Derek Birkett

(Member of Flux Of Pink Indians (now Flux), associates of anarcho-punk collective Crass. Through Crass met Einar of Purkurr Pillnikk who later joined Kukl alongside Bjork. They recorded for Crass’ label, when half of Kukl became The Sugarcubes, Birkett became involved with them through his label, One Little Indian. He is now her manager.)

She’ll only work with people she respects... I was approached by four of the biggest selling artists in the world to sing with her at the Brits but she desperately wanted to sing with Polly Harvey. She’s done business deals on moral accounts, and paid people she didn’t have to, and credited people who didn’t need to be. She’s possibly the worst business person I’ve ever worked with.

We were going to do a major deal for The Sugarcubes with Warners. Just before the signing we were told there’d be an element of compromise and that if we went with the singles Warners wanted, they work harder. But the band said they’d be happier selling a hundred records they wanted to rather than one million that Warners did. I was devastated but they weren’t. Einar bought me a bottle of brandy and Bjork bought me a ceramic model where a snake pops out of a pot. And I was sitting in the park with them, thinking, Fuck, we just walked out on half a million quid and they don’t give a shit. It’s been a bit like that ever since...

Select, june 1994