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24 September 2014
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Where Are They now?
Howard Jones
Howard Jones throws of us his metal chains and brings us up to date on his career

Bursting onto the scene 20 years ago with 'New Song', Howard Jones has left us a legacy of sophisticated synth pop hits. Songs like 'Life In One Day', 'What Is Love?' and the BBC Radiophoic Workshop-esque 'Hide & Seek' remain classics.

But Howard is still making music, is still contributing to the current chart and now runs his own label. Read on...

Did you catch yourself performing 'Things Can Only Get Better' on a recent TOTP2? What did you think of your performance?
Howard: I thought it was f*cking great! [laughs]. Absolutely great. It was one of the best TOTPs that I did.

One of the girls in the office loves the red jacket you were wearing - where did you get it?

Howard: It was made for me by Jeff Banks. They're all one-off things. We always did everything ourselves.

It's nearly 20 years since your first TOTP when you performed 'New Song'. What do you remember of this time?
Howard: It was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I'd been watching the Pops since I was nine - religiously every week. So to actually be doing it was mindblowing. I was very nervous. If you watch me it looks like I'm chewing gum but I wasn't! It's a nervous habit that I have. But it felt like it was a huge turning point. I shouldn't have actually been on TOTP at all. Fate stepped in because it was No.40 but none of the other big artists at the time like Duran Duran were able to make it. I think they kept coming down the charts till they got to 40 and of course then the single exploded! It was always my absolute determination to be on there. It was very regimented but - as if I could care less! I would have been there at 5 in the morning.

When we were doing some reseach the other day we came across a picture of you with Nik Kershaw. In the public's mind, you're often seen as being pretty similar.
Howard: I guess we were solo artists making records at the same time and that's where it ends. There was never any rivalry on my behalf because I didn't feel I was in competition with anyone. All I wanted to do was get my music out and I was really pleased for everyone else. Competition wasn't really a part of it.

Did you ever feel resentful to having to do endless publicity, such as Smash Hits?
Howard: No. I had plenty to say for myself. It wasn't just about the music. I was always talking about being a vegetarian and saying things about how I believed that if I could achieve to become a pop star, anyone could. Previously I had been working in a factory. I played safe. I didn't want it to seem like I was just talking about myself and just promoting my own career. Endless photo sessions can grind you down after a time, but it wasn't forever. It was just for a period in my life.

Want to know Howard's thoughts on High Wycombe in the '80s and today's music scene? Read on...

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