"Music has always brought me through, even in times when I've had nothing. Music has given me everything and I feel I have to give everything back. I don't know what I'd do without it, it's in my blood and bones, the only constant throughout the whole of my life (one of his notable quotations)”
You are coming to Greece in April for a gig. What’s your opinion about the Greek audience? What kind of advice would you give to your Greek fans and to the aspiring Greek music producers, especially now that we are facing really difficult conditions in every aspect of our lives?
I wish I could see the Greek audience a little more. I used to go a few times a year before the crisis… that makes me a little sad especially as I have found the Greek audience very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and some come at the music from an intellectual perspective.
You are often given the title “The Baron of Techno”. But from what I‘ve read, you initially started listening and loving hip-hop and post-punk… How did your relationship with Techno begin? Why have you chosen this music path?
The music chose me. Hearing electro in school and John Peel on the radio made me aware of some incredible music, then house came along and everything seemed to happen at the right time. Chicago house-music became more jacking and technologic, and Techno was born.
You have one of the longest careers in the music industry… and you have faced a lot of difficulties especially in the beginning of your career… If I haven’t misunderstood my readings, you made it and succeeded all by yourself… Any second thoughts or regrets about things you have done as far as your musical past is concerned?
Not really actually, although I wish I could have kept my candid criticism a little more under wraps. The only thing that wasn’t great was signing some very bad deals and not getting paid royalties, but, hell, I am not the only person that went through that experience.
You used to write reviews for magazines, and you were the first to write a review for “Aphex Twin”. Based on your experience, would you give us any advice on how to approach a music theme or an artist? It’s almost a month since Artcore Magazine was officially launched. Do you still write or have you given it up?
Occasionally I still write. My last piece was for a newspaper (NRC) in Holland about the political scene in the UK. Sometimes the writer’s itch comes up but it wouldn’t be about music directly related to my scene but perhaps technical…. it’s just about trying to find the time to be honest.
You have now relocated to Amsterdam. Why have you chosen Holland and what kind of differences do you notice in relation to the British social conditions, music industry included?
This is a tough question to be honest as I really am grateful of what England gave me in the past and the last thing I wish to do is put a negative light on the country I was born and grew up in. I just prefer Holland, the last place I lived in the UK was between two of the most popular retirement villages… it was very quiet, very boring and exceptionally conservative. Amsterdam is not what I would call an exciting place because that is not what I am looking for, but in terms of being inspiring and a great place to live, I give it 9/10. The reason it doesn’t get 10 is because the weather is so bloody awful.
Will you collaborate on Tomorrowland 2013? What are your plans for 2013?
Indeed, they are a pleasure to work with, and I have Ben Klock, Green Velvet, local hero DJ Deg and Jeff Mills, amongst others coming to the gig.
You have a weekly radio Show, called “White Noise”. What are the advantages of having a weekly radio show? Does it offer you something more compared with your profession as a DJ?
It enables me to give the spotlight to the new music and talented artists that are making our jobs as a DJ easier. I love showcasing talent and doing it without any political or nepotistic reasoning.
You were the first techno artist to release a single available only on Internet in 2000. What is your opinion about free downloading?
That horse is already out the stable, it is embedded in the psyche of the net generation… I will say this though: it is better for a thousand people to rip you off a pound then one greedy non-royalty paying record label ripping you off a thousand pounds.
What are your impressions from your collaboration with Mr. Jones and the duo project “Unsubscribe”?
Freedom and fun in the studio.
INTERVIEW: ELENI MARK