Bez – Interview

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The Happy Mondays will shortly be kicking off their Greatest Hits Tour, which runs from October right up until Christmas and includes Yorkshire gigs in Sheffield on 22nd November and Leeds on the 7th of December. David Schuster chatted with Bez, legendary freaky dancer and the band’s joker in the pack, about the tour, politics and the art of movement…

Are you looking forward to being on the road again?
Yeah, it’s gonna be really, really good. We’ve done quite a few festivals over the summer period. The band’s playing the best they’ve ever played and Shaun’s singing the best he’s ever sung. So yeah, we’ve had great fun, and I’m really looking forward to it. We still have a laugh, and a good time, I love being on the road. Yeah, it’s really good.

bez interview happy mondays 2019 band

Happy Mondays, 2019
image: Paul Husband

“My role came about by chance”

Does the Monday’s music still make you want to dance?
Ha-ha! When I get into a certain state of mind it definitely does! I enjoy them all. Sometimes I think one might be a bit slow, but next time I’ll think actually it’s alright tonight, and I’ll get really into it. I haven’t really got a favourite, favourite. I like some of the older tracks better, when we do them. It’s always good to see the reaction of the crowd when we play, that’s what does it for me; how everyone reacts, that and being on the stage, looking out.

Apart from the Mondays, are there any other bands you’d have liked to have been part of?
Err, no, not really. I never even thought I’d be in the Mondays, not being a musician or anything. My role came about by chance, you know what I mean? Loads of bands have asked me up on stage to have a dance though. Who? Bloody hell! I can’t remember now. I think the last ones I did were The Farm a couple of weeks ago.

bez interview happy mondays 2019 posterWhat do you listen to, when you’re just chilling out?
I’ll listen to all sorts really. I’ve got no particular genre-arama. I love all kinds of music, all types. My missus [Firouzeh Razavi] is in a metal band [Control the Storm], she just played Bloodstock, so I’ve been listening to some metal music.

“We got death threats”

You took part in anti-fracking protests across Yorkshire. Do you think fracking has been forgotten about in all the Brexit shenanigans?
Yeah, well they’ve not managed to get anything out of the ground yet, but they seem to have an endless supply of money for failure. So, they seem absolutely determined to carry on, despite the environment and everything else that people are worried about at the moment. They’ve been defeated numerous times in the courts, but they just seem to bounce back. They got beaten in the courts, so they tried changing the laws of the land to prevent peaceful protest, threatening the fundamental core of everything we believe in. And they’re still at it, so it’s definitely going to happen.

Are you done with politics, or are you tempted to wade in again?
No, I did the politics thing. First of all, I didn’t do very well because I stood as an anarchist, wanting everything to be free, so no one really got my politics. We got death threats from the right wing! So, yeah it was a funny old time. Politically we managed to upset everybody, but in terms of raising awareness we did really well by raising the profile of the fracking issue: When we got involved no one knew about it, now everyone knows what fracking is.

bez interview happy mondays 2019 stage

image: Paul Dixon

“Dodgy dancing is alright!”

There’s been rumours of a new album for a while. Is there going to be any new material in and amongst the greatest hits?
At the moment that’s all it remains; a rumour. But I really think that we should release a few tracks, so I’m hoping that it will surface really. Yeah, you’ll just have to wait and see! We’ve talked about it a lot, but we haven’t got around to doing anything about it yet.

My dancing is distinctly dodgy. Have you got any freaky dancing tips for me?
Well…. you are in the same boat as me! Dodgy dancing is alright! As long as you’re dancing, not just standing there nodding your head. You know what I mean?

Tickets for The Happy Mondays’ Greatest Hits Tour are on sale now, available from alttickets.com

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