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Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
Top Stories
Spanish government reintroduces Sinde Law proposals after parliamentary knock back
In The Pop Courts
Live Nation settles Ticketmaster delivery fees class action
Nas sees tax bill grow ever larger
U2 drummer loses defamation case
Pop Politics
Courtney Love joins Oxford University Conservative Association
Awards & Contests
Everything Everything win South Bank award
Julie's Bicycle adds eco-prize to Music Week Awards
Reunions & Splits
Razorlight confirm new line up
Release News
Katy B announces debut album
Micahu & The Shapes record with London Sinfonietta
Films & Shows News
Tori Amos musical in production
Robbie Williams musical in production
Gigs & Tours News
Tom Robinson hosts first Ja Ja Ja of 2011 tonight
Dog Is Dead tour starts tonight
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Single Review: Visions Of Trees - Sometimes It Kills/No Flag (Moshi Moshi)
The Music Business
Black Hole goes essential
The Digital Business
Believe announces partnerships
The Media Business
Global Radio losses down
And finally...
Glee update: Kings Of Leon still out, Scissor Sisters maybe in
Vanilla Ice remembers Loch Ness monster attack

Composer, arranger and all-round neo-classical powerhouse Jim Perkins trained in composition and audio production before setting up his own label, Bigo & Twigetti, developing under that banner not only his own work but that of other producers and sonic artists. In 2008 he collaborated with folk musician Ronan Burke under the Ranger3 moniker, and also has remixed everyone from Steve Reich to Foals.

Jim's debut solo album 'Grains' is a sum of many intricate parts, designed to resonate both with classical and folk fans and electronically-inclined audiences. It brings together organic instrumentals with rough-cut computerised beats, a grand soundscape dispersed by whimsical melodies reminiscent of The Flaming Lips.

He releases 'Grains' through B&T on 31 Jan with an LP launch party at London's Vortex venue the same night. In anticipation of this, we caught up with the maestro himself to ask the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
The first memory I have of actually making music (about aged four) is sitting at opposite ends of my grandmother's piano with my elder brother bashing the keys at either end of the keyboard as hard as we could, whilst making motorcycle noises. We used to call ourselves The Berry Brothers, I've no idea why.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

The first track on the album, the 'Chopin Prelude', was the inspiration for the whole album really. It's an incredible piece which encouraged me to listen to a lot of piano music.

It lends itself so well to re-arranging and offered a perfect opportunity to fuse all my experience of editing and mixing digital audio files with the sounds of the piano. Although I did this not by chopping up the existing recording but by starting with the musical arrangement and the natural rhythm of the piece; this allowed me much more flexibility in producing the final piece exactly as I wanted.

That piece triggered a whole series of events which led to endless hours of recording piano, meeting some incredible musicians and studio engineers who generously donated their time to help create it. The title of the album, 'Grains', is taken from the small parts which a soundwave is chopped up into as a part of the process of digitally extending the notes length without affecting the pitch. This was used a lot in the creation of the album.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?

I like to be fairly involved at every stage. I try to think a lot about a piece before I write anything, then when I do I like to initially sketch a lot of ideas so that when it comes to writing the final piece there is a lot of musical material to choose from. I also like to rehearse continuously with the musicians before recording (in an ideal world!). Their feedback is invaluable in discovering whether what I have written is playable and how it might be improved (I don't always agree, but it's great to have the discussion). I'm involved in all elements of the recording, from deciding which takes to keep, to the final edit, and the application of the various digital effects or reverbs.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Here are some of them: Ravel, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Tallis, Messiaen, Morton Feldman, Arvo Part, Leif Inge. Quite a lot of my editing techniques are heavily influenced by film editors and visual artists.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
So, what did you think?

Q6 What are your ambitions for your album, and for the future?

For it to be listened to and to inspire people. As for the future, I'd like to be able to continue to write and record music and to collaborate with more artists and perhaps even take a break from the piano for a while.

