home trax - June 02

The Prodigy are featured in this month's 'Trax' magazine in France. The magazine features an interview with Liam Howlett, printed in French. 'Shenter' has tranlated the most interesting excerpts for us. Also Liam reveals info about a new track called 'vacation'!

At the end of June, we have the opportunity to speak with Liam Howlett. Hanging on the phone himself, with a calm voice and a very strong accent, he friendly answers our questions.

Trax: What's the new direction with this album?

Liam : The challenge is the same: going on, changing things but keeping what's our force and identity. There will probably be disappointed people. Dance music fans would probably like more dancefloor tracks but none of the tracks are made for the clubs. I used to sample a lot, but i stoppoed; we're taking a more "musical" direction. It's more like real songs. More lyrics, a tensed atmosphere, nearly paranoïd. The background is old-school hip hop. It's a logic progression.

Trax: How did the audience react to these 1st versions?

Liam: The 1st version of BGAT was quite slow, nearly hip hop. But on stage, there was a lack of energy, so we re-made it.

Trax: Is there any concept behind the album?

Liam: the title "AONO" is a reference to guns. It's not a theme but each track speaks about attack and defense. It came naturally, it was not an aim in the beginnig. We have already six tracks including "No souvenir" with 3D, "BGAT", "Nuclear", "Trigger time", "Vacation". It's not finished yet. I should come out in January. A lot of bands have pressure from their label, but not us. I'm a perfectionist, I need a lot of time.

Trax: How do you work?

Liam: Some bands work with 3 or 4 musicians. Me, I'm in a constant struggle with myself and I must first be satisfied with what I'm doing.

Trax: You used a sample of Firestater on BGAT...

Liam: It's a nod to tell our fans: "Prodigy is BACK"

Trax: To me the strength of the Prodigy sound is in the basses, is it still the case?

Liam : Yes, that's true. BGAT for example is a FOTL-like track. But we shouldn't generalize it, cause on the other hand you have a track like "No souvenir" which is a real progress. A lot of people will be surprised.

Trax: Keith was more implicated in the making of the album?

Liam: Yes. He has his personal home studio and brings me ideas or guitar sounds.

Trax : Is there any guest, featuring, apart from 3D?

Liam: For now, there's just the Ping Pong Bitches. 3 London girls completely crazy. Their sound is crazy between Punk, electro, industrial.

Trax : You often say that there's no message behind the music and lyrics ...

Liam: The new lyrics are a new approach: "Vacation" is about the USA. It's not anti-USA, it's just against that new "metal" scene. On a general aspect, the message is still the same: "Let's fucking go!"

Trax: There's always scandal around you, today that's Rohypnol...

Liam: One thing is certain : Prodigy will never talk about how to make a cup of tea! We like the people to react. The media have made the things bigger than they were really. Keith wrote the lyrics as a personal experience. There's really a scandal, but not the one given by the media. The fact that such a medicine exists, that' a scandal.

Trax : Do you consider yourself as a Punk?

Liam: I no longer understand what "Punk" means . I loved the sex Pistols , what they represented . Today, I know who I am: a rebel. Punk no longer means anything. The US are responsible: they took the movement and built a "cartoon business"

Trax: is it hard to be a rebel when you sell million of records?

Liam : Our status is Mainstream but our sound is underground.When i make a track I always think about the Underground, my roots. It's all about the Drums and Basses. These elements allow us to corrupt the system. I want to be on the radio between two pop bands. I want people to say "Fuck, what's goin' on?"

Trax: Since your French wedding with Nat Appleton, you're a target for the tabloids...

Liam: I don't give a fuck because i'm not going to the places i could be photographed in. I'm not a star. If i'm going to a pub and I'm drunk I'm not stressed if a photograph take a picture of me. Nat's sister who's with Liam gallagher has more pressure. If we're all 4 together we have to run fast to escape the paparazzi!

Trax : How do you picture yourself in the future?

Liam : I'll keep on making music: that's the only thing I can do. Who knows? I could make classical music! Sometimes I wonder if the Prodigy will still exist in 10 years. All bands have a bad album. The challenge is to push it as far as possible.

many thanks to 'Shenter' for translation

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