JAMIE LIDELL
This is a face to face interview I did with Jamie Lidell, in July 2005, after his appearance in Synch Festival and the release of Multiply. The original interview was published in the Greek music portal avopolis.gr
So, it’s been fine years since your last personal album. What have you been doing in the meantime?
Well, in 2002 I did the Super Collider album, Raw Digits with Cristian, and then we did a lot of live shows with that. Then in 2003, I designed my live show. I spent one year doing just technical things, making the machines I use now and building my instruments. So I went back to school in a way and then I started to play live a lot. At that point I didn’t really have any money and I was not so interested to do a record actually. I thought I needed to discover a way to play live cause this was the way I thought I could make a difference.
You did make a difference…
Well, yeah I ‘ve really been playing for a long time. And about two years ago I started making the album. And I did it slowly, I took my time. But the live thing I ‘ve been doing it, like constantly, like hundreds of shows.
That’s how I think most people got to know you…
Yeah, exactly.
So as far as personal albums are concerned, you released Muddlin Gear and then you have Multiply, which are two completely different albums. The first is dark, experimental music, while the latter is optimistic soul. How do you remember the period you recorded Muddlin Gear and how the period of Multiply?
Well, Muddlin Gear was actually more like making a tape for a friend. My friend was running a very small label called Spymania, based in Brighton, and he was like “Jamie do you want to make an album?”, and I was like “sure”. He had a very eclectic taste, he liked really noisy stuff. In a way he gave me the chance to explore some of the music I had never made before. On that album I did r’n’b, noise, kind of crazy klik music, very intellectual acoustic stuff and then stuff a bit like Mr. Bungle, really violent drum stuff, and some really futuristic programming. I started each track with a different attitude and tried to make it very, very open. But for a lot of people it was too crazy, too wild. I didn’t really care because it wasn’t designed to be a commercial thing, it was just for my friend, you know. On the other hand, with Multiply I wanted to communicate a little bit more, to reach out to a new audience in a way, to show people that my first love is actually singing, so I designed every track to be a song I would like to sing.
But you weren’t afraid of losing the audience that loved you for your more experimental stuff?
No, I think that those people understand that I like to do different things. Either way, if they are really my fans, I think they will understand that these songs are really beautiful and really well made. I mean, they are not just cheap tracks you know, they are very well-crafted songs. The original plan for this album was to come together with a DVD, but in the end the label said it would be too expensive. The DVD is one year of the live shows, with the best moments recorded from five cameras and edited. It’s really crazy, it’s wicked. It took us one year to make it…
Have you flirted with the idea of releasing Multiply with another label? I mean, it’s a soul album and you are releasing it with Warp…
In the beginning they were a little bit worried about it. I think they are really happy now that they took it, because it has been getting incredible press…
Yeah. I remember being in Sonar and every magazine I picked up had your face on it!
Yes, well the album is very well received, especially in England. The thing I understand is that now is the period that people want some songs again. It’s been along period were electronic music was really mechanic and what was missing was good songwriting.
Do you remember the most crazy thing you did on stage?
There have been lots of moments like that…With Super Collider we did lots of crazy shit. One time I had to wear this outfit, which was like a lycra body stocking. When I was inside it, it covered my face and I was completely blind and I couldn’t really breathe. I remember thinking “what the fuck am I doing?”. I was completely blind and falling over stuff. I remember playing with Kevin Blechdom while we had a band and we were playing power ballads from 80’s style. And one time we played a show and someone brought a cake on stage and this cake was going everywhere, covering the floor, we were sliding all over the ground and broke a glass everywhere and I remember getting cut. Everything was covered in cake and blood. This was probably the most intense stage moment I’ve ever had. It was so surreal. The smell of this milky cream cake and being cut everywhere. People coming on stage, flooding the stage at the same moment, jumping on the cake, pushing me to the ground…
You work together for some time now with Pablo Fiasco, who is doing all the visuals and your costumes. Do you trust him on everything?
Well we are very old friends. We used to live together for few years and we used to come up with all these crazy plans together.
Are you planning to continue the Super Collider project with Cristian Vogel?
Everyone is so busy…Cristian has his new album. But I would love to do some more stuff with him, we talked about it a little bit. Last September we did three or four tracks, there are more stuff there, but I think me and Cristian have to come up with something that is futuristic, really crazy and new. Otherwise there is no need to continue. So we both wait for the time when we will both find the good time and energy to do it. I hope it’s gonna be soon.
In a recent interview you stated that techno is over for you. Do you still stand behind that statement?
Sometimes I feel like that. I suppose I mean I don’t want to go back to that time and the clubs and that kind of world. But sometimes, what I play it’s techno, I wish I could do something else, but I still love to make a lot of noise. So I guess techno is still alive for me. It ‘s crazy, I never really know. I said that one day, and then I changed my mind. 
You use you voice as instrument. When you perform you focus more on the lyrics or the tone of your voice?
It depends on the show. Sometimes I get into just singing the songs, I concentrate on delivering the songs, which is really difficult too. When I did that stuff with Matthew Herbert and The Big Band, I had to come out and sing one ballad. It was really difficult actually because the Big Band would be playing and then I would walk out to the stage and it was a lot of great players in there. I just had to do a song from nothing and deliver the ballad very well. But actually I find it more interesting to use my voice as an instrument. I do love to sing the songs, but it’ s quite boring for me in a way to just to do that. I find it quite restricting.