MORE>> jimperkins.org

One third of 'acoustic techno' trio Brandt Brauer Frick, Paul Frick has written and performed music in seemingly every conceivable style, from classical to metal to hip hop and beyond. Lately he's been gaining notoriety on the electronic music scene with a handful of solo releases on various underground labels. The latest, a tech house track called 'I Mean', was releases by Doppelschall/The Gym earlier this month and features the brilliant Emika on vocals.

Although the original version is very good, today we're going to concentrate on Dutch producer Dollkraut's reworking of it because, firstly, it's also very good, and secondly, a video for it has just gone online. Shot on Super 8, and featuring a man with a bag on his head, the images in the video perfectly complement the John Barry-esque sound of the remix, which gently lays the already not overly energetic original back into full reclining position.


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We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:

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For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training

The Spanish government has reintroduced proposals to make it easier for content owners to target copyright infringing websites, after proposed new copyright laws were knocked back by the country's House Of Representatives just before Christmas.

As previously reported, the so called Sinde Law is Spain's attempt to introduce new regulations that reduce levels of illegal file-sharing. Unlike the UK and France, where three-strike style systems that target individuals who file-share have been favoured by lawmakers, in Spain the preferred approach is a fast-track system through which content owners can force websites that exist primarily to assist others in their illegal file-sharing offline. Such a system was also included in the UK's Digital Economy Act in addition to three-strikes, but with an extra clause that basically stopped it from being introduced in the short term.

The last time we reported on the Sinde Law in late December it looked like Spain's parliament was about to green light the Spanish government's plans, which were included in wider legislative proposals under the banner Sustainable Economy Law. However, amid high profile campaigning by some of those websites that fear they will be targeted under the proposed shutdown system, and other consumer groups who proposed the new rules, the House Of Representatives voted against the proposals.

But ministers remain committed to their anti-piracy system, and this week, with the support of three political parties, reintroduced the Sinde Law into the SEL proposals just before they head to the upper house of the country's parliament, the Senate. With three parties involved in the slightly tweaked Sinde Law proposals it is thought they will now pass through the Senate without any problems. I'm not clear on whether the reworked Sinde Law will then have to go back to the House Of Representatives for a second vote.

The tweaks basically involve adding a judicial stage into the shut down process. It seems that first draft anti-piracy systems proposed by politicians after being lobbied by content owners invariably lack a judicial stage where a court of law considers any sanctions against copyright infringers - whether that be suspending the internet access of individual file-sharers, or ordering internet service providers to block access to an entire website.

Opponents usually argue, probably rightly, that puts too much power in the hands of government agencies and throws doubt on the independence of any appeals process. The French government had to add in a judicial stage into their Hadopi three-strike law, and that's basically the compromise Spanish officials have included in their second draft proposals to try and reassure those who opposed the Sinde Law first time round that the new system won't let copyright owners to go round shutting down websites on whim.

Of course, while the tweaks may be enough to placate political opponents in the Spanish parliament, opposition to any new rules to target file-sharing remains just as strong outside the legislative chamber.

As much previously reported, with the new laws the Spanish government is, in part, responding to pressure from foreign governments who reckon Spain has done far too little to protect intellectual property rights in the digital age. Indeed, it's not uncommon under Spain's existing copyright system for Spanish judges to rule that non-commercial file-sharing does not actually constitute infringement at all. Torrentfreak claims that American officials have been directly involved in drafting the Sinde Law proposals.

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Live Nation has confirmed that it has settled a long running class action lawsuit against its ticketing company Ticketmaster, and that as a result a one off pay out of $22.3 million will appear in it's fourth quarter financial results.

The case was launched way back in 2003 by two Americans called Curt Schlesinger and Peter Lo Re but was only confirmed as a class action, so that anyone negatively affected could claim damages, last September.

The plaintiffs accused Ticketmaster of misleading customers by implying in its marketing materials that "delivery fees" added to ticket purchases were a simply cost of sale, ie what it cost Ticketmaster to deliver tickets. In fact a profit margin was included so the fee was a revenue stream for the ticketing giant. Given the size of the delivery fees (up to $25) that was probably a given, but the plaintiffs reckoned the ticketing firm was at fault for not explicitly stating so.

