Continued from Part 1...
Let me back up here. What is your favorite song to perform live?
Personally, for me, it's probably “I Touch Roses” (1986).
Okay. What is the story behind "Yellow Sky" (1986)?
Susan wrote the lyrics to that one... I think it was just about - I mean, it was - I think it was about a long-distance romance. And in a weird way, we always seemed to be speaking in non-specific terms... But yeah, I think it was loosely based on a long-distance romance. And there's a lot of fill-in-the-blank, with that song; for each listener to do on their own.
Kind of like musical Mad Libs.
In retrospect, what song are you most proud of writing?
I mean, it changes all the time. And, I mentioned Roses. (I've always loved Roses.) It's my favorite because it felt like it was (lyrically and musically it kind of felt like) the thing that I felt we did really well. But I love "Boy" (1985). I love our song "Happy Day"(1986). And "Modigliani (Lost in Your Eyes) (1986), which was the first time we were able to really get adventurous with a lot of sampling, and different soundscapes. Those tracks mean a lot to me.
Then, there's the third album* (which is kind of a misunderstood album). It's an album that most people haven't really attached themselves to; and yet, there are a few people who just love that one to death. That one has, I think, a number of really strong songs on it - songs that have been overlooked, like "Quiver" and "Sunny Day." We're actually doing a new video for "Miss Melancholy," because we've always loved the song so much.
Marvelous! If you could go back, and see any artist perform live, who would it be?
My God... I was just thinking of someone who'd passed recently; and I was saying how I couldn't believe I never got the opportunity to see them. I really got to see most of the people who I'd been excited to see. I'd have to think about that one a second... Probably Nina Simone, just because–
Oh! What a perfect example!
–I mean, in a way, her music has become much more available and understandable to so many audiences, that it's almost a shame that not until after her passing did I end-up being as exposed to it as I am. Also, I would have loved to have seen her.
Are all four of you touring?
Just Susan and myself now, and that's who'll be at The Human League shows. But we do reunion shows, at certain times; like the one we're doing, in New York, at the end of June, to mark the 30th anniversary of our album, Lullaby (1989). So, not too often; but, I mean, we're locked together for life. And whenever there's any creative ventures that happen, all four of us are involved. When we put out the 30th Anniversary Collection** on Rhino, there were two new songs; and all four of us were in the studio working on them, again. But not all of us are available to do the live stuff, anymore.
But you are still writing, and producing, and–?
Yeah. I mean, when it strikes us. I feel like we're not on any sort of major schedule, but we're still creating and writing, yes.
If you could go back to any crossroads in your life and take that road not taken, what would it be?
Well, the thing that I always say, which is just amazing, is that the music business is really made for young artists for so many levels, but it's not until you're seasoned and understand how the business works that you can really make the best decisions for you. So I wish that I had a version of myself that was mentoring me when I was in art school starting this whole thing because I–
Kind of like that whole "youth is wasted on the young" thing?
Youth is wasted on the young, in the music business. Uppercase. Underlined. Bold !
Is this your first time playing with the Human League?
Yes it is and we're really excited. I love the Human League. They're really one of the originals, as far as the electropop is concerned. I have a great respect for them, for a number of reasons. This was something that we really wanted to do.
It's a great fit; both sonically and spiritually…
I think so, too! I really thought this was the right one, because we're offered things and I'm like, "Nah", but this one, I just thought it was a really nice fit. I hope I goes as well as we think it will.
Well then, in tribute to all of those Boy Bar Beauties, “Break a lash!”
The Human League with Book of Love
House of Blues | Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
Friday, May 11th
Click HERE for info and tickets
Get into it!
[Editor's Note: Book of Love's third studio album, on Sire Records, was 1991's Candy Carol // ** MMXVI - The 30th Anniversary Collection (2016) features remastered versions of the bands biggest hits, rare demo-versions, and remixes of favorites from their four studio albums.]