INTERVIEW: TALKING TO SHAUN RYDER
Having it large since the 80s, Manchester’s favourite son, the inimitable front man of Happy Mondays, Shaun Ryder has experienced his fair share of moments in his time spent in the music history. As the band get set to play Guildford’s G Live on December 20, we caught up with Shaun to talk tour…
THERE’S A CATALOGUE OF MADCAP TALES ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR TIME IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY. FROM DRUGGING PIGEONS TO STEALING EDDY GRANT’S SOFA IN BARBADOS – WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WERE A LITTLE BIT NAUGHTY?
I’ve not been really naughty for about 17 years really. All the naughtiness went when I hit 40. I can still be a little bit adventurous, but not naughty.
WHEN HAPPY MONDAYS FIRST GOT SIGNED, YOU WERE ON THE ROSTA OF FACTORY RECORDS (JOY DIVISION, NEW ORDER) RUN BY TONY WILSON. WHAT WERE THOSE EARLY DAYS LIKE FOR YOU AS A BAND? WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH THE LIKES OF TONY AND MARTIN HANNETT?
For a start, we didn’t get signed. Nobody signed for Factory. The signing only came really in the nineties when we did Pills and Thrills. We became the darlings of the music press and we were in the pop charts. The major labels got very interested in us then, as well as in the other Factory bands.
Factory was brilliant, it really was. If I had been on Virgin or EMI or whatever and I’d said look, the guy that’s going to produce our record is not a producer he’s a DJ and only really a few people in London and a few trendy people that go to Ibiza really know who he is, they would have just told me to f**k off, he’s not producing the record. Whereas factory went, oh, okay, think about, let’s do a B-side, let’s do something and that was Oakenfold. You got to do pretty much what you wanted, it was creative.
ORIGINATORS OF THE MADCHESTER MOVEMENT IN THE LATE 80s CROSSING RAVE AND INDIE MUSIC – DID YOU EVER THINK THAT YOU WOULD GO ON TO CREATE YOUR OWN GENRE OF MUSIC THAT WOULD BE EMULATED BY SO MANY OTHERS?
We wanted to be a bit like Parliament or Funkadelic. Those guys crossed funk with rock and all sorts and we were sort of trying to do a similar thing, We were always trying to do something different. If you look at every one of our albums, every one of them was different and used different producers. As soon as we started doing something that sounded a bit sameyor sounded like someone else we would just scrap it.
IT’S BEEN OVER 30 YEARS SINCE ‘SQUIRREL AND G-MAN TWENTY FOUR HOUR PARTY PEOPLE PLASTIC FACE CArNT SMILE (WHITEOUT)’, WAS RELEASED. I THINK IT’S SAFE TO SAY, LIKE A GOOD CHRISTMAS CAKE, YOU’VE MATURED WITH AGE. WHAT WOULD YOUR IDEAL 24-HOUR PARTY BE LIKE THESE DAYS.
Pretty, f**cking boring! It’d be like News at 10 with a few coffees.
IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO DO IT ALL AGAIN, WOULD YOU HAVE DONE ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY?
Yeah, I mean what we do makes us who we are. One of the things I wouldn’t have done is go into receivership for 14 years. I had a problem with management at the time and I got rid of them because I didn’t like them, and it worked out bad. When they were awarded £120,000 I should have just paid them, because it cost me fortunes not paying, and it took me 14 years to get out of it. But one can’t be bitter.
NO STRANGER TO UFO’S – IF YOU WRE ABDUCTED BY ALIENS AND QUESTIONED ABOUT PLANET EARTH – HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT?
It’s worth saving and sorting out. It’s a nice place to live when it’s looked after.
YOU HEAD OUT ON YOUR GREATEST HITS TOUR THIS AUTUMN/WINTER AND FINISH UP AT G LIVE IN GUILDFORD – HAVE YOU GOT ANY MEMORIES OF PLAYING GUILDFORD IN THE PAST? YOU HEADLINED GUILFEST BACK IN 2009…
I think it’s about our third! I don’t know what the f**k we’ll do next, We’ll have to make something up. I know we’ve been there a few times, but it all rolls into one for me. I do like having a beer at the festivals. I’m not teetotal – I do a few beers.
SHAUN RYDER – WHAT’S ON YOUR RIDER THESE DAYS FOR GIGS?
Manuka honey, Guinness and Marvellous Creations chocolate – the one with the popping candy and jelly. Those, Amazon and ASOS are my new habits. I can get anything! I can’t f**king help it. It’s an urge, a proper habit. It really is – it’s like a drug.
HAPPY MONDAYS / DECEMBER 20 / G LIVE, GUILDFORD
For more information and to book tickets visit, www.glive.co.uk
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