In the summer of 2004, at the otherwise very successful and unique Glu-Glu Festival, which meant a considerable financial failure for the organizers, we interviewed the uncrowned kings of electronic music.
They answered the questions of the small group of journalists rather coldly, the mood only dissolved after the time had elapsed when the conversation could have begun on the merits. We bring it down, moderately instructive, perhaps the motto of “how to stay as good as possible despite success and money” could be.
Brothers gonna spin!
What is this new show like, what did you bring with you that is special?
CB: I’d say the idea of playing electronic music on stage, live, has taken root quite well in England.
What we do is a popular, accepted part of the culture, while in Eastern Europe, say, it is new for people to see such bands.
We played in Poland and Prague for a couple of years, and it was exciting, the atmosphere was a bit like in England 10 years ago.
People spun up to new things, longing for other experiences.
Tonight, when we perform in Hungary, it will be something we have never seen before.
I think people all over the world party to music the same way, they want the same thing: they want to have fun, they want to have fun spinning music together.
Which part of your tour do you like best?
CB: The best part is the concert itself, which we all enjoy.
We are all happy after the concert.
Then we go out and have a drink with our co-workers who worked really hard for three days.
There is a kind of camaraderie between us.
The performances come with a lot of the kind of things we love.
We play in a small club in a small town in England, then 2-3 days later we are here 10-20 km from Budapest, in Hungary, and next Saturday we will play at the biggest festival in the world, Glastonbury.
Best of all, the many different things we do would be a real challenge for anyone’s son.
What's worst about the tour?
CB:: The worst?
There is no such thing because good things make up for everything.
Also for the many expectations as we are waiting to be able to do what we love.
Why is the sight so important at this concert?
CB: It’s an important part of making music, because it’s the only time for most of the audience to see the band.
This is the only way we can visualize our music, and that is vital.
We were very lucky to be able to work with brilliant people.
When we made the clips, we talked to a lot of people, we got really close to the directors.
We are musicians, we have to trust the director when making the clips.
It is a long and difficult procedure to find the right filmmakers.
We’ve worked with Spike Jones, Michel Langley, brilliant filmmakers, and it’s a great honor.
What do you believe in the most?
CB: Do I believe in anything?
Just for the joy of music.
I believe in it.
Music also believes in me.
That means everything to me.
We do not have a definite goal.
We didn’t mean our music to openly criticize the state of things in the world, but to run away from them.
It’s about liberation, about pleasure, about love, about getting lost in music.
About the feeling of being completely dissolved in the music.
We don’t want to control what people feel.
We don’t want to influence them as long as they feel something.
Perhaps the worst thing would be if our music just went in one ear, out the other, and didn’t react to it in any way.
It excites us to make new music.
It has been a long time since we made our first recording, the point is to continue, to look for novelties.
For us, it’s exciting to make music and then stand in front of the audience with it and play.
WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?
CB: For me, the point is to influence people so that everyone is captivated by the emotional charge.
We're looking for a new sound.
The record we are making now is completely different from the previous ones, yet it will be unmistakably Chemical Brothers.
An ultra-discrete question about how much gas they have, not literally - ed.
CB: We do something that was our hobby before it became our job, and that should never be lost sight of.
If they didn’t pay for it, though probably not here, I would definitely play at home.
We’re not going to play for free here, we can’t.
That is all.
It’s not up to us how much the directors ask for tickets, it all depends on how much benefit they want.
Who inspires you?
CB:We are actually interested in records, we collect records. We always hunt for new records and used record stores.
Do you usually download music when you are looking for new things?
CB: We don’t really download music, it takes too long.
But we are trying to find new music, vinyls, shops.
CB: We had great success in England, we had a lot of songs on the charts.
We partied a lot, we were free.
Like in the early seventies, when people wanted to experiment, they wanted to make music that was more for one layer.
They had crazy, exciting parties that people wanted to go to listen to together.
That was it, and maybe in the nineties there was a big bang: a lot of magazines came out, a bunch of DJs, a lot of money, parties in Ibiza, stuff like that.
Now, there are also people who simply love to make music and are trying to find a way to survive to fund it.
That's really cool.
We love recordings made by someone at home or in a small studio, not by a big, heavily advertised band.
This is the real magic.
How do you select the producers, DJs you work with?
CB:We always choose people we admire and respect.
We make fantastic music together.
DJs are much more recognized these days, and we’re trying to get them involved in our music.
Over the years, we’ve worked with people we admire and who are interested in our music.
We really enjoy this: the process of finding out who comes up with what musical idea.
The point is to create a mix that starts young people.
It’s a great thing to have a record that we love and can incorporate it into our music.
How are songs made, based on a concept or how it develops?
CB: It works both ways: sometimes the idea we want to realize is crystal clear, other times we just play around, waiting for something to come out of it.
How are remixes made?
CB:We make remixes of songs you really like, it’s that simple.
It simply pops up that this song would be so much better one way or another.
Does anyone ask you to make a remix for him?
CB: No, we don’t like that ... unless we might like it too.