It’s been a minute since her 2014 Throw It Down single, and her features on Top 10 UK dance chart hits Earthquake (DJ Fresh Vs. Diplo) and Dance With Me ( Le Youth) during the same period, but DOMINIQUE YOUNG UNIQUE is making her presence known again. This time with a remix/remake of Lady Gaga’s recent release Perfect Illusion with a little help from vocalist Lemon.
Gaga’s Perfect Illusion hasn’t even done a slow death and artists are remixing the hell out of the song, giving it the life it was missing in its original form. Dominique’s rap about a love that done her wrong is the realist and will definitely help the song find life on floors of urban and hip hop clubs.
Welcome back DYU! We’re ready for more.
Click on the photo below for the YouTube video.
You can find more Dominique Young Unique music on iTunes and https://www.soundcloud.com/DominiqueYoungUnique
Nathan Sykes has debuted the video for his new track “Famous” off of his eagerly anticipated debut album Unfinished Business, due for release on November 11 via Global / Def Jam. Fans who pre-order the album will receive instant downloads of three previously released songs as well as “Famous.”
Written and produced by the likes of Diane Warren, Harmony Samuels, Ldn Noise and Babyface, Nathan’s debut album Unfinished Business includes the hit first single “Give It Up,” fan favorite “More Than You’ll Ever Know,” in addition to “Kiss Me Quick” and “Over And Over Again,” both of which hit number 1 on the Billboard Dance Club charts. “I’m so proud of this album, it’s time people got to know 100% of me, rather than 20% of the Wanted,” Sykes states. With People Magazine dubbing him ‘The Voice’ in this years ‘Ones To Watch’ and stunning TV Performances on the likes of X Factor, Kelly and Michael, GMAand the Late Late Show with James Corden, Nathan Sykes is ready to conquer the industry as a breath of fresh air in the form of a groundbreaking pop artist.
Following sold out tours in the UK, and his debut solo show at New York’s Gramercy Theatre, which sold out in under ten minutes, Nathan is currently on the road supporting Def Jam sensation Alessia Cara on her headlining 21-city U.S. tour.
Currently sitting at #69 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Charts, Lady Gaga’s Perfect Illusion has been receiving quite a bit of remix treatment from music producers out there of various genres to much delight, I’m sure, by the Lady in hopes that it keeps the fast descending single on the charts.
I came across an unofficial remix by The Watchmen (Sandeep / Steve Mig) that definitely breathes some much needed life into Perfect Illusion that I’m sure will catch the ear of many party spinning DJs out there with its Trap Remix treatment. Take a listen.
Enter to win a digital copy of “The Get Down: Original Soundtrack From The Netflix Original Series”
TO ENTER the Get Down contest, tweet the following phrase on your Twitter.com account:
“I want to #getdown to @TheGetDown Original Soundtrack courtesy of @itseverythingBB #giveaway”
Tweet the phrase now through the October 21, 2016 end date. Tweet the phrase as often as you like to increase your chances of winning a digital copy of The Get Down: Original Soundtrack From the Netflix Original Series.
The Get Down: Original Soundtrack From The Netflix Original Series
Featuring Christina Aguilera’s new track “Telepathy” ft. Nile Rodgers plus new music from Janelle Monáe, Leon Bridges and more!
Calling Los Angeles his home now, recording artist/songwriter Derek
Jameson has always been a “California Kid” being a native of the Bay
Area. Not unlike many Californians who seem to be big dreamers with
a zealousness for living freely, Derek’s life philosophies of inspiration
and determination are often reflected in the lyrics of his songs
whether they be ballads or club-worthy dance songs. Since the
independent release of his debut album TImelines Vol 1: Space and Vol 2: Time, Derek’s music collections have always been released as a
mix of dance and piano vocal songs. His newest album Our Future
Tribe follows in that same pattern, and is his first album to be
released under his new distribution deal with Universal Music Group,
the largest music corporation in the world and home to record labels
such as Capitol, Def Jam, Island, Interscope, Def Jam, Virgin and so
many more. A tireless performer over the years, his deal with
Universal will get Derek’s music into the ears of so many more
people. I spent some time speaking with Derek Jameson about the
music on Our Future Tribe, that his new music deal means for and to
him, writing for other projects and what is to happen next.
