Let’s get drunk and interview the Freestylers!
Give ‘em candy breakin’ aliens! Make ourselves known. Drink. Aliens.
Freestylers. Drink. Breakin'. Tell you what — let's not sort out
an interview properly and just turn up drunk with the aliens. They’ll
love it, yeah? It’s just our trip yeah? Our tribute. They’ll be
up for a bit, light, like? Large isn't the word. Or we could hang
around so long waiting for the t-manager that we sober up and only
find the band exhausted and smoking after the show, with the MOBO
awards full blast on the TV. I'd like to have an argument please.
Tell us about how you’ve changed live,
because we’ve heard the new mix of Warning and it sounds
Aston (half of the core duo. Knob twiddler.
Looks like Mindy NBD): Dreadzone?? The original mix or
the ska mix? It didn’t have the guitar on it? No? It was the ska
Has that come from your development as
a live band?
It’s just a remix of the track. We perform
the track that’s on the album, so that’s the version that’s the
single. What we play is basically a live version of the album version.
Can we ask a boring question — how’s
the tour going?
The tour’s going very well. Tonight was
probably the quietest night. Yeah, Norwich has been the quietest
night; everywhere else has been a bit of a sell out.
It’s surprising, because this is probably
the biggest `dance’ band gig this term, and it was a bit empty.
Tony (Guitar. Somehow got a black eye
after leaving the stage): Have you got any more spaceships?
No, we’re all out.
You weren’t up for an award, were you?
Aston: We was up for a MOBO
— Best Newcomer. We won Best Band though, in the Muzik awards.
But not Best Live Act. They can’t put us in for two, you see. There
were so many categories in that Muzik one. It seemed like
everyone they like had to win something. Next year maybe we’ll win
Best Live Act, it’s probably one of the hottest dance acts out there,
do y’know what I mean?
Do you feel you’ve tightened up as a
Yeah, totally. I mean now we’ve only been
going as a proper performing band since May, when we did our first
UK tour, everyone was just getting to know everyone then. We met
up since last year but it’s something proper now — it’s all gelled,
everything’s tight, we have more rehearsals. The album’s finished
so we perform an hour and 15 minute set.
What about the audience — because when
you’re in the band everyone’s come to see the band, but when you’re
DJing you’ve got another crowd haven’t you?
Yeah it’s different when you’re DJing,
it’s like you and the crowd, but with the band it’s like teamwork,
it’s a different thing. I think you get to meet more people as a
band, like girlie groupies or whatever. But this is Norwich — it’s
We’re trying to rip off your Chemical
Brothers/Public Enemy mix — do you use the album or single?
The 12. It’s actually Matt's mix that one.
You know I have a partner Matt (No!! Not that kind of partner!)
who I make the music with. That’s Matt’s thing. I’ve heard that
somebody’s done Leave Home with Intergalactic, and
it sounds shit.
I heard somebody do Public Enemy with
Everybody Needs a 303 at Glastonbury. I saw you at Glastonbury
and Reading. (time for Vincey to get ‘em riled) Glastonbury
was really good but there weren’t enough people in there.
(clearly Aston has different recollections)What?
Well, there were a lot in there but it
didn’t fill the dance tent. It was only about half-full.
What are you talking about? Where were
Um, about 7 o’clock position...
The whole fucking tent was overflowing!
No it wasn’t!
Tony: We got 15,000 people in that
It only holds ten.
Tony: Exactly! No seriously,
they rang us up and said it was like, it was rammed for 15 feet
beyond the tent.
Aston: You can’t see but we’re standing
on the stage. Wherever you are you don’t see. The whole tent was
I didn’t expect it to be packed, as it
was only about 7 o’clock.
No, it was full; they knew Freestylers
were playing there! And Reading was full as well.
Reading was packed, but I left there
because I couldn’t stand the bass. (oh dear...)
Tony: Couldn’t stand the bass??
Aston: Well how can you like our
music then’? That’s what our music’s about — drums and bass.
For fuck's sake change the subject!
Did Aerosmith object to the sampling
on the original Feel The Panic?
Yes, sort of, yeah. We had to remove it.
They didn’t want us to use it, it didn’t matter.
You don ‘t even play that version live
— did they place a restriction on you?
Nah. We never performed that live, we always
do the version that’s on the album.
Once, you’ve had to change it you might
as well keep to the new one.
Yeah yeah, because we’re promoting the
album. I know we do a couple of tracks not off the album, but they
Have you had to drop any other samples?
No, that was it really, everything else
has been cleared. It was only a few Public Enemy bits. As it is
it’s all been cleared, all the major samples.
The “We came here tonight...”
bit — we know it’s Roxanne Shante, but can you tell us what track
It’s Roxanne Shante with Biz Markie. Oi
Jay what’s the name of the track that goes “We came here
tonight to get started”? Well whatever, it’s with Biz Markie.
That sample gets used a hell of a lot.
We’ve never heard it before. It’s on Lo-Fi’s. X-Ecutioners...
Freestyle Noize is a year and a
half old now. It sounds new but it’s old, it came out as a 12. It
was the first release on Freskanova, on the Uprock EP which
was our first release through Freskanova.
When you’ve done your remixes and DJ
work you’re pushed into making that subfunk sound, it’s always been
this big beat ‘go for it’ kind of thing. Have you ever tried a more
A more what? No. I’ve always liked music
that gets people going. I like instant music and I like making music
that makes people go "Wow!"
Which one of you was in Strike?
We won’t bother you any more with that
A couple of things about your stage
set-tip: First it says ‘Decks’ and we only saw one turntable; and
is the ‘Kit’ section where Navigator throws his clothes when he
takes them off?
(I don’t think Aston can take much more
of this) Oh, right, yeah. He throws it over to the drummer.
Oh god I’m knackered. (He tells us about their tour schedule
as the TV gets uncomfortably loud) Can you hear all that?
We don’t care, we’ll make it up, we’ve
Anyway, you’ve worked with a couple
of the Soul Sonic Force and we’re going to see Jazzy Jay in a couple
of weeks. Have you got any questions for him?
Questions for Jazzy Jay. Jason — have you
got any questions for Jazzy Jay?
While he’s deep in thought regarding the old
skool decks master, M.O.R. junglist Adam F wins a MOBO:
"It’s really nice to win an award like
the MOBO award at such an early part in my career, because for me
the best thing about making music is people appreciating it, and
I suppose that’s what this award is all about"
Aston: That was a bit of a wack
acceptance speech. I would’ve gone "Arse!!"
Jay emerges from his meditation with
a question: "What do you think of the resurgence of the
DJ without the emcee as an old skool DJ making breaks for emcees
— what do you make of DJ crews like X-Men/Skratch Piklz etc?"
What does an old skool DJ think of the new generation of turntablists?
At this point we’re kind of persuaded that
the interview, such as it is, might be over, so we make our way
to our favourite all-night pasty emporium. We did intend to pass
the question on to Jazzy Jay at the champagne party we’d been told
about. But you know how it is — we drank our bottle of champagne
before we got there and just sat around getting a bit bored while
he did all the old funk breaks on the one and two’s, sort of like
some kind of hip hop time capsule, really. Maybe you could ask him
for us. We had loads of jokes about the Fresh Prince as well, so
he got a lucky escape.