Back in 1986, a controversial band known as Sigue Sigue Sputnik, exploded on to the music scene. Before we knew it they had achieved a top three hit with Love Missle F-11.
Sputnik were Tony James (Space Bass), Martin Degville (lead Vocal), Neal X (Guitarist), Ray Mayhew (drums),Chris Kavanagh (drums) and Yana YaYa (keyboards)
I recently caught up with lead singer Martin Degville, to look back and of course forward, at the SSS phenomenon.
Dean: Firstly Martin, thank you for speaking to me, I remember how huge you guys were in the eighties and how much media attention you attracted, what are your memories of it?
MD: Well I must say it was one of the most exciting times of my life, I knew that Sigue Sigue Sputnik would break big at some point and when it happened it truly was like being on a rollercoaster ride, which of course eventually crashed.
Sadly the music was overlooked and the focus from the press was on the image and antics of what the band did or said. Of course we didn't care at the time as we travelling the world, playing to huge audiences, meeting the rich and famous and to be honest partying way too hard, it was a disaster waiting to happen.
Dean: Many people have said you were well ahead of your time. Did you realise you were making something ground breaking that people would remember 27 years on.
MD: Yes, there was nothing like it. At the time the charts were full of safe boring pop groups. It really was time for a new Rolling Stones or Sex Pistols to challenge it. We did at the time think that there would be a whole lot of bands that would emerge sounding like Sputnik but it never happened. However, all these years on you can see and hear the Sputnik sound in many bands. That's from mainstream to Indie. It's also cool that we are seen in a different light, that we are recognised as frontiers of electro rock.
Dean: How did Sputnik come about and how long were you waiting in the wings before you exploded on to the scene?
MD: Well, I was a successful fashion designer around this time and I had a shop with the fabulous Yana Ya Ya in Kensington market. Tony James, Magenta Devine and Neal X would come in every Saturday to buy clothes and hang out. One day he mentioned that he was looking for a singer for this new band he was getting together. Of course I convinced him that I was the man. Little did I realize that it was actually Mick Jones from The Clash that eventually picked me for the role, from ten other hopefuls that I knew nothing about.
Dean: It is true that you signed to EMI for Four million pounds or has that been greatly exaggerated?
MD: Oh my God I wish it was true. I would be living in a hot sunny climate with my love if that were the case. We did get a substantial deal and advance but at the end of the day we had to pay it all back!!!!
Dean: Can you let the readers know what you have been up to since Sputnik split up.
MD: Well, I wrote a solo album entitled Worldwar4 shortly after we split, and just continued to write more material experimenting with new sounds to make contemporary the Sound of Sputnik I created way back when. I also work with other artists and my main man is Lloyd Price. He programs up and mixes all the songs I write. My new album entitled Electronic DNA is out now.
Dean: Do you not fancy going on to a reality show like Celebrity Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity or similar. It is something you would be interested in if you were approached?
MD: I would love to go on any reality TV show. I would be completely over the top!. It can be great exposure or it could ruin you. I think you have to be mentally prepared to show your dirty knickers to a worldwide audience.
Dean: Before I finish Martin, Sputnik fans around the world would want me to ask this. Can you ever see the original Sigue Sigue Sputnik line getting back together?
MD: I would love this to happen and I have tried to contact Tony James and Neal X about this but unfortunately I have had no reply. It would be very special to do a one off show with all original members.
I say this, let's forget our differences lads, put the past behind us and let the music speak!