Melody Maker

Shrink Rap

Liam: ”It was all a bit Spinal Tap. You know, everything that happened in the film has happened to us. Keith even got stuck in that hamster ball once! Fucking insane. But all that theatrical stuff is in the past now.”

Maxim: ”We’ve taken the theatrics as far as they go. I had this metal gauntlet but it made me sweat loads, so I decided to wear surgical gloves underneath. The only problem is my hand shrivelled like it had been in a sauna for two months! The girl that made me the gauntlet had this idea of making me a breastplate and turning me into a warrior, but I thought that would be a bit too much. It would be like ‘Look what Maxim’s got on now, he’s got a shield and a spear in his hand and he’s come on in a fucking chariot.’ That would be too much. All four of us have realised that although there’s a theatrical element there we don’t need props. It’s just raw energy that we need.”

Liam: ”I’ve had some right fucking nonces turn up on my doorstep. I had a fight with one of them at one in the morning. This guy was at my door and he confronted me. He was a religious freak who thought I had something about hell. I was just stunned, you know what I mean? But he wouldn’t let it go, he just kept on about me being some kind of devil worshipper or something. In the end he tried to push his way into my house, so I had to physically get shot of him.”

Maxim: ”There was this guy in Manchester that kept saying to me, ‘This is a cult innit. Prodigy is a cult.’ I was like ‘What the fuck are you talking about?’ But he was really serious about it, obsessed even. So I just let him go. Only that night, I was wearing these red contacts, and a red outfit with Satan’s tail on it. I was pissing myself with laughter inside. I thought ‘Fucking hell, I bet I’m freaking him out!’”

The Internet
Liam: ”I hate the internet, it’s a piece of shit. It’s just a web of useless information You can’t stop what people do on it. I mean I turned one on the other day, looking at this Prodigy site and my house was on the internet. My fucking house. It was like, ‘Let’s look around Liam’s house.’ You can click on it and there’s all these pictures of my house taken from different angles. I was like, ‘Fuck, they must have broken in or something.’ Luckily, it was only photos from an old magazine feature I did but the thought of people hanging around my house and taking pictures for the internet, just fucks me right off. It’s really weird.”

”The Jilted Generation”, aka The Prodigy tribute band
Liam: ”Somewhere in my head I know it’s flattering but it’s also a bit weird, just not right. I don’t think I could go and see them play, that would be too strange.”

The Sneaker Pimps version of Firestarter
Liam: ”Crap innit. Liam from the Sneaker Pimps phoned me up about three in the morning and going, ‘I heard you didn’t like our version and was just checking there isn’t any bad blood between us. We only did it out of respect.’ I was like, ‘I don’t like it no, but so what.’ I mean, I like the Sneaker Pimps, but I don’t really understand why they’ve done Firestarter.”

That Nirvana sample on Voodoo People
Liam: ”I spoke to Dave Grohl about it. I didn’t sample the riff directly, it was replayed in the studio, but it was the same riff. Dave came in the changing room this time, and obviously we knew who he was. Anyway he goes, ‘I really liked your album, especially where you sampled Nirvana.’ Leeroy was like going ‘Wwwwummmwo’, he was just gobsmacked.”

Keith: ”He was like some guilty boy being interviewed by the old bill. I was like, ‘ask Liam.’”
Liam: ”I was going, ‘Well we didn’t actually sample it.’ For him to be into The Prodigy is just as cool as fuck especially when he’s doing something we really respect. I love the Foo Fighters. The track that actually inspired Firestarter was a Foo Fighters track, Weeny Beenie. [sings the guitar riff] That high riff is what gave me the idea for Firestarter, so it’s really cool to have respect back from Dave. I’d love to do a track with him, and I’ve heard he’s into working with me as well.”

Turning down Bowie and Bono
Liam: ”Of course I’ve got respect for Bowie but I was never a fan. Keith’s into his stuff, but to be honest, to me it seemed he was skipping along the dance thing, hoping to get into the scene, trying to relaunch his career. But I know he likes the band because he’d been at a couple of shows dancing in the wings. It’s the same with Bono as well. I spoke to Bono on the phone and he’s really nice and I love U2 but I can’t let the fact that I’m flattered by these people, I can’t let that emotion effect what I want to do. And I don’t want to work with these kinds of people.”

Turning down Madonna
Liam: ”She asked me if I could produce some tracks for her but I was too fucking busy doing the album. I’m not sure I would have done it though. I mean just cos I’m signed to her label in the States doesn’t mean I have to work with her.”

Keith: ”I try not to take all of it home with me. I try to soak it all in, there and then. If you thrived off that kind of shit you’d want to be in amongst it all the time and just get sucked in. But you just have to walk out of it. Can you imagine what it would be like if I was with me mates and I was going on about me and David Bowie? It’s just not cool.”

That Flinty Look
Keith: ”People think that since I’ve cut my hair I’ve just turned mad, but that’s not true. When I had my long hair wrapped around me face sweating and a couple of days tour stubble I think I look more manic than I do now. Now I look more unacceptable. I don’t look like I’ll wash up so nicely anymore.

How Big?
Keith: ”We don’t really consider ourselves of being of a size any more, we’ve switched off from thinking about how big we’re getting. All we say now is, ‘did it rock?’ If it did, it’s mission completed and we’re happy. If you get onstage and you get like a raging North Atlantic Sea in front of you that is all your rewards.”

Big Beat
Liam: ”It makes me laugh because everything’s come back on us. All those people who used to slag us off are doing stuff with breakbeats, but they’re calling it the big beat scene, as if it’s something new. We’ve just carried on doing our thing, staying true to ourselves and in a lot of ways there are tracks on our new album that could have been on Experience, all those years back. Stuff like Funky Shit and Smack My Bitch Up are for the old school Prodigy fans. We’re pushing forward in other ways, creating a nineties rock’n’roll style. It’s still got a Prodigy flavour but it’s pushing it forward all the time.”

Rock And Dance
Liam: ”There haven’t been any other bands that I can think of that have successfully brought together electronic dance music and rock. Only The Prodigy. People always go on about us using guitars as if I’m doing it to try and break America. The thing is, I love the sound of guitars, and guitar music gives me a lot of inspiration. When I use a guitar riff it through it isn’t just a straight riff lifted from say Van Halen and then put on a dance beat like fucking Apollo 440. I mess around the samples and turned them into something which fits with the track rather than the other way round.”

Fancy Footwork
Leeroy: ”Over the last couple of years the music was so fast that it really got to me. My dancing just kept getting faster with the music. The music got to such a speed that you were flat out all the time. You couldn’t change the dynamics of the moves. Now it’s slow again means you can set off with the vibe. You can do loads of different moves. At the moment I’’ buzzing cause I keep doing things that I love, that I’ve never done before. Afterwrds I can never remember how I did the move, but at the time I’m like ‘Yeah, that’s fucking cool man. I better not forget that.’ But I always do.”

Leeroy: ”I’ve got two set up at home so I can race against other people on Formula One. I actually find it really relaxing because I already smoke so much spliff that it doesn’t calm me down easy anymore. Still haven’t found a decent football game though.”

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