What's cooking in Fatboy's kitchen?
After world-famous DJ and EDM guru David Guetta rocked India, it's Fatboy Slim's turn to rock the console. Born Norman Cook, this British DJ will embark on a two-city tour, starting May 5. In an email interview, he looks back at his nearly three-decade-long career, the influx of new DJs and his much-awaited India tour
Why did you decide to tour India? Was there a trigger point or a specific interest factor behind this visit?
I’ve been asked a few times over the years to perform in India, but I wasn’t convinced that there was a real scene. I didn’t want to play only for expats. It does seem like things have been taking off in the last couple of years so I thought it’s time to check you out and turn you on.
To what extent have you been exposed to India and Indian music? Have you ever been inspired by any element that came close to an Indian tune?
I have limited first-hand knowledge of India; a holiday in Goa is my only experience and second-hand Bollywood tunes or sitar funk. I have so much to learn!
You’ve been making music for over 15 years now. What changes have you witnessed in these years, as far as people’s tastes as well as the music scene in general?
It’s actually been 27 years to date. So much has changed, the rise of the DJ, dance music breaking out of nightclubs onto the radio and festivals, the death of vinyl, the death of the CD, sampling, drum machines, and don’t even get me started on the Internet! Since 1985, the industry has changed unrecognisably but the basic principle of escapism and hedonism propelled by repetitive beats is a basic human instinct, and will never change.
Although Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has been around for years, it has emerged as a popular genre in the recent past. What, according to you, spurs its popularity, and do you believe it is going in the right direction?
A new generation has been introduced to what we do by the likes of David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia, new R&B acts got it on the radio in the USA and the Internet spreads the word like wildfire. It’s all a bit commercial but it opens doors for the rest of us.
How does it feel to perform live now, as compared to 10 years back?
My energy levels are as high as they’ve ever been. I still feel 16 years old as soon as I go on stage and act like it. I quit drinking three years ago and got fit, running marathons and the like, which means I’m a lot fresher every night.
Your last album of solo music was 2004’s Palookaville. Are you planning to release another album? Any reason for an eight-year-long wait?
I may do another Fatboy album when I’m particularly inspired but my time has been taken
up by other projects recently.
What is your opinion about globally cued in DJs/music producers today, like David Guetta? How important are they for EDM’s growth?
Yes, they open doors to new converts, both in audience and fellow performers. They lure pop fans into our world of drumbeats and basslines!
What can Indian fans of Fatboy Slim expect from your concert?
Big tunes, big production, big performance. Tough but accessible, not too commercial, hard but fair!
Do other artists/DJs influence your work? What have you learned from them?
I spend two-three days a week listening to everything that comes out on the Internet so it’s a constant process.
What are your future projects and where do you see yourself in five years?
I’ll probably be retiring from DJ-ing around then so who knows? Meanwhile, I love playing out and I’m coming your way.
Fatboy Slim will perform in Gurgaon (May 5) and Bengaluru(May 6).