>• Still going strong 22 years after the Smiths, the British pop god, 49, has a new CD, Years of Refusal.
YOU ARE SUCH AN ICON OF BRIT POP. WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE BRITISH ACTS TODAY?
I haven’t had any interest in pop music since Herman’s Hermits broke up. There didn’t seem to be any point.
WHAT’S ON YOUR IPOD?
I don’t have an iPod. I have a gramophone that runs on sand mixed with water.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SMITHS AND SOLO SONGS?
“That’s How People Grow Up” [on Years of Refusal] and “Girlfriend in a Coma.” I love most of them. They’re like lice-ridden WWII evacuee children to me: All they ask is to be loved.
WHICH OF YOUR SONG TITLES SUMS UP YOUR LIFE?
“Life Is a Pigsty” from Ringleader of the Tormentors. Life is a matter of making do, you see. It’s all anyone does, in fact.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT TURNING 50 THIS YEAR?
Fifty is unfortunate because you smell of attics, can’t get comfortable in bed and need help to reach the telephone. In truth, 50 is nothing.