by Shane Glenn / Schwegweb.com
Schwegweb had a chance to sit down with Liam Howlett, Keith Flint and Maxim Reality of the band The Prodigy. Here is what came from it.
Schwegweb: Who is Prodigy, what are you guys all about?
Keith Flint (KF): Three noisy fellas
Liam Howlett (LH): We know what we aren’t, rather than what we are. We are not purists. We like noisy, exciting electronic music but we are not prepared to tie ourselves down to any kind of title, like Techno. We’ve been there before.
What do you think of being labeled “Techno” by your fans?
KF: We like it, we respect it.
LH: Although I liked the Rave scene in British culture, I actually prefer the Techno label over the Rave label. The word Techno for me, because we know the original form and we respect it, has got to be pure. We have to be pure to have that labeled to our music. We were definitely influenced by the early Techno scene.
Maxim Reality (MR): The Rave term became so commercial that the real meaning of the word got destroyed.
Who influenced your music in the early days?
LH: Early Techno, Bomb Squad. When we used to first go to the Raves, early Techno records were being played. Now when you go out to a Techno night, the DJ will play some Techno tunes, some hip hop tunes and mix it all up. On this new record we allowed the early British rave sound and influences creep in again, we found an energy in it again. We wanted to create an album that incorporated everything good about the band. We were a part of that early scene, right in the middle of it, we didn’t want this album to sound retro as if we are going back to that, but its just us. Its our sound.
MR: For me it was the early hip hop music and beats of ‘88 and ‘89 with a crossover into house music.
How has your music evolved from the first album in 1992?
LH: Nothing. Its exactly the same. The songs have gotten better, more structured and noisy.
KF: I think main thing about Prodigy’s music is the production. Its got to have the funky beats, but the aggression as well. as Liam said, the noise.
MR: I agree too, the basic elements and energy are the same throughout our sound.
What was your main inspiration for your new album, Invaders Must Die?
KF: Just being together in a studio and having the ability to play live again was a big inspiration.
LH: After our low point of 2002, we really wanted to get back as a group. I think the last album was seen as a solo album for me. I didn’t intend it to be that way, it just kind of came across like that. So we had allot of unfinished business to do and wanted to make the best band album we could make. We are really happy with this one as a band. We all sat in the studio and wrote, like, 5 tunes and felt really good about our direction.
MR: I don’t think this album would have ever happened if we all weren’t 100% into it.
Switching thoughts a little, where were you guys before Prodigy?
MR: I was Emceeing on sound systems.
KF: I was unemployed (laughs), just going out to parties really.
LH: I was a hip hop DJ, trying to break into the scene. I had a job too as a graphic artist which I did straight out of school.
Where will you be 10 years from now?
LH: Don’t care. I don’t care where we will be in two years. Before we used to always think about that, now we are really just enjoying it. All this madness is happening now and in the near future, like what gigs are we playing next. We are just enjoying that right now.
KF: We don’t plan for that future. Once you are looking into something you have no control over, you are missing what you have control over like the now.
MR: We shouldn’t have any plans as a band, we feel like we are really at our top form again now. We do have our work cut out for us in America, we know we have the love here, just need to spread out and play to more people.
Personally and individually, in one word how would you describe yourselves?
KF: Im the stage diver that never got thrown off
LH: Isnt that, like, six words? (laughs)
KF: ok, just diver. Muff diver.
LH: Noisy. Inside and out.
MR: Broad. Lots of interests.
How would you guys describe Detroit’s techno scene and its roots here?
LH: We’ve kind of forgotten about it, really, until we came here. It was like, yeah man, this is where the real early shit started.
MR: Someone said earlier about Detroit music, we totally forgot about this scene, the Detroit scene.
LH: So many great records came from Detroit, and its like, why? Why Detroit? What was it about this place that inspired people?
Were you inspired by Detroit and its sounds in the early days?
LH: Yes, the sounds for sure. When we used to go out in the early Rave scene, the night was filled with all different types of underground dance music like Juan Atkins’ Strings Of Life. Derrick May and all the early pioneers’ definitely influenced the bass sounds of the DJs.
You have collaborated with other well known musicians on your albums, including Tom Morello and Dave Gruhl, who else would you like to work with in the future?
KF: Keith Moon.
MR: Jimi Hendrix. Is that possible? (laughs)
LH: We talked about collaborations on this record, and there was two or three people that do underground stuff that we work with, but we got 6 tracks in and decided to skip that and make a band album and forget about all of the collaborations.
MR: This album is a band album. We can play the whole thing live without any compromise of collaborations that need to be replaced in certain tracks. That’s where we want to be.
What do think the fans will want to hear at tonight’s performance? Classic or new sounds?
KF: They wont get a choice, they will get both. We aren’t a request band, we decide whats banging.
LM: The set is designed for maximum impact. There is allot to putting a set together, more than one thinks actually. The order of the tunes, the way the tunes come in. Its like a DJ set, you wouldn’t start with your most foreign tune first, you would want to build it. Our set definitely builds, by 3 tunes in people are moving.
Prior to the Invaders album, from which album or track have you gotten the most feedback?
LM: Fans love the second album. People talk allot about Fat of the Land too, but when we speak to fans or on the website and shit, they are always digging Music for the Jilted Generation. That album takes a journey.