Fatboy Slim talks about the 90s plus scene at Creamfields [Interview]
Fatboy Slim talks 90s scene, UK crowds and more at Creamfields [Exclusive Interview]
Ahead of his last fields of cream performance, we sat down with fat thin boy speak to the British crowds, Woodstock and how the scene has changed since the 90s.”When I was younger, if you liked club music, the only time you could hear it was going to a club,” he says.
Fatboy Slim is a name everyone knows. Since the 90s, he has consistently been at the top of his game as a tastemaker and pioneer, a leader not a follower. Whether it be ‘eat sleep party start again‘ or even earlier hits such as ‘will praise you‘ and ‘Here Now‘, he gave the electronic scene some of the most pivotal tracks and moments to date. It’s certainly no surprise that he’s seen a lot of change in both the way the scene has developed and the way attitudes towards music have changed, so before his last headliner at Creamfields in his own organized tent, we got his take on all of that, plus the infamous Woodstock ’99 show and more.
Since you played the very first edition of Creamfields in 1998, what are the biggest differences you’ve seen from that edition until now?
“I’ll be honest, there’s not a lot of change. It is still run by the same people, who put the same love into it. And it is still frequented by similar people, who are from different generations but still share the same love. What I like here [Creamfields] it’s because there are only DJs, and it’s dance music, it doesn’t have that advantage. It’s our family, it’s our community, and everyone has one goal, to have fun and take care of each other. It is very passive and beautiful. But yeah, that hasn’t really changed. Rock music and politics and things like that change, but dance music has always had the same momentum.
How do UK crowds compare to other crowds around the world?
“Better than some, not as good as some. For me, the main difference with the UK crowds is that they know me. I’ve been around so long I’m part of the furniture, like “oh it’s Norman!” so there is friendliness and acceptance. I have nothing to prove, they know what I’m going to do and how I’m doing. The further you go abroad, the more you have to convince people that you’re cool. Here, I couldn’t persuade them that I’m cool because they know me!
Speaking of UK crowds, it’s been 20 years since Big Beach Boutique and you did another show there recently. Was it like stepping back in time?
” A little yes. There’s still that same love, I mean Brighton is my hometown, I live on that beach. It’s quite funny, when I arrived someone said to me “How does it feel to be back?” and I’m like, “I go through this every two weeks!” There was a lot of that same kind of pride in my hometown, and pride that they allowed me to do this. It took them 20 years to get me back to this beach, it got out of control 20 years ago. It was just a glorious celebration and relationship with my hometown.
Speaking of out of control, the Woodstock ’99 documentary recently came out on Netflix and you had quite the experience there. What was it like watching it all unfold from the stage?
“I haven’t seen many. When I saw the movie, I thought “oh my god, I fled in my little plane!” It wasn’t as bad in my aircraft hangar as it was on the main stage. It was weird, it was like one of the hairiest nights of my life, and I don’t think about it too much in my head for fear of having nightmares. Do the maintenance [for the documentary], this brought back some a little nervous memories. I thought I was done with PTSD, but maybe not.
What do you think have been the biggest changes in the music industry since the start of your career compared to now?
“I think the biggest change is really the internet. When I was younger, if you liked club music, the only time you could hear it was when you went to a club. You had to have more 18 or old enough to get into the club. It was never aired on the radio and there was no access. You first went to a nightclub and you never knew what was the music, and now everyone can hear it. Kids can hear it before they go to the clubs and they already know the music, what the shows are like and what the DJs are like. So that’s really changed It opened up a much younger audience to dance music so by the time people are old enough to go to clubs they already know all about it Before it was much more underground so that’s us really paved the way. And obviously the way we play, playing on laptops and sticks USB rather than having to lug around discs. This means that we can edit songs. If you think, looking at the pictures of Big Beach Boutique 20 years ago, the production we have is so rudimentary. It was archaic! If you now think about the stages and what you can with the lights, lasers, visuals and LED screens, it made the experience so much better. All we had back then were two record players and a set of speakers.
In a way, that’s all you needed.
“Yes, but it improves it. It made it easier for us and we can put on better shows. When I started DJing I was only really DJing in England, Ibiza and America and now it’s absolutely global.
Featured image Credit: Fatboy Slim (Press) / Supplied by Dawbell PR