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Spotlight on Gary Jules.

Byline: Hannah Jones

He may no longer be number one, but Gary Jules is still buzzing.

'I feel great!' he exclaims. 'Unfortunately, I left London the day before Mad World reached number one, but it was just fantastic.'

The haunting signature tune to cult film Donnie Darko, Mad World not only took the bookies by surprise but also the artists - Gary and his musical partner Michael Andrews.

'We didn't expect it to be Christmas number one at all - the whole thing was just totally surreal. It was hard to believe and we often said to ourselves, 'Is this really happening?"

For a song that climbed the sales charts with very little marketing behind it, Mad World did remarkably well. It didn't hit the festive top spot in any other country apart from Britain, but LA resident Gary says that more and more people are starting to be aware of the song.

'It's sort of spreading,' he says.

'The popularity of the song along with the movie has been brewing in other places but it hasn't taken off as it did in the UK.

'It's just starting to get proper radio airplay in the US and is starting to get onto the bigger channels. It hasn't been released as a single so it's not been in the charts yet. I don't know when that will be.'

He may have been pleased to hit the UK's top spot but Gary says that he didn't have a huge celebration.

'I flew home from London, had dinner, went to bed and was woken up at 3am. I was awake for another two hours, staring at the ceiling while lying in bed.

'I woke my wife up and told her then jumped around the room for a little while. I called my record company and my manager then went back to bed,' he says.

The release of Gary's second solo album, Trading Snakeoil For Wolftickets (the title refers to two kinds of proverbially worthless items), is sure to thrust him back into the limelight.

'Trading Snakeoil For Wolftickets is different from Mad World in that it's not piano-driven, it's acoustic guitar driven, and that I wrote the songs for it,' he says.

'But it's similar to Mad World as it's rather sparse and it all comes from the same place.'

After a bad experience with a big record company, Gary decided to record the songs for the album himself and mixed them on a friend's stereo.

Two years ago, he released the album himself in the US and has managed to sell more than 10,000 copies - a fantastic achievement for a self-released album with no advertising or marketing behind it.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 16, 2004
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