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Monday 14th, April 2003
Judge Jules

So, you recently attended the WMC in Miami this year, where you did a live broadcast for your radio show. How was the conference for you and any highlights from it?
Everybody thinks that it’s a real big party moment, but in my case I did 2 gigs, 1 radio show, spent a night presenting for MTV, did about 5 TV interviews and 10 press interviews…so it was work, but it was good, it was good. I mean, every year the WMC has become more about American clubbers and less about the UK music industry and that’s a good thing because that’s what it should be. Also they’ve moved the dates a bit to be a spring break, so you get a lot of American clubbers – which just made it great!

What’s your overall feel of the audiences here in the States, compared to that of crowds you play in other parts of the world?
There’s no difference really, and no difference in a good way. It’s very strong.

Any favourite cities you like to play at here?
LA has always been really good for me. Just because I do it consistently. Not because anywhere else is any worse. It’s just because I’ve done LA a lot and it’s always been good.

You have Christopher Lawrence and Robbie Riviera on as guests for your Miami broadcast. How did that go and any favourites amongst their recent productions?
It went well. Robbie Riviera sort of plays…he’s one of those DJs who plays every record that is in his distinct style, which I think is good. In my case I’m sort of dipping into a lot of different styles, where as he’s consistently playing…if it’s not his records, they are records that sound like they were made by him. Christopher Lawrence, he’s sort of different. He’s a bit more across the board, but it’s just great and really interesting to get the opportunity to listen to other DJs.

You’re just finished work on the debut album for Hi-Gate ‘Split Personality’, which will be released on Incentive Records on 14 April. What’s to be expected?
Well it’s a double CD and Split Personality kind of defines the sound. One CD is really mellow, sort of almost like ‘Café Del Mar’ type chill out stuff. Which isn’t what people would expect to hear from Hi-Gate. The other CD is completely like what people would expect to hear.

What was it like producing with Paul Masterson?
Well, we’ve worked together for like 5 years, so it was nothing new really. I mean it’s more the case of having to embrace different singers that we’ve never worked with before. We’ve done two tracks with Boy George for the album. We’ve just done our third track with him…it’s not going to be on the album because we’ve done it subsequently and we’ve embraced lots of different guest vocalists; all of them on the more mellow album.

How was having your better half, Amanda, do the vocals for one of the tracks?
Wonderful. I’ve done a lot of stuff with her. We’ve done three Angelic singles and that’s another thing we’ve got coming out this summer as well.

Any favourite tracks from it?
I suppose ‘Out Of Fashion’, which we wrote with Boy George. It’s a down-tempo type track. On the album we’ve put an up-tempo mix and the original mix…Boy George in London, he’s got a musical that’s performing on London’s West End and it’s doing onto Broadway New York in October I believe. The main track to that, is a track we wrote together. It’s just weird to think we’re going to have a song on Broadway considering what our musical style is.

Anything else big planned for 2003?
Well, it’s just Ibiza, which…um, we’ve always had. You know, a small but sizeable minority of US people come to our club, but sadly, I think with the war, there will be some feelings of regret in regards to travelling until this shit has gotten out of the way.

When it comes to doing live gigs, do you prefer the large festivals or do you lean more towards the smaller, intimate venues where it would seem easier to connect with the crowd?
Well, here was sort of perfect; where it’s big enough to be sort of atmospheric, but still small enough where you can still the whites of their eyes. That’s kinda perfect for me. Festivals are often too big. At festivals you’re often up on a scaffold of sorts, where you are far away and you can’t really connect with the crowd. Some clubs though are too small and you think, what the hell am I doing here? So it’s nice to do things in between the two.

What did you think about the club here tonight?
It was great! I’m only regretting the fact that the cops are here…you know, getting the place shut down for playing too late (laughs).

Who would be your favourite DJ and producer at the moment?
In terms of producers, I think the great thing about our music is that people will have their five-minutes of fame and then they roll over and then someone else appears. It’s very difficult to identify producers. I’m mean…there are certain producers, like Green Martian, from Belgium, who makes good records, but it’s actually quite difficult to identify individuals who are consistent because people seem to do well, get loads of remixes from the UK market and then completely burn out. Over expose themselves and then just disappear. When it comes to DJs, I have a sort of protégé named Eddie Haliwell who’s from the UK and I think he really puts me to shame; his mixing is so good it’s embarrassing, and he’s like 12 years younger than me. I’m like 36 and he’s like 24, and he might even be younger than that.

Any type of music you like to listen to other than what you play?
I sort of listen to a bit of everything. A bit of rock, a bit of rap, a bit of R&B, soundtracks…

Just mix it up?
Yeah. I think music is about the time of day. Dark music, I will always listen to on a Saturday night, after like 7PM, but wouldn’t listen to it at 7AM when my three-year old son is waking me up during the week.

Your thoughts on MP3 file-sharing?
It’s had a very damaging effect on record sales in general; CD compilations, pop music…it doesn’t matter where you’re really looking at, it’s really dented into sales. But the music industry has got to get their shit together and work out a deal with it. They’ve not come up with any conclusive way to try to sort of accept the fact that this is the, the…

New age?
New age, exactly. And the bottom line with download culture is that people no longer have respect for music in terms of money. It’s like, you know, when I was growing up in the cassette-era, I would never record a friends LP on to a cassette because I thought I had to go out and buy it. I couldn’t be seen with a cassette with my handwriting on it, I just had to go buy the album. Now, the mindset is quite comfortable about downloading and the music industry has been so far behind the whole culture, that they’ve killed themselves almost. The music industry is in a bad fucking way. I mean, the record companies are sacking people and it’s just not doing well. I think the music business maybe, fatally, allowed for the culture where people think that music can be taken for free and they’ve allowed that culture to prevail to such an extent that, you know, they’ve really fucked themselves.

For me and all the practicing DJs on the site, any advice you could give us?
I guess the only way to advance your DJ career in the current atmosphere is to make records. It’s not like you can make one record. You need to be consistent about it and a lot of people want immediate gratification from it. Like it my case, I started DJing when I was 16 and I probably first started making more money from DJing than what I was spending on records like when I was 24 of something, and I don’t think that I’m any particular exception or something. I think if you’re gonna be in it, you got to be in it for the long-haul.

Well, on behalf of the members at Trance.nu, I’d like to thank you for your time and a wonderful set tonight.
Thank you, the pleasure was all mine.

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