On 3rd August we received an invitation to interview The Prodigy via email ahead of their headline set at Italy's Home Festival this September. Naturally, we snapped up the chance to talk to one of the most successful and explosive dance acts in the genre's history, and sent over a set of questions to be answered.
When the response came back from band member and co-founder Liam Howlett – less than 24 hours later – we could barely digest what was on the screen before us. Raw, passionate, and so packed full of character that it felt like Liam was standing right there, shouting his answers at us (and not hiding his contempt for at least one of our questions).
And we knew, almost instantly, that all normal editorial rules were out the window. So here it is, completely unedited, uncensored and still in the CAPITAL LETTERS it reached us in.
Looking back on your career so far, how would you reflect on what you've achieved? Would you do anything differently?
NONE OF US THOUGHT WE WOULD BE AROUND AFTER 6 MONTHS WHEN WE STARTED, BUT WE DON'T SIT THERE REFLECTING EVER WE JUST THINK HOW TO MOVE FORWARD AND KEEP THE FIRE!!!!!! NAH NOTHING DIFFERENT, WE ARE HERE NOW SO WHY CHANGE ANYTHING.
And what about the future? Do you feel like the end is in sight? Or are you as at home in the band as you ever have been?
I'M NOT THAT TYPE OF PERSON. THE BAND HAS ALWAYS GONE FROM TUNE TO TUNE. WE CAN'T STOP AND WONT UNTIL THE PEOPLE DON'T WANT IT OR WE GET BORED OF IT. RIGHT NOW I'M BACK IN THE STUDIO WRITIN BEATS.
The Prodigy took underground dance music into stadiums used to hosting rock 'n' roll, and are only one of a few to make a success of it. What do you think you got so right? What's missing from modern dance music?
MAN, QUESTIONS LIKE THIS BORE ME BECAUSE I DON'T ANALYSE IT. U ASK THIS AS IF WE FORMULATED A MASTER PLAN, WELL WE DIDN’T. EVERYTHING THAT’S HAPPENED IN THIS BAND HAPPENED NATURALLY FROM US, BUT I WILL SAY ANY BAND THAT ELEVATES HAS TO HAVE THE KILLER TUNES. AS FOR MODERN DANCE MUSIC, FUCKING BORED OF IT. EVERYBODY COPYING EVERYBODY ELSE. SAME OL SOUNDS. PEOPLE STUDYING YOUTUBE TUTORIALS, FUCK OFF! THERE IS SOME GOOD SHIT OUT THERE THO AS ALWAYS IF U LOOK UNDER THE SURFACE.
And what about the independent labels – do you think there is still enough creative freedom and bravery in the music industry?
WELL THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE BRAVERY TO AT LEAST LET THE MUSIC FIELD SOUND DIFFERENT. I TURN ON THE RADIO AND HEAR 10 TUNES WITH SIMILAR SOUNDING PRODUCTION STYLES. IF U GO BACK 15 YEARS THERE WAS MUCH MORE VARIATION AND FREEDOM TO WRITE JUST A GOOD SONG. THERE ARE A FEW GOOD INDEPENDENTS OUT THERE THO THAT STILL CARE AND BUZZ OFF OF MUSIC WITHOUT MONEY REASONS DRIVIN IT.
Despite your clear success over your career, what strikes me is that you've always maintained a refreshing honesty about you, and haven't bent over backwards for press coverage. There are very few artists that could keep that level up. Do you think there's a right way to achieve success and recognition?
WE JUST HAVE TO KEEP IT REAL FOR US AND THE PEOPLE. I THINK WITH NEW ARTISTS THEY NEED TO GET WHAT COVERAGE THEY CAN COZ IT'S HARD OUT THERE ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE ON AN INDEPENDENT LABEL. WE HAVE ALWAYS HAD THE SAME ETHICS FROM WHEN WE STARTED, WE ALWAYS DID THINGS OUR WAY AND WE CANT CHANGE. OUR MAIN THING IS PLAYING LIVE, THE MUSIC IS WRITTEN TO TAKE TO THE STAGE. IF THE LIVE SIDE WASNT THERE, THE BAND COULDN'T EXIST.
You're back on the road this summer, including an appearance at Italy's Home Festival. Do you still love getting out there and playing live?
WE ARE ALWAYS ON THE ROAD PLAYING, WE NEVER STOP. IT INSPIRES WRITING NEW MUSIC AND IDEAS SO IT'S IMPORTANT TO KEEP IT ROLLIN AND YEAH WE ALL BUZZ OFF IT OR WE WOULDN'T BOTHER DOING IT. TO US IT IS THE LAST THING THAT'S A DIRECT CONNECTION TO THE PEOPLE, LIKE WE CAN PLAY A NEW TUNE AND KNOW IN THE FIRST MINUTE IF IT'S GONNA WORK. U CAN FEEL IT FROM THE CROWD AND THAT'S WHAT I LIKE.
What's your craziest festival story?
MAXIM HAS THE BEST MEMORY SO U WILL HAVE TO ASK HIM. BUT MUCH CRAZINESS HAPPENS AT MOST OF OUR GIGS. OUR FANS ARE THE WILDEST
And finally, is there anything you haven't done yet that you'd love to do?
DONE IT ALL, BUT I’LL DO IT ALL AGAIN. CHEERS LIAM H