I take it that you are singing not just when you are on stage, but in everyday moments like walking down the street. Do you find it more easy to sing when you are happy or when you are sad?
I guess when you are happy you sing a different kind of songs. But I noticed that lots of times I sing when I am stressed and singing helps me relax. It’ s a personal moment when you can just be with yourself. Sometimes I like that. Just to walk away from the crowd and to sing. When I was a kid I spent a lot of time on my own, because my parents weren’t around really. So I spent a lot of time and singing alone helped me feel comfortable. Psychologically it is about that. The reason I started to sing was because it was something I could do alone and a way to find my little space. When I am happy I sing in the shower, but that’s a different thing, isn’t it? It’s great to sing in the shower…superb!
Lots of critics compare you to Ottis Redding and Marvin Gaye. Do you find this flattering, or a little bit annoying cause after all you are something completely different?
I love Marvin Gaye, he’s my favorite singer. When somebody compares me to Marvin Gaye, I find it ridiculous in a way. Of course I use him as a reference in a way. He’s kind of an idol for me. And I think it’s important to have that. Someone that you can never be, something that is perfect, away from you. It’s good inspiration. When people compare me to him, I just laugh. I think it’s also because journalists are kind of lazy. They need to compare all the time.  It’s a good way to tell people somehow where I come from, what my references might be. I suppose is flattering, but I never really see it that way. I would never allow my ego to go like “that’s right, I sound like Marvin Gaye”. I would say Marvin is pure and belongs up there in heaven.
For the most part  of it electronic music didn’t involve any kind of performance. The philosophy was that this way it was easier to get immersed into the music without having anyone to look at.
Yeah, but Kraftwerk were pioneers of electronic music and their performances were legendary, you know. Very full and lots to look at. I don’t agree with that. I think, Djing yes. I can understand that it’s nice sometimes just to dance to the music, but I am not making dance music really. I am making eclectic music. I try to bring emotional power to the stage. I have to be animated when I am doing that. I have to feel it in myself. So it’s a performance because I try to bring out very extreme things in myself. How can you do that just by standing still? It’s another kind of performance to remain motionless, but it’s a performance too. For some people it’s better to concentrate on the machines. I don’t really see that everyone should do this or everyone should anything. It’s nice to have a variety. Some people are cold performers and I like that too, you know. I saw Fennesz and he was cold, serious and his sound was interesting. You still watch him, he is still performing in a way. I mean when you are onstage, you are onstage. The stage is the place where the performance is happening. Maybe I am old school like that…It’ s also an opportunity to have fun. I like having fun. I guess I am just selfish like that. I just want to have pleasure.  Most of the times people say the thing they like about my show most is that I bring so much energy, so much vitality to the stage. That really makes me happy. To think that I give so much energy to the people.
After a good show you feel most of the times exhausted or full of energy due to the people’s feedback?
Both. It ‘s a bit like having an orgasm. You feel great because you had an orgasm but at the same time you are like “that’s now, you just need some time to enjoy that feeling”.

You have studied philosophy. You think your studies have affected the way you create music in any way?
Yeah, I think so. I have a lot of interest in music making from the technology and the machines to just the performing, singing and songwriting. I am interested in all of it. I am not just a singer or a machine builder. What I learned from philosophy is the way to look at a problem. To like, say this is the problem: “do you think that we have free will, or our life is determined and we have no choice”. The way you look at a problem like that and the way you break it down to make sense of it, is really useful…for example when I try to build one of my machines I think “ok, this is what I want to do and how am I gonna do this” I break it down and the analytical part of thinking I find it very useful .. with the lyrics as well. I am always searching for something in life and that’s a philosophy pursuit that never ends, not just an academic one but a personal one too. Why things happen, what do I really want, I am always changing my answers to these questions, and I think that’s why it’ s interesting to have the music as a diary for that because it shows what I was thinking at the time. So back in the early days of Super Collider I was very different to how I am now, and the way I approached things and the way I understand music and how to communicate, so yeah it’s always changing. The philosophy is there, but perhaps in the background.
What is the most amazing voice you have ever heard?
Rahzel. He’s amazing. His voice is so malleable, he’s so many things. He’s great.
Yesterday you played at Synch Festival. What are your impressions? 
It was an incredible line-up of people. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a festival with such a lot of musicians that I like, in one night.
Not even Sonar?
It was better than Sonar. The line-up for that night was fantastic! Tortoise, Pansonic, Fennesz, The Liars, Radian..All these amazing people. It’s a quite serious achievement I think, good taste!
What about your appearance in Sonar?
It was me and two other musicians, Mocky and Snax. They came on for the last twenty minutes and we played some material. We tried to display some theatre, we had lots of costumes and videos. It was a very ambitious show but it wasn’t very successful because I had a lot of technical problems. It was an amazing show in a way because there so many thousands of people there, I mean walking onto the stage I had the confidence to just kind of go “hey, how is it going?” and enjoy that moment and try not…it’s the balance between just, to present it like this is going to be fun but try not to think like “yeah, this is me”, try no to let that ego come in. I am really conscious to get that balance. I don’t want to have the problem with the ego in the performances I see. I still feel just like a guy making my beats. At the same time you have to sell up right with the crowd too. To make them have a good feeling. It’s something I am still learning.
You are successful in that…
I hope so. But I am still not to good with the interaction with the crowd, I am not so good at that, I feel quite awkward. But it’s nice, when I do it. So I try to be more confident, to try more things like that, play around a bit more, to get the audience involved in the music maybe. Sometimes I do that, like I sampled the crowd, their applause. I played a very amazing show in Scotland recently, one of the best shows I’ve ever done, and the crowd was making so much noise after I stopped playing, so much noise, it was deafening. So I sampled them, and sometimes people come up on stage with me, and I give them the microphone, I let them sing for a bit…
Are you preparing something else with Mocky?
Yes, he’s preparing a new album and I’ ll be working along with him. I love working with him. He’s a very motivated character and very talented too. Sometimes we come from very different worlds with our music, but I think that’s what makes this collaboration quite an interesting one. Because if we were coming from the same world it might be harder to make these crazy new kinds of music. It would be too obvious in a way.
You have an intense program of live appearances. Are you going to continue after the summer?
Yes, I am planning a tour in September for three weeks with Four Tet. We are going everywhere, we are doing about twenty shows. 

