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Kajafax Interviews Steve Askew

November 19, 2010

KajaFax Interviews Steve Askew (2010)

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Steve, 2009 was a real blast for fans of the Goo, did you enjoy the tour as much as we did? How was it being back with the boys again?

The chemistry was much as it had always been, really interesting when you have such a long break from playing together as a band then everything just slotted together like it was 1983!
We had a ball.

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The Wavendon shows had a special feel to them, do you prefer the single night shows over playing on tour?

I personally prefer touring gigs as it does become a well oiled machine but when you do the single shows & festivals usually something happens that make it maybe more interesting. And sometimes special.

Currently all we know about Kajagoogoo 2010 is an appearance at Rewind Festival in August, can we expect to see the band out and about doing more gigs during the year?

I would think so, I know we have a few things being penciled in the diary for over seas. It’s quite difficult to sync all 5 members up at the same time at the moment.

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We’ve heard talk of new material, will there be a new album this year?

Not sure really, but might be some new live material surfacing later this year which should be available to download from the Kajashop. Will let you know more when I do.

One question we see asked a lot on the official forums is whether the band will ever play America again. Do you think this could ever happen?

I think we would all love to play in America and have been close to it on a number of occasions, never say never!

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We’d love to know a bit more about the potential for unreleased music from the earlier days. Are there piles of demo tapes, outtakes and unreleased tracks sat gathering dust somewhere?

I guess we do have a few bits & pieces but the material is not broadcast quality as it needs a lot of TLC and restoration to be anything close for release.

Can you tell us if the inclusion of the instrumental version of ‘Hang on Now’ on the first 12” pressing was a mistake or intentional? We’d also love to know if you knew the 12” promo of ‘Too Shy’ contains an unreleased mix and why this track never saw the light of day?

Hummm….can’t remember that far back err…

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Can you tell us which of the Art Nouveau tracks made it onto the White Feathers album?

White Feathers, Lies & Promises, Animal Instincts, Monochromatic were all originally Art Nouveau songs.

What would the chances be of ever seeing the White Feathers Tour show from the Hammersmith Odeon re-released on DVD or even Blu Ray, would the band have any influence over this?

This is purely down to EMI and I guess if there was enough demand for it then yes.

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On a similar note, do you know if a full version of the pre-EMI Embassy Club gig exists anywhere that would be releasable to the fans?

Yes Jez has the whole gig in video format which was originally Super8, and we have a separate audio stream taken from the desk, but the trick is to sync the two together and seeing that they were both shot and recorded on analogue tape which has stretched then it’s a huge job. That is why only one song has appeared from this batch.

Do you collect Kajagoogoo collectables yourself, got any super rare items to taunt us with?!

We have loads of stuff in the loft from old tour jackets, outfits, magazine cuttings, original tapes, records and some old equipment which I keep meaning to dig out and put up on eBay.

Let’s talk guitars and pedal boards! Are you still using the Yamaha SG2000, Japanese Squire Stratocaster, Epiphone Casino and Gibson Les Paul? What about amps and pedals, tell us what you got going on!

I have seventeen guitars and I use them all pretty much for different sounds and textures.
Sadly I no longer have my old 1957 Epiphone Casino as my ex manager sold it without my knowledge!! but I still have all the others.
At home I have shed loads of amps & pedals, but for Kaja live I keep it simple(ish)
1x Marshall 2020 stereo valve power amp going into 1x Marshall 1936 stereo cabinet.
Pedal board: 1x Hughes & Kettner Tubeman Preamp Pedal. 1x Boss GT8 Multi FX pedal board.
Thinking of getting the old JMP-1 for an outing for the next period of gigs.

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Do you think the buzz with the reformation of the five piece line-up caused the absolutely superb ‘Gone to the Moon’ album to have less attention than it should have had? Would you like to have played tracks from this album on the tour? It’s a truly beautiful album and I think it showed a legion of new fans that there was a lot more to Kajagoogoo than ‘Too Shy’.

Yes this one went under the radar, as you rightly said the original line up reforming after such an acrimonious break up was bigger news.
It would have been great to have performed ‘Rocket Boy’ or ‘First Girl’ but wasn’t practical as both Limo & Jez weren’t on the album.

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You played more than just guitar on that album, does it make a pleasant change to get the bass out and to do some programming? Also, I believe someone close to home played flute on ‘The Last Day’?

Doing everything is really what I do these days so it’s nice just to focus on mainly guitar. Anna did the flute parts on ‘The Last Day’ interestingly she did the flute part on the original 1984 Kajagoogoo demo of ‘On A Plane’ but was at college when we recorded the track so she missed out on her 15 minutes then.

What does 2010 hold for you personally, any solo projects you’re planning to work on?

I am now involved in a production and recording music label so quite a lot of set up time is needed to get things moving, more info on that as it happens.

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What’s fresh on the Askew stereo at home, any must hear music you want to recommend to the Goo fans?

hummm let me look…. The Drums with ‘Lets Go Surfing’, Magazine ‘The Correct Use Of Soap’ is in the car and love ‘Cousins’ by Vampire Weekend also listening to lots of Brian Eno.

What you up to these days Steve, do you get much time for sports, cars, and hobbies outside of the music?

Not really interested in cars unless it’s an old Volvo!, I do like to play football still and Anna and myself love cycling along the canal having refreshments along the way!

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The fans have loved what we’ve had from the band, is there any message you’d like to send out to everyone?

Yeah! … no sugar in mine thanks, and I’m rather partial to the odd French Fancy..ummmm!

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