Having become a class action lawsuit last year the case was due to go to court this month, but it seems an out of court settlement has been reached. Under the settlement, Live Nation/Ticketmaster will not accept it deliberately misled customers, but will (somehow) make efforts to compensate past ticket-buyers who were confused by their explanations of fees and ensure future communication is clearer. It will also cover all the legal fees related to this dispute. Hence the $22.3 million set aside to clear things up.

As an aside, Live Nation is already suing its insurers Illinois Union Insurance Co in relation to this case after it refused to pay the $4 million in legal fees the live music and ticketing giant has run up fighting the case.

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Poor old Nas, he has no luck when it comes to money. Although his monthly support payments to ex-wife Kelis and their eighteen month old son Knight were recently halved to $25,000 a month, the IRS is on his back again about unpaid taxes.

Neatly reminding UK freelancers that their tax returns need to be in by Monday, Detroit News reports that the US tax body has this month filed three separate claims against the rapper for almost $6.5 million in unpaid taxes. What's more, he's apparently nearly $4000 behind on rent payments for his New York apartment, though given the size of his tax bill and alimony payments, that doesn't actually seem that bad.

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According to reports, U2 drumming man Larry Mullen Jr has lost a defamation lawsuit pursued against him, Bono and a Rio-based newspaper by a Brazilian concert promoter called Franco Bruni.

The litigation related to an interview the U2 men did with Brazil's O Globo in 2000 in which Mullen Jr claimed the band had not been paid for three concerts that were promoted by Bruni in 1998. But Bruni had paid the band their performance fees, what remained unpaid was publishing royalties, which, the promoter claimed, was out of his hands.

A ruling on the long running litigation was made earlier this month, and while Bono was acquitted, Mullen Jr, the journalist who wrote the interview and O Globo were all found liable. They were ordered to pay Bruni 800,000 Brazilain real, or about $480,000.

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On Sunday, Courtney Love was elected Non-Executive Officer For Rock And Roll at the Oxford University Conservative Association. I'm not sure I can think of a more embarrassing title.

According to political blogger Guido Fawkes, Love's appointment came after a night spent drinking with OUCA members and contributing to their Port & Policy debate, in which she called "for a foreign policy based on morality and said Wikileaks was a step forward for democracy". So, there you go.

As previously reported, Love also spoke at the Oxford Union last February, covering subjects as diverse as the state of the music industry, the British public's part in its downfall, her relationship with her daughter, Kurt Cobain's suicide, Greek myths and her affinity with the UK. She didn't mention any desire to become music adviser to a bunch of young Tories, though.

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I'd forgotten that the 'South Bank Show' had moved to Sky Arts. I'm not sure what I thought had happened, I guess I thought it had just gone off air. There's probably not that much difference between the two. But, hey, let's not dwell on the disappearance of Melvin Bragg's culture vehicle, let's celebrate the fact that Everything Everything have won one of its awards. The Breakthrough Award, to be exact.

Amongst the other cultural types also up for the newcomer prize at the cross-genre South Bank Awards were comedian Greg Davies, artist Simon Fujiwara and actress Michelle Dockery.

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Julie's Bicycle, the body that promotes more eco-friendly practices in the music business, has announced it has teamed up with Music Week to launch a new award recognising environmental achievements made by music companies. The Julies Bicycle Green Business Award will be presented as part of the Music Week Awards, which this year take place at The Roundhouse in London on 24 May.

For more information go check the Julie's Bicycle website here.

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So, a spokesman for Razorlight has responded to a new photo of the band which "leaked" (aka was emailed out by another PR company) onto the internet yesterday. The new shot of Johnny Borrell et al caused quite a stir on Twitter, partly because the band look like the cast of a Tim Burton remake of the 'Grim Tales', and partly because two of the band members didn't look very familiar.

