MySpace Hugely influential British music producer Martin Rushent has died…
- Posted on Sep 1st 2011 4:30PM by Lonny Knapp
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"Nowadays it's all about vocal acrobats and a wide vocal range, but I don't think you need all that," Sulley tells Spinner. "You don't all have to be the same, you can be a bit more individual."
"None of my heroes would get past the audition round," she adds. "David Bowie, Gary Numan, and Bryan Ferry just wouldn't stand a chance."
Sulley insists you can still find success as a recording artist even if you and your-out-of-this-world talent can't bring a tear to Simon Cowell's eye. Take the Human League who've sold over 20 million records worldwide, for example. According to Sulley, they're just a pack of middling musicians.
"There are three of us, two of whom have never written a song and are pretty average singers," she says. "Plus, we've got a lead singer who doesn't consider himself a singer at all and he can't play any instruments very well."
In 1978, the Human League were at the forefront of an avant-garde synthesizer scene in the industrial town of Sheffield, England. Then, in 1980, in a bid to inject progressive synthesizer music with a pop sensibility, founder Philip Oakley dissolved the band's original lineup and recruited Sulley and Joanne Catherall, two teenage friends with no performance experience, as backup singers. His hunch paid off.
The new lineup debuted with 1981's 'Dare,' a massive commercial success that introduced synthesizer-based music to mainstream audiences. The triple platinum album has been a major influence on boundary-pushing artists such as Madonna, Moby, Little Boots, and Lady Gaga. And 30 years later, with a new album courtesy of hotshot production duo I Monster plus an extensive North American tour alongside fellow synthpop pioneers Men Without Hats, the Human League are enjoying a career resurgence.
But despite her group's success and longevity, Sulley, who recently met Lady Gaga when the artists shared a bill at V Fest, claims she's taken aback when celebrities claim to be fans.
"I can't believe it, we are a load of bozos from Sheffield," she says. "We never wanted to be famous, we just wanted to make good music. When someone like Lady Gaga tells us she's a huge fan, it's actually really quite weird."