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What’s It Like to Interview Orbital? FREAKING INCREDIBLE!

by Jennifer Fall

How do you say no to an interview with THE PIONEERS of Techno music at Movement? The answer is no matter how nervous you may be… you DON’T. These gentlemen have been making moves since literally forever and on and on and on. Orbital is absolutely one of my favorite acts, and I was so excited to hear what they had to say about playing their first Movement in 18 years. To be fair, they pretty much started Creamfields. Check out our VIDEO and PODCAST for all the answers you always wanted to know about the origination of Techno music for #technochristmas.

FMF: Hello. This is Jen from Fresh Music Freaks. I’m here with a duo that needs no introduction. The reason many of us have traveled all the way to Detroit for Techno Christmas or Movement. The wonderful Orbital. How are you guys doing today?

ORBITAL: Very well. Thank you. Wonderful. Wonderful.

FMF: What are you most excited for about being in Detroit for your first time in 18 years?

ORBITAL: I wanted to be a part of this festival, to be honest, we cared about it a lot, you know, for a long time. Right. And to get to come and play it finally, Brilliant. Detroit has always be one of the spiritual homes of what we do. Do you know what I mean?

FMF: Exactly!

ORBITAL: You know, the two of the biggest influence is Kraftwerk from Germany and then Detroit techno, so it’s always been special coming here to play here, isn’t it? Yeah. Yeah. And so to come here. Now this one is sticking a festival that celebrates the birth of techno, this is fantastic.

FMF: Well, many people would think that you might’ve been the birth of Techno. It’s no secret that you guys are true. Pioneers are OGs coming up on your 30th anniversary. Congrats on that, by the way! How does it feel to be only 30?

ORBITAL: Great. Fabulous. Fantastic. That’s good.

FMF: How does it feel knowing with all the changes in regards to the industry with the electronic music and the different technologies that we’re having in genres, that fans still consider you to be consistently groundbreaking and, and really original after all this time?

ORBITAL: Fabulous, Woah, yeah I’ll take that.

FMF: Ok Good, Big fan!

FMF: You’ve witnessed, the progression of dance music scene since the days of Jnco’s did you ever wear them? In Europe, did they wear them? Jnco’s or fat pants?

ORBITAL: Oh yeah definitely. Yeah. No, I did, Maharishi… big fat trousers yeah…

FMF: It looks like you did with that Paisley shirt. So I’m not sure.

ORBITAL: Military tank trousers and things like that. Big Silky trousers cut the top off, tied up…

FMF: Well, fantastic. How does it feel to be pioneers and ICONS for electronic music? Do you wake up and pat yourself on the back like this on the daily?

ORBITAL: [inaudible] Yeah I look in the mirror and go, you pioneer you…I go look in the mirror.

Laughing

ORBITAL: You know, he’s like, I just sit wherever you, wherever you are, you see your own past and the people that influenced you. Like we were saying, you know it’s like? When I was still scrambling around with a four track in the village of Dunton in Kent. Others. I remember buying, this isn’t off the house sound of tech over the Detroit compilation album too. The only way we could get to hear it cause in Kent, you couldn’t buy the 12 inches.

ORBITAL: So this double album compilation was just like mindblowing, you know what I mean? It was, yeah, it just had such a profound effect alongside all these other things. Kraftwerk and things like that. That’s why I see, you say I’m a pioneer then fabulous… I see where we are getting from you standing on the shoulders of giants. I suppose the thing isn’t?

FMF: Of course, and you guys are a little bit more regimented in the punk sound too, so you have always kind of made your own way and paved way for other artists. At what point in your career did it hit you that your music helped spawn an entire movement of electronica or techno or electronic music?

ORBITAL: I don’t think you really see it at the time, because at the time you’re doing something and you’re kind of evangelical about it and you meet other people that are doing it and you’re like, yeah, why isn’t it enough people listening to this, so you can, we’ll just keep going and you keep doing gigs and the gigs get bigger and bigger.

ORBITAL: You end up, you know, we did the first big proper kind of acid house techno gig at Glastonbury. It was, you know, people were really ready for it, but we just, you know, the time we’re there doing the first one, I would think, God, this took his time to happen. If we all did. Finally, someone’s doing it so you don’t see it. You just, you just see it as your place. He’s like, someone’s got to do this, so they’re doing it. Then. Then years later it was like, God, you did that pioneer gig. Yeah, I suppose, but you don’t see it. At the time I’d, it was, you know, didn’t even spotted as a youth movement. There was no uniform or anything to dance music and now you look back at it and everyone’s got their big fat pants on and every now I’m wearing orange and yellow and you know is it was a total uniform, but you don’t see it at the time.

FMF: What’s the smallest show you guys have ever played?

ORBITAL: Possibly that one in Miami where we played a Gig, there was so few people then it was so tiny. The stage was bigger than the actual thing and they doubled the audience by getting the kitchen staff out.

FMF: Oh Wow. You’ve come a long way since then.

ORBITAL: Yeah. Maybe that one in Liverpool where there really was a think, more people working there that in the audience I want to James Barden , the first Cream. How pioneering is that?

FMF: The first Creamfields!

ORBITAL: While doing a gig for James Barton who ended up running / inventing Cream (Creamfields) we did a gig for him in a basement. There’s literally hardly anyone there just for him or it was, yeah, I know.