BeBe: Your new album Our Future Tribe is your first release with
your new distribution deal with Universal Music Group. And like with
other songs you have independently released before, the songs on
this album carry your signature messages of inspiration and pushing
oneself to reach higher heights. But these aren’t just not just words,
you live this.
Derek Jameson: Yes, that’s what Our Future Tribe is all about. It’s
about connecting with people and building from there. Everyone has
their team around them that has helped them reach their different
points in life. I’m so lucky to have such a big team that surrounds me
and is so supportive. They are my personal tribe.
BeBe: What does reaching this point in your career with your new
distribution and marketing deal mean to and for you?
Derek Jameson: I get to reach a wider audience with this deal. This
is definitely a step in the right direction. Over the years I have had
people not live up to their promises and deals, but I have pushed
those off and kept pushing through. It is amazing to kknow people on
the business side are paying attention to what I’m doing. It means to
me that the work that I’ve put in has been noticed. It feels good!
BeBe: When signing with a major record company has being a gay
artist ever been a topic of conversation?
Derek Jameson: Not really. Something like that doesn’t really come
up. It’s more about the music. Once you start putting out solid
projects, it all speaks for itself. So, (being gay) hasn’t been an issue
BeBe: The lead single from your album is California Kid which you
performed at your release party on September 28 at Hollywood’s Bar
Lubitsch. It is a wonderful ballad with piano, but I am so in love with the
Nautical Mix of the track on the album. You have been real fortunate
to have been able to turn many of your ballads into some pretty hot
Derek Jameson: Thank you. The Nautical Mix of California Kid was
actually done by me. I wanted it to have a chill-out House element to
BeBe: You have another song on Our Future Tribe that was originally
intended for the NoH8 campaign. What happened there?
Derek Jameson: The NoH8 Campaign asked if I would be interested
in writing a song that would essentially be their theme song. I said, of
course. So, I went to work on what is no Waves. I was real proud of
the lyrics because it is about people who are leading the pack and
pave the way, and go beyond fear in order to make change. I wrote it
with the purpose of showing people that they are not alone even
when it seems like they are. There are others going through the same
thing they are and they can draw from them. As it got closer to
finishing the project and releasing it to NoH8, I decided to keep the
song for myself for personal reasons. I had put so much into it. I put
it on this album so it ould be accessible to people. It still holds the
purpose of why I wrote it.
BeBe: As with NoH8, other organizations, film and TV producers
have also approached you to have one or more of your songs in their
projects. Does that affect your songwriting?
Derek Jameson: Most of the songs I have been approached about
have been previously written. They were heard and then someone
wanted them for their projects. I have found a way, I guess, to write
about something that is important for me to say and put in a song in
a way that is popular. It’s cool that I’ve found that balance here
people will want to use my songs for projects, and keep the integrity
of my in-depth songwriting.
BeBe: So what’s on the horizon for you following this release of Our
Derek Jameson: There are two projects in the works right now
where one of them will take me to Asia. If that happens, it would
open up my market so much.
Derek Jameson’s Our Future Tribe can be found on iTunes and all other major online outlets.
Audio snippets of this interview and a Listening Party for Our Future Tribe on It’s Everything with BeBe Sweetbriar here
An abridged written version of this interview appears in the Oct 2, 2015 issue of Gloss Magazine www.glossmagazine.net.
Enter to win brand-new 2-CD Deluxe Editions of Little Earthquakes and Under The Pink, the classic albums from the iconic TORI AMOS.
Featuring remastered audio, special B-sides, live tracks, and other rarities!
Little Earthquakes (Deluxe Edition)
Under The Pink (Deluxe Edition)
Lucky winners will receive 2-CD Deluxe Editions of both Little Earthquakes and Under The Pink!
TO ENTER: Tweet “I Want #LittleEarthquakes & #UnderThePink Deluxe CDs by @toriamos from @ItsEverythingBB” . Enter between April 21- April 27. *One Entry Per a Twitter Account.
