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JASON DONOVAN INTERVIEW [2006]

YOU'RE GOING ON TOUR AGAIN AREN'T YOU? THERE'S GOING TO BE LOTS OF PEOPLE GETTING OVEREXCITED, LOTS OF TEARS AND SCREAMING..

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There is! Maybe I should be sponsored by Kleenex Tissues or something like that... or maybe Tesco's cheap-brand tissues!

ALL THAT EMOTION FOR 'ESPECIALLY FOR YOU'! WILL YOU PLAY THAT OR DOES IT HAVE TO BE IN A DUET?

Well you know, you are allowed to perform it on your own! But to be honest it's all still a while off and I haven't quite got into the nuts and bolts of what would be the appropriate thing to do with that song, but it's a classic song and it still stands up. I have done it on my own and I have done it in duet with someone other than Kylie... who knows, but it will definitely be part of the set!

WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BE IN YOUR AUDIENCE THIS TIME AROUND?

I'd imagine that most of the mullets will have been cut off by now but I think the ripped jeans are about to come back in! I don't know yet, I mean I imagine that most people will be recapturing their childhood and most of my fan base is around twenty-five, thirty... we'll see!

HOW DO YOU APPROACH SOMETHING LIKE THIS TOUR, THAT'S KIND OF A STEP FORWARD BUT ALSO A LOOK BACK?

You're right that's exactly what it is... I don't quite know how you work out how it's going to play out because I've yet to get to that stage. What I do know is that a lot of people will be buying tickets so they can look back, and one of the greatest things in my life is to have been part of some recordings that really captured kids hearts and minds, and that is a very strong connection to have... music can capture people's imaginations like no other thing, it's like heroin... probably! It's like a strong drug and I feel very fortunate to have been part of that emotion. So let's be honest, the looking back is going to be a big part of the show, but also I would be fooling myself if I didn't aim to move forward a little bit too, be a little bit self-indulgent and play a few songs that I've been working on recently... and that's the other twenty-five, thirty percent of the show.

THERE ARE SOME NEW SONGS ON YOUR MYSPACE PAGE AT THE MOMENT - ARE THEY REPRESENTATIVE OF WHERE YOU ARE NOW MUSICALLY?

I think it's reasonably representative, I mean there's always room for improvement, and I'm never completely satisfied on every level, but there is one particular song called 'Share My World' which I'm extremely proud of. That hasn't been put on MySpace for obvious reasons... hopefully, if things go well, we should see some of those things being released in the summer and then we'll take it from there. I mean my writing is a hobby rather than a profession for me and I think where my real talents lay is the interpretation of the music itself, but I do write songs although if I'm honest with you I don't necessarily know yet if I have articulated something that is sufficiently special and interesting and different and ground-breaking...

HOW INVOLVED WERE YOU IN THE WRITING OF THE CLASSIC EIGHTIES HITS? DID YOU HAVE A HAND IN WRITING THEM OR WAS IT ALL DOWN TO STOCK AITKEN & WATERMAN?

No I wasn't, unfortunately not... God, if I had I would be far, far wealthier! Seriously, I am extremely lucky to have had any part of that stuff but at the same time I suppose it would have been nice to have just a little slice of the writing credits in there! In all honesty if you went in and said to them 'actually I can write a better one than you' they would probably have said 'well OK, play it to us', and if they had agreed with you - and this is one of Stock Aitken & Waterman's enduring qualities, and they knew how to write the hits - I'm sure they would have put it on the record. At the end of the day it only helps them, and it helps you and it helps the whole machine, but unfortunately I wasn't that prolific at that point in time, I was more caught up in trying to deliver on other elements and projects.

WHAT SORT OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO FOR YOURSELF?

I'm pretty varied in my musical tastes, I can listen to anything from The Killers - who I love, I saw their performance on The Brits and it was so strong and full on and that really attracts me - I like strength, I've always been a massive U2 fan because I like their intelligence and their bittersweet sort of melancholy. I love pop music too, I like classical, I love Ella Fitzgerald so it's hard to say 'this is where my music tastes are' because they're everywhere really!

DOES SEEING THINGS LIKE THE KILLERS ON THE BRITS MAKE YOU JUST WANT TO GET BACK OUT THERE, TO GET BACK ON THE MUSIC STAGE AGAIN?

Yeah it does... it is inspiring, but having already been through the ins and outs of the whole thing once you have to kind of take that into perspective; to imagine myself as a twenty-two year old getting up there with my band is probably not a true representation of where I am at the moment but it all helps.

WITH ALL THE MUSICAL THEATRE WORK YOU'VE BEEN DOING, DO YOU THINK YOU'LL BE A BETTER PERFORMER THIS TIME AROUND? HAVE YOU PICKED UP ANY LITTLE TRICKS OR ANYTHING?

Well I think I'm probably more confident in myself, more confident that I've ever been in my life actually, and I'm more comfortable as a performer than I've ever been, so hopefully that will just kick in... but everyone gets a sense of anxiety, I did an audition this morning I'm still apprehensive in that situation...

YOU STILL HAVE TO DO AUDITIONS?

Yeah.. I think to a certain degree, when you're investing a lot of money into a production you want to be sure you got the right person and people do change. To drag yourself out there to do them can be sort of tough, but at the same time if I was a producer I would want to meet people and see what their possibility is, see what they can do... but I'm not at the cattle-call audition stage, I'm at the higher-up meetings, kind of at the 'are you right for us?' stage. It's understandable, I think that people do need to have a sense of knowing you to make sure that you're the right thing for their investment, I mean these shows cost a lot of money so there's a lot of money to be lost...

BUT DOESN'T EVERYONE KNOW YOU ALREADY? OR IS THAT THE PROBLEM THAT PEOPLE PIGEONHOLE YOU AS SOMETHING YOU'RE NOT? A SORT OF SCOTT ROBINSON MEETS JOSEPH CHARACTER...

Well... I guess I have slowly had the opportunity to... well, grow up! That's maybe the best way to articulate it. I don't think that in my life I necessarily have anything to prove, that's the first thing - I have been fortunate enough to do some things that not many people get to do and to live a dream that not many people get to live in their lives, but you can only work the loincloth for so long! I have to say that for the last four or five years I think I have been getting that message across, that the boy everyone used to know is now a man! You need to create a new story for yourself

HOW WERE YOU ABOUT GROWING UP? DID THAT COME VERY NATURALLY OR ARE YOU SOMEONE WHO HAD TO BE DRAGGED THERE, KICKING AND SCREAMING?

Not kicking and screaming no... God, what's happened to me in my life I'm very proud of, I'm not trying to run away from the truth, but you want to reach a point in your life where you can change - I mean we all change! As much as I'm proud of Scott Robinson and my Stock Aitken & Waterman days, and Joseph and all those different things, I have a different story now but unfortunately in life you do tend to get remembered for those moments... but I can think of worse things to be associated with, put it that way! I've never been squeaky clean so I have been able to screw with the canvas a little bit!

DO YOU HAVE PLANS FOR WHATEVER YOU MIGHT BE UP TO AFTER THE TOUR?

Well I'm writing an autobiography at the moment which I think will be an interesting read in the Autumn!

MARCH 2007

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