JAMIE LIDELL

This is a face to face interview I did with Jamie Lidell, in July 2005, after his appearance in Synch Festival and the release of Multiply. The original interview was published in the Greek music portal avopolis.gr

So, it’s been fine years since your last personal album. What have you been doing in the meantime?

Well, in 2002 I did the Super Collider album, Raw Digits with Cristian, and then we did a lot of live shows with that. Then in 2003, I designed my live show. I spent one year doing just technical things, making the machines I use now and building my instruments. So I went back to school in a way and then I started to play live a lot. At that point I didn’t really have any money and I was not so interested to do a record actually. I thought I needed to discover a way to play live cause this was the way I thought I could make a difference.

You did make a difference…

Well, yeah I ‘ve really been playing for a long time. And about two years ago I started making the album. And I did it slowly, I took my time. But the live thing I ‘ve been doing it, like constantly, like hundreds of shows.

That’s how I think most people got to know you…

Yeah, exactly.

So as far as personal albums are concerned, you released Muddlin Gear and then you have Multiply, which are two completely different albums. The first is dark, experimental music, while the latter is optimistic soul. How do you remember the period you recorded Muddlin Gear and how the period of Multiply?

Well, Muddlin Gear was actually more like making a tape for a friend. My friend was running a very small label called Spymania, based in Brighton, and he was like “Jamie do you want to make an album?”, and I was like “sure”. He had a very eclectic taste, he liked really noisy stuff. In a way he gave me the chance to explore some of the music I had never made before. On that album I did r’n’b, noise, kind of crazy klik music, very intellectual acoustic stuff and then stuff a bit like Mr. Bungle, really violent drum stuff, and some really futuristic programming. I started each track with a different attitude and tried to make it very, very open. But for a lot of people it was too crazy, too wild. I didn’t really care because it wasn’t designed to be a commercial thing, it was just for my friend, you know. On the other hand, with Multiply I wanted to communicate a little bit more, to reach out to a new audience in a way, to show people that my first love is actually singing, so I designed every track to be a song I would like to sing.

But you weren’t afraid of losing the audience that loved you for your more experimental stuff?

No, I think that those people understand that I like to do different things. Either way, if they are really my fans, I think they will understand that these songs are really beautiful and really well made. I mean, they are not just cheap tracks you know, they are very well-crafted songs. The original plan for this album was to come together with a DVD, but in the end the label said it would be too expensive. The DVD is one year of the live shows, with the best moments recorded from five cameras and edited. It’s really crazy, it’s wicked. It took us one year to make it…

Have you flirted with the idea of releasing Multiply with another label? I mean, it’s a soul album and you are releasing it with Warp…

In the beginning they were a little bit worried about it. I think they are really happy now that they took it, because it has been getting incredible press…

Yeah. I remember being in Sonar and every magazine I picked up had your face on it!

Yes, well the album is very well received, especially in England. The thing I understand is that now is the period that people want some songs again. It’s been along period were electronic music was really mechanic and what was missing was good songwriting.

Do you remember the most crazy thing you did on stage?

There have been lots of moments like that…With Super Collider we did lots of crazy shit. One time I had to wear this outfit, which was like a lycra body stocking. When I was inside it, it covered my face and I was completely blind and I couldn’t really breathe. I remember thinking “what the fuck am I doing?”. I was completely blind and falling over stuff. I remember playing with Kevin Blechdom while we had a band and we were playing power ballads from 80’s style. And one time we played a show and someone brought a cake on stage and this cake was going everywhere, covering the floor, we were sliding all over the ground and broke a glass everywhere and I remember getting cut. Everything was covered in cake and blood. This was probably the most intense stage moment I’ve ever had. It was so surreal. The smell of this milky cream cake and being cut everywhere. People coming on stage, flooding the stage at the same moment, jumping on the cake, pushing me to the ground…

You work together for some time now with Pablo Fiasco, who is doing all the visuals and your costumes. Do you trust him on everything?

Well we are very old friends. We used to live together for few years and we used to come up with all these crazy plans together.

Are you planning to continue the Super Collider project with Cristian Vogel?

Everyone is so busy…Cristian has his new album. But I would love to do some more stuff with him, we talked about it a little bit. Last September we did three or four tracks, there are more stuff there, but I think me and Cristian have to come up with something that is futuristic, really crazy and new. Otherwise there is no need to continue. So we both wait for the time when we will both find the good time and energy to do it. I hope it’s gonna be soon.

In a recent interview you stated that techno is over for you. Do you still stand behind that statement?

Sometimes I feel like that. I suppose I mean I don’t want to go back to that time and the clubs and that kind of world. But sometimes, what I play it’s techno, I wish I could do something else, but I still love to make a lot of noise. So I guess techno is still alive for me. It ‘s crazy, I never really know. I said that one day, and then I changed my mind. 

You use you voice as instrument. When you perform you focus more on the lyrics or the tone of your voice?

It depends on the show. Sometimes I get into just singing the songs, I concentrate on delivering the songs, which is really difficult too. When I did that stuff with Matthew Herbert and The Big Band, I had to come out and sing one ballad. It was really difficult actually because the Big Band would be playing and then I would walk out to the stage and it was a lot of great players in there. I just had to do a song from nothing and deliver the ballad very well. But actually I find it more interesting to use my voice as an instrument. I do love to sing the songs, but it’ s quite boring for me in a way to just to do that. I find it quite restricting.

I take it that you are singing not just when you are on stage, but in everyday moments like walking down the street. Do you find it more easy to sing when you are happy or when you are sad?

I guess when you are happy you sing a different kind of songs. But I noticed that lots of times I sing when I am stressed and singing helps me relax. It’ s a personal moment when you can just be with yourself. Sometimes I like that. Just to walk away from the crowd and to sing. When I was a kid I spent a lot of time on my own, because my parents weren’t around really. So I spent a lot of time and singing alone helped me feel comfortable. Psychologically it is about that. The reason I started to sing was because it was something I could do alone and a way to find my little space. When I am happy I sing in the shower, but that’s a different thing, isn’t it? It’s great to sing in the shower…superb!