The spokesman last night confirmed that Razorlight recently parted company with two of its founding members, guitarist Bjorn Agren and bassist Carl Dalemo. They have been replaced by Gus Robertson and Freddie Stitz respectively. Skully, who replaced original Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows back in 2008, is still with the band.

The departure of two band members was, the spokesman says, amicable. Agren is producing and playing guitar with Lucy Rose, while Dalemo has a new band in development. Razorlight, meanwhile, will play various gigs this summer, including Guilfest on 16 Jul. No word on when the 'Grim Tales' movie will be released.

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Katy B has announced details of her forthcoming debut album, 'On A Mission', which will be released by Rinse on 28 Mar. In terms of promising new pop/dance straddlers, I'm pinning all my hopes on this album now. I don't think I could take another let down after the crushing disappointment of the James Blake record.

Of the album, Katy says: "It's me, just as a young woman, partying, relationships... the album's definitely where I'm coming from. Tracks like 'Disappear' and 'Easy Please Me' are all experiences in my life and emotions that I've felt".

As previously reported, ahead of the album release, B will head out her first UK headline tour. The tracklist for the album is as follows:

Power On Me
Katy On A Mission
Why You Always Here
Witches Brew
Go Away
Broken Record
Lights On (feat Ms Dynamite)
Easy Please Me
Perfect Stranger
Hard To Get

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Micachu & The Shapes and the London Sinfonietta will release a collaborative album, entitled 'Chopped & Screwed', on 28 Mar via Rough Trade, it has been announced. Written by the band and then developed with the Sinfonietta, the record was recorded live at Kings Place in London last May.

Discussing the project, Micachu, aka Mica Levi, said: "Our own instruments sound a bit percussive, a bit like samples, a bit different. When I write songs on a guitar I find my hands falling into the same bar chords all the time, but if you have something new in front of you there are no rules. No one else has ever played one before so you can approach music differently just make it up as you go along. Doing a project with the London Sinfonietta is an amazing opportunity for us".

There will be another chance to see the album performed live at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London as part of this year's Ether Festival on 5 Apr. Micachu & The Shapes are also due to release their second studio album later this year.

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A new musical written by Tori Amos will open at the National Theatre in London in April 2012, it has been announced. The as-yet-untitled show will be an adaptation of George MacDonald's 1864 fairy tale 'The Light Princess', the story of a princess who floats into the air unless she is swimming.

To be directed by Marianne Elliott, it will feature music and lyrics by Amos, with additional words by Samuel Adamson.

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Not nearly as exciting as the prospect of a new musical play written by Tori Amos, Robbie Williams is apparently going to be the subject of the next one of those tedious greatest hits musicals in the West End. Oh joy.

According to one of The Sun's many sources: "Robbie is bang up for the musical and thinks it will be a fun production. He loves West End shows and is honoured they will be doing one about his life".

Meanwhile, that bloody Spice Girls musical is due to open next year.

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Nordic music showcase night Ja Ja Ja returns for the first time in 2011 tonight, this time hosted by 6music presenter Tom Robinson, who has chosen Benni Hemm Hemm from Iceland, Montée from Norway and Murmansk from Finland to play live at The Lexington in London.

More information and free downloads from all three bands can be found at www.jajajamusic.com

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Dog Is Dead kick off a short UK tour tonight at The Old Queen's Head in Islington, ahead of the release of their new single, 'River Jordan', on 28 Feb via Your Childhood Records.