Little Earthquakes (1992)
– Disc 1: Original Album
Silent All These Years
Tear In Your Hand
Me And A Gun
– Bonus Disc 2
Upside Down (from Silent All These Years single)
Thoughts (from Silent All These Years single)
Ode To The Banana King (Part One) (from Silent All These Years single)
Song For Eric (from Silent All These Years single)
The Pool (from Winter single)
Take To The Sky (from Winter single)
Sweet Dreams (from Winter single)
Mary (from Crucify single)
Sugar (from China single)
Flying Dutchman (from China single)
Humpty Dumpty (from China single)
Smells Like Teen Spirit (from Winter single)
Little Earthquakes (Live in Cambridge – Apr 5, 1992) (from Crucify single)
Crucify (Live in Cambridge – Apr 5, 1992) (from Crucify single)
Precious Things (Live in Cambridge – Apr 5, 1992) (from Crucify single)
Mother (Live in Cambridge – Apr 5, 1992) (from Crucify single)
Happy Phantom (Live) (from Silent All These Years single)
Here In My Head (from Crucify single)
Under The Pink (1994)
– Disc 1: Original Album
Pretty Good Year
Bells For Her
Past The Mission
The Wrong Band
Cloud On My Tongue
– Bonus Disc 2
Sister Janet [from Cornflake Girl single]
Honey [from Cornflake Girl single]
Daisy Dead Petals [from Cornflake Girl single]
Over It [from Cornflake Girl single]
Black Swan [from Pretty Good Year single]
Home On the Range (with Cherokee Addition) [from Pretty Good Year single]
All The Girls Hate Her [from Cornflake Girl single]
God (The CJ Bollard Remix) [from God 12”]
Here In My Head [live] [from Past the Mission single]
Upside Down [live] [from Past the Mission single]
Past The Mission [live] [from Past the Mission single]
Icicle [live] [from Past the Mission single]
Flying Dutchman [live] [from Past the Mission single]
Winter [live] [from Past the Mission single]
The Waitress [live] [from Past the Mission single]
No secret, the fashion industry has for a long time propelled the notion that women are meant to be soft, beautiful and sensual and men are built to be strong, distinguished and veral by clothing them on the runway and print advertisements in attire that helps carry that message home to the public. Men and women who don’t fit the gender binary descriptives have often found it hard to find a place in the fashion industry as a commercial model, and thus, in a domino effect, many men and women in the public have found it hard to find themselves in commercial advertisement marketed to them. But, I think it safe to say “thangs be a changing”.
In most recent years we have seen several international male and female supermodels make headway in breaking the gender binary in fashion as their androgynous or gender fluid looks have graced more and more runways and magazine pages across the globe. Models such as Andreja Pejic (formerly Andrej before her 2014 reassignment surgery), Milla Jovovich, Willy Cartier, David Chiang, as well as, Rain Dove and Cory Wade have been some of the few models that have paved the way for people to start thinking of clothing and fashion in genderless terms, and who knows, maybe even the unnecessary use of gender descriptives for people.
The first ever Queer Fashion Week continues the presentation of the notion of a genderless fashion world when it takes center stage in Oakland, California April 16-19. fiveTEN Oakland Events, producer of the event, states its mission of Queer Fashion Week is to showcase fashion creations for all types of bodies and genders. Rain Dove and Cory Wade are two Celebrity Models on board for Queer FashionWeek who continually go against the gender binary as fashion models and people. I had an opportunity to visit with both of these pioneers to talk about their experiences as gender fluid and androgynous models and breaking the gender binary in the fashion world.
It’s not everyday that a person can turn a friendly dare into an exciting career, but that is exactly what gender-fluid model Rain Dove did when a friend dared the 6’2” masculine featured female then genetics engineering student to audition for a modeling job. Little did Rain know that the mistaken gender identity that landed her in the male model audition would present an opportunity for her capitalize on features she grew up thinking would label her an ugly woman. Featured on modeling assignments in both female and male attire during New York’s Fashion Week, Rain has been named as one of Elle Magazine‘s 12 Women Who Are Redefining Beauty in 2015 and voted SheWired’s Most Eligible Bachelorette in 2014.
