i:Vibes gets a chance to speak to Nick Muir, the man often overlooked, but responsible for the massive tracks under Bedrock with his partner in crime, John Digweed.. With one of the most famous productions to date - Heaven Scent
This is an interview done for [I:Vibes], with half off the famous Bedrock producers. The interview is done with Nick Muir, who you will know of course, enjoy the reading.
Hi Nick, thanks for having this interview with us.
• Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself, age, hobbies, pets, girlfriend(s), and everything else you want to talk about.
Nick: Age - late 20's; very late. In fact, extremely late. Lets just leave it at that. Pets - I have a pet hamster called Dimitri, but he's not from Paris, haha!
Girlfriends? I'm single actually. The problem with relationships and people who work in
music is that the partner is often left with the impression that you love the job
more than you love them. And they're usually right.
• How did you get in touch with music, and producing?
Nick: I've been a musician since before I could walk. My Mother was a trained singer and she started me off on the piano when I was tiny. Then I got into guitars and playing the bass played in bands and all that crap, session musician etc. you hum it I'll play it, you know the sort of thing. I got into going to parties about 1990 - it was a very special time, the atmosphere was amazing, you ask anybody who was going out raving during that period. I already had a sampler and computer, when I started partying I realised what I should be doing with them. There was a real revolution going on. Still is.
• How do you label your work? Progressive trance, progressive house, …. or electronic dance music like Paul Van Dyk says?
Nick: We make UK underground house. The term Progressive is a red herring and I dislike it. Labelling is a device used by people not directly involved in production -it just gets in the way of how people perceive music, and I wish they'd stop doing it.
• When did you meet your partner in crime, John Digweed, and how long took it before you and him starting working together on Bedrock productions?
Nick: I first met Diggers in 92 I guess, and we did ' For What You Dream Of' in ‘93.
• Did you expect such a big commotion about Bedrock, I mean, your first release, For What You Dream Off, was very famous, sold a lot, and was on the first clubmix ever, Renaissance 1, mixed by Sasha and John Digweed, and other compilations.
Nick: Like I said, those days were quite special and John and myself were ideally placed to make a contribution to what was going on at the time. We felt incredibly liberated and had a chance to just make some music the way we felt, without any conditions and that is a great way to work. And make no mistake, John took that record and made it happen, put it on the 1st Renaissance CD which was a groundbreaking record, and made it huge in the clubs he was playing at the time, where the crowds they were playing to were hanging on every move John and Sasha made.
I then heard someone wanted to use the track for the soundtrack of a British film. Oh thats nice, I thought. The film was 'Trainspotting' and the soundtrack sold a million and a half. That was a bit of a surprise, yes.
• We all know that John Digweed is a respectable DJ/producer, and he has been voted the best DJ in the world. Aren’t you a little envious of that?
Nick: John gets the spotlight and he's worked for it. Am I envious of that? I've been close enough to the spotlight on several occasions to know what its all about. Yes, it must be nice. It doesn't keep me awake at night though.
The truth is I've never really wanted it enough. I just try and be good at what I do and the spotlight would definately get in the way.
• Bedrock – Heaven Scent was voted #31 by the readers of Mixmag, did you expect it to end up that high (or low, depends how you look at it).
Nick: No. 31, is that all? They must be mad! I was hoping for at least 28 and a half. Actually I think its brilliant and I'm chuffed to bits. I've been in the club a couple of times when John has dropped the tune and the reaction has been phenomenal - that is the best feeling, and you know at that point that your efforts have been worthwhile. Its better than sex. But not quite as good as a wank.
• If you had a choice between, doing what you do now, producing quality tracks over and over again, or having a DJ career, but also having the side-effects with it, like travelling, being away from home for long periods, dealing with ‘hyped up’ fans, …. What would you choose?
Nick: I've been in bands, done plenty of tours and met loads of 'hyped-up' fans - nothing wrong with hyped- up fans by the way - this was back when I was in my mid 20's. Now I'm in my 'late 20's' (cough cough) I find I am happier sitting in the studio for anything up to 5 days solid, until Diggers drags me out by the feet screaming.
• Will there be a Bedrock album in the future, with only Bedrock productions?
Nick: Bedrock studio album, hmmm... the trouble with that is I feel its playing by Rock music rules. I think dance music is at its best when a DJ gets a bunch of records he likes and mixes them together in his own special way. Studio albums just aint like that so we'd have to rethink, and I'm not sure if we want to do that. Never say never though....
• What’s your favourite tune of the moment? And the best ever? And your favourite own production?
Nick: John may not agree with this but I really love what Norman Cook has done to Chemical Brothers 'Come With Us'. That little riff he uses is awesome. Norman Cook, Chemicals - these guys are heavyweights and they know what they're doing.
Best ever tune? Hard one but Underworlds 'Cowgirl' is up there.
As for our own tunes, has to be Heaven Scent.
• What’s your opinion about the whole mp3 scene? As soon as a new record is released, you can find it on the internet. But it also has an upside, persons who live in distant places, have it harder to find/know new artists, so mp3 makes it easier on them. So in a way, it’s free promotion, but in another way, it keeps people from buying your records. Your view about this?
Nick: Mp3's - well, if your livelihood depends on people buying the records you make, then people end up being able to get hold of them for free, then it makes you slightly nervous. I dont know however if it would stop me from buying a record of someone I liked though, even if I could
download it for nothing. There's definitely a future for the internet when it comes to delivery of music, especially dance music which is so dependent on the newest sounds. First of all the internet needs to be policed properly - incredibly difficult, but people should be made aware that piracy is exactly that - and then systems developed whereby people can download 'the latest mix' for a fee, so they can listen to it in the car on the way to the club.
I think that would work. I dont think people mind paying a fair price for something they love.
• How do you think the label and the club will evolve in the next few years, same style? With a lot of new artists? Or keeping these artists, and making them the Bedrock core?
Nick: The evolution of the club, label, the act Bedrock is subject to a lot of things. Thats the whole point about evolution, it is to do with adaptation to the environment, and we've only got so much control over how the environment changes. You can be sure of one thing though, John and I constantly keep in mind why we got into this which is to be in a place full of great
people getting off on some great music, and the 'special' opportunities that modern computer dance music gives to DJ's.
Well, that’s it, I hope you enjoyed it, I sure did. Great interview
For more info go to www.bedrock.org.uk
Credits to trigaX