We discuss 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 grow to be a music guide for each the Onerous 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 a giant affect in your choice to make music?
And not using a shadow of a doubt. I’d by no means considered 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 complete punk ethos the place you didn’t should be a virtuoso – it was about becoming a member of in and making an attempt to make a very good noise.
When Easy Minds obtained signed to a serious label – which nobody in our circle had ever executed – my complete faculty instantly 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 may do, so everybody tried tougher.
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 tip of the band, I used to be writing almost all of the songs and I wasn’t proud of the way in which 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 Highway Present on BBC2 that had an unsigned act slot each week. I obtained 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 track known as Happy To Meet You that acquired important acclaim, but it surely 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night time earlier than the recording session I used to be too excited to sleep so, to distract myself, I watched an outdated VHS tape of a Bette Midler live performance.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 following day I discovered 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 suppose that?
I knew if it was a success, 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 track thereafter they wished me to melt the guitars, as a result of they thought it was too rocky, or minimize them down as a result of they have been too lengthy and experimental. It turned very tough, as a result of I wasn’t the pop pin-up man I’d grow to be. I had signed to the label as a rock act.
So that you determined to stroll away?
I assumed ‘I’m going to have to put low for some time’ to attempt to regain my factor and slowly convey out extra rocky data, little by little. That sabbatical changed into 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 Superb and everybody mentioned it was a smash hit, however nobody mentioned: “That might be a smash hit for Owen Paul”.
I despatched it to some contacts and obtained 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 concerned with mixing one thing model new. He labored his magic with Superb 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 instantly a two-hit surprise!