My Favorite Waste Of Time

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We speak to My Favorite Waste Of Time hitmaker Owen Paul about now being a TWO-hit surprise…

Owen Paul is greatest identified for his 1986 single My Favorite Waste Of Time. He began his first band, Venigmas, in his mid-teens and later moved behind the scenes, producing the Japanese band Buck-Tick.

He went on to turn out to be a music advisor for each the Exhausting Rock Café and Planet Hollywood earlier than opening the West Finish theatre Venue (now the Leicester Sq. Theatre), which launched the Boy George musical Taboo.

Was your elder brother Brian an enormous affect in your resolution to make music?

With no shadow of a doubt. I’d by no means thought of making music till I heard the very early model of Easy Minds rehearsing covers of The Damned and The Conflict in our basement. It was that entire punk ethos the place you didn’t have to be a virtuoso – it was about becoming a member of in and making an attempt to make an excellent noise.

When Easy Minds acquired signed to a significant label – which nobody in our circle had ever executed – my entire faculty abruptly turned a hotbed for bands. John McElhone, from Altered Pictures and Texas, went to my faculty. So did a few of the guys from Lloyd Cole And The Commotions.

The Easy Minds impact made music into an actual job that you possibly can do, so everybody tried more durable.

How did you get into the music enterprise?

I used to be in a band known as Venigmas after I was 15 and 16. We might journey up and down the nation taking part in pubs and golf equipment. By the top of the band, I used to be writing practically all of the songs and I wasn’t pleased with the best way the band have been taking part in them.

I’d met the Radio One DJ Peter Powell whereas I used to be within the band and after I left them he turned my supervisor. Janice Lengthy was doing a factor known as the Oxford Street Present on BBC2 that had an unsigned act slot each week. I acquired the slot on a Friday night time and by the Monday I used to be signed to Sony.

The place did you discover My Favorite Waste Of Time?

I launched a music known as Happy To Meet You that obtained vital acclaim, however it had no gross sales to again it up. I launched one other single and we have been going to do a 3rd earlier than Sony dedicated to an album.

On the night time earlier than the recording session I used to be too excited to sleep so, to distract myself, I watched an previous VHS tape of a Bette Midler live performance. She sang a little bit of My Favorite Waste Of Time in a medley. I turned obsessive about it, taking part in it time and again.

The subsequent day I came upon it was written by Marshall Crenshaw and had by no means been launched as a single. I modified all my plans, recorded it and, I’m not kidding you, everybody within the room knew it was going to be a smash. However, weirdly, I additionally felt it was going to be a career-damaging transfer for me.

What made you assume that?

I knew if it was successful, my report label would need me to make ‘Favorite Waste Of Time Half 2, Half 3, Half 4’… and that’s what occurred.

On each music thereafter they needed me to melt the guitars, as a result of they thought it was too rocky, or lower them down as a result of they have been too lengthy and experimental. It turned very troublesome, as a result of I wasn’t the pop pin-up man I’d turn out to be. I had signed to the label as a rock act.

So that you determined to stroll away?

I believed ‘I’m going to have to put low for some time’ to attempt to regain my factor and slowly deliver out extra rocky information, little by little. That sabbatical was 25 years plus.

You’re writing once more now although…

I by no means stopped writing songs and recording them, I simply wasn’t taking part in them for anybody. I wrote one known as Wonderful and everybody stated it was a smash hit, however nobody stated: “That may be a smash hit for Owen Paul”.

I despatched it to a couple contacts and acquired a name saying that Robbie Williams was contemplating it for his subsequent album. Because it turned out, he didn’t report it, however as a result of 2016 was My Favorite Waste Of Time’s thirtieth anniversary, we determined to make some dance combine variations to have a good time.

One of many guys we requested was Stonebridge who declined however was curious about mixing one thing model new. He labored his magic with Wonderful and earlier than we knew it, the observe was within the UK membership charts.

So, after being a one-hit surprise for 30 years, I’m abruptly a two-hit surprise!


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