Lots of critics compare you to Ottis Redding and Marvin Gaye. Do you find this flattering, or a little bit annoying cause after all you are something completely different?

I love Marvin Gaye, he’s my favorite singer. When somebody compares me to Marvin Gaye, I find it ridiculous in a way. Of course I use him as a reference in a way. He’s kind of an idol for me. And I think it’s important to have that. Someone that you can never be, something that is perfect, away from you. It’s good inspiration. When people compare me to him, I just laugh. I think it’s also because journalists are kind of lazy. They need to compare all the time.  It’s a good way to tell people somehow where I come from, what my references might be. I suppose is flattering, but I never really see it that way. I would never allow my ego to go like “that’s right, I sound like Marvin Gaye”. I would say Marvin is pure and belongs up there in heaven.

For the most part  of it electronic music didn’t involve any kind of performance. The philosophy was that this way it was easier to get immersed into the music without having anyone to look at.

Yeah, but Kraftwerk were pioneers of electronic music and their performances were legendary, you know. Very full and lots to look at. I don’t agree with that. I think, Djing yes. I can understand that it’s nice sometimes just to dance to the music, but I am not making dance music really. I am making eclectic music. I try to bring emotional power to the stage. I have to be animated when I am doing that. I have to feel it in myself. So it’s a performance because I try to bring out very extreme things in myself. How can you do that just by standing still? It’s another kind of performance to remain motionless, but it’s a performance too. For some people it’s better to concentrate on the machines. I don’t really see that everyone should do this or everyone should anything. It’s nice to have a variety. Some people are cold performers and I like that too, you know. I saw Fennesz and he was cold, serious and his sound was interesting. You still watch him, he is still performing in a way. I mean when you are onstage, you are onstage. The stage is the place where the performance is happening. Maybe I am old school like that…It’ s also an opportunity to have fun. I like having fun. I guess I am just selfish like that. I just want to have pleasure.  Most of the times people say the thing they like about my show most is that I bring so much energy, so much vitality to the stage. That really makes me happy. To think that I give so much energy to the people.

After a good show you feel most of the times exhausted or full of energy due to the people’s feedback?

Both. It ‘s a bit like having an orgasm. You feel great because you had an orgasm but at the same time you are like “that’s now, you just need some time to enjoy that feeling”.


You have studied philosophy. You think your studies have affected the way you create music in any way?

Yeah, I think so. I have a lot of interest in music making from the technology and the machines to just the performing, singing and songwriting. I am interested in all of it. I am not just a singer or a machine builder. What I learned from philosophy is the way to look at a problem. To like, say this is the problem: “do you think that we have free will, or our life is determined and we have no choice”. The way you look at a problem like that and the way you break it down to make sense of it, is really useful…for example when I try to build one of my machines I think “ok, this is what I want to do and how am I gonna do this” I break it down and the analytical part of thinking I find it very useful .. with the lyrics as well. I am always searching for something in life and that’s a philosophy pursuit that never ends, not just an academic one but a personal one too. Why things happen, what do I really want, I am always changing my answers to these questions, and I think that’s why it’ s interesting to have the music as a diary for that because it shows what I was thinking at the time. So back in the early days of Super Collider I was very different to how I am now, and the way I approached things and the way I understand music and how to communicate, so yeah it’s always changing. The philosophy is there, but perhaps in the background.

What is the most amazing voice you have ever heard?

Rahzel. He’s amazing. His voice is so malleable, he’s so many things. He’s great.

Yesterday you played at Synch Festival. What are your impressions?

It was an incredible line-up of people. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a festival with such a lot of musicians that I like, in one night.

Not even Sonar?

It was better than Sonar. The line-up for that night was fantastic! Tortoise, Pansonic, Fennesz, The Liars, Radian..All these amazing people. It’s a quite serious achievement I think, good taste!

What about your appearance in Sonar?

It was me and two other musicians, Mocky and Snax. They came on for the last twenty minutes and we played some material. We tried to display some theatre, we had lots of costumes and videos. It was a very ambitious show but it wasn’t very successful because I had a lot of technical problems. It was an amazing show in a way because there so many thousands of people there, I mean walking onto the stage I had the confidence to just kind of go “hey, how is it going?” and enjoy that moment and try not…it’s the balance between just, to present it like this is going to be fun but try not to think like “yeah, this is me”, try no to let that ego come in. I am really conscious to get that balance. I don’t want to have the problem with the ego in the performances I see. I still feel just like a guy making my beats. At the same time you have to sell up right with the crowd too. To make them have a good feeling. It’s something I am still learning.

You are successful in that…

I hope so. But I am still not to good with the interaction with the crowd, I am not so good at that, I feel quite awkward. But it’s nice, when I do it. So I try to be more confident, to try more things like that, play around a bit more, to get the audience involved in the music maybe. Sometimes I do that, like I sampled the crowd, their applause. I played a very amazing show in Scotland recently, one of the best shows I’ve ever done, and the crowd was making so much noise after I stopped playing, so much noise, it was deafening. So I sampled them, and sometimes people come up on stage with me, and I give them the microphone, I let them sing for a bit…

Are you preparing something else with Mocky?

Yes, he’s preparing a new album and I’ ll be working along with him. I love working with him. He’s a very motivated character and very talented too. Sometimes we come from very different worlds with our music, but I think that’s what makes this collaboration quite an interesting one. Because if we were coming from the same world it might be harder to make these crazy new kinds of music. It would be too obvious in a way.

You have an intense program of live appearances. Are you going to continue after the summer?

Yes, I am planning a tour in September for three weeks with Four Tet. We are going everywhere, we are doing about twenty shows. 

