WHAT you need to know is that everything you already know will happen later. The Best New Band in Britain claim, the NME front covers, the meeting with Bowie, the top 10 hits, the (chemically assisted) highs and lows, the success and excess and then the fall-outs and break-ups.

This story happens before all of that.

These days Brett Anderson splits his time between London and Somerset. The former is where he works, the latter is where he lives with his wife, son and stepson. Work mostly takes the form of being the suave older front man of revived Britpop pioneers Suede. But the reason we are speaking today is a new venture. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce Brett Anderson, author.

Coal Black Mornings is Anderson’s autumnal memoir of the springtime of his life; a vision of childhood and his teenage years and the thankless early days of Suede, “a kind of pre-history,” he writes in the introduction. “The very last thing I wanted to write was the usual ‘coke and gold discs’ memoir …”

Instead, he’s written about family and poverty and, ultimately, about the way pop music can offer a map of another path through this world. And he does it very well.

The question is why, of course. Or why now?

Because of fatherhood, Anderson says. Coal Black Morning started as a document for his children. “When you have kids, it makes you think a lot about your own childhood. That was the entry point and I kind of carried on writing.

“The one thing I really didn’t want to do is write the conventional biography. I was determined to stop at the point where we got signed. That’s quite a symbolic moment in a band’s career. It’s the start of success. Whether they go on to achieve success beyond that is another matter.

“I didn’t want to go over the same ground that people have gone over many times before.”

Because up until that point it’s still your story, not ours, perhaps, I suggest to him. “Very much so.”

Now in his 50th year, Anderson has weathered well. On stage he can still whip the microphone lead, though he does tend to forego using the mic to spank his arse these days.

It is now 25 years since Suede announced themselves to the world. The band’s eponymous debut album, a swirling, dark, druggy, carnal beast fuelled by Bernard Butler’s singing, snarling guitar lines and Anderson’s falsetto yowl was a clarion call for British guitar bands in the face of the grunge invasion. They were never a band likely to inspire football singalongs though. Like Pulp, their version of Britpop (not a term Anderson ever wanted to be linked with) was a statement of tawdry glamour and working-class artiness (yes, that used to be a thing).

But Suede didn’t arrive fully formed. That’s what Anderson explores in Coal Black Mornings. It’s both a form of time travel and an archaeological dig into his own youth in all its awkwardness and otherness.

“I came from a working-class background, but it wasn’t the conventional mining community or a high-rise Hackney council block,” Anderson says. “It was a different kind of working class. Just as underprivileged and just as fraught, but a strange in-between sort of background that meant that I suppose that I never really fitted in.

“I never had a tribe. Because even on the council estate that I was brought up on we were seen as outsiders. We were never really seen as part of the community because my dad was quite eccentric, and my mum was quite eccentric in her own way as well.”

Anderson grew up with his sister in Haywards Heath, on the grimy fringe of the Home Counties. His mum was a wannabe painter, his dad Peter, who came from a military family, was a taxi driver and, by Anderson’s account, a difficult man.

Peter Anderson loved Liszt, Churchill and Nelson. He wanted to call his son Horatio but his mother won out and named him after the actor Jeremy Brett. He was a capricious man, too, Anderson suggests, vacillating between charming eccentricity and brooding bullying. “His was a generation that simply wasn’t given the tools to control and address its inner ghosts,” Anderson writes.

And yet, from another angle, there’s a desperate heroism to Peter. His own father, Anderson’s grandfather, was a member of the Royal Scots Fusiliers’ marching band. He was also an alcoholic and, before he disappeared, a violent man. His son swore he would not carry on that cycle of abuse. And to his credit he didn’t.

“That’s the most heroic thing about him,” Anderson agrees. “I have a lot of respect for my dad. In lots of ways we were incredibly close, and I miss him terribly.

“As I get older all the things about him that used to annoy me I just think are amazing now. He was a taxi-driving Liszt obsessive who used to walk around in three-piece suits in the seventies when everyone was dressed in Status Quo T-shirts. At the time his quirks used to irritate me, but he was amazingly brave in lots of way.

“He wasn’t educated, and it just led to frustration in his life. What he managed to eke out of that despite the battle was incredible.

“And there is a sort of quiet dignity to so many people’s ordinary lives. My father was never famous, but he lived his life with a sort of … I dunno … a certain sense of style and individuality that I do hugely respect still.”

None of which made his father easy to live with, of course, Anderson admits. By comparison, his mother Sandra was the family anchor. “She didn’t have this strange charged brittle ego that my dad had. She was more stable. She was the creative hub of our family.

“If I have any strand of creativity it’s thanks to her really. She used to make and paint.”

The teenage Anderson was, the adult version admits in the pages of Coal Black Morning, callow, weak, cloying, even clingy. An outsider looking for a tribe to belong to.

