The Prodigy Breezeblock the pre-mix interview

For those of you who haven't listened to the pre-mix interview with Liam on the phone from his Essex studio, here's what was (17 October 1998)

MH: It's Radio One, It's Mary-Anne Hobbs, we're celebrating the launch of the new 'pure' 2 hour Breezeblock in the company of a very very special guest tonight, Liam Howlett and the Prodigy. Hello Liam!

LH: Hello. How ya doin'?

MH: Where are you calling from tonight?

LH: I'm actually in the studio at the moment, at home, I've actually got a studio in my own house.

MH: I know you've been on the road for months and months on end, when did you actually crash back down onto Planet Essex then?

LH: Erm, well, more or less after we finished Reading, er, a few months ago, so since then I just been relaxing really.

MH: Hmmm

LH: Just been in the studio a little bit, doing this mix, and kind of, er, just having a break, really.

MH: Well, I can tell you there is a real sense of occasion about tonight's show, because I can't actually remember the last time you actually did something for Radio 1, but it's gotta be years ago now, hasn't it?

LH: Haha, yes, that's true, yes... I can't actually remember doing anything for Radio 1! Y'know, yeah

MH: Why did you accept our humble invitation to put a mix together for this show then?

LH: Well, I dunno. Before the band started, I was really into sort of mixing and stuff, on a sort of more hip-hop level, and I kind of, always used to do that, sort of, every week I'd do a tape and stuff and give it to my mates and... I dunno, after you asked me to do a mix, I kinda thought "why not?" and sort of just experimenting a few days doing it and kind of make it happen and you know, so yeah I thought I'd do it, yeah, do it.

MH: Yeah, it's an absolutely fantastically sort of eclectic mix of everything, from Jimi Hendrix to the Ultramagnetic MCs, Bomb the Bass to Barry White, even!! Is
that the way you used to mix as a DJ, I mean just, no rules?

LH: Yeah, basically, like, erm, the way I wanted to put this mix together was more, erm, on a sort of old skool tip rather than sort of a club tip, I mean, this mix isn't really for the clubbers, it's more for the b-boys and b-girls, its more from the roots of hip-hop, and... you talk about Barry White, but the record I used was like a kind of famous break, you know, which was used in... a Beastie Boys track and so I've stripped down some of the tracks down to the original breaks and mixed the original breaks into the mix, and I chucked Sex Pistols in there, because, y'know, you have to, don't you really?

MH: haha!

LH: Just a mix-up of tunes really, just on the beats thing.

MH: Well, as you probably know, a lot of stuff we do on this programme is live, but you asked if you could put this together for us in your own studio and I assume this is the reason why - because you've got banks and banks of humming machinery down there that could literally do backflips for ya?

LH: Erm, yeah, but to be honest with this mix, I did think about coming in live and doing it, I can mix, but I didn't think that erm, I think that I got a better result doing it in the studio... to be honest, I still only used like, erm, I used like, a sampler, two decks, and an A-DAT to put it together so I didn't use really any, too much, y'know, too much equipment, so I basically put it together using that equipment. Yeah, I gotta lot of stuff in my studio, but I didn't use a lot of it for this mix.

MH: Have you got any favourite tracks in this mix tonight, Liam?

LH: They're all my favourite tracks! Y'know...that's why I put them in there. I mean basically, like, er, I was definitely on the tip of not wanting to make it too, sort of, erm, "of the moment", you know? I wanted to make it kind of the last 15 to 20 years, all my favourite tracks have sort of gone on. There's a heavy element of old skool in there, 'cos I'm mean, I dunno, one of the things that annoys me at the moment is all this 'old skool reunion; and people don't really understand what the records are, y'know, they just think it's just Run DMC and things like that.

MH: Yeah.

LH: But I tried to add a lot of records that meant a lot to me, y'know, when I was sort of, into breaking and stuff.

MH: That's fantastic. Well listen, I know that you can pass out of this dimension a happy man knowing that you've delivered a mix of a lifetime! But what about your plans for the Prodigy? You're writing again at the moment?

LH: Erm, yeah, kind of, I mean, I'm having a break, y'know, to be honest, like, erm, I'll get back into writing in the next month or so, but I'm going on holiday in a week's time and erm, when I get back from me holiday, I'll get back on it again, yeah, but I really enjoyed being in this studio just experimenting, just throwing stuff around and kind of not really setting myself on a level to start writing another album or anything, yeah? It's gonna happen, but not yet, y'know?

MH: Yeah

LH: I just need to find some more inspiration, and go away, and come back with some fresh ideas really, y'know...

MH: Yeah, so listen, I'm not gonna let you go until you promise me, you make me one promise...

LH: What's that?

MH: When the record's finished, you've got to come in with the band and do a proper live session from made only for us!

LH: Okay I'll promise!

MH: Thank you so much Liam, you are a real righteous man.

LH: Okay.

MH: I guess this is it, this is the moment of truth, this is Liam Howlett's exclusive Breezeblock...on Radio 1!

LH: Let's rock...

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