JAMIE LIDELL
This is a face to face interview I did with Jamie Lidell, in July 2005, after his appearance in Synch Festival and the release of Multiply. The original interview was published in the Greek music portal avopolis.gr
So, it’s been fine years since your last personal album. What have you been doing in the meantime?
Well, in 2002 I did the Super Collider album, Raw Digits with Cristian, and then we did a lot of live shows with that. Then in 2003, I designed my live show. I spent one year doing just technical things, making the machines I use now and building my instruments. So I went back to school in a way and then I started to play live a lot. At that point I didn’t really have any money and I was not so interested to do a record actually. I thought I needed to discover a way to play live cause this was the way I thought I could make a difference.
You did make a difference…
Well, yeah I ‘ve really been playing for a long time. And about two years ago I started making the album. And I did it slowly, I took my time. But the live thing I ‘ve been doing it, like constantly, like hundreds of shows.
That’s how I think most people got to know you…
Yeah, exactly.
So as far as personal albums are concerned, you released Muddlin Gear and then you have Multiply, which are two completely different albums. The first is dark, experimental music, while the latter is optimistic soul. How do you remember the period you recorded Muddlin Gear and how the period of Multiply?
Well, Muddlin Gear was actually more like making a tape for a friend. My friend was running a very small label called Spymania, based in Brighton, and he was like “Jamie do you want to make an album?”, and I was like “sure”. He had a very eclectic taste, he liked really noisy stuff. In a way he gave me the chance to explore some of the music I had never made before. On that album I did r’n’b, noise, kind of crazy klik music, very intellectual acoustic stuff and then stuff a bit like Mr. Bungle, really violent drum stuff, and some really futuristic programming. I started each track with a different attitude and tried to make it very, very open. But for a lot of people it was too crazy, too wild. I didn’t really care because it wasn’t designed to be a commercial thing, it was just for my friend, you know. On the other hand, with Multiply I wanted to communicate a little bit more, to reach out to a new audience in a way, to show people that my first love is actually singing, so I designed every track to be a song I would like to sing.
But you weren’t afraid of losing the audience that loved you for your more experimental stuff?
No, I think that those people understand that I like to do different things. Either way, if they are really my fans, I think they will understand that these songs are really beautiful and really well made. I mean, they are not just cheap tracks you know, they are very well-crafted songs. The original plan for this album was to come together with a DVD, but in the end the label said it would be too expensive. The DVD is one year of the live shows, with the best moments recorded from five cameras and edited. It’s really crazy, it’s wicked. It took us one year to make it…
Have you flirted with the idea of releasing Multiply with another label? I mean, it’s a soul album and you are releasing it with Warp…
In the beginning they were a little bit worried about it. I think they are really happy now that they took it, because it has been getting incredible press…
Yeah. I remember being in Sonar and every magazine I picked up had your face on it!
Yes, well the album is very well received, especially in England. The thing I understand is that now is the period that people want some songs again. It’s been along period were electronic music was really mechanic and what was missing was good songwriting.
Do you remember the most crazy thing you did on stage?
There have been lots of moments like that…With Super Collider we did lots of crazy shit. One time I had to wear this outfit, which was like a lycra body stocking. When I was inside it, it covered my face and I was completely blind and I couldn’t really breathe. I remember thinking “what the fuck am I doing?”. I was completely blind and falling over stuff. I remember playing with Kevin Blechdom while we had a band and we were playing power ballads from 80’s style. And one time we played a show and someone brought a cake on stage and this cake was going everywhere, covering the floor, we were sliding all over the ground and broke a glass everywhere and I remember getting cut. Everything was covered in cake and blood. This was probably the most intense stage moment I’ve ever had. It was so surreal. The smell of this milky cream cake and being cut everywhere. People coming on stage, flooding the stage at the same moment, jumping on the cake, pushing me to the ground…
You work together for some time now with Pablo Fiasco, who is doing all the visuals and your costumes. Do you trust him on everything?
Well we are very old friends. We used to live together for few years and we used to come up with all these crazy plans together.
Are you planning to continue the Super Collider project with Cristian Vogel?
Everyone is so busy…Cristian has his new album. But I would love to do some more stuff with him, we talked about it a little bit. Last September we did three or four tracks, there are more stuff there, but I think me and Cristian have to come up with something that is futuristic, really crazy and new. Otherwise there is no need to continue. So we both wait for the time when we will both find the good time and energy to do it. I hope it’s gonna be soon.
In a recent interview you stated that techno is over for you. Do you still stand behind that statement?
Sometimes I feel like that. I suppose I mean I don’t want to go back to that time and the clubs and that kind of world. But sometimes, what I play it’s techno, I wish I could do something else, but I still love to make a lot of noise. So I guess techno is still alive for me. It ‘s crazy, I never really know. I said that one day, and then I changed my mind. 
You use you voice as instrument. When you perform you focus more on the lyrics or the tone of your voice?
It depends on the show. Sometimes I get into just singing the songs, I concentrate on delivering the songs, which is really difficult too. When I did that stuff with Matthew Herbert and The Big Band, I had to come out and sing one ballad. It was really difficult actually because the Big Band would be playing and then I would walk out to the stage and it was a lot of great players in there. I just had to do a song from nothing and deliver the ballad very well. But actually I find it more interesting to use my voice as an instrument. I do love to sing the songs, but it’ s quite boring for me in a way to just to do that. I find it quite restricting.

