10 Questions with ... Basement Jaxx
August 19, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/basement-jaxx
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BasementJaxx
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheBasementJaxx
- Instagram: instagram.com/basement_jaxx
1. Who are the Basement Jaxx and how did you come up with the name?
Basement Jaxx are Felix and Simon. We started in a basement and we wanted to emulate the Chicago House sound and the Jack sound. Jacking music ... you know, "Jack Your Body" and Trax Label from Chicago.
2. Where are you from and how did you two first meet?
We're from the U.K., London; we met through friends of friends. I put out some records and had a really simple studio, and Felix was putting on parties and someone introduced the two of us.
3. You have been putting out albums since 1999. "Remedy," "Rooty," "Kish Kash," "Crazy Itch Radio" and "Scars" ... and you have a new album coming out on August 25th called "Junto" ... what can you tell us about it?
Junto is a Spanish word meaning together. The LP comes out the end of August. "Never Say Never" is the first single and features ETML. He just got out of school, which in the U.K. means he is 17.
4. A few of your previous records are iconic, including "Where's Your Head," which you can still go into clubs today and hear.
You definitely hear "Fly Life Extra" in the more underground clubs. In Mexico we were DJ-ing there, they were playing it in Ibiza. So that's been going on for years and years, which is great. That's not as mainstream as "Where's Your Head At," which gets played all the time.
5. Two of my favorites (and I am biased because I promoted most of your songs) are "Red Alert" and "Rendez-Vu;" there are a number of remixes floating around on those. There are a handful of remixes on the current single, "Never Say Never." Is there any one that you particularly like?
Well, Wayward have done a really good mix of "Never Say Never." There is a Mark Knight mix and Tiesto did one. Tiesto asked us to do a swap mix and we said ok let's do it.
6. Any early influences when you were coming up?
For Basement Jaxx, the focus was the American scene, people like Masters At Work, Chicago House, Detroit House, all the Underground. There were loads of very good underground music. Then we got to know DJs like Armin van Helden, Roger Sanchez and DJ Snake. They all kind of helped us with out sound, and with Daft Punk, we rolled in the Mongoloids
7. How did you first get into producing and remixing?
From being born and being into music, really just following your passion.
8. Over the years you have remixed for Missy Elliot, Yoko Ono, Justin Timberlake, N.E.R.D and Janet Jackson. Any favorite remix that you have done to date?
It's been quite a while. I don't think we have done any big remixes like that in a while because everything is being remixed anyway. It took us a long time, two years, to work on this album and we didn't want to be distracted by a remix. The Missy Elliot one was good because that became the single which was very cool and they made the video to our mix. Also, the Justin Timberlake Acid mix, I could remember people always saying what is that Justin Timberlake mix because it is quite radical.
9. Anybody on the album that you currently feature, any vocalists, is it up and coming talent, or anyone we know?
Mickey Blanco ... he is from the States ... he is new talent. He is a great rapper and I am sure you are going to hear more of him in the next year or two. Sam Brooks, who is a folk singer, he sings on one of the songs, and a girl called Naira. Generally we haven't gone for any names, which is what we always did, and the whole theme of the album is not to make it about stars, it's that we are all in it together and making it an even playing field. Going for an anti-commercial mindset.
10. Is there any person that you have not worked with that you would like to work with if you have the opportunity?
Anyone who has talent who is original. It is fun working with people who are not known.
Besides the album coming out, anything else we can expect in 2014?
Live shows in America. We are about to do a bunch of shows in Europe and Japan. Our live shows are a big spectacle, lots of people, color and fun. We are looking forward to bringing that here very soon. It is a different kind of live show then we have done here because we do have singers and instrumentalists and we do have the DJ element, too.
Is there a favorite city in the world that you like to perform or DJ in?
I mean, it's great to be in America again. San Francisco has a really nice vibe ... and L.A. ... and New York has that European kind of culture in it as well compared to the rest of America probably because you are nearest to the coast for that night.
Do you have any spare time and if you do what do you do in it?
Getting away from the Internet.
What is one must-have travel item?
A passport. obviously, but a book of late.
If you could recommend a favorite restaurant what would it be?
It's about the best vibe. I am trying to think of a place with the best vibe. Home is where the heart is and where the good food is. So, mom's cooking...