Mail 1st May 2002
SUSAN ANN SULLEY and JOANNE CATHERALL both 39, have been in Human League since singer Phil Oakey spotted them in a Sheffield nightclub 21 years ago. The band's No 1, Don't You Want Me, was an instant classic in 1981.
What have you both been doing?
Susan Ann: The same things we've been doing for the past 21 years. Secrets, the album we released last year, got the best reviews we've ever had. It's just a shame no one bought it.
Joanne: Last summer, we toured Ibiza, Dubai and Greece. But we're lazy, we wait until the money runs out then see if we can get work.
Highs and lows?
Susan Ann: Last year we were nearly bankrupt. And in 1994, I had a nervous breakdown caused by the stress of not being famous any more. I've only really started to enjoy what we do since
Joanne: Going to No 1 in the US was a big high point. Also, not a lot of bands can say they've stuck together for 21 years.
Most memorable fame moment?
Susan Ann: When we had to hide in the staff room of a clothes shop because a load of fans chased us in. Another time, I remember we were given a bodyguard with a gun in LA.
Joanne: Going to a music awards ceremony and being so drunk that we left the awards we'd won propped up by the bar and never saw them again.
Most embarrassing moment?
Susan Ann: For a while I got quite big-headed - once I actually clicked my fingers for service in a restaurant.
Joanne: What sticks in my mind is being trapped on a clapped-out tour bus in Wales for 12 hours because we were snowed in.
Are you both still party girls?
Susan Ann: Geri Halliwell recently said she went to a great party where she
ate sushi and drank camomile tea. Sorry, but to me a party involves drinking
copious amounts of wine and smoking lots of cigarettes.
What about your love life?
Susan Ann: Both Joanne and I have been involved with Phil. She lived with him for ages, but with me it was a brief romance. It's not been a problem; we've been best friends since we were 13. More recently, I was married for a year. We split up, but we're still good friends.
Joanne: I've been with Peter, who's a computer boffin, since 1989. We married in 1995 and had our son Elliot in 1997.
Have you made your fortune?
Susan Ann: Hardly. Most of the money we've earned has gone back into the band. I've got a two-bedroom flat and my last holiday was a week in Spain.
Joanne: I live in a semi in the Sheffield suburbs, but we've made enough to keep going for 21 years.
What do you think of today's pop stars?
Susan Ann: I hated the whole idea of Pop Idol. Having said that, I did vote for Will.
Joanne: We should have toured more when we were famous.
Susan Ann: We've got a few shows booked around Europe and we're doing one of several Eighties nostalgia tours. Other than that, I'd love to be a TV presenter, but I'm far too old.
Joanne: I guess we'll just keep going as long as people want to come and see us.