The Happy Mondays play two shows at the London Roundhouse this week (19, 20 December). We caught up with Shaun Ryder for his take on getting the band back together again…
The Happy Mondays reunion. How are you all getting long?
“Really well. And I’m not just saying that for the media. When you get to my age you calm down. We’ve all had our differences in the past but we’ve been away from the music business and one other things. It gives you a perspective. Mark [Day] has been teaching guitar in schools and colleges so he knows what it’s like dealing with a load of unruly fuckers. But I think we are fine. We are enjoying it and we are a grateful to have the chance to do it again.”
How about the Roundhouse shows? Looking forward to them?
“Of course. Everything’s going good with the band and it’s all pleasure when we get out there. And that venue is a great place. It’s going to be proper Christmas, like.”
What do you mean?
“It’ll be nearly Christmas so the vibe will be Christmassy.”
Santa costumes and all?
“No. Fuck off.”
Is a little bit of you envious of the Stone Roses comeback? In terms of headlines, I mean…
“We’ve not exactly been mysterious in our absence though have we? I mean we went away, we came back, we went away and now we’re fucking at it again. It’s great. I’m not knocking it. I love it in fact. It’s been really, really good. But the Stone Roses they disappeared and the clamour for it [the reunion] was all the bigger because of that. But would I rather do it our way or be them and be as fucking skint as they have been the last twenty years. I’ll take our way, mate.”
You sound very upbeat about it all.
“Course I do. I’ve had a second chance haven’t I? More than that. Loads of chances. And when you grow up a bit…when you hit 50 like I have then you value things a bit more. Doing gigs used to be like a bit of an afterthought to all the other stuff. Now it’s a pleasure.”