home an interview with the prodigy


(22nd October 2005 - Phone)

Neko: Over the last year youve played quite a lot of live shows. The year actually started when you started touring for Always Outnumbered last October, which Liam wrote pretty much on his own. At the time, was that more difficult for you to kind of adapt to these new materials, whereas maybe now where youre working all together on new material.

Maxim: What do you mean, actually performing it?

Neko: Yeah when you look at the live show.

Maxim: Not really, no. Like Ive said in numerous interviews it was important for us to go back in the studio and reconstruct those tracks, but once we did that it was totally cool. Ive always stood by that point. Its important for Keith and myself to put our personalities in the tracks rather than just tracks be written and us not having any kind of connection to them. Obviously it was a difficult period when that album was written. The contact between us wasnt really as close as it was on previous albums, being on the road and whatever. So Liam was in the studio writing the album on his own. I used to go down to the studio and see what he was doing, but because we werent touring during that period it didnt really grow with us, it just appeared. 

Neko: Do you think its easier or different now when obviously youre in more contact now when Liam is writing new stuff when youre actually straight there?

Maxim: Yeah its a lot easier now, thats what Im saying. Once youre on the road, and once youre in the flow its a lot easier, things just evolve slowly, do you know what I mean? Whereas that album just kind of appeared on my doorstep like heres 12 tracks. Even though certain tracks I did see him develop in the studio as Liam was writing them. But it was just like formulated in a different way than it works best really. And how it works best is when youre on the road and youre touring and things just develop slowly and tunes develop while youre trying them out in the set or whatever. And then you add little bits and youre like, oh that bit was good, lets try that bit again. And thats the best way tunes develop really for me.

Neko: One of the tracks that has developed over the last year is Back 2 Skool. You brought it back about a year ago, and its changed quite a lot. At first it was just you doing your vocals and now its become quite different with Keith also, and its on the Their Law The Singles album. Is this one of the tracks you think has evolved quite a bit?

Maxim: Yeah, I mean that was like an intro track, wasnt it?

Neko: Yeah.

Maxim: I think it was at Reading or something.

Neko: Yeah it was the Leeds intro, thats what it was called.

Maxim: It was just like a small little intro, but it kind of slams. And then we just introduced it slowly, and I cant even remember how it actually got into the set to tell you the truth. I think we were just using it as a little link in the middle of the set but it kind of dropped really well and obviously it developed into what it is now. And even in the last couple of days we did, I dont know if you noticed, on the end of Back 2 Skool Liam slows the beats down now and were just working on something different at the end there. So its still developing now.

Neko: Dead Ken Beats is another track youve been playing live for about a year.

Maxim: Oh yeah.

Neko: Hows that one evolving?

Maxim: Its not! (laughs)

No, its kind of like thrown in the set, taken out. Thrown in, taken out. Thrown in, taken out (laughs). Its such a strong tune you know, but we cant really find the right hook to go on it yet and it just needs that one hook. Sometimes I think when you analyze tunes too much, if you try too hard, and try and force a hook on it, it never happens. Sometimes you just have to leave it and let it develop itself.

Obviously I do some lyrics on there but theyre not really the lyrics for that tune theyre just lyrics which kind of fit on it at the moment, do you know what I mean? But we need a strong hook on it really because its a strong tune.

Neko: Do you think now that youre playing smaller venues again its going to give you more of a chance to experiment a bit more on stage than when youre doing the big festivals?

Maxim: Yeah, its better. The first two shows did you come to the first 2 shows? [Oslo and Copenhagen]

Neko: Yeah, I came to Copenhagen.

Maxim: Yeah, because I did see you, you were on the right hand side wasnt you? Or I mean the stage left. But yeah I love doing shows like that you know because it is a totally different performance. And you dont have to work too hard trying to cover the stage so youve got more time to think and you can experiment and mess around with the lyrics and the tunes and maybe try different things out on the smaller stage. Even smaller venues, like a 1,000. I love doing venues like that. Plus, for me at the moment, I cant really move that much because Ive done my leg in!

