RS: Well I guess then the press is totally not representative of the average person, because in the UK you've had number one hits, top five commercial records with "Flowers," "You Don't Even Know Me" and your remixes. But here in the US, outside the clubs there really hasn't been much pop success for Armand Van Helden. So why do you think that the pop side in the UK agrees with you but the press doesn't, whereas in the US the pop scene doesn't get you? Is that, do you think, because of you or because of the dance scene in general?
AVH: It's not because of me, it is exactly the dance scene in general in the States. I love the States for the artists that are pop here, I think they're great artists, and I would take then any day over those European pop artists. After the whole 'disco sucks' campaign, that was the end of dance. Because I remember those days, I must have three to four thousand disco records and a lot of them are albums. I don't even know who these artists are, they don't have the picture, they're like a disco machine. Back then they would put out anything as long as it was dance but nowadays no one will touch dance. I don't know what happened but when hip-hop came they were like, 'this is the alternative medium to rock.' America was just like look, 'it's hip-hop and rock and that's the way it's going to be.'
When European DJs and artists come over here they check it out and love it, but they realize that the kids and most of the people here are not familiar with who they are. Most people are like, who's Oakenfold? They're pop in Europe and then over here they're nobody in the street. Not going to a rave or something, but walking on the street, nobody notices them, it's not like Ludacris is walking down the street.
So it's a totally different thing for them and it's been like that and I'm cool with it. I've been successful somewhat in the UK and in Europe and I can come back home here and walk my streets all busted up and it doesn't matter. People don't notice who I am and I'm not worried, I love that. You come back to New York and you're home, you're a free soul. Actually, I keep my profile fairly low, even when I'm in Europe nobody knows who I am but once in a while somebody stops me in the street.
RS: Speaking of the pop thing, the last remixes I've gotten from you are Britney Spears "Toxic" and Sugababes "Hole in the Head," which have been much more on the commercial artists. Are you looking to remix more of the commercial stuff or is that what you're being presented with lately?
AVH: When I was asked to do Britney, I thought that was cool. I didn't know the song but I said I would do it. You don't get offers like that every day, especially a person like me that's been up and down like four or five times when people won't give you any work and all of a sudden they all want to give you work, and they don't want to give you work and it just keeps going around in circles. So I was like yes, I'll take it. With the Sugababes, I didn't even know who they were. A lot of the times, even back in the days when I was doing Ace of Base, I didn't really know who Ace of Base was or the Spice Girls. I didn't know anything about the peson, I'm like the last person to know. I don't watch TV like regular people do, well nowadays obviously everybody watches reality shows. I don't watch any of that stuff. I'm a weird TV person and I get out of loop and my friends are kind of the same, so I'm really in a world sheltered from pop culture in a sense. I'm not saying I'm underground, I'm just saying when I turn on the TV and I see some poppy thing, I just click the channel. I don't need to see them to know who that is to make conversation, I don't need to even know who it is, I just know I don't like it. It's weird, so half the time when I'm getting these remix requests I don't know who these pop artists even are, all I know is they've got money and they've got a budget and obviously they're trying to get some type of street credibility through a dance remix. The whole process is pretty insane when you think about it.