JOHN LANG   INTERVIEW

(by Peter Dehenau)

John Lang - Mr. Mister and Pages co-songwriter, cousin of lead singer Richard Page, and now member of the band Djinn - was so kind to answer some questions concerning his career.
Thanks for your support John! (February 23rd, 1999)

 

How did you spend your childhood days (family, school, leisure time)?

Reading, swimming, reading, reading.

When did you decide to make a living of working in the music business? Have you been doing other jobs before?

Rich and I wrote our first song together in 1970 - I was 18 and he was 17.
No jobs before.

Did you play in any bands before Pages was formed?

I was the singer in Nick Needle and The Injections in 1973 in Flagstaff, Arizona.

How do you look back upon the Pages days. Any particular feelings you want to share with us?

Hard work, lots of writing, little renumeration.

Were you actually involved in the Pages and Mr. Mister recording sessions or was your contribution limited to the co-writing of songs?

Just co-writing.

Are there Pages or Mr. Mister songs which stand out as very personal to you?

Most of the 'Real world' album - a very personal group of songs.

Did you join the Misters on tour? Did you experience any remarkable events that you will always remember?

I didn't join the band on tour. When 'Broken wings' went #1 I was living in Paris. It was a surreal, almost magical feeling. I had no perspective on it or experience of it previously, so it was exciting, innocent and unreal -- like being in a movie or a Dickens story.

How did you react to the fact that the album 'Go on' didn't at all gain the level of success that the predecessor did?

I was disappointed.

Did you collaborate in any way in the writing and recording process of the unreleased fourth Mr. Mister album 'Pull'?

I co-wrote the songs.

What was your reaction when the Misters decided to disband?

I felt that it was a 'fait d' accompli' -- it was inevitable.

What have you been doing after the split? Have you been working with any of the former band members? Are you still in touch with them?

Rich and I see each other all the time -- we live nearby each other -- and surf together, our families are close.

When did the idea rise to form your own band Djinn, which evolved from Langsters?

In 1989 I left Mr. Mister and started writing and recording my own songs. That evolved into putting together the Langsters with Russell Battelene (ex-drummer of Pages) and David Battelene (his brother, guitar player). We moved to New York City in 1991 and reformed as Djinn.

What are your plans for the future?

To continue to write and record songs, write screenplays, heli-board and surf my brains out.

Can we ever expect some new Page/George/Lang songs? Do you think that a sort of Mr. Mister reunion could be possible in the future?

Anything is possible; who knows what the future holds ...

Thanks, John!

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