BeBe: You describe yourself as a “gender capitalist”. Can you share what that means to you?
Rain Dove: Gender is a socially constructed thing that helps us treat people with specific anatomical values. While it makes it easier for us to figure out how to treat each other by identifying people with gender-specific terms, it also means we are limiting the way we can treat other people by identifying them in specific ways. I don’t want that! I want to be limitless. I want the most I can get out of life. I just happen to look like a white man in America, which is pretty fucking awesome! As a “gender capitalist”, I basically cash in and capitalize on all the positive aspects of being any particular gender orientation. If somebody calls me, sir, I’ll be okay with that and let them call me, sir, as long as it’s beneficial. But, the minute it isn’t, I’ll take my tits out so fast (laughs).
BeBe: Becoming a fashion model for you was by accident, and not really a career choice you sought out. But, it has been through modeling that you have been able to develop a better sense of self and how to define that self in a non-gender binary way. So with that said, how would your sense of self be defined if you hadn’t gone into modeling?
Rain Dove: I wanted to work for the U.N. (United Nations). I was pursuing my degree in genetic engineering and civil law. I would have applied at the U.N. And would have probably been working in some third world country, or a country that has water rights issues. Gender would be the least of my worries. My impact of who I am and how I capitalize on that would be the least of my concerns. I would be less concerned about being masculine or feminine. I never knew I had (physical) attributes that would become this “thing”. Growing up, while I loved myself, I just thought I was kind of an ugly woman. Then it turns out I’m not a ugly woman but really a handsome boy and a dyke (laughs). But, I knew I would never instantly be classified as a cute, soft sorority girl. I’d never be that Playboy bunny person.
BeBe: Now that you are able to model in both gender identified fashion categories as a 6’2” masculine featured female, do you think this capability will have any affect on how we define beauty, and how “butch” woman are viewed?
Rain Dove: I think it can redefine things. And, I also think people need to stop defining things. I totally get the importance of people understanding your preferences and your needs and the way you need to be respected, but this whole thing of people in a category, which are so many, makes things hard. I could go out to dinner with someone on a date, and by the time I’m done telling them every label they should see me as, or that they need to tip-toe around, it becomes really uncomfortable and hard. It makes it difficult for people to meet other people because they are afraid they are going to peg it wrong. They are afraid they re going to hurt someone’s feelings. Being politically correct has become a system that was once put in place to allow us to identify each others differences, and now, it’s a system that has made it so that we are afraid that somebody may be different in a different way than we thought. It is starting to eat itself. I don’t think it’s about redefining the fashion world or the lesbian world, but about redefining our expectations of the human world.
We shouldn’t be surprised that a 6’2” person has giant ass tits and a clit, but happens to really look fucking good in Calvin Klein (menswear). It doesn’t change the way I’m going to orgasm and it doesn’t change whether your going to buy the suit or not. What I really want to bring to the table is that I don’t want to be surprising. I don’t want to be a topic of discussion in the future. If we were less surprised there would be less contention about having to label how your living your life.
BeBe: Speaking of living ones life, how did your appearance on the OXYGEN Channel’s Living Different show come about?
Rain Dove: I was contacted because the producers of the show were interested in highlighting women that have unique lifestyles. It was really an interesting experience. I was really nervous because OXYGEN has typically known to be a little conservative sometimes. I was a little concerned about their intentions. But, it turns out they did a really good job. It was a vulnerable process. It’s hard to admit that things are difficult. My career is going very well for the stage that it is in, but getting here was not an easy process. In fashion, people tend to pretend that their lives are perfect, but it is an industry where a lot of people struggle and go through a lot. They go through a lot of psychological stuff. Just because you wear $20,000 worth of clothing (on the job) doesn’t mean you go home with that at the end of the night. Many people go home to a lower standard of living conditions, and it is hard to admit that publicly. On Living Different it was hard for me to admit that I was not a perfect human being.
BeBe: Exposing your relationship with our father had to be vulnerable for you as well.
