Patrick Wolf's announcement that he was going to retire from live performance this November has sent him scrambling for an explanation to allow him to climb down gracefully. Having failed, he's told Pitchfork that he didn't mean when he posted the message on a public board on the internet for people to read it:
I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have music in my life, and this is going to turn into some kind of horrendous Mariah Carey speech, but the music has led me through many adventures and disasters and good times and total lonely times and for me to say I was going to quit music is like saying I'm going to commit suicide. It's the most extreme thing that could happen in my life. That would make me miserable, so I would never say I was quitting music, because I would never know where to start.
Pitchfork: So what did you mean by that message board post?
PW: This year's been strange because The Magic Position is about a relationship that happened a year ago, a very serene and magical time, between me and an artist called Ingrid Z. And I'm having to come and be like a vessel for all these songs, but I'm an honest performer as well. I don't even like to use the word "performance." I don't want to be a traveling businessman or salesman for my work. I want to be a musician that sings and feels and makes people feel, and when something becomes too repetitive, then I feel like I'm not doing my job.
The bad habit that I've had in the last six years since I released my first EP was to not even think that I'm a human being, that I need to sleep or to eat or to go to the toilet or have sex or anything. I just go, "Okay, I'm going on tour for the next year. Goodbye, everyone." And then I say, "Yeah, sure I'll do seven hours of interviews before a show." I do all this, and I enjoy it, but there's a certain time in every musician's life, you've got to realize-- I'm kind of like Britney Spears in a way. I've been doing it as a teenager, so I'm kind of trying to start thinking about being a human so I can start to make my work again. I have to be like the mother and father of my work and say, "It's time to go to bed, Patrick, and it's time not to open your mouth, and it's time to create."
So... erm, that's clearer then: when he posted something on the internet you weren't supposed to read it and what he meant seems to have been "It's a shit business."
That makes it a lot clearer.