I take it that you are singing not just when you are on stage, but in everyday moments like walking down the street. Do you find it more easy to sing when you are happy or when you are sad?
I guess when you are happy you sing a different kind of songs. But I noticed that lots of times I sing when I am stressed and singing helps me relax. It’ s a personal moment when you can just be with yourself. Sometimes I like that. Just to walk away from the crowd and to sing. When I was a kid I spent a lot of time on my own, because my parents weren’t around really. So I spent a lot of time and singing alone helped me feel comfortable. Psychologically it is about that. The reason I started to sing was because it was something I could do alone and a way to find my little space. When I am happy I sing in the shower, but that’s a different thing, isn’t it? It’s great to sing in the shower…superb!
Lots of critics compare you to Ottis Redding and Marvin Gaye. Do you find this flattering, or a little bit annoying cause after all you are something completely different?
I love Marvin Gaye, he’s my favorite singer. When somebody compares me to Marvin Gaye, I find it ridiculous in a way. Of course I use him as a reference in a way. He’s kind of an idol for me. And I think it’s important to have that. Someone that you can never be, something that is perfect, away from you. It’s good inspiration. When people compare me to him, I just laugh. I think it’s also because journalists are kind of lazy. They need to compare all the time.  It’s a good way to tell people somehow where I come from, what my references might be. I suppose is flattering, but I never really see it that way. I would never allow my ego to go like “that’s right, I sound like Marvin Gaye”. I would say Marvin is pure and belongs up there in heaven.
For the most part  of it electronic music didn’t involve any kind of performance. The philosophy was that this way it was easier to get immersed into the music without having anyone to look at.
Yeah, but Kraftwerk were pioneers of electronic music and their performances were legendary, you know. Very full and lots to look at. I don’t agree with that. I think, Djing yes. I can understand that it’s nice sometimes just to dance to the music, but I am not making dance music really. I am making eclectic music. I try to bring emotional power to the stage. I have to be animated when I am doing that. I have to feel it in myself. So it’s a performance because I try to bring out very extreme things in myself. How can you do that just by standing still? It’s another kind of performance to remain motionless, but it’s a performance too. For some people it’s better to concentrate on the machines. I don’t really see that everyone should do this or everyone should anything. It’s nice to have a variety. Some people are cold performers and I like that too, you know. I saw Fennesz and he was cold, serious and his sound was interesting. You still watch him, he is still performing in a way. I mean when you are onstage, you are onstage. The stage is the place where the performance is happening. Maybe I am old school like that…It’ s also an opportunity to have fun. I like having fun. I guess I am just selfish like that. I just want to have pleasure.  Most of the times people say the thing they like about my show most is that I bring so much energy, so much vitality to the stage. That really makes me happy. To think that I give so much energy to the people.
After a good show you feel most of the times exhausted or full of energy due to the people’s feedback?
Both. It ‘s a bit like having an orgasm. You feel great because you had an orgasm but at the same time you are like “that’s now, you just need some time to enjoy that feeling”.

You have studied philosophy. You think your studies have affected the way you create music in any way?
Yeah, I think so. I have a lot of interest in music making from the technology and the machines to just the performing, singing and songwriting. I am interested in all of it. I am not just a singer or a machine builder. What I learned from philosophy is the way to look at a problem. To like, say this is the problem: “do you think that we have free will, or our life is determined and we have no choice”. The way you look at a problem like that and the way you break it down to make sense of it, is really useful…for example when I try to build one of my machines I think “ok, this is what I want to do and how am I gonna do this” I break it down and the analytical part of thinking I find it very useful .. with the lyrics as well. I am always searching for something in life and that’s a philosophy pursuit that never ends, not just an academic one but a personal one too. Why things happen, what do I really want, I am always changing my answers to these questions, and I think that’s why it’ s interesting to have the music as a diary for that because it shows what I was thinking at the time. So back in the early days of Super Collider I was very different to how I am now, and the way I approached things and the way I understand music and how to communicate, so yeah it’s always changing. The philosophy is there, but perhaps in the background.
What is the most amazing voice you have ever heard?
Rahzel. He’s amazing. His voice is so malleable, he’s so many things. He’s great.
Yesterday you played at Synch Festival. What are your impressions? 
It was an incredible line-up of people. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a festival with such a lot of musicians that I like, in one night.
Not even Sonar?
It was better than Sonar. The line-up for that night was fantastic! Tortoise, Pansonic, Fennesz, The Liars, Radian..All these amazing people. It’s a quite serious achievement I think, good taste!
What about your appearance in Sonar?
It was me and two other musicians, Mocky and Snax. They came on for the last twenty minutes and we played some material. We tried to display some theatre, we had lots of costumes and videos. It was a very ambitious show but it wasn’t very successful because I had a lot of technical problems. It was an amazing show in a way because there so many thousands of people there, I mean walking onto the stage I had the confidence to just kind of go “hey, how is it going?” and enjoy that moment and try not…it’s the balance between just, to present it like this is going to be fun but try not to think like “yeah, this is me”, try no to let that ego come in. I am really conscious to get that balance. I don’t want to have the problem with the ego in the performances I see. I still feel just like a guy making my beats. At the same time you have to sell up right with the crowd too. To make them have a good feeling. It’s something I am still learning.
You are successful in that…
I hope so. But I am still not to good with the interaction with the crowd, I am not so good at that, I feel quite awkward. But it’s nice, when I do it. So I try to be more confident, to try more things like that, play around a bit more, to get the audience involved in the music maybe. Sometimes I do that, like I sampled the crowd, their applause. I played a very amazing show in Scotland recently, one of the best shows I’ve ever done, and the crowd was making so much noise after I stopped playing, so much noise, it was deafening. So I sampled them, and sometimes people come up on stage with me, and I give them the microphone, I let them sing for a bit…
Are you preparing something else with Mocky?
Yes, he’s preparing a new album and I’ ll be working along with him. I love working with him. He’s a very motivated character and very talented too. Sometimes we come from very different worlds with our music, but I think that’s what makes this collaboration quite an interesting one. Because if we were coming from the same world it might be harder to make these crazy new kinds of music. It would be too obvious in a way.
You have an intense program of live appearances. Are you going to continue after the summer?
Yes, I am planning a tour in September for three weeks with Four Tet. We are going everywhere, we are doing about twenty shows. 

