Morrissey’s latest album has been delayed for more than a year, and Josh Klinghoffer, who played on the songs, thinks he knows why.
“If anybody follows Morrissey or is a fan of his, or if anyone knows anything about what’s going on these days in the culture, they can sort of put two and two together and perhaps make sense out of why a great Morrissey album, one that he said is his favorite … an album that Morrissey made that he is hailing as his best is not out yet,” Klinghoffer said.
The guitarist is one of several notable collaborators who contributed to the LP. Producer Andrew Watt and drummer Chad Smith were also involved in the project, with Iggy Pop among the reported guests. Though the album, titled Bonfire of the Children, has been announced, there remains no release date or record label supporting it.
The issue, as Klinghoffer sees it, stems from Morrissey’s many controversies. In 2018, the former Smiths singer shocked many fans with his views on the #MeToo movement, suggesting that – in the cases of Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein – alleged victims knew what they were getting themselves into. Morrissey has also maintained far-right political opinions over the years, including a stance on immigration that some have said borders on racist.
“Morrissey has, I think, done himself no favors in the court of public opinion with some of the things he’s said or some of the pins he’s worn on television,” Klinghoffer admitted. “I think the whole story surrounding this record and the fact that it’s not out yet, if people were able to listen to the information and keep a cool head, they could see that there’s a greater discussion around this album than the album or the music itself.
“If Morrissey says something that’s offensive to people … I don’t know how much they know him, how much they know his music in the past,” the guitarist continued. “I don’t know how much time they spend listening to his [music], thinking that they really know where he’s coming from. People just might get offended. I don’t, because I honestly don’t think he’s a malicious person, even if he says stupid shit.”
At the end of the day, Klinghoffer is confident Bonfire of the Children deserves to be released, regardless of any controversies that may surround the singer.
“Morrissey has a great record. It’s in my phone. And it’s not in stores. What does that say about the world we’re living in?” the guitarist questioned. “Because, where are we gonna be 20 years from now? How many people will be making records or making songs that are supposed to make you think — basically doing what I thought rock music or art in general was, which was to make you think. To start a conversation. That’s what I thought we were supposed to do. How many people will be doing that, or scared to do it, 20 years from now?”
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