Last week we got together with the lovely people from Promenada & Masque for a pretty awesome show of liberating music, and since the legendary Chicane was part of the line-up, well … let’s just say we just couldn’t miss the chance to chat with the man.
Extremely energetic and always making fun of everything, Chicane is the type of person who just contaminates you with positive energy and creativity. He’s still in his celebratory 20th year since delighting people with his music, hence the album “Twenty” released last year, but the man is already working on some new juicy stuff.
We wanted to know more about that, about his career and whatever springs to mind. The result can be seen below. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as we did. Oh, and sorry because we can’t convey the laughter that was involved in the process of interviewing Chicane – the man is hilarious!
Radio DEEA: You have another album in the making, right? How’s that going?
Chicane: “Yeah, I’m trying to work on it. I am half way through. No, I’m more than half way through. I’ve got like 9 tracks already written that might go on the album, so it’s good. I’m quite excited about it! Might play a few sneaky ones tonight.”
Radio DEEA: Are you looking for something new, something fresh with this new album?
Chicane: “It’s house-ier, but still very “what I do”. It’s less .. oh, I don’t like the phrase, but, it’s less trancey, it’s less what I’ve done before. It has a fresh sound for sure. But everything moves forward, we’ve been doing this for 20 years so you keep an element of what you do, but you touch upon what’s happening right now to keep it fresh.”
Radio DEEA: You’ve mentioned “Twenty” (your latest album). How was that received by the public? Are you happy?
Chicane: “Really happy, yeah. “Twenty” was kind of one foot in the past, one in the future because we’ve got fresh mixes done by the current guys and you had the original stuff, it was something like drawing some lines over some stuff, but also moving forward.”
Radio DEEA: How was that like?
Chicane: “It was good, really good. It’s quite hard when you’ve been doing this for as long as I have, to keep it fresh, to do something new, to move on, so it was really cool and it went really, really well. I’ve also done a lot of shows on the back of that and there’s a lot of exciting stuff yet to come.”
“We’re re-working “Behind the Sun”- my second album, that had a lot of big hits on it, basically we’re doing some fresh mixes on that, we’re doing the show LIVE, hopefully with the original singers, like Brian and the rest of the people, we are going to film that and it will be part of the package, so that’s kind of interesting.”
“And we also have a new album coming up, the Sun:Set radio show is massive right now, between 8.000-10.000 downloads a day as indicated from 64 different stations, is like a new face of Chicane. We’re doing LIVE versions of that show so we will find like a beach resort, we will play beautiful music, we will raise the tempo as the sun’s gone down and off we go. These are exciting times, there’s a lot going on! Pretty tight actually!”
Radio DEEA: With so much going on, where do you find the energy for all this?
Chicane: “I don’t! (laughs) I don’t, I really don’t! I haven’t got a weekend off since …. I don’t know. All summer’s been mad. Really, really busy. But that’s good.”
Radio DEEA: OK, OK, so you like to keep busy, but where do you find the inspiration for all your work?
Chicane: “Errmm … it takes time. I know I sound like a broken record, but I always say that music needs to have a motive, it needs to make you feel something. And unless it has those things, unless it has those qualities … you just have to wait until something inspires you, find something exciting, something that will make you work on it. That’s why it takes so long.”
“Otherwise … I don’t know, because once it’s done and it’s finished, you can’t take it back. Try quite hard to get it right the first time!”
Radio DEEA: By the way, a little bird told us that you are a perfectionist…
Chicane: “Which bird? A huge squawking bird?” (raises his hands in the air and imitates a bird)
Radio DEEA: How do you cope with that, because as an artist your work is always subject to critique …
Chicane: “It’s a nightmare! It just takes so long! And I have versions of stuff which have been released and I’ve gone back to them because I’m not happy with it and I’ve done my own version of it. At the moment there’s just being taken away from me in the end. “You’ve finished with that, yes?” (laughts) I’m never happy with it, I’m always tinkering, but it goes with the territory and it’s who I am.”
“Music is always evolving, there’re versions that we are always coming back to. I don’t think of it as a static thing: that’s finished, that’s how it sounds, period. I think of it as a creature which changes shape, I don’t know if that makes any sense.”
Radio DEEA: How hard is to create something new, something fresh and unique nowadays? Because there’s so much music on the market, so many tracks that are released by the minute.
Chicane: “Well, you have to be true to yourself and make whatever makes you tick. Don’t write music for the people, you have to do what you do, whether it works or not. I don’t know. That’s important. You have to love what you are doing.”
“To do something fresh you sometimes go off in a direction which people won’t like. You can’t please everyone. And doing something new is always uncomfortable because maybe they don’t like it, they want to old Chicane and all that sort of things.”
“But as an artist you get tired by the same thing, you get excited by new stuff; but you can’t force it. For me when I’ll do something, or I’ll hear o something I’ll get excited by it: OK, we will do this, and that. It gets put together very fast. That’s kind of how I work, but everyone’s different.”
Radio DEEA: Nowadays DJs don’t always make an appearance on their own videos. What about you? What’s going on with the videos for the tracks you produce? Are you on the set, do you have a say in it?
Chicane: “Oh, I normally do all of it! I’m a control freak!”
Radio DEEA: What about the last one, with Barbarella?
Chicane: “I don’t think I’m good doing the dancing for that. We send story roles, they come back in, we discuss and direct everything…”
Radio DEEA: So you’re involved in the whole project?
Chicane: “The whole thing. I do the graphics. I’m an absolute control freak!”
Radio DEEA: Do you recall something funny or out of the ordinary that happened on set?
Chicane: “It’s not big news, but when we shot the video for “Saltwater” we sank the camera cart. We got it stuck on the beach, the tide came in and it went in the sea so we actually had to frame shots away from the cart in the sea and by the time we were still shooting a tractor pulled it in, all the water came out.”
“We killed the cart. It wasn’t fun at the time because we were all: Are we insured for that?” (laughs)
Radio DEEA: What would Chicane have done, if he wasn’t a DJ?
Chicane: “Probably have gone into maybe … films.”
Radio DEEA: Do you have any advice for youngsters that try to make a name for themselves?
Chicane: “Don’t do it man! Don’t do it! I’m still get sent demos and asked for my opinion and I always say to people, “How badly do you want it?”. I say that because it requires a huge sacrifice.”
“Now it’s worse than ever because everyone’s a DJ, the competition is fierce and to actually get somewhere you need to have massive dedication and sacrifice, but also be yourself and try and find out what it is about you that makes YOU unique and stand out from the crowd; don’t be a generic DJ, you know?”