Rain Dove: That was a really interesting one. (It was) something they thought would be very beneficial. It was not easy for me to do. My Dad and I definitely have our history. I don’t need his motivation to be happy with my life, but to explore that relationship on a neutral ground was really great. I guess it ended up being a blessing in disguise. One of the things the show didn’t reveal was the whole reason my father hadn’t spoken to me in 5 years was because he thought I was transgender, not that he had a problem with my lifestyle. He thought I was getting hormone therapy and etcetera, and for him, he was afraid to be apart of that process because what he knew of me as a daughter, he thought he was going to lose and
that would be very hard for him. Of course, I told him I was not transgender, but that it really shouldn’t have mattered (if I was). It was really eye opening.
BeBe: You attended University of California at Berkeley only two years ago, and you’ll be returning to the Bay Area for the first ever Queer Fashion Week April 16-19.
Rain Dove: I think the interesting thing about this particular event is that this is a historical moment. Queer folk have always been apart of fashion, but this particular event shows that there is a large desire and interest for gay/queer people to be recognized. I think it shows there is commercial and marketing value to our particular community. When you have an event like this, you are telling the large conglomerates like Gap, Levi’s, H & M etcetera that there is money to be made and there is a desire to represent the queer community in the commercial side of the fashion world. They don’t have to be afraid to align themselves with the LGBTQ community.
The first openly gay male finalist on America’s Next Top Model, Cory Wade (Hindorff) has taken the criticism he received for being too effeminate on the long-running reality competition show and parlayed his look and characteristics into something unique and special in the fashion world. With numerous photo editorials and major runway appearances to his credit, Cory looks ahead to many more successes even if he has to be a trailblazer in order to achieve them.
BeBe: It has been a year and a half since you were on Cycle 20 of Tyra Banks‘ America’s Next Top Model. Has your modeling career gone in the direction you had hoped.
Cory Wade: Yes, and no. I have high expectations for myself, and I have dreams of great success, success beyond what any previous contestant of America’s Next Top Model has achieved. I know I can be a little unrealistic at times, so, I’m never quite where I want to be. But, a mentor of mine told me that you never want to start feeling satisfied. So it’s hard to say. No matter what I do I don’t think I’ll ever feel 100% satisfied. I’ve been loving and living life. I’ve has some amazing opportunities that I definitely would not have had had I not been on the show. So, I really can’t complain.
BeBe: Now on the Cycle 20 of the show you were on, they focused on your being a gay man. And with that, you received quite a bit of criticism from the judges on your male femininity as if they were saying that unless you butch it up, you weren’t going to achieve all you wanted to achieve in the fashion industry. Have you found that to be true? Has being who you are been a roadblock for you in the fashion world?
Cory Wade: I don’t think so. I don’t think it has anything to do with my sexuality or my femininity because when you see an image, you can’t tell how that person speaks or whatever. I believe my look is different. I don’t see a lot of models that look like I do. And that may be what has taken me a bit longer. It is going to take somebody other than Tyra Banks to see something special and unique in my look. I have had some successes. I struck gold when I got on America’s Next Top Model. I struck gold when I found myself walking in the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week among some of the biggest models. I’m only going to find more success if I stay o the path I’ve been on. Nothing could ever stop me. If I have to be the boundary breaker and pave the way for everyone else, so be it.
BeBe: You mention breaking boundaries of gender stereotypes, have you modeled women’s wear?
Cory Wade: Yes, I have modeled “women’s” clothing. And, I say women in quotations because I don’t think we should have to define fashion by gender.
BeBe: On the America’s Next Top Model season after yours, there was a situation with openly gay contestant Will Jardell and ex-football player Denzel Wells where Denzel basically said that Will’s “gayness” perpetuated the public’s erroneous perception that male models were gay. What were your thoughts on that whole ordeal?
Cory Wade: I think it’s very immature for straight men to even see (gayness) as an issue. If you are really insecure in your masculinity or whatever you feel is being threatened by gay men working in the fashion industry, you need to rise above it and be mature and secure in your manhood. It is so silly. Stereotypes aside, people are going to talk (about ones sexuality) no matter what you do. They are going to assume things about you no matter what. It’s unavoidable. It was a powerful moment on the show when Tyra slammed Denzel on international television for criticizing Will for walking in heels.