FMF: That’s amazing though.

FMF: If there was anything you could change about the music industry of today, what would it be?

ORBITAL: What would I change about it? I’d just make sure people get paid for streaming properly. That’s the only thing. You know, the paradigm has changed. People still listen to music. People don’t buy records. That’s Okay. Streamings brilliant. I love, I love Spotify and Imusic and all that kind of thing. But you know, those little streams we have to make sure that money gets to the artists and then everything’s good. That’s all we need to do. It’s that simple.

FMF: It is very simple… I’m going to get back towards your (music), actually, my favorite track of yours is Halcyon and on and on and on duty. Um, funny story. It was the first electronic music track I ever heard.

ORBITAL: Oh, brilliant.

FMF: Yeah. It was in a movie called Mortal Kombat and then Hackers. Yep. Um, and it’s about addiction. Yeah? Yeah. So how have you both avoided a path of self-destruction for almost 30 years? And we have acts today like Avicii rest his soul and others like Hardwell who are taking a break from, from music. How have you managed to not burn out in 30 years and keep everything going strong and keep your mental health up for touring and recording?

ORBITAL: I think it’s that. So that’s part of life’s kind of ongoing quest or whatever you choose to do that or you know, you can go in many directions, don’t you? You know, I had started having kids around 2004. I’m sorry, 2001, um, and that sort of keeps you on the straight and narrow as well. Do you know what I mean? So I had twins as well in 2004, you know, so you’ve gotta have your wits about you.

FMF: That’s a lot to handle at one time. Twins.

ORBITAL: Oh yeah, yeah. Three children under the age of five.

FMF: Oh my goodness. Well at least hand me downs are a thing? Right, right.

ORBITAL: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yep.

FMF: What made you choose Movement this year for your first United States show in 2019?

ORBITAL: Um, well, if I’m going to be brutally honest, because they asked us and we jumped in there, we were honored to do it. You know what I mean. That’s the thing with these kind of festivals, you know, you, you can’t go out there and say give me a place on your festival. You have to be invited and that’s, that’s fabulous. I’ll be excited to play it.

FMF: I know a lot of people who have literally flown from all over the world just to see this one set, so it’s going to be very exciting.

ORBITAL: Yes. Pressure Pressure, Pressure is on man!

FMF: It is. It is. I heard somebody asked me, what do you have plans for tonight? So what you guys playing, live is a completely different experience than as Dj set? Tell us a little bit about what you both do, uh, behind all of the equipment that …..

ORBITAL: You want to look up the wizard’s sleeve?

FMF: Yes, I do! Pull em up for me!

ORBITAL: Well it’s, you know, we’ve got at least seven big old analog synthesizers on stage. I’m improvising the destructors everything’s broken down into tiny little loops and things that, so you can build it up and pull it back down any way you like. You’ve got all the sensor, you can manipulate the sounds and just develop the track as, as you wish. It’s like today. During sound check, I did something that I thought, oh that’s different I might try that tonight, you know? And it’s like you just do what you like. It’s really nice. You can build it up in a different way. You feed from the audience. And that, that in itself, you know, if you, it’s really hard to sort of rehearse it an improvise show because there’s no audience in front of you. It’s kind of always flat in the studio. When you’ve got people in front of me, then it becomes a living, breathing, you know, symbiotic organism.

FMF: Do you feel like something takes over your bodies when you do a show? I think our other big nature like this to where you’re just so excited to be up there and just the energy takes hold of you and that’s what draws you. Yeah. You’ve got the, you know, what do you call it? That I’m trying to look for the right word. Not Fear, but you know, like adrenaline for, of, you know, excitement. Yeah. Do you know you’re ready to jump out there playing or whatever? Do you know what I mean? It’s like, you know, you go on set, you can’t, you can’t not feel that. Yeah, no.

FMF: Have you ever jumped out? (of a plane)

ORBITAL: No chance.

FMF: You wouldn’t do it?

ORBITAL: No chance, I’m a walking person.

FMF: Okay, understood. Understood. Um, what do we have to look forward to in 2019 from you guys? I understand you might have something special for this year. [inaudible] Why don’t you tell us?

ORBITAL: No, I don’t want, I don’t, I don’t know. We’re doing lots of, I don’t know. I don’t know what you’re thinking of.

FMF: You have a tour in Europe.

ORBITAL: We’ve got loads of gigs. This is the first of our sort of, yeah, we did, we did Australia. That kind of felt like the end of last year. It was in the winter. This is the first of the, you know, our summer festivals and we’ve got a residency in Ibiza, which we’ve never had. [inaudible] which is good to do that as well.

FMF: What times are your residency and in Ibiza?

ORBITAL: Trying to like do a little bit of a different thing there. [inaudible} you are just like, you know, sort of activities. Things you seen on the dance floor. Awesome. DJ set’s. Going to be great.

ORBITAL: That’s exciting. Yeah. It’s really exciting. It’s really different. Different as earlier. Wonderful.

FMF: We’re very excited that this evening. Yes. Thank you guys so much. Sitting here with Orbital, you have a good night guys.

Orbital is currently on tour, and has recently released their new album, Monsters Exist. For tour dates and more information visit their website here!

Orbital
Photo of Jennifer Fall with Orbital for Fresh Music Freaks

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