Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Human League 'not an 80s footnote'

Phil Oakey of Human League said he wanted to move with the times
Phil Oakey of Human League said he wanted to move with the times

Human League's Phil Oakey has revealed he was worried the band would become "a footnote of the 80s".

The singer, who wrote the band's hits including Don't You Want Me and Tell Me When, said he wanted to write the band some more up-to-date songs.

He said: "I saw a South Bank Show on Herbie Hancock - and I accept that Herbie Hancock is 100 times the musician I could ever dream of being - but it irked me that no-one was interested in us like that anymore, that we were in danger of becoming a footnote of the 1980s."

Phil went on: "I thought we were worthy of being taken seriously as songwriters, that we'd done enough to be considered in that way, so that was that - I started writing songs again."

But Phil had to learn how to use modern technology for the new album, Credo.

"I love synths," he enthused. "Flashing lights, rotary dials and faders, that's my thing. When everyone started playing music on laptops I lost interest completely, and could never get on with the programmes you needed.

"Thanks to different producers and friends, though, I found one I liked and dived in. It took me about a year to feel fully comfortable, but I had to do it."

Credo is out now.

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