KajaFax SuperFan #4
KajaFax SuperFan Series #4
You will notice a different twist on the super fan theme today.
I am pleased to offer my take on the ‘SuperFan’ series of interviews. Number four in the series is Steve Conley from the UK. Yes, that Steve Conley!
He kindly allowed me to interview him for inclusion in today’s feature. Here are the results of that interview……
Hi Steve, thanks for allowing me to turn the tables on you with this interview. It seemed only fitting that you should be interviewed as a part of the ‘SuperFan’ series!
Thanks for coming up with the idea for this one, it makes a great change to be interviewed!
You have said that you stumbled across the band in 2008 following a ‘YouTube’ search. Which track did you find, and what was it that appealed to you about the song?
I’m pretty sure that track was ‘Hang on Now’. I listened to a good stack of tracks that evening and I just loved the sound of what I was hearing. It sounded tight, I loved the basslines and I really liked Limahl’s voice. The whole package just worked for me and made me want to hear more.
I know that your favourite Kajagoogoo long player is ‘Gone to the Moon’ which was recorded prior to the full reunion. If the five piece band were to rework any one track from that album, complete with Limahl vocal, which one would it be and why?
Good question. As you correctly point out, I love that album so it’s quite a choice to decide one track. It’s actually taken me a bit of time to think about this one, I’ve even listened through the album again to get this one right! My final answer is ‘Smile’. It’s an upbeat track and I reckon Limo would sound great on it. There’s a really big drum beat on the track aswell and I think Jez would enjoy getting stuck into that. The more I think about this, the more I think it would sound fantastic! Do it guys!! Listen to the track here and see what I mean:
Adam Ant’s forthcoming album contains tracks that are re-workings of old demo recordings left dormant since the 70’s, alongside newly written material. Do you think that this an avenue that Kajagoogoo could explore with the ‘Art Nouveau’ catalogue?
Tricky question, I just don’t think it’s that simple. I love the Art Nouveau sound, no question about that but it’s certainly quite different to that of KajaGooGoo. Stuart ‘Frantic’ Neale and Steve ‘Restless’ Askew would agree I’d imagine! It comes down to that split, do you cater for the mainstream fans or the hardcore? I’m not convinced that the ‘Too Shy’ crowd would fully get it and appreciate what it was. Certainly handpick a few corkers though, ‘Fear Machine’, ‘Monochromatic’, ‘Martins Dance’ and ‘Anxiety Song’ would get my vote. My sentimental side says leave the Art Nouveau stuff to the people who go looking for it. My other side thinks it would be cool to get it out there for all to hear. New material though, now you’re talking!
As we know, each member of Kajagoogoo is or has been involved in projects outside of the band. Which is your favourite ‘side project’ and why?
My cheeky side says the Nick Beggs tour with Kim Wilde. This is because it means I’ve seen more of Kim Wilde lately and she’s a stunner! My actual favourite project though is Steve Askew with Lu Cozma. The ‘Red’ album is absolutely beautiful and I’m really looking forward to seeing them play live in July at the Rhythms of the World festival. With a voice like Lu and a guitarist like Steve coming together, the results can only be superb. Of course Lu is gorgeous too but don’t tell her I said that, I’d only blush.
Kajagoogoo fans are a dedicated bunch and like all fans, I know that you get to as many live shows as possible. Do you have a favourite venue that the band have played, and which live show has been your most enjoyable to date?
I really love ‘The Stables’ at Wavendon, Milton Keynes. It’s such a well set out venue and it has a really nice feel to it, it just has an atmosphere. It’s the first place I saw the band play so it will always feel that little bit extra special. The most enjoyable for me was probably Birkenhead just before the tour, very relaxed and such a great evening chatting with such a great bunch of fans. Sheffield was memorable to me also, that’s the first time I met the band.
I would love to see the band play at the Blackpool Grand Theatre, a beautiful Victorian theatre close to my home. What would be your dream venue and why?
I’d have to go for the HMV Hammersmith Apollo in London. It’s renamed these days, it used to be the Odeon. We all know about the gigs there in 1983, it would feel pretty awesome to be going to see the band at the Hammersmith. Make it on Friday 31st May 2013, exactly 30yrs after the last show of the ’83 tour, how awesome would that be?! If I was a promoter right now, I’d be all over that!
The KajaFax blog has seen rapid growth since its inception last year. What was it that inspired you to create the site, and how do you manage to keep the daily posts so fresh and interesting?
This is going to be quite a large answer so you might want to make a cuppa at this point!! I initially wanted to create ‘something’ because there just seemed to be such a lack of activity on the band. For a band with such a loyal fan base and a stack of material out there, I just felt inspired to start something off. The band members themselves are such lovely guys aswell, that really does help with the motivation to keep working on the site.