BeBe: What’s interesting about all that is that there was a time when men wore high-heeled shoes, make-up, wigs, ruffled shirts and it was considered a sign aristocracy and wealth. So when did men wearing these things become an issue in the first place. When did these things become feminine attire?
Cory Wade: You are absolutely right. This is a reason why we should have a Queer Fashion Week where we emphasize that there really is no classification when it comes to your clothing. Gender classification of clothing is something we created. As RuPaul says, “We’re all born naked. Everything after that is all drag.” Everything is so contrived. And, since fashion is so unnecessary, we should have fun with it, and wear whatever we want as our self-expression.
BeBe: With the exposure over the past 5 years that androgynous modes have received wearing both men and women’s clothing on the runway, do you see this type of discussion on gender-specific modeling being irrelevant in the next 5 years?
Cory Wade: Absolutely! People are starting to recognize that clothing doesn’t have to be gender exclusive. People have both masculine and feminine energy regardless of their gender classification. You shouldn’t feel restricted to only wearing heels and a dress if you are a girl, or a button-down (shirt) and slacks if you are a boy. People should feel free to express themselves in fashion however they want and not be afraid of what others might think.
BeBe: Why do think women have been able to break that barrier of gender classified clothing easier than men? Women wearing menswear has long become common place.
Cory Wade: I think it’s because “women’s wear” tends to be more glamorous and when you see it on men it doesn’t look as understated as seeing “menswear” on a woman. But, I also think women have been quicker to realize that clothing in general is an unnatural thing. Fashion is an adapted thing through evolution. Women weren’t meant to walk in heels or wear make-up. Nobody was meant to.
Rain Dove andCory Wadewill be Celebrity Models at the inaugural Queer Fashion Week presented by fiveTEN Oakland Events April 16-19 in Oakland. For more information and event passes to Queer Fashion Week go to www.queerfashionweek.com
They were apart of the second British invasion bringing to America their New Romantic fashion and their music of soul, funk, jazz and synth-pop mixture which included stateside hits like True, Gold, and Only When You Leave. Spandau Ballet was one of the most successful bands of the 1980s with ten Top Ten singles and five Top Ten albums in the U.K. Tony Hadley’s smooth vocals over the sophisti-pop sound created by the musicianship of band mates Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp, John Keeble and Steve Norman amassed a sound that became as distinctive as their band name. But with only a few small concert tours, and even viewer television appearances, in America, the band had a bad break up after 11 years of success. “We had a pretty acrimonious fallout that is pretty well documented,” said Tony Hadley. “It wasn’t good.”
After much “soul searching”and fan prodding, Spandau Ballet reunited in 2009 ceremoniously earning the Best Comeback Award at the Virgin Media Awards after a sold-out world tour and the release of U.K. Top Ten Album Once More. “ As far as I was concerned, we were never going to get back together ever again,” Hadley said about Spandau Ballet’s break up. Tony credits a “ tremendous ground-level support from the fans” to the band’s successful reunion. However, the long awaited reunion has been become more like a series of Cher’s Farewell Tours. After the band’s well received return to live performance an studio recording, their new togetherness took another hiatus for another 4 years. “I always said that what would sort of be nice, like Phil Collins and Genesis really, every now and again we get back together and have a good time and remember the old times, and then we go off and do our own thing,” explains Hadley. True (pun intended) to form, 2014 brought the band back with yet another greatest hits compilation album, The Story – The Very Best of Spandau Ballet, sprinkled with three new songs, and a new documentary Soul Boys of the Western World which follows band during their 1980s heyday. Thankfully for their fans worldwide, including America, Spandau Ballet embarks on a Soul Boys of the Western World Tour which kicks of January 23 in San Francisco touring U.S. through February before heading throughout the rest of world ending the tour in September. It has been almost 30 years since the band has toured America.
“We had a pretty acrimonious fallout that is pretty well documented,” said Tony Hadley. “It wasn’t good.”
