The Manchester music veteran, infamous for his debauched antics and drug abuse in the ’80s and ’90s, says that he’s not much more able to enjoy his life in the industry and on the road. His bandmate Bez also recently revealed that he ‘only takes organic drugs now‘.
Speaking of life now in the recently reformed Black Grape, Ryder told NME: “20 years ago, apart from the drummer, everyone was a party-head, everyone liked getting off their faces, it was one big party. Now the guys we’ve got in the band, they’re all in their mid-30s, they really are musos and they’re really good.”
Asked if it was still ‘great when you’re straight’, Ryder replied: “It’s actually better, mate! If somebody had told me years ago how simple it’d be. You get off your face and everything because you think it’s gonna make things easier, but now I’ve probably got a busier schedule, I’m doing more than I’ve ever done, and there seems to be more time. If someone had told me how easy it could be I’d have probably poked them in the eye. I seem to spend more time at home as well.
“The first time around I was a kid having kids, I was building a career and I never got to se my kids. I’m lucky enough to do it again so it’s good. It’s so simple. The Mondays is better than ever, we’re all old farts so all the bullshit that goes with being young and all the crap that you’re arguing about just means nothing. We’re playing better, we’re all enjoying it more. Back then it was just as important for us to get off our faces and party, in fact that was probably more important to some of us than playing the shows. “
But do Ryder and his bandmates still have any vices or get up to any antics?
“Once you get in your 50s, and we all are, well in our 50s, you’re just so far away from that scene. It’s great what you do in your youth and your 20s but for us it’s totally different, for me it’s totally different. I enjoy where I am now just as much as I did then. On the writing front, I think we’ve topped the first album. We had certain restrictions on the first album, at the time there wasn’t many people who was a black guy and a white guy trying to do hip-hop, especially in the States. What we had to cater for was that big white rock audience, to make it grow we had to have a few rock tunes in there so it didn’t quite come out the way we’d have liked it. On this our writing’s better, we’re not feeding habits anymore or living in that world where that was very important to us.
“Sex and drugs has gone, it’s rock’n’roll. It’s not that it’s boring or you’re not gonna have any ideas, this album is just as good and writing-wise even better.”
Meanwhile, Happy Mondays are heading out on a greatest hits tour to celebrate 30 years since the release of their debut album, ‘Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out)’. Tickets are available here.
Tue November 14 2017 – BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
Wed November 15 2017 – BRIGHTON Dome
Thu November 16 2017 – LONDON Roundhouse
Fri November 17 2017 – CARDIFF Great Hall – Cardiff Uni
Sat November 18 2017 – PORTSMOUTH Pyramids Centre
Wed November 22 2017 – FOLKESTONE Leas Cliff Hall
Thu November 23 2017 – NORWICH UEA
Fri November 24 2017 – SOUTHEND Cliffs Pavilion
Sat November 25 2017 – CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange
Tue November 28 2017 – PRESTON Guild Hall
Wed November 29 2017 – SCUNTHORPE Baths Hall
Thu November 30 2017 – CARLISE Sands Centre
Fri December 01 2017 – LIVERPOOL Olympia
Sat December 02 2017 – LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
Wed December 06 2017 – BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
Thu December 07 2017 – LINCOLN Engine Shed
Fri December 08 2017 – NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 Academy Newcastle
Sat December 09 2017 – NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Wed December 13 2017 – MANCHESTER Academy
Thu December 14 2017 – LLANDUDNO Venue Cymru
Fri December 15 2017 – DUBLIN Vicar Street
Wed December 20 2017 – ABERDEEN Beach Ballroom
Thu December 21 2017 – INVERNESS Ironworks
Fri December 22 2017 – KILMARNOCK Grand Hall
Sat December 23 2017 – GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow