Interview The Freemasons

WHO: The Freemasons
WHEN: 3rd Mar 2009
INTERVIEWED BY: Monty l getanightlife

The Interview The Freemasons

It is with the great pleasure of course that we can announce the return of The Freemasons down under. With 4 consecutive top twenty UK singles, The UKs most successful (Grammy nominated) remixers. The Freemasons truly need little introduction, sort after to do remixes by the worlds leading vocalists they are fast becoming one of the worlds leading dj producers.


Hi Guys, Great to see you back here in Australia. You were only here a few months ago right, you must love it here down under?

Russell: We were last here for new year 2007/08, we played 3 parties, James then had a holiday in Oz, I went off too Bali. Yes we do love it here, great parties, great people.

Katherine: Working with the Freemasons has been amazing, they are one of my favourite Producers, I couldn't be happier about coming to Australia with them, it's my first trip bythe way!


Freemasons of course are a famous name in the house music world, but who are you guys, names, age, where you are you from?

Russell: Russell Small 41, Brighton UK. James Wiltshire 35 Andover UK

Katherine: Katherine Ellis, never ask a lady her age, London ;-)


How long have Freemasons been together, what were the 2 of you doing before you teamed up?

James: We have been together for about 4 years, Russell was one half of dance act Phats and Small and I was learning his trade in various studios in London, programming for some of the worlds leading artists.

Katherine: We recorded the track When You Touch Me in 2006, I remember it was a really funsession down in Brighton on the South Coast which is where the guys live.


Back at The Met here in Brisbane on Friday March 20, have you played here before and what have you got in store for us?

Russell: No we haven't played at this venue, but we love the city and the crowds have always been up for a good night when we have played before.  We play our hits and remixes and bootlegs of other peoples tracks that we make


Anybody who knows house music of course know the Freemasons, but for those few who might not know, how would you describe the style/genre of your productions and remixes?

James: Funky uplifting vocal house music, not too tuff .


Freemasons have been lucky enough to remix some very big names, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Moby, Shakira and Kylie to name just a few. Obviously you have a great deal of talent to keep producing hit remixes, but do you attribute your success and popularity to having worked with such pop stars?

James: I think we have been so successful remixing because we never take anything on unless we think we can listen to the song a thousand times and still be in love with it after, a 1000 might be a slight exaggeration, but you get my point.


When these record companies come back to you and ask you to remix these new hits, is there a lot of pressure to produce something spectacular? How many versions for a track would you come up with to get the right one?

James: We usually only do one version, but with Solange Knowles - Sandcastle Disco, we did start a version, get half way through and found it did not work for us and started again. There are high expectations to produce as you say Spectacular remixes, but we only remix tracks that we love, so the pressure becomes a pleasure.


You’ve also had massive success with your own productions, congratulations on that. You seem to go to great extents working with well known vocalists, musicians and producers, even orchestras. Is this something you always strive for, going large, bigger and better?

Russell: No it's not about going large, getting bigger, sounds like Penis envy. We just use what we think will make the track sound better, sometimes that involves live strings and Orchestras, sometimes it just needs the sound of a synth, both would have the same impact on a track, depending on what that track is.

Katherine: Creating original music is such a buzz, hearing someone singing my lyrics or telling me that one of my tracks means so much to them is a great feeling. I strive to please myself with my song writing, but it's easy to succeed with such amazing producers to work with!


What about behind the decks, what you do for your live shows? Any secret weapons?

Russell: Our DJ sets work with James on Ableton Live and myself on CDJ's, our secret weapons are the tracks we make, if you like them you'll like us.
Katherine: Ilove audience participation, I like to get the crowd singing, sometimes inHarmony, make it like a party, it has to be interactive, it's about all of usgetting together.


Any favourite records that you love to drop in your sets that just never gets old?

James: One track that has been working for us over the last year is The Dirty South Remix of Depeche Mode- just cant get enough. It still uses the best elements of the original but with modern twist.


What about other DJs and producers, who are your favourites at the moment?

Russell: Deadmau5, Adam K on the production side, Fedde le Grand as a deejay

Katherine: Feddele Grand, Mark Knight, Lee Coombs, Dylan Rhymes, Soulshaker...


A lot of DJs will say that what they produce is always just a tool to be able to play gigs, is that the same for you guys? Do you prefer the gigs, or would you rather be in the studio?

Russell: No producing is not a tool to be able to play gigs for us, we enjoy both, they both go hand in hand .

Katherine: I like all aspects of my work, creating a song is very exciting, hearing it come to life and then all the different remixes, and then playing it live and getting an Audience reaction is always amazing. I guess I get higher at gigs,the studio is a quieter experience but none the less valid.


What's in store for the immediate future, any big plans, productions you are working on?

James: We have just finished our new single Heartbreak Make me a Dancer, featuring Sophie Ellis Bextor, we are writing a new album and producing some tracks for other artists, would love to tell, but dont want to jinx it.

Katherine: My band Bimbo Jones are getting better known around the world which is fun, I have tracks with 7th Heaven, Lewis Dene, Addict DJs, Lee Coombs, Soulshaker on the go to name a few...


So do you make the most of the Aussie lifestyle whilst you’re here, hitting the beach and all of that, what kind of stuff do you get up to?

Russell: Normally we are in and out again, staying for a couple of weekends only. This time we are here for 3 weeks, so we will have a good look around and soak up the Ozzie lifestlye. We have shows in Perth, Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney plus the Mardi Gras so we are getting to travel around a fair bit.

Katherine:
Well as this is my first trip we shall have to see! I'm not a sun bather, but do love the ocean, I'm also a qualified open water diver and will be diving in Bali, if i have time on the tour I may dive in OZ too!

Well thanks for your time guys. The Met will certainly be rocking with you guys on March 20 and we look forward to seeing you there!

Katherine: Yes!! Let's have rockin' one

Interview by Monty l getanightlife

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