Interview: Andrew Weatherall
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Andrew Weatherall is a successful man. Having been in the music business for over twenty years, the Windsor-born DJ and producer has released several albums and has remixed the work of such artists as Primal Scream, the Manic Street Preachers and My Bloody Valentine. He also founded the label Boy’s Own Recordings, which becoming Junior Boy’s Own after he left, were responsible for unleashing the talents of the Chemical Brothers and Underworld on the world. Back with a new psychedelic project The Asphodells and a new album, TNS sat down with Weatherall... Many artists claim to have a unique artistic process which they go through in order to create their music. Whether it be the length they’ll go through to find that one source of inspiration or even their list of influences, artists are usually quite open about their artistic journeys. However, Andrew Weatherall doesn’t really have one – mainly because he never stops making music. “When you’re putting out a new record or a new piece of art, there’s never any start point,” he explains. “We’re forever creating music and I don’t come in on a Monday and think ‘right, now we’re gonna make an album called The Asphodells and we’re gonna make it sound like this’. It’s a very creative studio and there’s always music being made”. Indeed, Weatherall enjoys the process of making music very much. He believes that his continuous work ethic is due to his working class background. “I didn’t have a good education,” he reflects, “I got expelled from school and thrown out of home so that work ethic was necessary.” His new album, The Asphodells, isn’t a major change from the DJ/Producer’s previous work – but it is one of a long line of albums in his catalogue. Having been in the industry making these records for over twenty years now, he is unclear where his influences lie – they lie under heaps of his well-respected work. “If this was the first thing I’d done, then I could go into all manner of influences,” Weatherall explains, “but if I were to try and distil this album then it would take far longer than either you or I have to spend. This is the next part in the process. Hopefully, I’ve gotten better as a human being and as a musician over the past twenty-five years.” That is a question that can be answered positively – The Asphodells is a record full of beautiful and varied tracks that, although are traditional Weatherall affairs in many ways, show a considerable improvement from his previous work over the years. The Asphodells is an impressive album – so how does The Asphodells Weatherall and co. craft such fine work? How do they get themselves through the album-making process? “In the studio, there should be laughter,” says Weatherall, “We try to make each other laugh. Whether it be hilarious computer programming or weird sounds, there should always be a spirit of fun in the studio. Even you’re very serious about doing, you should have fun.” Certainly, since he is in the business of creating music with an air of comedy, this is a convenient factor of his job. However, as his fans will no doubt be aware, the British DJ has remixed the work of many other artists as well. How does this process unravel? Does he already have an idea in his head the moment he hears a song being played?
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