JAMIE LIDELL

This is a face to face interview I did with Jamie Lidell, in July 2005, after his appearance in Synch Festival and the release of Multiply. The original interview was published in the Greek music portal avopolis.gr

So, it’s been fine years since your last personal album. What have you been doing in the meantime?

Well, in 2002 I did the Super Collider album, Raw Digits with Cristian, and then we did a lot of live shows with that. Then in 2003, I designed my live show. I spent one year doing just technical things, making the machines I use now and building my instruments. So I went back to school in a way and then I started to play live a lot. At that point I didn’t really have any money and I was not so interested to do a record actually. I thought I needed to discover a way to play live cause this was the way I thought I could make a difference.

You did make a difference…

Well, yeah I ‘ve really been playing for a long time. And about two years ago I started making the album. And I did it slowly, I took my time. But the live thing I ‘ve been doing it, like constantly, like hundreds of shows.

That’s how I think most people got to know you…

Yeah, exactly.

So as far as personal albums are concerned, you released Muddlin Gear and then you have Multiply, which are two completely different albums. The first is dark, experimental music, while the latter is optimistic soul. How do you remember the period you recorded Muddlin Gear and how the period of Multiply?

Well, Muddlin Gear was actually more like making a tape for a friend. My friend was running a very small label called Spymania, based in Brighton, and he was like “Jamie do you want to make an album?”, and I was like “sure”. He had a very eclectic taste, he liked really noisy stuff. In a way he gave me the chance to explore some of the music I had never made before. On that album I did r’n’b, noise, kind of crazy klik music, very intellectual acoustic stuff and then stuff a bit like Mr. Bungle, really violent drum stuff, and some really futuristic programming. I started each track with a different attitude and tried to make it very, very open. But for a lot of people it was too crazy, too wild. I didn’t really care because it wasn’t designed to be a commercial thing, it was just for my friend, you know. On the other hand, with Multiply I wanted to communicate a little bit more, to reach out to a new audience in a way, to show people that my first love is actually singing, so I designed every track to be a song I would like to sing.

But you weren’t afraid of losing the audience that loved you for your more experimental stuff?

No, I think that those people understand that I like to do different things. Either way, if they are really my fans, I think they will understand that these songs are really beautiful and really well made. I mean, they are not just cheap tracks you know, they are very well-crafted songs. The original plan for this album was to come together with a DVD, but in the end the label said it would be too expensive. The DVD is one year of the live shows, with the best moments recorded from five cameras and edited. It’s really crazy, it’s wicked. It took us one year to make it…

Have you flirted with the idea of releasing Multiply with another label? I mean, it’s a soul album and you are releasing it with Warp…

In the beginning they were a little bit worried about it. I think they are really happy now that they took it, because it has been getting incredible press…

Yeah. I remember being in Sonar and every magazine I picked up had your face on it!

Yes, well the album is very well received, especially in England. The thing I understand is that now is the period that people want some songs again. It’s been along period were electronic music was really mechanic and what was missing was good songwriting.

Do you remember the most crazy thing you did on stage?

There have been lots of moments like that…With Super Collider we did lots of crazy shit. One time I had to wear this outfit, which was like a lycra body stocking. When I was inside it, it covered my face and I was completely blind and I couldn’t really breathe. I remember thinking “what the fuck am I doing?”. I was completely blind and falling over stuff. I remember playing with Kevin Blechdom while we had a band and we were playing power ballads from 80’s style. And one time we played a show and someone brought a cake on stage and this cake was going everywhere, covering the floor, we were sliding all over the ground and broke a glass everywhere and I remember getting cut. Everything was covered in cake and blood. This was probably the most intense stage moment I’ve ever had. It was so surreal. The smell of this milky cream cake and being cut everywhere. People coming on stage, flooding the stage at the same moment, jumping on the cake, pushing me to the ground…

You work together for some time now with Pablo Fiasco, who is doing all the visuals and your costumes. Do you trust him on everything?

Well we are very old friends. We used to live together for few years and we used to come up with all these crazy plans together.

Are you planning to continue the Super Collider project with Cristian Vogel?

Everyone is so busy…Cristian has his new album. But I would love to do some more stuff with him, we talked about it a little bit. Last September we did three or four tracks, there are more stuff there, but I think me and Cristian have to come up with something that is futuristic, really crazy and new. Otherwise there is no need to continue. So we both wait for the time when we will both find the good time and energy to do it. I hope it’s gonna be soon.

In a recent interview you stated that techno is over for you. Do you still stand behind that statement?

Sometimes I feel like that. I suppose I mean I don’t want to go back to that time and the clubs and that kind of world. But sometimes, what I play it’s techno, I wish I could do something else, but I still love to make a lot of noise. So I guess techno is still alive for me. It ‘s crazy, I never really know. I said that one day, and then I changed my mind. 

You use you voice as instrument. When you perform you focus more on the lyrics or the tone of your voice?

It depends on the show. Sometimes I get into just singing the songs, I concentrate on delivering the songs, which is really difficult too. When I did that stuff with Matthew Herbert and The Big Band, I had to come out and sing one ballad. It was really difficult actually because the Big Band would be playing and then I would walk out to the stage and it was a lot of great players in there. I just had to do a song from nothing and deliver the ballad very well. But actually I find it more interesting to use my voice as an instrument. I do love to sing the songs, but it’ s quite boring for me in a way to just to do that. I find it quite restricting.

I take it that you are singing not just when you are on stage, but in everyday moments like walking down the street. Do you find it more easy to sing when you are happy or when you are sad?

I guess when you are happy you sing a different kind of songs. But I noticed that lots of times I sing when I am stressed and singing helps me relax. It’ s a personal moment when you can just be with yourself. Sometimes I like that. Just to walk away from the crowd and to sing. When I was a kid I spent a lot of time on my own, because my parents weren’t around really. So I spent a lot of time and singing alone helped me feel comfortable. Psychologically it is about that. The reason I started to sing was because it was something I could do alone and a way to find my little space. When I am happy I sing in the shower, but that’s a different thing, isn’t it? It’s great to sing in the shower…superb!