Neko: When did that happen? On this tour?

Maxim: Yeah, in Macedonia. I was having this massage, and this guy was stretching me and I dont know what hes done. He just snapped something in my leg (laughs). It just started to swell up and it hasnt gotten any better.

So Ive just been struggling all this tour. The worst thing will be if it gets to the point where I say, ok maybe we shouldnt do these dates.

Neko: With the big UK tour coming up

Maxim: Yeah so its kind of like Ive got a couple weeks literally hopefully to get better. The thing with knees is theres nothing you can do about them really. You just have to let them rest. So who knows? But yeah you know, performance wise I havent really been performing as Id like to. So in a way being more static gives you more thinking time. It gives you a chance to; you know, experiment vocally and try different things out.

Neko: Do you think doing your own stuff has influenced the way you do Prodigy? In the way you might have experimented more with vocals, or something like that?

Maxim: Nah not at all (laughs). When I write lyrics or when we do stuff with Prodigy its a totally different thing than when I do my own stuff. But the actual delivery is quite similar. I like to always use double entendre lyrics, things with two different meanings and stuff. I kind of brought some of that vibe into the Prodigy. When you use less lyrics they have to be a bit more obvious and a bit more instant. If youre writing a song you dont have to make a point really straight away. But when you got one line, two lines in a tune they have to be instant. So I suppose its a bit harder really.

Neko: Is there any particular track in the current live set that you enjoy the most, or kind of a favourite of yours?

Maxim: Yeah, Spitfire. Spitfire is the ultimate track at the moment. It sums up the band. Thats exactly where we are; the sound, the vibe, you know? Its like every tune has its moment and represents a time, and I think Spitfire just kind of represents us in this particular time. Just like when Firestarter was released, that was us at that particular time.

Neko: Which other old tracks would you like to bring back currently?

Maxim: Umm well we cant bring back too many old tunes because theyre too fast! (laughs) Were not going to be able to keep up with them! (laughs) But theres quite a few fillers you know like Benny Blanco, maybe things like that. Were going to bring that back for the singles tour.

Neko: Thats cool.

Maxim: Id say the singles tour is going be good once we get all the tunes in and stuff. Doing the old tunes umm dont know how were going to get Charly in (laughs).

Neko: Liam said that as well actually.

Maxim: What, that he doesnt know how to get Charly in? (laughs) Im thinking that Charly and Everybody In The Place theyre just so fast! Start The Dance you know, thats going to be quite easy to do. As you know we do a bit of it already. Think well do a longer version. And were going to bring in Break & Enter as well and Jericho. So hopefully Jericho were going to do tonight.

But I wont be doing much (laughs).

Neko: Im always missing the good ones, arent I?

Maxim: Youre not coming tonight?

Neko: No, Im in London.

Maxim: Oh dear... well were hopefully going to do Jericho tonight. But yeah I think its good to bring old tunes back. But obviously the key is not to just bring them back the way they are, but to freshen them up a little bit. It makes it interesting for us as well.

Neko: What do you think about the tracks on the singles album disc 2?

Maxim: Ahh disc 2. The live tracks and stuff Spitfire Live. There was another Spitfire but Im not too sure. When I listen to live tracks I always think, I can do better or theres better live tracks out there. You know what I mean? Im never happy with live tracks.

On recordings, I always listen to my own voice. I suppose most artists are like that. But I always hear myself on live tracks and think, ah we can do a better recording than that. In a way it would have been good to have something like Radio 1 kind of tracks or versions on there, but obviously thats a lot later. Bit too late for that. But that kind of version is just a lot tighter. But no, Im quite happy with the tunes that are on there really.

Neko: How do you feel about the remixes that have come out as singles?

Maxim: The remixes the Pendulum mix and the

Neko: Yeah, and the Out Of Space one.