Spandau Ballet’s highly anticipate return to the U.S. was announced in a couple of promotional appearances stateside including a well received live performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “…..it felt great being on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show because it had been 28 years and we were thankful anyone even cared,” expressed Hadley. “We didn’t expect the reaction we got.” With 80s music seemingly always apart of a retro resurgence, this North American tour will have Spandau Ballet in front of audiences of not only die hard fans of old, but also a large crop of new fans that weren’t even born when their big hit True was even released.
I had the great pleasure of speaking with bands lead singer Tony Hadley while he was in England preparing with the band for their long awaited return to the U.S., and we visited the band’s fall out period, their 2009 reunion, the new documentary and album, and their U.S. regrets.
BeBe: Everyone in the States is very excited that you guys (Spandau Ballet) are coming to tour here.
Tony Hadley: I know, it should be good actually. We are looking forward to coming over (from the UK). We haven’t played the States in so long. It’s ridiculous!
BeBe: It’s crazy, I know. The Soul Boys of the Western World Tour is your return to North America in about what, 30 years?
Tony Hadley: Yeah, it must be 28 years. It’s crazy. But the thing is we’ve been split up for quite some time, for about 20 years.
BeBe: Well, if you weren’t a band for 20 years, I guess we can’t really hold (your absence) against you.
Tony Hadley: We had a pretty acrimonious fallout that is pretty well documented. It wasn’t good. But we got back together again in 2009. We finally realized our differences and it’s all good.
BeBe: What was the catalyst that made you guys get back together because you were all doing your own things after the break up. Gary and Martin (Kemp) were into their acting careers (Gary Kemp may be most remembered by fans in the U.S. for his role in Whitney Houston’s Bodyguard film). You were doing some solo recording work and even some stage stuff including a West End revival of Chicago. So what made you all say, hey let’s give this another go? A 20 year break is a long time.
Tony Hadley: Well, the fallout was real bad. We ended up in court and it wasn’t very pleasant. As far as I was concerned, we were never going to get back together ever again. It was really John Keeble (drums) who met with everyone in the band with the realization that what we had was really good. For me to meet with Gary…..I mean we were the two big fighters in the band in a way. We fell out badly. It took me 6-months of soul searching whether or not one, did I ant to meet with him, and two, could I face going back on the road again and getting back together. I think what happened was there was tremendous ground-level support from the fans, and then the realization that carrying around all that anger and baggage wasn’t very helpful. It was ruining us. It takes a lot of energy to carry that around. Then there was eventually a rumor (started by BBC’s Jonathan Ross) that went out that there was a possibility that the band was going to get back together again. It was a joke really, but all of a sudden the news and the fans got all excited. We then realized that if we were big enough and strong enough and grown-up enough, we could get back together again. In the final meeting between me and Gary, we had our issues, we both said what we needed to say, shook hands and had a couple of pints of beer in hopes that we could make this work again. Very, very English!
“….. the next time out, we’ll definitely have a new album.”
BeBe: You talked about your fans’ response to the rumor being big part in band getting back together. Their hunger for your music never died. Not only true (no pun intended) through think and thin fans of days of old, but now you have a crop of new fans that basically weren’t even around during your heyday. Is that all surprising to you after 20 years apart?
Tony Hadley: It’s kind of nice! This whole so-called 80s been going on so long, I can’t tell you. What is interesting is we knew die hard fans would come along, but theirs these young kids that have been listening to their Mom’s old records. I mean why do I love Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett? Because my Mom and Dad played their records. It’s a similar thing. So, there is a whole sort of new audience out there as well. Getting back together in 2009 was great fun, and we had a great time, and we did get rid of all the anger and the angst, but after that we just went back to our solo projects. I went back o touring with orchestras and stuff like that. I always said that what would sort of be nice, like Phil Collins and Genesis really, every now and again we get back together and have a good time and remember the old times, and then we go off and do our own thing. It kind of seems the way it’s working. The last time we were together was nearly 4-5 years go and here we are kicking off a world tour in the States. It’s nice and much easier.
BeBe: Tony, that commentary saddens me a bit because it sounds like we won’t be getting a new album of completely new music. You’ve had a few new songs on 2009’s Once More album and of course on your latest album The Story-The Very Best of Spandau Ballet ( This Is The Love, Steal, and Soul Boy). I was hoping that I’d get 12 new tunes with this reunion.