Lots of critics compare you to Ottis Redding and Marvin Gaye. Do you find this flattering, or a little bit annoying cause after all you are something completely different?

I love Marvin Gaye, he’s my favorite singer. When somebody compares me to Marvin Gaye, I find it ridiculous in a way. Of course I use him as a reference in a way. He’s kind of an idol for me. And I think it’s important to have that. Someone that you can never be, something that is perfect, away from you. It’s good inspiration. When people compare me to him, I just laugh. I think it’s also because journalists are kind of lazy. They need to compare all the time.  It’s a good way to tell people somehow where I come from, what my references might be. I suppose is flattering, but I never really see it that way. I would never allow my ego to go like “that’s right, I sound like Marvin Gaye”. I would say Marvin is pure and belongs up there in heaven.

For the most part  of it electronic music didn’t involve any kind of performance. The philosophy was that this way it was easier to get immersed into the music without having anyone to look at.

Yeah, but Kraftwerk were pioneers of electronic music and their performances were legendary, you know. Very full and lots to look at. I don’t agree with that. I think, Djing yes. I can understand that it’s nice sometimes just to dance to the music, but I am not making dance music really. I am making eclectic music. I try to bring emotional power to the stage. I have to be animated when I am doing that. I have to feel it in myself. So it’s a performance because I try to bring out very extreme things in myself. How can you do that just by standing still? It’s another kind of performance to remain motionless, but it’s a performance too. For some people it’s better to concentrate on the machines. I don’t really see that everyone should do this or everyone should anything. It’s nice to have a variety. Some people are cold performers and I like that too, you know. I saw Fennesz and he was cold, serious and his sound was interesting. You still watch him, he is still performing in a way. I mean when you are onstage, you are onstage. The stage is the place where the performance is happening. Maybe I am old school like that…It’ s also an opportunity to have fun. I like having fun. I guess I am just selfish like that. I just want to have pleasure.  Most of the times people say the thing they like about my show most is that I bring so much energy, so much vitality to the stage. That really makes me happy. To think that I give so much energy to the people.

After a good show you feel most of the times exhausted or full of energy due to the people’s feedback?

Both. It ‘s a bit like having an orgasm. You feel great because you had an orgasm but at the same time you are like “that’s now, you just need some time to enjoy that feeling”.


You have studied philosophy. You think your studies have affected the way you create music in any way?

Yeah, I think so. I have a lot of interest in music making from the technology and the machines to just the performing, singing and songwriting. I am interested in all of it. I am not just a singer or a machine builder. What I learned from philosophy is the way to look at a problem. To like, say this is the problem: “do you think that we have free will, or our life is determined and we have no choice”. The way you look at a problem like that and the way you break it down to make sense of it, is really useful…for example when I try to build one of my machines I think “ok, this is what I want to do and how am I gonna do this” I break it down and the analytical part of thinking I find it very useful .. with the lyrics as well. I am always searching for something in life and that’s a philosophy pursuit that never ends, not just an academic one but a personal one too. Why things happen, what do I really want, I am always changing my answers to these questions, and I think that’s why it’ s interesting to have the music as a diary for that because it shows what I was thinking at the time. So back in the early days of Super Collider I was very different to how I am now, and the way I approached things and the way I understand music and how to communicate, so yeah it’s always changing. The philosophy is there, but perhaps in the background.

What is the most amazing voice you have ever heard?

Rahzel. He’s amazing. His voice is so malleable, he’s so many things. He’s great.

Yesterday you played at Synch Festival. What are your impressions?

It was an incredible line-up of people. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a festival with such a lot of musicians that I like, in one night.

Not even Sonar?

It was better than Sonar. The line-up for that night was fantastic! Tortoise, Pansonic, Fennesz, The Liars, Radian..All these amazing people. It’s a quite serious achievement I think, good taste!

What about your appearance in Sonar?

It was me and two other musicians, Mocky and Snax. They came on for the last twenty minutes and we played some material. We tried to display some theatre, we had lots of costumes and videos. It was a very ambitious show but it wasn’t very successful because I had a lot of technical problems. It was an amazing show in a way because there so many thousands of people there, I mean walking onto the stage I had the confidence to just kind of go “hey, how is it going?” and enjoy that moment and try not…it’s the balance between just, to present it like this is going to be fun but try not to think like “yeah, this is me”, try no to let that ego come in. I am really conscious to get that balance. I don’t want to have the problem with the ego in the performances I see. I still feel just like a guy making my beats. At the same time you have to sell up right with the crowd too. To make them have a good feeling. It’s something I am still learning.

You are successful in that…

I hope so. But I am still not to good with the interaction with the crowd, I am not so good at that, I feel quite awkward. But it’s nice, when I do it. So I try to be more confident, to try more things like that, play around a bit more, to get the audience involved in the music maybe. Sometimes I do that, like I sampled the crowd, their applause. I played a very amazing show in Scotland recently, one of the best shows I’ve ever done, and the crowd was making so much noise after I stopped playing, so much noise, it was deafening. So I sampled them, and sometimes people come up on stage with me, and I give them the microphone, I let them sing for a bit…

Are you preparing something else with Mocky?

Yes, he’s preparing a new album and I’ ll be working along with him. I love working with him. He’s a very motivated character and very talented too. Sometimes we come from very different worlds with our music, but I think that’s what makes this collaboration quite an interesting one. Because if we were coming from the same world it might be harder to make these crazy new kinds of music. It would be too obvious in a way.

You have an intense program of live appearances. Are you going to continue after the summer?

Yes, I am planning a tour in September for three weeks with Four Tet. We are going everywhere, we are doing about twenty shows. 

Notes:

  1. soinmotion posted this

About:

Part music nerd, part investigative journalist. All Greek (well, sort of). This is my blog.

Following: