Irvine Welsh grew up in Leith, Scotland. The son of working class parents, he spent his childhood in government housing, a milieu he gave voice to in his hugely popular novel and subsequent film, Trainspotting. The book was an international success and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 1993. Welsh moved to London in his twenties and played in local punk bands but returned to Edinburgh in the late-80s. Drawing inspiration from the the rave culture there, he began writing seriously and submitting to literary journals. After Trainspotting, he published Ecstasy, Glue, Porno, The Acid House and The Bedroom Secrets of Master Chefs. His books’ themes range from the Scottish identity, sectarianism, classism, immigration, unemployment, AIDS and drug use. Recent works are The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs (2006), a play, Babylon Heights (2006), written with Dean Cavanagh, and If You Liked School You'll Love Work (2007). His latest novel, Crime, was published in 2008. He has taught undergraduate creative writing at Columbia College in Chicago and currently divides his time between Miami, Chicago, Dublin and London.
Irvine Welsh: I’m probably far too Catholic minded when it comes to drink. I’d just drink anything, basically. I kind of like… I think, the older you get, the more you do become quite high minded about things, . I like kind of those… I do like those cocktail now. I think, kind of being, spending a lot of time in Miami makes you more appreciative of that sort of thing. But, I do admit, it’s [IB]. You couldn’t go to a local pub in [IB] and drink exotic cocktail.
You’re just stuck there with beer… If you got around the pub or go to [IB], if you get a good pint, you take it back, because it’s like, you only want horrible kind of gut-rutting sort of poisonous beer, . It doesn’t kind of… I doesn’t work in the surroundings if you got this nice kind of, you get this nice kind of thing that sort of [totally leaves] the taste buds. It’s just got to be nasty volume of sludge.
Well, at Miami, I usually drink rum. I usually have just some rum. Occasionally vodka, but usually it’s a rum based drink. I kind of a… I would have a Mojito occasionally. I wouldn’t kind of… I wouldn’t go for… The problem with cocktails is you could only drink a few then become quite sickly because of all the stuff that’s in them, . So, if you out for a serious drinking session, you maybe start off with a couple of cocktails and then move on to sort of kind of something like vodka and tonic, something that’s a bit less kind of scented and rich.
Recorded on: September 8, 2008