Monday 24 October 2016

Shaun Ryder: I'm enjoying life more than ever

Published 24/09/2015 | 17:15

Shaun Ryder says he is not ready to retire yet
Shaun Ryder says he is not ready to retire yet

Happy Mondays star Shaun Ryder says there is no chance of him slowing down as he prepares to take to the stage again saying he is enjoying life more than ever.

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Still finding inspiration from everything, "off the telly, off the street, what people say and off the news", he looks every inch the rockstar with his Hugo Boss leather jacket and Ray Bans.

But between tackling the school run, taking his children to drama club, maths club and guitar lessons, the father-of-six has managed to write a new solo album - and says there is more to come.

Sipping a pint of Guinness he declares he's not "a born again one of them", and seized the rare opportunity to have a pint in the afternoon.

"My head is just a bit whacked so I thought I'd do something that I've not done for a while and have a pint in the afternoon. I've not stopped drinking, I'm not a born again one of them we just don't have booze in the house."

Having juggled his reality TV show appearances and successfully toured second album Bummed, he is now doing the same with follow-up album Pills'N'Thrills And Bellyaches.

It marks its 25th anniversary, although it does not seem that long ago for the "Madchester" lad.

The 53-year-old said: "Now it's time for this one. We've sold it out, it's not as if we are sticking people's arms up their backs.

"Pretty much the sex and drugs has disappeared and it really is just rock and roll now we're old men."

He said in his younger days they "milked it for everything we could" but he had since grown up and become "responsible".

"It seems like 10 minutes since we made the album so it's gone really, really quick. I am older, good grief, I love it though, I wouldn't go back. I've enjoyed all my times, teens, twenties, thirties, forties, and now I'm enjoying my fifties."

He added: "When you do it the first time you don't get chance to take it in. You're on the treadmill. It's like when we did Bummed, I hadn't listened to that since we came out of the studio in '88. When I was listening to it I thought you know what lads there's some good stuff on there, pat on the back. Now we are fat old men, all the arguing and quarrelling has gone."

Next year he is also due to start work on a new Black Grape album and says there is a new Mondays album in the pipework.

His solo album, which is yet to be named, follows on from his current single under the name SWR entitled Under The Dam .

His next release is Pop Star's Daughters, which is loosely based on his then teenage daughter who wanted to come to the UK to "party at dad's".

But, he says, after letting her stay for a while he gave her the ultimatum - school or a job.

She chose school and went back to the United States.

But the musician said he would not be caught sending out any political messages like band mate Bez - adding that he only voted for the first time during the last election, and "didn't think it made a difference".

"I don't do politics. It was the first time I voted, I was 53 and I'd never voted before. The only reason I voted was, being an adult with kids. There's a lot of people losing their jobs."

He added that Bez was "out fracking with his political parties".

But he added: "Bez is still pretty much like he was when he was 21, he is a machine, he's adamant he will stay being Bez until the day he pops his clogs."

Instead Mr Ryder prefers to be known as "Showbiz Shaun".

He claims the day he came out of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! was the day he became "PG TV friendly" - which ironically coincided with the day his Channel 4 ban got lifted.

He said he went on the reality show after going into receivership and had to "pay off all the lawyers' fees".

"I couldn't go bankrupt because you lose all your songs. I would have lost everything. I lost about four million quid in 12 years.

"I eventually got out of it in 2010 which is when I went in the jungle to pay off all the lawyers' fees. The kids and Mrs wanted me to do it. I was still a bit like er. At first I was like 'hey I'm an artist we don't do that sort of thing' and now it's just normal. I'm really glad I did it."

And it helped secure a huge following and fan base that he says ranged from eight to 80 years old.

This week he appeared on Singing In The Rainforest when the Happy Mondays stayed on a remote island off Panama to experience life with some of the most remote tribes, although there wasn't "a Co-op or Waitrose at the bottom of the road".

And there's no signs of him retiring: "If I was working in Greggs I'd still be working until I was 65. You don't retire in our game. We enjoy more than ever getting up on stage and playing the music. Now it's not a music business any more it's the entertainment business more than ever."

Press Association

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