Shaun Ryder interview

Happy Monday's front man on Dubai, earthquakes

Interview, Hot seat

The band’s original line-up has reformed for the first time in 19 years. Rob Garratt spoke to the 50-year-old party-starting frontman ahead of the Mondays’ Dubai gig.

Hi Shaun…
Hello! Have you just had an earthquake?

We have. Have you ever been in an earthquake?
There was one in Salford a couple of years ago, but I slept through it. It was no bigger than my snoring.

You must have missed lots of things – what have you been told you’ve done but don’t remember?
The only thing I find difficult to remember is the ’90s – I remember the ’60s better than the ’90s.

So why the Mondays reunion?
After the Stone Roses reunion, we were bombarded with offers. Obviously everyone agreed to do it, so we did it.

It was that easy?
It was really easy. The hardest one [to persuade] was Bez, because he’s nearly 50 years old and he really didn’t feel it was right to do Mondays shows and shake his booty all over the stage.

Why do you think so many bands have reformed lately?
I don’t know – they all have their own reasons. A lot of those are down to wanting a paycheck at the end.

That must have been yours too.
Of course it was!

You must be looking forward to Dubai then.
Yeah. This gig nearly didn’t happen – it was off for a while, and I just found out it’s back on again. I think there was a problem with the flights or something.

It’s good news for Dubai. We have an indie night here named after your tune, ‘Step On’…
It’s good you have an indie night. Why not?

You turned 50 last year. Did that give you a different perspective on life?
My big change was when I hit 40. I was quite disgusted with where I was, the [rubbish] going on. Now at 50 I’m really comfortable, I’m in slippers everywhere I go. I feel really happy. I feel about 31 in my head – Bez is 21 in his.

He still likes to party?
He won’t ever stop – he loves it. At 50, I live in a totally different way now. I was like any other kid – as far as I’m concerned, Fleetwood Mac got into more [trouble] than we did. We played it all up. People say the press gave us a hard time? The press made us.

Why did you decide to do UK reality show I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here?
I didn’t want to do it – my wife wanted me to, my manager, my record label – but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d do a reunion show if they asked.

Now you’re working on documentary Shaun Ryder on UFOs. Do you believe in them?
In 1978, when I was 15, before all the [partying], I saw something flying in the sky that defied the laws of physics, and that really got my attention. It’s ridiculous to think we’re alone in the universe.

Do you think you’ll be on the road in another 20 years?
Absolutely – grow old absolutely disgracefully, I say.
Happy Mondays play Dubai Tennis Stadium on Friday April 26. www.timeouttickets.com.

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