To the Person John Niven , Born in 1966, is considered the Bad Boy of British literature. Nothing and no one is in front of the biting mockery of the Scots for sure. He became known in 2008 with the novel “Kill your Friends” about a music Manager who is in a London record company for talent scouting and artist development. The story of the evil and ruthless Steven Stelfox came in 2016, even to the cinema. After a brief appearance as a talent show-presenter in “God forbid” is Stelfox in Niven’s new novel, “Kill ’em All” (Heyne) back in the music business. With his unscrupulous methods, he aims to help the Boss of a major label.
MIRROR ONLINE: your fictional character, Steven Stelfox is back in the music industry. Which has changed since its professional inception in the nineties. Why is he coming back?
career: Stelfox has left the music industry around 2003, as the CD sales went down the drain. A lot of people still think that the Internet would have destroyed the music business. But in reality, the companies have long since found new ways to earn money. YouTube or Spotify do not pay as much as you should, and it is not enough for the artists. But the record companies make as much money as for a long time. So, Stelfox: “a Moment’s thinking time, it’s worth it. How do I get back in there?”
Nicholas Hoult in the Niven-novel “Kill Your Friends” (2015)
MIRROR ONLINE: His way back into the business, a rather glaring Plan.
career: Yes, he wants to kill the biggest pop star in the world, but then I bring it back. The Star is a pedophile and should be blackmailed and ruined. But that would also ruin the record company. So he thinks, first of all, We should just kill him. But then all the rumors of Elvis come to him that is alive, somewhere. And he decides: We fake the death of our Stars, hide it, think of any story, to stage the Comeback and earn double.
MIRROR ONLINE: Is not the hyped up a bit too?
career: Because it would show Stelfox just on the TV, where Donald Trump announced his amtseinweihung celebration of the greatest of all time. The way the world is today. A lie may not be large enough. The bigger, the better. As long as you scream it loud enough and often enough repeated.
MIRROR ONLINE: Stelfox in the book to say, Trump is the perfect A&R man. Why?
career: Because he knows, as he puts his fan-base satisfied. And also, because he knows that there is no low point, no limit. As an A&R man Stelfox wanted to discover never Radiohead, him, it went on to Pop-star to the smallest common multiple. So Trump does also.
MIRROR ONLINE: Can recognize you in person because something Good at the populist method?
career: I find this wave in the US is really scary. The American writer H. L. Mencken has pointed out in the thirties the fact that you can be President, if you told the people just the whole crazy, malicious stuff they want to believe. You knew it, but no one was crazy enough to try it for real. And then the storm, not just Trump, also to the Right in Germany, in Italy, people like Nigel Farage in England.
MIRROR ONLINE: Some people see a possible answer to counter with a kind of populism from the left. They give the opportunities?
career: Difficult. Because in order to play this game, you have to speak a language that by its very nature, demagogic and alarmist. And we should not appeal to this part of the minds of the people. This is one of the irritating consequences of social media: Everyone suddenly has a voice. But a lot of people I want to hear nothing at all – because they are terrible people.
MIRROR ONLINE: But this is not simply democratic?
career: Well, there used to be filters. Editors, A&R people, they have filtered out the Lunatics and the Untalented. You know the Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park? Where you just on a box and shouting, that the world ends and Jesus? The Internet has transformed the world into a single Speaker’s Corner. Especially in the USA, there are a lot of wrong, the want to listen to the Wrong people like, what they have to say Mistaken. With these people I try to have in my books a bit of fun.
MIRROR ONLINE: The pop star, the “Kill ’em All” turns, has many moves of Michael Jackson. A documentary film about him and his dealings with the children again in the headlines. You have to Jackson’s music pleasure?
career: Yes. I found it very strange that the thing was at the time of his death not a big issue. But I notice on me, the older I get, the more I separate the art from the artist. Michael Jackson was a very damaged, but it is also harmful to humans. But nevertheless, his work is great. Or we can take Morrissey: That he has become embittered, racist idiots, doesn’t diminish what he created as a young man with the Smiths. Many of the younger people might react, but may be political and say: I want to hear his music, never more.
pop star Jackson with children
MIRROR ONLINE: so, you think this is a question of Generation? Or has changed, in General, the moral atmosphere of the society?
career: I don’t know. For me, human morality has little to do with art. I think it’s more a question of how you want to live your life. And many musicians or writers are not very nice people. Some people consider me because of my books for a misogynist, homophobic or right-wing, as some figures. It makes me worry for the future, because that is a failure of Education. Many people no longer know what a novel is and what a novel.
MIRROR ONLINE: When you put your books in the minds of these people, it makes for really fun? Or you don’t come out but it changed a bit after a day Stelfox-Write?
career: Bret Easton Ellis once said that he would find it difficult to have the voice of Patrick Bateman, a long time in the head. I think that’s overdramatized. I think it is more to do with Nabokov: For him, his characters were galley slaves, who do what he wants. How does a figure like Stelfox? By allowing him to be completely outrageous things to say, but as it came from the common sense. As it would be not crazy to think so, as everyone felt that way. Only then it will be funny. So, don’t worry: I’m not from the work room into the kitchen and talk with my wife as Stelfox.
DISPLAY John Niven:
Kill ’em all
translated from the English by Stephan Glietsch
Heyne Verlag; 384 pages; 20 Euro
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MIRROR ONLINE: Since we are then again in Trumps method: with him any Exaggeration, is in virtually every Tweet.
career: Yes, I think this is a real Problem. I can hardly remember the last Time I was at a Party or at a dinner and he showed up after 20 minutes in the conversation. I can’t speak for other authors, but it seems to me impossible to write today in the presence of playing novel in which Trump wasn’t.
MIRROR ONLINE: Really?
career: Yes, so very Trump has infected the consciousness of the world. To be quite honest: I can’t wait, that he dies. I’m going to celebrate! Very big! If there is any justice, he would die a painful death, while he sits for treason in the prison.