of direction: "I always wanted to do something different, because whatever we did it all eventually sounded the same."  "I wanted to find out how to record songs without any rock structures and especially without guitars."

Together with guitarist Wayne Hussey Eldritch went to Hamburg-Bramfeld during August and September 1985  to compose new material. Wayne Hussey: "I went to Hamburg for a month with Andrew to try and write songs for the second Sisters album, and we came back with all my ideas rejected and Andrew's very skeletal."  "Andrew rejected all my songs and let me work on one single chord all the time: 'Here's my song - E minor!"

Back in England the band came together to rehearsals in October 1985, but the musical differences had become irreconcilable. Wayne Hussey: "We got to doing the second album and Andrew said 'I'm not singing any of your songs.'"

Eldritch: "Then they said 'Well, okay, what are we gonna do for new songs?' And I said 'How about this, this and this' and, unfortunately, the first 'this' I cited had too many chords per minute and Craig said 'If that's the guitar line, I'm not playing it' and walked out. That was really that." "The others didn't want to play my new songs, such as 'Torch' for instance.  The song has some unusual chord changes. Craig thought it was crap, he said 'I'm not playing it, I'm going home.' And there he stayed."

Hussey: "Craig walked out of rehearsal and a day later I did."

The music press reported the break-up of the band on Saturday, 2 November 1985: "The Sisters of Mercy were down to singer Andrew Eldritch and his faithful drum machine Avalanche this week after guitarist Wayne Hussey and bassist Craig Adams left the band. Although this has scuppered recording plans for a new album this month, Andrew now intends to record the same album in the New Year and could well be using Wayne as a session guitarist. The split was described as 'friendly' by a Merciful Release spokesperson. 'The cliché of musical differences would not be inappropriate. Wayne and Craig were unable to comprehend the direction the band was going.' Andrew has also approached former Gun Club bassist Patricia Morrison - now in Fur Bible - to play on the album, but it's not yet known whether Andrew will continue with the name Sisters of Mercy. Wayne and Craig are now reported to be getting their own band together."

Andrew Eldritch: "The people that are now The Mission and myself had an agreement, no one would use the name when the band went its separate ways."  "The band was good and successful, each of us could continue. The split came at a time when it wouldn't do us any damage." 

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