Tony Hadley: I will be honest with you, we spent so much time, energy on the film (the documentary Soul Boys of the Western World) we really couldn’t do a new album. The documentary took a lot of time and effort to put together. It was a monster achievement for us. So we didn’t have the time to put together a new album. When we go out again after this tour through September 2015, and when we get back together in how many years after that it is, we have to do a new album. We have to sit down and make the time to write some new songs and do a 10-12 track brand new album.
BeBe: I’m so glad to hear that!
Tony Hadley: So, the next time out we’ll definitely have a new album.
BeBe: You did some promotional appearances here in the States in the later part of 2014 not only to promote the greatest hits album The Story but also to promote the Soul Boys of the Western World Tour. It was great watching your performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Even by just watching on TV I could feel the energy of the crowd. It has been a long time since you’ve been in front of an American audience, how did it feel performing in front of such an appreciative audience?
Tony Hadley: It felt great! First off it felt great being on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show because it had been 28 years and we were thankful anyone even cared. I mean when we arrived in the afternoon for sound check, there were already fans lined up. We could hear all this screaming and I said “One Direction must be around. Where are they?”. Then we realized they were all there screaming for us. Okay, this is nice! We didn’t expect the reaction we got. John Keeble says in the film ‘that I wanted a better ending (for the band)’, and I think the fans wanted a better ending as well. Nobody wants to see the band they grew up listening to, made love to, get back together to kick themselves all over the place. So, I think from the fans point of view, it’s a tremendous relief that we got back together.
BeBe: It’s interesting because sometimes when bands get back together after a long absence, it’s hard for the fans to get used to their new look and new sound as the band has matured But, you guys were wearing suits when you performed back in the days of the New Romantics period. You were fashion icons in the 80s and you still got that going on. And, you sound the same. That’s what is so amazing!
Tony Hadley: Yes, (we) do still sound the same. I can’t sound like anyone else but Tony Hadley. The band has a very distinctive way of playing. John Keeble to Gary to Steve (Norman) to Martin. The first time we got together after 20 years in the studio in 2009, as soon as we started playing, our first song was I’ll Fly For You, it instantly started to sound like Spandau Ballet. It didn’t sound like a tired or old version, it sounded like Spandau Ballet. It’s kind of weird, I mean, I don’t think we’ve aged too badly. That’s a bit of a shock sometimes. But, when it all comes down to it, we all love music, and we’re probably getting along better now then we have in years. We laugh, joke and (have) no pressures. The only pressures we have is we want to do a good show and sing and perform well.
BeBe: So many of your fans here in the States never got a chance to see you perform live back in the day, so the fact you still got it when they have the chance to see you now is really great.
Tony Hadley: e didn’t come into the States as often as we should have done. We only made 2-3 little tours. The States is such a massive country. When you go there you have to prove you can carry it. There are so many great bands and musicians already in the States. They need you to go out and prove you can cut it live, and we didn’t do enough of that in America, and that’s a bit of a regret.
BeBe: After you leave the States on this world tour where are you headed?
Tony Hadley: We’ll be off to Italy, and then a big arena tour with 13 shows in the U.K., and then different places in Europe. We’re also looking at Hong Kong and Taipei. I’ve never been to China before. And then (there’s) South America.
Spandau Ballet kicks of their Soul Boys of the Western World Tour on January 23 at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. For ticket information go to www.spandauballetstore.com/spandauballet/Tour-Tickets/
SOUL BOYS OF THE WESTERN WORLD TOUR – NORTH AMERICA DATES
1/23 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theatre
1/24 Los Angeles, CA Wiltern Theatre
1/25 Los Angeles, CA Wiltern Theatre
4/25 Chicago, IL House of Blues
4/27 Toronto, ONT Massey Hall
4/28 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
4/30 Boston, MA House of Blues
5/1 Red Bank, NJ Count Basie Theatre
5/2 New York, NY Beacon Theatre
5/3 Westbury, NY Theatre at Westbury
Spandau Ballets new album The Story – The Very Best of Spandau Ballet is available on iTunes and Amazon.com