Shaun Ryder says he’d “probably be locked up in a loony bin” if he was still living a wild rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.
The Happy Mondays singer was renowned for his hard partying lifestyle when the band were at their peak in the very early 90s and he has admitted to experimenting with cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana, as well as being a big drinker.
But when he got to around 40, Shaun made the decision to ditch the drugs and enjoy a quieter life with his wife Joanne and his daughters.
Although Shaun had great fun living the hedonistic life of a pop star, he is glad he put that behind him all those years ago because it would not have been good for his health to still be partying like that in his 50s.
Shaun, 58, said: “Being a crazy rock ‘n’ roll star that was when I was 18, when I started the band, then in my 20s I was with the Mondays, my 30s I was with Black Grape, that’s what you are when you’re a kid, you’re a crazy, mad kid being rock ‘n’ roll. Then as you approach 50, it’s done.
“If I was the same person I’d probably be locked up in a f***ing loony bin, they wouldn’t let me out!”
Although Shaun has given up the rock ‘n’ roll excesses, his passion for music has not diminished and his new solo album ‘Visits From Future Technology’ is released this August.
The record – which has been preceded by critically acclaimed singles ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ and ‘Close The Dam’ – was originally recorded in 2010 but it has been on ice for 11 years after a decision was made to delay it due to Shaun’s appearance on British reality TV show ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! that same year.
Shaun – who ultimately finished as runner-up behind Queen of the Jungle Stacey Solomon on the programme – is delighted that his fans are now finally going to get to hear the LP, which he finished off whilst in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking about the record’s delay, he said: “In 2010 we finished it, I finished it off in LA, we did some of it in Manchester and some of it on Venice Beach and then I came back over here [UK] and I went in the jungle and when I went in the jungle I had a music manager called Eliot Rashman, who also did Simply Red, he decided he was getting out of the business.
“When I came out of the jungle I had a different manager and this manager didn’t want to put the album out. He wanted me to build up my profile doing television, so that’s what I did.
“I got really busy and then it sort of got forgot about. Then I made a Black Grape album and sort of every now and then I’d bring it up and think about getting it out.
“Then when we went into lockdown I started getting sent stuff from other people to do tracks and stuff. Once I’d done that [my manager] Alan McGee went to me, ‘Why don’t you get your album out? Give it a dust up.’ So that’s exactly what I did, re-mastered it and did some more vocals and tidied it up. So we got it out.”
The ‘Step On’ hitmaker is so happy he did take the plunge and go on ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!’ all those years ago because the TV show introduced him and his music to a whole new audience who now come and watch Happy Mondays and Black Grape concerts.
In an interview with BANG Showbiz, Shaun said: “The jungle re-started my career as a 50 year old. It was a different part of my career.
“If that reality stuff existed when I was 21 ot 25 I don’t even think I would have done it, it would have been like, ‘We’re a band, we don’t do that sort of stuff.’ By the time I did it … I was 48 or 49 when I went in the jungle, it was a different point in my career. I would have been mad not to have done it, really.
“Doing that sort of stuff, it’s a way of bringing in fans, young fans, they all watch that sort of thing and while they’re watching it they find out you’re in a band and by the time the programme is finished they’ve downloaded all your albums and then they turn up at the festivals with granny and granddad and their 10-year-old kids.
“Me and Bez started doing those shows and brought a whole new fan base to the music.”
‘Visits From Future Technology’ is available from August 20 and fans can go to Shaunryder.tmstor.es/ for pre-orders.
Shaun is also heading out on tour with Black Grape this September.
Go to Blackgrapemusic.com/tour for information and tickets.