For a while education was one possible escape. “I didn’t want to go to university in London originally. I wanted to go to university in Manchester. I had this romanticised vision of Manchester. I even applied to Dundee. I wanted to get as far away from my background as I possibly could geographically as well as in every way.”

In a parallel universe, Brett … “I could have been a town and county planner living in Dundee.”

Instead, he went to London, met Justine Frischmann who became his girlfriend and a member of his band. The band were called Suede. His friend Mat Osman was also a member and eventually Bernard Butler would come aboard.

“I suppose I was trying to do create my own little nation, this army of misfits,” he says now. “I was very into having a tribal following and I suppose, looking at it in finer detail, the kind of band that we became – where lots of people really didn’t like us and lots of people really loved us; the so-called Marmite band, you know – that was born from that need to inspire those polarities.”

Listening back to Suede’s eponymous album what strikes you now is the fierce confidence of it. But it took them a long time to get to that point. And it took the departure of Frischmann (from the band and from Anderson’s life; she would go on to be Damon Albarn’s partner and form her own band Elastica) to spark and fire Suede into life.

Her departure followed soon after the death of Anderson’s mother, a low point in his life. At the time, he writes in the book, he was “an emotionally frail person.” I wonder what gave him the strength to carry on?

“People just carry on, don’t they? Those wounds are awful and life-changing, but eventually they heal.”

In the book Anderson argues that it was in trying to fill this sudden female absence in his life that he stumbled upon the sense of androgyny that would do so much to mark Suede apart when they roared into the public consciousness.

“That’s the only justification I can give really. I was a strange young man,” he says when I bring it up.

To a degree, too, he suggests, it was accidental. “When Suede first started getting popular there were a couple of times when people ripped my shirt off onstage. It became a bit of a ritual where the fans would rip my clothes off and in order to replace the shirt I’d go out to a junk shop after a soundcheck and just buy a crappy old thing that was only supposed to last the first few songs. And then I ended up buying blouses.

“I don’t think I was consciously thinking: ‘Oh, I want to look androgynous.’ They were just thin and disposable and cheap and that almost became a style in itself.”

He pauses, then circles back around. “I’m being disingenuous saying I wasn’t aware of there being an androgyny there. But sometimes it’s parts of lots of different elements. There was definitely this thing of replacing femininity in my life because it wasn’t there. It had gone.”

What is also true is that back then he was still a young man with the inevitable mixture of swagger and naivety. On the band’s first single The Drowners Anderson sang: “We kissed in his room to a popular tune …” And he famously told the music press that he was a bisexual man “who’s never had a homosexual experience” to inevitable abuse and ridicule.

And yet Suede’s original impact owed much to the libidinal charge that was there in the songs. Whatever else they were, Suede’s songs were not neutered.

“I think that was an incredibly important thing,” he agrees. “There seems to be two versions of sex in pop music. Either no sex – anodyne pleasantries about nothingness – or cartoon sex; Love in an Elevator sort of thing.

“And there didn’t seem to be much description of sex as failure, hesitation, confusion. Those were the kinds of things I wanted to mine.

“And importantly not just sex as in references to sex, but there being something in the music that felt troubling and kind of carnal as well. All of a sudden, you dig into yourself and there’s something primal in there that you suddenly access.”

That was the key. All those years of seeing success as a support slot to Clare Grogan were suddenly in the past. Suede were suddenly the next big things.

The band’s swaggering pomp didn’t last long as Butler walked out in the middle of the making of their follow-up album Dog Man Star. That said, the band continued into the new century still channelling all the love and poison that fascinated Anderson, and then disappearing for more than a decade before returning with a new album, Bloodsports, in 2013 and Night Thoughts in 2016, albums that reinvigorated the Suede model for middle age.

The callow man Anderson was is now an adult. “I said to a friend earlier: ‘Yeah, me and my ego parted company the day I had children,’” he tells me. “When you realise that you’re not the most important person in the world your ego suddenly fades into the ether, doesn’t it?”

Still, he has enjoyed writing the book, he says. Maybe he’ll write something else at some point in the future. In the meantime, the 21st-century version of Suede has found a new life.

And in the end, this is the real story of Suede; in the long run it’s not a story of youth or sex or drugs (though they’re all part of it), it’s about friendship.

“It’s a funny thing being in a band. You spend so much downtime with them it’s like some sort of really dreary, drudgy marriage; a marriage that is just spent washing up or something. You sit in an airport with the same people and after a while I can see why people end up having separate dressing rooms.”

But that is not Suede’s story, he says. “I’m lucky enough to get on very well with the members of the band and we are lucky to feel very excited about what we’re doing artistically as well. You’ve got to be united. A band is a little gang.”

Brett Anderson says that even now he still feels like an outsider. But he’s not alone any more. He has found his tribe.

Coal Black Mornings by Brett Anderson is published by Little, Brown, priced £16.99. He is appearing at the Aye Write Book Festival in Glasgow on March 21.