Watch the video for 'River Jordan' here: youtu.be/onHysgdYpHg

Tour dates:

27 Jan: London, Old Queens Head
3 Feb: Leeds, Brudenell
4 Mar: Darlington, Seen
5 Mar: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms

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BILBAO BBK, Recinto Kobetamendi, Bilbao, Spain, 7-9 Jul: It seems Amy Winehouse will go anywhere as long as it isn't a rehab facility, even Spain. Bilbao BBK organisers have announced that she will make a rare live appearance at their event this year, while also confirming The Black Crowes who will celebrate their 20th anniversary with a headlining slot. The newly-added Chemical Brothers and Crystal Castles will bring an electronic flavour to proceedings, while Jack Johnson will not. Coldplay are also set to perform, but that's old news. www.bilbaobbklive.com/2011/

BLOODSTOCK, Catton Hall, Derbyshire, 12-14 Aug: Grindcore pioneers Napalm Death are to make their only live UK appearance this year at Derbyshire's heaviest heavy metal happening. Also playing havoc on the billing will be US metallers Nevermore, who will join Immortal, Rhapsody Of Fire, Morbid Angel and Coroner at the open-air event. www.bloodstock.uk.com/outdoor-festival-index.htm

ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Seaclose Park, Newport, 10-12 Jun: 'It's Girls Night Out' on the Isle as some of British pop's first(ish) ladies are due to appear at the sold out three dayer this year, with 'X-Factor' heavyweights Alexandra Burke and Diana Vickers just announced to play. Little Boots, Imelda May, Parade and Laura Steel will also join the bill, along with the brilliant Joan Jett who headlines the Big Top tent with her band The Blackhearts. They bring their feminine touch to a predominantly male line-up which includes Tinie Tempah, Kasabian, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon and the very virile Pulp. www.isleofwightfestival.com

GUILFEST, Stoke Park, Guilford, 15-17 Jul: Hurrah! Lonely headliner James Blunt finally has some company on the GuilFest Guilroster, with the new additions of Saturday night headliners Johnny Borrell and the all new Razorlight lads, who will appear at the familial fest ahead of the release of their long-awaited fourth studio album. www.guilfest.co.uk

RUN TO THE SUN, Newquay, Cornwall, 27-30 May: This just in: Andy C, Eddie Halliwell and To The Masses are to be the bill-topping acts at the 25th anniversary of this festival, which combines dance music with an exhibition of classic cars, VWs in particular. We too were confused. Grooverider, Alex Kidd, Stereo:Type and a host of other DJs and MCs will also be heading to the Cornish party capital which features five arenas and a good old silent disco. www.runtothesun.co.uk

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SINGLE REVIEW: Visions Of Trees - Sometimes It Kills/No Flag (Moshi Moshi)
You'd be forgiven for thinking that any electronic pop music made these days has to reference the years 1979-1988 (ie the 80s, their figurative era being neatly summed up by Martin Fry once as "from Mrs Thatcher to acid house").

Visions Of Trees' main knob twiddler Joni Juden instead casts his eyes and ears a few years forward (possibly to 1992-1995 and the emergence of the annoyingly named genres of intelligent techno and electronic listening music), creating brilliantly evocative glacial electronica backdrops that are the perfect foil for the astonishingly crystalline vocals of Sara Atalar.

You could call it chillwave, but it'll still warm your heart. This is exactly the kind of thing people like Björk should be doing, but if the London duo follow up this glistening debut single with an equally impressive album, then you won't care about anyone else making music like this, as it's unlikely to be as good. MS

Physical release: 7 Feb

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One last MIDEM announcement we've been sitting on. London-based Essential Music, the label services sister company of Cooking Vinyl, announced in Cannes earlier this week a new deal with electronic indie label Black Hole Recordings, Tiesto's early label, which currently counts the likes of Cosmic Gate, Robbie Rivera and JES on their roster.

Essential's Steve Crane told CMU: "Black Hole Recordings has always been a hub for quality dance music from across the globe. It is great to be working with Arny and Joris again. 2011 is shaping up nicely with albums from the likes of BT and Robbie Rivera among many others and I think this is just the start of a really successful partnership".

Black Hole owner Arny Bink added: "I'm glad we've found a new partner for our Black Hole Recordings label in the UK and Ireland with Essential Music, and am confident with their experience we'll have a great partnership in the years to come!"

