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Friday 17th, January 2003
Solar Stone

Trance.nu has recently had the pleasure to change a few words with Andy Bury and Rich Mowatt, mostly known as Solar Stone. Here you find everything you need to feel completely updated about Solar Stone!

Will there be a Solar Stone album in the near future?

Andy: A Solarstone album project through Hooj was planned a few years ago but eventually shelved. We are still very keen to release an album of our own material, and although there are no immediate plans to release an album in the near future through any uk labels, we are currently talking to an international label about doing such.

What is your favorite Solar Stone track?

Andy: It's gotta be 'Seven Cities' (the original Atlantis mix) really, though i'm also really into 'Release' at the moment.
Rich: Currently 'Release' and 'U write the rules'.

Do Solar Stone ever play live?

Rich: We're working on it, but there are a lot of costs involved in putting together a quality live show, which mean the backing of a major label.

When did you start producing?

On a professional level since '95... Though we both started recording/producing tracks around 1990.

Will there be a tour?

There will be a few dj appearances around the world this year, but anything else is doubtful.

What style would you define Solar Stone to be?

Andy: 'Quality Trance'... unless we're doing chillout remixes

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Andy: The following have definitely been a source of inspiration over the years:
Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, 808 State, Underworld, Sasha, BT, Paul Oakenfold.
Rich: Vangelis, Pet shop boys, Beethoven, Jeff Lynne

Where did you get the name Solar Stone from? Is it referring tosomething mythological?

Rich We needed a name and had 20 minutes to think of one as the record
company were putting together the sleeve artwork to 'The Calling'.
We had a book about mythology in the studio for some reason, so we closed our eyes, opened the book at a random page and upon that page was an image of a painting by michaelangelo called 'The Solar Stone', and that was that!

What's Solar Stone up to right now?

Andy: Just finishing off a rather tasty new track with Scott Bond.

Any Z2 tracks under production?

Andy: We've recently done a complete rework of 'Herbgrinder' with Dom Farrington...
This time it's on a phat phunky electro acid breakz tip...andwe love it! Also we're planning a dark throbbing trance rework of 'Intracity' featuring a secret male vocalist!

Any planned collaborations ahead of you?

Andy: Steve 'Thrillseekers' Helstrip, Matt Darey and maybe another one with Scott Bond.

What is your favorite trance track at the moment?

Andy: Oceanlab 'Sky Falls Down'
Rich: Leama 'Requiem for a dream'

Over the next few years, how do you think trance will evolve?

Rich: I'm more concerned about the state of the world at the moment, but the current climate suggests that most of the greedy manipulative money-making types are jumping ship, so the scene shall return to those who created it, possibly creating two split scenes, i'e a 'Pop Trance' which as we all know isnt really trance just pop music with a similar style of production' aimed at making money, and a Real 'Trance' scene, which is what we're about, melody and quality production for people who love music first
and foremost.

You've had quite a few compilations passing your hands, have they been
recorded live or digitally?

Digitally... there's far too much unavoidable label politics involved when making an album for it to be practical to record an album totally live.

What do you think about the extended use of drugs in the trance culture, or that the trancemusic is related with drugs?

Andy: For me personally clubs have always been about the music, the vibe,
and having a good time... but I don't think you're going to ever stop people trying to 'enhance' their night out with other substances- whether they be alcoholic or narcotic.
Club culture in general (not just trance) has always had an association with drugs and I think shall continue to do so for a long time. People are always going to want to mentally escape to another level and you make your own choices in life. What I strongly disagree with is when you NEED to take something in order to enjoy the music or the night out in general.
Rich: Ive caned a lot of pills in my time and it helps to know which production tricks make your pill work, but a track must sound brilliant with no drugs aswell, or its fake. Drugs should be the cream on top of your
pudding, not the pudding itself.

What do you think of the heavy rotation of music as mp3-files on internet? Good promotion or just plain bad for artists trying to make a living?

Andy: If used properly I think it's a great way to promote and expose new music to the world, but unfortunately like most things it has become abused to the point where the music industry has been seriously damaged by its use. It's just far too easy to obtain almost any track or album you want nowadays and many people will always have the attitude of 'why buy it when I can get it for free on the net?'.
Unfortunately over the last year I know quite a few artists, producers and labels who have been seriously struggling to make a living out of the music industry (especially in the trance and prog scene) and I think the mp3 thing
has played a large part in this.
If this continues then the whole scene could seriously diminish due to many indie producers and labels not being able to afford to keep doing what they were doing anymore... and that would be a damn shame!
Rich: Its fucking stealing! If you like it, buy it. We're not a fucking charity its our livelihood! You dont go around helping yourself in other
areas of life do you? There is a moral question which people must answer for

How were you discovered? Demo submissions?

After giving up on sending out countless demos we decided to go forbroke and set up our own label (Sunflower Vibes) and released 'The AquanautEP'... Amato distribution took a large amount off us straight away and within a
couple of weeks we had major labels asking us for remixes and A-listdj's calling us up just to let us know how much they were into the tracks.
Eventually we signed one of the tracks 'Storm' over to Hooj and things seemed to snowball from there onwards.

What was the first gear you had in your studio?

Between us I think we had an Amiga, Korg T2 Workstation, Akai S01Sampler, Art FX unit and a Fourtrak.

Do people recognize you on the streets?

Nah... Until the Gatecrasher debute there were few people that actually knew what we looked like.

Please name all your projects from the beginning until now!

Space Kittens, SolarStone, Sebatu, Z2, Bass Oddity, Skyscraper, Liquid State...
there's 2 other secret names which we'll let you know in a few months.

Whats the best production you made this far?

Andy: Elizabeth Fields 'Speak In Sympathy' and Z2 'I Want You'
Rich: 'Black Finished Chrome'

What is the best remix you made this far?

Andy: My favourite 5 (one's too difficult)...
Chris Bangs 'WarmWeather', Space Manouveres 'Stage One', Raff&Freddy 'Deep Progress', Oakenfold 'Southern Sun', SFTG 'Lean On Me'
Rich: 'Warm Weather' 'The Orange Theme' 'Ecano -Run' 'Galaxia'

How did you and Andy meet?

At a local rock club called JB's in Dudley circa late '93- Rich used to play gigs there in a indie-techno-pop band called 'Emission' which I used to go to see. I was DJ'ing on pirate radio at the time and Rich called me up one night asking if we could play his new single... Eventually we hooked up and
started jamming out house music together in his flat and one thing led to another.
Rich: He's lying we met in jail!

Why did it take almost two years for you to get Solarcoaster released?

Usual label bullshit politics... Ask Lost Language!

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