Just ahead of rehearsing for an upcoming tour with the Happy Mondays to celebrate 25 years since Bummed was released, Rowetta spared some time to talk with Mojo20. The Happy Mondays, including Rowetta, not long ago reformed with its original line up. Recently Rowetta has also recently provided vocals for the Peter Hook and The Light who are fronted by the ex Joy Division and New Order bass player Peter Hook.
Hi Rowetta, many thanks for taking time out to talk to us. It’s 25 years since Happy Mondays Bummed album was released. And you’re celebrating with another Mondays tour! Which date are you looking forward to most?
I’m honestly looking forward to all of them, as I haven’t sung on a lot of these songs before and all the songs from Bummed are being reworked and we’ve all been working hard to make sure it will be an amazing tour. I usually look forward most to Glasgow and Manchester, but in the last year I’ve loved playing everywhere. All the crowds have been well up for it, and I think this tour could top it as people really love the Bummed album, and so do I.
Are you or the Happy Mondays releasing any new material soon?
We’ve recorded demos and the songs sound great. I know we’ve been looking at potential producers, but all on hold for now until after this tour. 2 of the band live in different continents and all have families and we have a lot of gigs coming up, but hopefully the new songs will be released eventually. I love the whole creating process with the lads and because we hadn’t written or recorded together for years it felt really special and everyone is better at what they do, and clearer in the head than years ago, but the music’s still fresh, raw, original and funky as f*ck and Shaun’s been on top form lyrically and I’ve been coming up with some double catchy hooks. Moose, Horse and Gaz are all incredible musicians, and I played a couple to Bez when we were in Thailand and he loved them.
Are you a fan of beards?
I LOVE stubble!
Are you still recording with the Joy Division/New Order legend that is Peter Hook?
Not recording, as Hooky and The Light are now touring New Order songs, which I didn’t feel was right for me. I love singing the Joy Division songs though and Hooky is a great friend. I got up with him a few weeks ago at Junction 16 before I sang with the Mondays. The songs are so beautiful to sing and an amazing group of musicians in The Light. Just a joy and an honour to be involved. Peter Hook & The Light feat Rowetta 1102 / 2011 EP was released on vinyl last week for the first time, which is a beautiful thing. I love the artwork, the songs, the production, the people… Very proud!
You’re a big Man United fan – do you manage to fit many games into your busy schedule?
It’s difficult as I am away a lot. I managed to get to 6 last year, but if I have to gig or record or work I just watch from home, as I can’t be tired in my job, but I do love United, but missing Sir Alex already.
If you were stuck on a desert island who would you prefer to be stuck with – Bez or Shaun Ryder?
Bez is like my brother and I’ve only just started speaking to Shaun again, this last year or so, so it would have to be Bez, but we’re all getting on fine now, so it’s all very easy and sweet. I love that Shaun’s a proper family man now and always wants to get back to his little girls. Me and Bez do loads of stuff outside of the Mondays. Dj/singing gigs and we have a lot of nights out and nights in chatting. He is a Bezzie mate.
Any plans to play in Lincoln at some point?
I always want to play everywhere, but it’s never up to us. If you want us to play in Lincoln contact our manager, agent, the venue you want us to play. People always think the band has something to do with where we play or don’t play, but we really don’t have a say. We love to play and we’re happy to travel. Sometimes dates, venue availability, promoters and costs can get in the way.
You have an amazingly powerful voice. Do you play any instruments as well as you can sing?
I play a little guitar, keyboard and the cornet! I’m also very good with Pro Tools and love to record vocal ideas in my bedroom and send them to the boys.
Do you dunk biscuits in your tea or coffee? If so, which biscuits?
I don’t and have never liked tea or coffee, so no, I don’t!
Being a part of the scene, were you ever a fan of other Madchester bands?
Of course. I love the Stone Roses and they’re friends, but I love the songs and they’re phenomenal musicians. I did 2 nights at Heaton Park (would have been 3, but we had a gig in Ireland on the Sunday) and went to Milan, Dubai and Glasgow Green last year, so you could say I’m a fan. All the bands that have supported us since we reformed have been so good. Inspiral Carpets & 808 State really got the crowd and me going before we went on! The Charlatans played Feile Belfast with us a couple of months ago and were great too. So much talent is born in this city. Manchester’s special and I love it!
Very proud Mancunian!
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Rowetta’s photographer was Angie Wynne of Iconic Boudoir, Manchester.