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Distributors Believe Digital yesterday announced a number of new content and strategic partnerships. First, a new deal with that jazzy social-networking-meets-streaming service Rdio. Second, a new agreement with German-based streaming service Simfy. Third, a reciprocal deal with the Australian digital distributor Valleyarm, which will see them represent Believe's clients in the Southeast Asia and Pacific region, and Believe represent their rosters in Europe.

Stephen King, Believe MD said: "Being able to announce agreements with such high profile and successful companies as Rdio, Simfy and Valleyarm is testament to the fact that Believe Digital continues to go from strength to strength. We are enjoying rapid growth as a company and remain committed to providing world class digital distribution and other services to our partners moving forward".

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Global Radio's pre-tax losses for the last financial year are expected to be down to £31 million, which sounds like a lot to lose, but compared to the £193.5 million loss the radio giant recorded the previous year that's quite an improvement.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Global's latest financial report will say that the radio advertising market remained tough in 2010, but that audience figures in the main were up. Total revenues for the year were £204 million, with the company's debt levels currently at around £95 million.

Elsewhere in Global news, the company has announced the appointment of Paul Cooney to the job of MD at Capital FM Scotland. What was Galaxy FM in Scotland (previously Xfm Scotland and before that Beat 106) was rebranded Capital earlier this year as part of the Global brand's national roll out.

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'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy has belatedly commented on that previously reported quote from Kings Of Leon bassist Jared Followill, who told the NME last August that he and the band had turned down the chance to have their music in the show, saying: "We could have sold out so much more. We turn stuff down constantly".

This week, Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter: "Fuck you, Kings Of Leon. They're self-centred assholes and they missed the big picture. They missed that a seven year old kid can see someone close to their age singing a Kings Of Leon song, which will maybe make them want to join a glee club or pick up a musical instrument. It's like, OK, hate on arts education. You can make fun of 'Glee' all you want, but at its heart, what we really do is turn kids on to music".

Also responding to negative comments from Slash in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Murphy said: "Usually I find that people who make those comments, their careers are over; they're uneducated and quite stupid".

Wow, it's not often you find yourself siding with the Followill clan, but that Ryan Murphy sounds like a bit of a dick. Anyway, KOL frontman Caleb Followill responded: "This whole 'Glee' thing is a shock to us. It's gotten out of hand. At the time of the request, we hadn't even seen the show. It came at the end of that record cycle, and we were over promoting. This was never meant as a slap in the face to 'Glee' or to music education or to fans of the show. We're not sure where the anger is coming from".

In more upbeat 'Glee' news, one of the show's star's, Chris Colfer, has said that he is "campaigning to get a Scissor Sisters episode". Following this, someone set up a Facebook page for said campaign, which has now attracted almost 5000 people.

Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears said yesterday: "This campaign to get us on 'Glee' is awesome, we're very appreciative to the fans and we love the show! We've been into it since it first aired, and then got to meet Chris Colfer and some of the 'Glee' cast on Jonathan Ross last year. Chris comes to our shows and feels a real connection with the band and I think he sees a proper fit between [the show's] aesthetic and a lot of our music. I know this would be a blast for the band, fingers crossed!"

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Best known for his starring role as John 'Johnny' Van Owen in the film 'Cool As Ice', as well as a bit of rapping and a Jedward collaboration, Vanilla Ice has been recalling the peak of his fame in the 90s when he went off the rails a bit.

Ice told Metro: "About eighteen years ago, I had a weekend that lasted a few days. I did the rock star thing. I was freaking out, I don't know what my friend gave me but I piled fifteen pool loungers on top of each other and jumped off them into a swimming pool. I turned around and was convinced I saw the Loch Ness Monster behind me".

He went on to discuss his pet kangaroo, which may or may not have been another drug story, I'm not really sure: "I've had him since he was a baby and now he's five feet ten inches. He is spoiled rotten; he has his own enclosure and a female pot-bellied pig in there who is his lover. Kangaroos will hump anything. I think the pig likes it. There's also a goat in there who he grew up with but they're just friends".

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