Saturday, April 27, 2013

Shaun Ryder Part Time Singer Full Time UFO Hunter

With a career in music dating back over 30 years, Shaun Ryder’s had one heck of an interesting voyage.

But when he’s not on stage, the Happy Mondays frontman has journeys of a different kind on his mind. Ryder will be in the UAE at the weekend for a concert at Dubai Tennis Stadium.

But aside from the music, he presents a TV show about UFOs, exploring the history of sightings, and unpicking fact from fiction. He explains: “It’s been brilliant. I get to travel around the world and interview a lot of weird people about UFOs so that’s great. “I’ve always wanted to do something like this, I’ve been interested in it a long time. “When I was young, about 14, I saw something flying around in the sky - this was before the drugs and drink so it wasn’t that - and from there on I’ve been interested in that sort of stuff.”

Explaining how late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had a hand in launching his music career, the Mancunian musician praises the much-criticised Iron Lady who died earlier this month. He says: “At a time when there weren’t many jobs in the north - the early 80s, Thatcher came along and gave us the Enterprise Allowance Scheme (an initiative that paid unemployed people who set up their own businesses).

“We started on that so we have to thank her for that. When you’ve got nothing else to do except hang around as a bunch of lads, you can either get in trouble or make music.”

As a dad of six, it can’t be easy juggling gigs (it’s the band’s first tour in 19 years), a TV show and working on a TV adaption of his autobiography, but Shaun says he copes well. He didn’t get much time to spend with his kids when the Mondays reached their peak back in the late 80s and early 90s,

but the 50-year-old says being a dad these days is easy.

He explains: “I spend as much time at home as I want really, and go out when I want to. My youngest are five and four. They’ve been to the odd show but I don’t take them around at all. My other kids, years ago, they’d come on the tour bus but these days I spend a lot of time at home, watching ‘Peppa Pig’ (children’s animation series). I love it - I spend hours watching it!”

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