RS: Brilliant. Do you select the remixers for your singles?
Mick: No, I don't. I mean it's not really my field, but my approach to this thing is that I'm giving people a shot. I like giving people a chance, an opportunity, and I've instructed my management to keep their eyes out for talent. We've listened to the advice of Ministry of Sound and, ironically, the guys you mentioned are actually managed by a friend of mind, and purely by coincidence actually. So it's been great tied up in that way, but I'm not going to take credit for something that I've not got credit for, you know.
RS: This is probably something you're going to see soon, you've had so many great remixes like that PM Dawn mix of "Stars" and Steve 'Silk' Hurley's mix of "Something Got Me Started." Has there every been thought of doing a remix album?
Mick: Well as you just talked about, the record company currently still technically own those recordings and it would be up to them to do that. Now, they did a compilation last year and they didn't even send me a copy, so I don't have much rights regarding my own material unfortunately, and that includes the remixes. But we will get round this and we will win this battle, I'm not going to need to go to court. The point is that it's not just about me. This is about anybody coming into the industry right now, if they go to a record company they're going to get ripped off, it's as simple as that. That's all it's about, you pay for the nature of the recording and then they own it, and I want to see that changed.
RS: What do you attribute the longevity of Simply Red to?
Mick: Apart from good genes, I'd say it's the nature of the music that I listen to that inspires an attempt to make timeless music - to buck the fashions and trends, to stay away from fashion in a way to try and just make my own mold, my own kind of fashion. My image of the word 'fashion' is a different that that of the established fashion houses, for example. Because most of the fashions that I was brought up with as a punk rocker when I was sixteen were straight off the street, and there's no establishment that you dressed in. You wore second-hand clothes and stuff and had their own kind of style. All I've done over the years is just tried to have my own style, and that applies to the music as well.
RS: Speaking of your own style, what are you listening to yourself these days, what's in your CD player or your I-Pod?
Mick: This last sort of eight months I've been going through a bit of an oldies phase, in the sense of a lot of old jazz and Jamaican dub reggae. I do listen to new stuff, I'll have phases of it and then I'll have so much trouble having to go through so many records to find something good that it just wears you down, like a job. An album, one or two songs off an album by a girl called Katie Melua are very nice. I met her a few months ago and she's working on an independent label. She had a number one album and she's done really well for herself, She's got a very, very nice voice, I'd recommend that.
RS: OK, I'll look that up.
Mick: Yes, I don't know if they've released it in the States yet, but the first two cuts of the CD are really impressive, they're just really nice.
RS: I'm sure you've heard the song "Sunrise" has done really well over hear on radio, it's showed up on all kinds of different formats. I've heard it on AC stations and on the dance pop stations. What do you feel about the different crossover angles it's had?
Mick: I think it shows that when we get it right with the single, we have an ability to break down barriers in terms of categorization of music. I'd never want to be classed in any category because I have too many wide passions and too many wide interests in music. From George Gershwin to Dr Dre, it's just very, very broad. I think it's important that if I have that kind of influence then I should be able to express that in the music without copying their style, without imitating them, but somehow creating the style through the variation of styles.