Simply Red come to Palma on Saturday as part of their 30th anniversary celebratory tour. Since the release of their debut album Picture Book in 1985, the band has sold more than 50 million albums.
From their early days, the main driving force behind the band was singer/songwriter Mick Hucknall, who, by the time the band split in 2010, was the only original member left. At the 1992 and 1993 Brit Awards, they received the award for Best British Group. The group re-formed in 2015.
NJ: This tour, which kicked off last year, celebrates the 30th anniversary of the formation of the band. Looking back, what would you have done differently, if anything?
MH: Good question. I don’t spend a lot of time on regrets so I honestly can’t think of any major things I’d have done differently.
NJ: Thirty years is a long time. Do you think Simply Red have matured as you expected or you did your ever expect to get this far with the band?
MH: Like every band starting out you hope it will take you on an incredible journey. But I certainly never imagined in the '80s that we’d be doing one of our biggest ever world tours to celebrate our 30th anniversary. It’s still a fantastic thrill for me and the band seeing people packing into venues to see us, having a great time. On this tour especially, it’s been noticeable that lots of younger people who weren’t born when we started have been coming to the shows.
NJ: After eight years of silence, in 2015 you guys dropped the album Big Love. Critics said it was like a trip to your first albums. Do you agree? How would you classify this album in your career?
MH: I don’t have a problem with just playing the hits on tour but if you write decent songs, you should shout that from the tallest tower. My mind kept drifting back to Picture Book, and I wanted to give our narrative a more fitting finale. I see Big Love and Picture Book as bookends to the Simply Red story.
NJ: After this album and tour anniversary, what will be the next step for Simply Red?
MH: A long rest! We are almost a year in now and I’m looking forward to spending more time at home with my family. You’d probably need to ask me the same question next year.
NJ: In many interviews, you have stated that punk changed your life. Do you think there is still something of that movement, creativity and spirit?
MH: It was a massive wave of energy that inspired me and so many people of my
generation. I don’t come across many young artists with that spirit. The younger generation are more businesslike than when we were starting the band.
NJ: The album Big Love is inspired by your family. How has family life changed Mick Hucknall?
MH: I certainly get out of bed earlier when I’m at home these days. I love making my daughter breakfast in the morning.
NJ: What influenced you the most, punk or being father?
MH: I don’t think you can compare the two. Both were huge in different way and at different points in my life.
NJ: Electronic music is increasingly present in the current music scene. The DJ has become the new star of the charts. What do you think of this direction for music?
MH: There are very few recording studios any more. Only this week I heard my producer’s studio in London has been bought for housing development. So it’s not really surprising that electronic music and DJs will dominate the charts if there are fewer places for bands to record.
NJ: Is this your first visit to Majorca? Do you know the island?
MH: We played at the bullring in Palma in 2008. What a fantastic show, I remember it being like a cauldron in there: very hot and lively. I had a few days to explore the island too - beautiful.
NJ: What can the Majorcan public look forward too at the concert?
MH: We like to entertain people so expect loads of hits, a great band and lots of fun.
NJ: I know you are from the UK, but ... Trump or Clinton?