Neko: When you started touring again a year ago it was
probably a bit different than usual, because Liam wrote
Always Outnumbered pretty much on his own
Keith: Correct. But I've been there throughout his
process, well not entirely but sort of I got the tunes
when they were ideas and then maybe when they were at
the next stage with the vocal on or as a more complete
piece of music. So I sort of felt like Id known some of
the pieces for some time anyway, so it wasn't like
suddenly there was an album and I had to get with it. It
didn't feel alien, it still felt like a Prodigy process,
it was just that I wasn't going to be on the album as
far as like doing vocals etc. So it wasn't like I've
been there when the Experience was being written, so it
was no different to that, in some respects.
Neko: So how was it for you to adapt to this material?
Keith: To be honest it was an exciting process to... you
know because it was different, we knew we were going out
on tour and that these were the tracks that were taking
us there. So to start again, to work on them tracks and
just the whole momentum starting... what it takes...
suddenly you're talking to Fairsie [band tour manager]
everyday and Mike Champion [band manager], Liam is
ringin' about this and saying oh I just had a thought
about that and I am saying should I do this or should
I do that?. You feel the energy and the momentum of the
band starting again.
So it is actually quite exciting. But even if I didnt
like any of the tracks on the album or I didnt like the
tracks that I was going to get behind like Hotride
etc... We went in and did Warning. That for me was
exciting because it started the process. I love doing
Hotride more than any other track at the moment. I love
doing it like nothing else, so it doesn't matter to me
that I didn't do the original vocal on there, not in the
slightest. At the end of the day it is not an ego thing
being in the Prodigy. We are sort of really powerful
sort of driven people grown very stubborn and very think
what we want to think and do what we want to do but
there is no time for ego. You just got to get up there
and join the forces and become fighters.
Neko: Do you think the whole process is easier now that
youve been touring again for a year and spent more time
Keith: I think it is much easier to write, because
everything seems to be written ultimately to go on
stage, so sort to be fresh off the stage with that
hunger to be back on it, it is so much easier than to be
reflecting what it was like to be on the stage.
Certainly when we were writing the last album there was
a bigger period that we ever had off. To be away is hard
work when it is what you do and it is your life. There
is never a non-Prodigy day; I am always in the Prodigy.
It is always a Prodigy day and then other bits happen.
Every day, every minute is dedicated to it. It is like
youre on call out all the time. Whatever happens I
might not even be at my own funeral if a gig gets booked
up, it is in my will that I get taken in the coffin to
the gig and I have to get propped up in the corner and
then I can be buried. That is what people don't realize,
everything you do, every minute when you're partying
till midday the next day you're making sure you still
have some energy left for the next show. Every time you
think of a word or a phrase you write it down in case it
becomes lyrics or something.
Neko: When you had the long break, did you miss all
Keith: Oh yeah, like nothing else. After 8 years of
touring we were kind of needing it, because we were
fuckin' battered. You'd
have to have done it to understand it, cause the
being in the band is all about, you know shaggin' birds,
doing drugs and whatever. And that there is a teleporter
that gets you around the world, you don't have to get on
the flight, you don't have to spend 2 hours at one
airport, 3 hours in a car. As if everything magically
happens around you at the highest level. They don't see
the shit hotels that you're staying in with cockroaches
and then they bring you up some mouldy old shit to eat.
People think it is this massive glamour; the glamour is
the tightness of the band and the fun of making every
situation work for us. Yeah it is mega things that you
do. We always make the best of it. We do have fun and we
do party and we do rock on.
So we needed that time off first, and then suddenly it
wasn't just time off. It was time to start that momentum
going, but because it was such a tidal wave, it was like
stopping a tsunami and then having to somehow shake the
earth again to get it going. It is fucking hard work.
For me I am pretty useless to myself, I need to be
driven by something. This is my life this is my therapy,
without this I am just self destructive and just fucking
mental. I am useless to myself for myself. This is what
drives me. And I can't do things that I am told to do.
It is very rare for me to have this sort of dedication,
or this love for something, this very one thing. That is
not what I do.
[The door opens and Liam steps in with a glass of
champagne takes a sip and goes aaaaaah - and leaves
That is not part of my make up. It is probably the only
thing I have ever cherished so I am not going to fuck
Neko: You also had a band called Flint, and Razor got
used on the Singles album
Keith: Thats right
Neko: how did it evolve into the Prodigy track?
Keith: Obviously Liam knows the album, he listened to
it, we'd discussed it and he just really loved it, loved
the song, loved what it was about. He was really into
it, he wanted to use it, he wanted to turn it into a
Prodigy track. I was like yeah man lets do it lets rock
on. He did and it worked. We did it live a few times
and we dropped it from the set but it certainly stood up
on the record. Yeah I was buzzing about that. I am
looking forward to writing new tracks; I am really up
for it at the moment. The energy is there and we're
ready to go!
