Interview Copyright

WHO: Copyright
WHEN: 16th May 2008
INTERVIEWED BY: Toni | Defected

The Interview Copyright

The 'Right' stuff
Gavin and Sam talk on their new album, crazy nights in Kiev and The Planet Of the Apes

How did the album come about?
G: The concept started when Simon [Dunmore, Defected head honcho] said 'you guys should do an album. Why don't you give us three maybe four new tracks and we'll put it together with some of the stuff we've released before.' It's evolved and we've ended up with about eight new tracks. The whole process has taken about a year.
S: Yeah eight and then we revisited a few of old tracks - like 'We Can Rise', 'He Is', 'I Pray' - done some new edits and stuff, so it's turned into a bigger project.
G: We've been playing a lot of the new tracks in our DJ sets for up to eight months. So we know what works. Some of the newer stuff we're still testing at the moment.
G: I think you never actually finish anything until the last minute when they say they need it tomorrow; otherwise you just keep on fiddling and fiddling.

How would you describe the album?
S: Over the last couple of years our sound has been evolving. The more and more we've been DJing internationally, the more and more we've been tweaking our sounds to fit into our sets, we like to try to make records that we can play anywhere in the world without compromising our soulful roots.
G: I think the album is like our DJ sets. We play sounds that are worldwide and you can drop them from Portugal to Australia to Japan. But it's not 'world music' it's house music but with a global vibe about it.
S: We're also really into writing songs and we always start by saying 'we're going to do something tracky' then we do the track and think 'Aww we love it, we want to put a vocal on it!' So pretty much every single record on the album has a vocal. There's a couple of afro-beat style numbers, too.
G: There's a couple of hip-house tracks on there, as well. It's a hip-house revival! We've got original hip-house God K C Flight. Although we never went into the studio together, he did all his takes in the US and emailed them to us.

What other collaborators do you have?
G: We've also got Mr V, who's very cool.
S: And Jazzy B! Working with him was a proper moment. We wanted to represent a bit of UK flavour, it's great to have an English accent on a house record. We went down to Brixton and came back with that iconic sound.
G: Shovel, Imaani and Tessita Demour all make an appearance, too.

Are you going to take the album live?
G: The album's not centred around a live band, more around our DJing. There will be some PA's, with us trying to incorporate the singers into our sets.
S: It's something we've talked about and something we'll hopefully do in the future because the song writing element is so important to us. But the DJing is our priority for now.

So where has your DJing taken you recently?
G: Lots of places; Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Manilla. All over Europe, Miami, New York, Montreal. And we're off to Australia this year.

What've been your best gigs?
G: For crowd reaction, Japan. I've never seen people go as crazy as the Japanese. As soon as you walk in the box and touch anything everyone's hands go up they're like, 'arrgh!' and you think 'we haven't even done anything yet'.
S: We did a crazy party in Sao Paulo in Brazil for some beer company. It was a private sports club with all these people arriving in helicopters. Everywhere you looked there were these unbelievable, ridiculous women.
G: Southend was really good as well.
S: Don't forget Wigan.

So you like to party when you're playing?
S: I'd say we're very ying and yang. If there's a party, we'll party, but we just don't party every week. Only on the special occasions. Like we went absolutely nuts in Brazil, and the night before the gig normally I wouldn't drink.

What's been your worst gig?
S: Kiev. The club had just been opened. It still smelled of cement. Lots of things hadn't been finished. We couldn't get in at first so after a battle we finally get in with the promoter - who immediately proceeded to try and feed us with the dodgiest pile of I don't know what. He took massive offence when we turned him down then Gav sat on his antique table, crushed it and ended up in a heap on the floor.
G: I was like 'sorry I broke your table'. But he just dribbled.
S: We go to the DJ box and there's an open trapdoor behind the decks. Not a good omen. And all of the CD players are in boxes. After wiring them up during one change over record, the system goes down and everybody starts booing. And again. And then again. Then a “fan” at the front spends 10 minutes waving trying to get our attention - so she can give us the big thumbs down. So Gavin took his headphones off and pointed at her and pointed at her top and we gave her the four thumbs down back.

Do you play in London much?
S: We do Ministry a few times a year and we'd love to have a residency in London.
G: The scene is quite electro-led at the moment. And we're more about real house music.

So who and where is rocking that classic house sound for you at the moment?
G: I go down to Dennis Ferrer's Soul mates at AKA in London. It's a Thursday night small thing and they bring in interesting DJs, not the typical ones. I really enjoyed Glen Underground there recently. I like Cargo. Some of the smaller clubs in London are doing it more for me.
S: I know it gets slagged off but for sound quality and atmosphere you can't beat the Ministry main room. We were in Ibiza last summer DJing at Pacha with Louis Vega. We ended up in DC10 and they were playing minimal. They were playing Todd Terry, too! We thought the music was fantastic, we were just dancing away. There's good in everything, basically.

Who are your top five DJs?
G: Kenny Dope, Quentin Harris, Kevin Hedges, Kerri Chandler and Jazztronik, he blew me away. When asked about your favourite DJ's it's usually the ones you've seen recently and were impressed.

Do you think you'll start laptop DJing?
G: Not at the moment, but never say never, I once would've said we'd never move to CDs from vinyl.
S: I still like the tactile nature of picking up a CD.
G: I've noticed that laptop DJs can't help staring at the screen. There's something about the nature of a computer you can't help yourself from just staring at it. You can't stare at a CD in a player. Or at least you probably wouldn't want to.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
S: Footballer.
G: I wanted to be a diamond cutter.

G: My uncle was in the jewellery business. I just thought it be cool job to be a cutter of stones when I was about 11 or 12 I had that idea. But, yeah, it never happened.

What's the worst club you've ever been to?
Both: Kiev

Have you ever been arrested?
G: Yeah a couple of times but the worst time was for playing at an illegal rave where they decided the best way to stop it was lock up all the DJs and sound crew.

Who's your biggest hero?
G: Miles Davis. Because he was told he'd never be the best and he said 'I'll be better than any white musician'. And he was.
S: I'm just going to go with Kenny Dalgleish.

What's your weakness?
S: Trainers
G: Weed, can I say weed?

Do you have a recurring dream?
S: Yeah, I'm coming towards an exam and I haven't been to any of the classes and I think I've failed my degree. But in reality at the end of the dream I always realise I've got a degree and I've no need to worry.
G: I never remember my dreams.

Biggest fashion disaster?
G: I used to wear Farrah's for school. Are they cool now? They might be cool again. I had a Sherlock Holmes hat I used to wear with my rugby top, too.
S: A Sergio Tacchini top
G: But that's still cool.
S: I just don't do rubbish!

What's your stupidest claim to fame?
S: I used to go to the Hacienda with Vernon Kay.
G: My cousin came second in the World Disco Dancing championships when it used to be presented by Bruce Forsyth. I was about eight at the time and that was the coolest thing ever.
S: I've got a cool one; my Godfather did the screenplay for the Planet of the Apes film.

When and where are you happiest?
S: Three places for me; behind the decks, in bed with my missus, sitting down with a rod by the lake.
G: Same first two and any good restaurant. I like my food. Also, I spend a lot of time doing photography and have done some artwork for us previously. On my Mac I've got maybe 1,000 photos of our travels. So basically shots of every big DJ on the circuit, I'd like to make that into a book one day.

Interview by Toni | Defected

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