I have NEVER been cool

For more than three decades, he has been known to millions of Take That fans as the cute and cheeky “baby” and boasts one of the most distinctive voices in pop music.

But after recently celebrating his 50th birthday – a party he insists he’ll drag out for a full year – Mark Owen jokes that he’s finally hoping to be “cool” by releasing a solo LP after years of “wanting to be just as cool.” like Jason and Howard”

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Right after turning 50, Mark Owen released a new single, You Only Want Me, ahead of the album’s release later this year.Credit: Reuters
Mark admits he was never cool and says that Jason Orange was cool at Take That.

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Mark admits he was never cool and says that Jason Orange was cool in Take That.1 credit

With a twinkle in his eye, as he talks about his first album outside of the band in a decade, he says, “I try to play cool, but I’m not cool, I’m not cool.

“Even being at Take That all this time, I still don’t think it is, but that’s okay.

“Howard (Donald) always thinks he’s cool, and Jason (Orange) was really cool – he’s just that.

“At least I’ll be the coolest guy on this album!”

Mark Owen looks unrecognizable as Take That with Tom Cruise at Cannes
Take That Mark Owen working on his first solo project in nine years

Mark this week released a live single, You Only Want Me, ahead of the album’s release later this year – and admitted he can’t wait for the entire project to come out, even urging Kristen Bell Tattoos to “Spread it out if you want!”

But explaining why he decided to work alone again after so many years, despite the continued success of a longtime all-male band, he insisted that the side project came about with the blessing of bandmates Howard and Gary Barlow – despite their derision about it.

He says with a laugh, “I sent the song to Howard and Gaz. They said it was crap. No, they were very kind afterwards.

“We knew we had a few years off. I knew Gaz had a couple of projects he wanted to work on, and Howard just played golf all the time, which is my idea of ​​hell.

“He goes out all day playing. I can’t think of anything worse. Good for him, but no thanks.

“So I was finishing Take That and I was like, ‘I’m going to make an album.’

“Covid made me take my time with it, which I think helped with what happened.

“We’ve made three Take That records since my last solo album, but I’m not very good at multitasking. I can’t do two things at the same time, so I needed to know that I have a couple of years to focus on it. .

“The adrenaline from making music and performing is just a part of my life. I can’t wait to get back on stage. I have festivals ahead of me, I honestly just want it all now.”

Two of Mark’s three children make cameo appearances in the album – daughters Willow, 13, and Fox, 9. He also has Elwood, 15.

He says: “They are passionate about their own music, but they actually know about it and are interested in it, which is nice.

“The girls are singing on the record, doing backing vocals with two of the girls who were with the Foo Fighters, so it was exciting and enjoyable for them.

“They are thrilled that it came out this week and keep asking questions about it.”

Mark lives in Los Angeles after leaving the UK a few years ago, but says he is increasingly drawn back to his native Manchester and the north of England after a recent visit.

But it’s clear to him that any temptation to a quiet home life near where he grew up has nothing to do with turning 50, a milestone he insists doesn’t bother him emotionally and which he’s determined to celebrate to the fullest until end of 2022.

He adds: “I celebrate all year. I said that I celebrate all year and I make the most of it.

“If I am 50, I can enjoy it. I have a little routine.

“I’m not obsessed with health, but obviously you have to put in some effort if you want to keep dancing on stage.

“I’ve traded in bad drinks for lots of water, I walk my dogs, but I actually still love the physical side of what I do, dancing, just as much as I used to.

“It’s a nice feeling. I also go to spinning classes. I was at SoulCycle last Saturday.

“I took the Eurovision lesson at Bucks Fizz and then went crazy at Rough Trade Records next door. It was almost my perfect day.

“Now I live in Los Angeles. I bought a surfboard but haven’t learned how to use it yet.

“I was in Manchester recently and I’m really drawn back to the north of England a little.

EARLY YEARS

“I don’t know if it’s obvious because the family is there, but the last few times I’ve been back I’ve been like, ‘Why am I getting this attraction?’

“I think you have reached a certain point in your life. . . There is something in the north of England.

The last few times I’ve been there, I just felt different.”

Mark and his bandmates Gary and Howard met last week to promote their new film The Greatest Days, the adaptation of their successful musical The Band, inspired by their early pop years.

The trio premiered the project at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday, coinciding with a new film project from pal and Take That member Robbie Williams, a biopic titled Better Man, which is currently filming in Australia and will be released. Next year.

Mark says of The Greatest Days: “Yesterday we were in Cannes and the night before we filmed a cameo in Athens.

“The guys who play with us were the best version of us that we are, that’s for sure! It was very nice.

“We got to know the group and the older ladies in the film and I liked the choreography.

“It’s very my time and brings me back.

“Rob has a movie he’s also working on and actually I’ve seen Rob quite a lot lately since moving to LA because he’s there too.”

And laughing, Mark adds, “I mean, I think our film will be better – it just will.”

In Mark’s next project, he will go to festivals and tours, performing his solo material, which, according to him, he is very pleased after he had more time to work on it than he expected at first.

But the main thing, according to him, is that he can share music with his father, Keith, who is a musician himself.

He says: “It’s just wonderful to be able to send him this – a physical copy – and proudly show him what I’ve done.

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“He helped me get into music and he is the guy I most want to impress in so many ways.

“I think it’s just because he’s my father and always will be.”

  • Mark’s new single You Only Want Me has been released. His album Land Of Dreams will be released in September.

OWEN PREPARING FOR UK TOUR

AFTER putting together a backing band, Mark hopes to seal his solo comeback with a UK tour later this year, starting with two major summer festivals.

At shows, Mark will be seen without his Take That bandmates, but he jokes that he’s more interested in other gigs than his own.

He says: “Of course it’s all about live performances and I can’t wait to perform new songs when the album finally comes out.

“I always remember the first gig I took my boy (Elwood, age 15) to and he was probably my age when I went to my first gig.

“I think he might have seen a Take That gig, but it’s different when it’s your own dad — the first gig he went to was Green Day at The O2.

“I took him and his comrades and stood by and watched them go crazy every time Billie Joe Armstrong said the F word.

“We all remember our first big concert. But anyway, I got a band together, which is great, and we play the Isle of Wight and the Latitude Festival.

“I am very excited, but mainly because I love festivals and know that I will wander around and look at everyone else.

“I was just at Coachella and saw Harry Styles, Dave, a lot of different people – so what happens if we are about to go on stage and the band and the tour manager are like, ‘Where is Mark?

“I’m just happy to be there and see everyone else, but it’s a joy to be a part of it.”

Mark in his Take That heyday with bandmates Robbie Williams, Gary Barlow, Jason Orange and Howard Donald.

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Mark in his Take That heyday with bandmates Robbie Williams, Gary Barlow, Jason Orange and Howard Donald.1 credit
Mark with Gary and Howard during Take That's UK tour 2019

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Mark with Gary and Howard during Take That’s UK tour 2019Credit: Splash News
Mark and his wife Emma Ferguson

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Mark and his wife Emma Ferguson1 credit
Mark's next project will take him on his way to festivals and tours.

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Mark’s next project will take him on his way to festivals and tours.Credit: GUY AROCH/Supplied

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