Neko: Youve also got a track called Warning, which
youve played for a year now.
Keith: Something like that is probably - due to the
internet and blah di blah - tracks like Nuclear and
Trigger, they've been raped. I don't know, depends, but
Warning might never be anything other than what it is at
the moment. Which is cool, I enjoy doing it, I love
doing I actually I really do. Unfortunately they are
good songs that never get the chance to develop into
album tracks. Once they are out in their sort of rawer
form they seem to burn out quickly, they never get the
chance to evolve.
Neko: Do you think thats because theyre out on the
Keith: I do because the Prodigy used to be about -
sometimes you have to be careful with stuff like that.
It is a good medium for
keeping in touch and serving the people that keep you
going But the band used to, Liam would use to write a
track, and I would beg him to play it even though he
thought it wasn't ready yet. Then when he dropped it he
was like yeah I need to do this to it, and he'd drop
it and be like I need to do this and drop it again and
then it would be ready. But now you can't do that
because people are going oh the beats don't sound right
and Keith doesn't sound like he is doing that. Noone
fucking gives it a chance. It is like what do you want,
new shit or .... you know what I mean? That
perfectionism that we have doesn't allow us to put out
second hand stuff... Not second hand but you know. It is
not good if something is being recorded very badly on a
mobile phone that also isn't finished. The Prodigy has
got to blow your speakers up and that won't happen if it
is being recorded on a Sony-Ericsson.
Neko: You are also bringing back some older live stuff
into the set, are you enjoying that?
Keith: I love what Liam has been doing with old tracks.
That could be the next album. It just shows Prodigy
don't write songs for DJs. They are not disposable songs
that are just there to be played by some DJs standing on
front of the stage going yeah I am the bollocks! They
are proper timeless tracks. They stand out. You'd think
I'd be fucking bored with them but as soon as they come
on I am like fucking hell this is the bomb! I really
respect that, it just shows what a genius he is.
Neko: So what can we expect from the Their Law tour?
Keith: For me I'd say expect Prodigy. On fire, tight, in
action. Every country we go to we do an interview while
we're there and everyone is like what should we expect
from the show tonight?. It is like this isn't Britney
Spears The Cadillac tour or The Popcorn tour or The
Lollipop tour where everyone dresses up in like
lollipops with 3000 marching band and a sparkling
chandelier. We are a band
that just goes out there and rocks it, drops as many
thumping tunes as we can. It has got to sound fucking
mega. It is the people who bring the energy and the
vibe. It is the vibe really isn't it. It doesn't matter
how many glitter balls you have up there, they don't
make a good show do they? They are just made in a
factory whereas The Prodigy isn't. It is nothing to
expect, I am sorry it is not that we don't give a shit,
but there is just going to be 5 people on the stage,
Rob, Kieron, myself, Maxim and Liam and that is it.
We're going to rock our fucking socks off, give a 110%
and sweat our fucking nuts off and do it until we're
fucking sick and give everything! And the more we get
back the more we will give. And it will sound fucking
nuts, it will be loud and it will be thumping. And that
is all I can promise. People always bring the energy, so
bring that and we'll have some fun.
Neko: Youve gone through different eras with the
different albums do you have a particular favourite
time in the last 15 years?
Keith: No not really. I must admit, I never read
anything, I've got no memorabilia, I don't collect
anything, I don't take photos. I am just like.... my
last memory is the last show. It is not cause I don't
give a shit, I do give a shit, I'd fight to death for
the band and for the people in it 100% but I am not
memorabilia man. I just look to the next thing. I love
every minute of it, each part of it is the most special
time and the most special thing ever, but it is a
progression and everything progresses. If you dwell on
too much you don't look forward... you become kind of
bit slowed down... I don't know I didn't put that right
into words. I just keep moving on, I am excited about
the next album. That is it. I put on all the albums, I
love them all. I think they are all mega. Each album,
each era and each part is very much different and very
much unique. I still live each day like it is the last
and that is it. You never know where you stand. You're
only as good as your last show
Neko: A question I asked all three of you, in the Voodoo
People video you did, whats in the bag?
Keith: It is for people to make up their own mind. I
think it is the demos for the next album.
Neko: Are you working on that?
Keith: Yeah we are. We've got like 4 tracks done, there
is plenty of music, loads and loads of music there. 4
tracks is not for another 8, 12 and maybe you got an
album. That is 4 tracks out of 30 or 40 we got to write,
that is how you get to pick a good album. It is not here
but it is on its way. And the people involved are hungry
to do it. They've got the passion and the drive. It has
been a good year for us, a lot of energy and fire
breathed into the band, so we're ready to go. Everything
seems at a really good point at the moment, you know a
really good feeling, so it is on it is way. It won't be
7 years, that I do know.
interview by Andrea
Schnepf aka neko - Gothenburg 20th October 2005