It’s been brilliant growth wise, way beyond anything I hoped for. It started off initially as just the Twitter account. I was tweeting various links around and just trying to build that up, the site hadn’t entered my mind at that point. It was a contact on Twitter that had a blog on a different subject and on reading it, I thought wow, this is the format I need to start something. It didn’t take me long to create the blog and get it how I wanted it and then I had the Twitter account already to promote the blog. It just took off from there really. I had no idea if anyone would read it, to be currently sitting on over 19,000 views is incredible really and I can’t thank the readers enough for their continued support. I always knew the world was full of Goo fans, it’s just a case of reaching them all.
Behind the scenes I’ve had some great comments from the band and that lets me know I’m doing the right thing. It was particularly nice to hear from Michelle who worked on the original KajaFax magazine, she had very positive comments about this site and that meant so much. As long as the hits keep coming in, I’ll keep doing the site, that is my measure of what people think about the site. If it goes stale, they won’t come back and then I’ll know it’s time to hang up the keyboard! If that ever did happen, the site would always exist out there as a resource but for now, onwards and upwards!
Very kind comments on the site being fresh and interesting there, the information really is mostly all out there already, it just needs me to put it together! I get a lot of help with the site aswell, fans will send emails to me with photos of their items and say hey can you feature this, have you ever seen this before etc? It’s fantastic and of course we have yourself, the unsung legend who has given me so much help and support with this place. My name might be on the door but it’s a team effort all the way. I’d hate to miss anyone but Denny, Florian and Lulu have been brilliant too. I always wanted this place to feel like a bit of a community, every reader is encouraged to have their say, get writing guys!
There’s a popular saying though in blogging which states ‘Quality over Quantity’. If the content did start to go stale, I’d look to drop the quantity to preserve the quality for sure.
Phew, and breathe!
I know that KajaFax has received email from as far away as Japan and the United States. How far reaching is the Kajagoogoo fan base? Are you surprised by the volume of mail that you receive from fans globally?
It’s incredible really, emails come in from all over the world. There are KajaGooGoo fans everywhere! The hardest part is reaching out to them, they do exist out there far and wide. There are many active fans in Germany and Poland, those guys are brilliant. The fans in the States are superb, and it is very special when someone contacts me from Japan. It’s not just the emails though, I get detailed stats on the site which show where the views are coming from, that includes when anyone views the site through an online translater. It’s pretty cool to see fans out there viewing the site from Japan using google translate, it happens!
KajaFax has given its readers a great insight into some fantastic memorabilia over recent months. Which piece of Goo memorabilia from your own collection are you most proud of, and which item out of those you have featured on the blog would you like to own yourself?
The memorabilia is wonderful. I love the items that I’ve never seen before, the ones that make me go ‘oooooh I’d love one of those’!! I think the one I am most proud of would be my signed White Feathers Tour Programme. Nothing too fancy about that in the scheme of things but it was one of the first items I bought so I felt I’d really bagged something special at the time. Also, I had it signed for me by the band at one of the gigs so it’s double special. A mention would also go to my ‘Fear Machine’ single. Only 1000 made, very rare single and mine is in fantastic condition. I’d never part with it.
As for other items on the blog, there have been so many and there have been several that I’d really love to own. One that really does pop into my mind is that original artwork collection owned by Denny. It’s really special and it’s totally unique and it’s a brilliant item. I love his White Feathers Promo LP too, what an absolute gem with the ‘Urgent Urgent Please Destroy’ note! If I had to choose one thing that I’d love to own, I’d have to combine five and go for the full set of KajaFax magazines, shared with us by Florian. I’d dearly love to own those.
Finally, following over a year of relative inactivity, what would you like in terms of output from the band right now?
I’d love anything right now, I’d take whatever they had to give. It’s best to be realistic with these things and not hold out too much hope for big tours and albums etc, though that would be awesome! The guys are all so busy with their own projects and businesses, it’s tough to see how they could schedule something to put some real time and effort into something special with KajaGooGoo again. Prove me wrong guys!
The fans need to really get behind the band too and show their support otherwise nothing will ever happen again. We must never forget that musicians have bills to pay and they can only make an album or a tour work if the fans get out there and be a part of it in big numbers. If they guys thought they’d sell 200 tickets for each gig, it doesn’t add up. If they knew they’d sell 2,000 tickets for each gig, we have potential for a tour.
What I do know is that I hear a LOT of fans saying how they’d settle for a gig at the Stables each year. They could ‘cope’ pretty well if they knew they had that to look forward to. I’d go along with that.
Thanks for an interesting interview Steve! I know that I speak for every KajaFax reader when I say a huge ‘thank you’ for all of your efforts with the blog, and also for raising the online profile of Kajagoogoo.
Thank you for that. That was great fun to be on the other side of the microphone! I appreciate the thanks there, it does mean a lot to me and to think I might have anything to do with raising the online profile of the band is pretty cool. Keep the faith KajaFans!