Maxim: I think the remixes are really good. I was expecting something a bit different to what the Audio Bullys did with the Out of Space mix, but my favorite remix is the Pendulum one. Its a drum & bass style with an electro feel. Pendulum are really good and I like their latest single too. I think the video really fits the tune.

Neko: How did you enjoy the video?

Maxim: It was good. It was cool because the whole idea was not to be in it really. And it kind of came across right. It was more like um obviously because its a remix tune its not totally about us being in the video. The concept of the whole tune cause you know the tune is quite a like moving tune, Its kind of like a movie soundtrack tune, I think. And it was important to have something that represented that, whether it was a car chase or whatever, and I think the director picked the right thing there. Now I was glad I wasnt in it really. It was the quickest video shoot Ive ever done (laughs). Thats my acting debut as well not very good as you can see (laughs). No its cool, Im really pleased with it.

Neko: What was in the bag?

Maxim: Whats in the bag?

Neko: Yes.

Maxim: My bag?

Neko: No, the one at the end the prize.

Maxim: Oh dont you know?

Neko: No.

Maxim: Its drugs (laughs).

Neko: Is it?

Maxim: I didnt even notice a bag at the end.


Neko: Everybodys wondering what was in the bag.

Maxim: Whatcha mean?

Neko: At the end you know when Sharkey runs up, she gets a bag, its a prize.

Maxim: Yeah but its money, isnt it?

Neko: You dont know.

Maxim: Ah

Neko: Its a mystery.

Maxim: Were gonna have a sequel. (laughs) To be continued

Neko: Ok looking forward to it. Just one last thing, youre quite involved in the whole website stuff.  Are you quite involved in also the whole, you know, whats on the website, and that kind of stuff?

Maxim: Kind of go through phases, you know. We all try to get involved. You know were not really like website people, are we? As far as technology goes Im probably the most connected in that way to computers. I mean Liams become more and more computer orientated now. But I remember years ago when wed try to get him onto Logic. It would be like, come on man youve got to get Logic. And hed be like, no, no. But like now hes more computerized. But Keiths not really that inclined you know. But we try to get our input in on the website stuff. We kind of just relay the information to Theresa and she puts things on there. But its more important just for the fans, you know what I mean? To give them something back. Its important I know to try and update it and whatever (laughs). You know thats the hardest part for us!

As you know because obviously youve got your website and whatever, you know its kind of like we wanted to let people know because one of the things is when you see things in the media and so forth, and people read about certain things that are going on in the band the bands splitting up or theyre not going to do another album. Its kind of important that the fans see it, hear it from the horses mouth. Thats the whole idea of the website really. Let people know whats happening, and just put it up there to give the real information, and keep it fresh. Thats the reason we updated it and slightly changed it again.

And were going to have this thing where we can actually take pictures on the road and put it on the website.

So you can send it from your phone, no matter where you are. And Ive got this phone, this Nokia phone at the moment this bad phone. Although you probably see Im never off it. But its good to take pictures on the road and then we can put them on the website and the fans can see exactly whats happening on the road, do you know what I mean? (laughs) So dont be surprised if youre on there! (laughs)

But you know you can send it straight to the website and its up there like instantly, rather than having to wait to get back home and putting it on.  So hopefully that will be in place in a couple of weeks. And also we can send texts and videos as well. Little clips of videos and stuff.  So literally as we come off stage we can be like this is the crowd, were in so forth and so forth and put it straight up there you know, instantly.

So yeah I suppose websites are quite important, especially in these times where everything is quite global and everything is so instant and the world has just shrunk. Russia doesnt seem as far anymore, Lithuania doesnt seem as far, Australia doesnt seem as far. People can get in contact with you really quickly. So world wide its important to have a good website.


Maxim was interviewed by Andrea Schnepf aka neko (www.nekozine.co.uk) on 22nd October over the phone before The Prodigys show in Helsinki.





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