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Junkie XL Interview

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Junkie XL Interview

Junkie XL - Today

Ultra Records

RS: Congratulations on your number once club record with Coldplay. How did you approach that remix?
Junkie XL: Thank you. There are two ways to approach a remix, either you rip the song apart and put it back together or you take the general vibe of the song and try to keep it in tact. For Coldplay's "Talk," I did the the latter. I used only the vocal and I basically rerecorded all the guitars and bass how I would like them to create a similar vibe. I kept the vocal and completely changed the chord structure to make it work as a new vibe.

RS: When I hear Junkie XL I think of progressive dance productions and remixes. So when I heard that you remixed Britney Spears, that was such a surprise. When they approached you for the remix, what was in your head?
Junkie XL: What I wanted to do was turn it into a 2006 version of Enjoy the Silence with really electronic chunky beats and nice melodic guitar lines. Besides the fact that she's singing on it, it could be a track off my album because it's the same vibe. I'm really happy with the end result and so are they.

RS: Now I want to ask you about your live sets, is your album an idea of a beginning of what you do in your live sets, or is it a different thing?
Junkie XL: No, they're definitely connected, but I think an album is an album - it should be enjoyable to pay at home and it shouldn't be something to copy exactly live. I think that's the problem with most of the electronic and dance albums that come out. Now almost every DJ wants to make a pop album or something like that, and I think that's not good either. If you look at the Daft Punk album ,The Homework, to me it's a brilliant album but it's a collection of fifteen club tracks and not like an album that is enjoyable to play at home as a whole.

RS: Which were you first, the DJ or the producer?
Junkie XL: I'm not a DJ. I only do live shows, so I bring my computers on stage and that's how I do my shows. I've never DJed in my life.

RS: When I saw you were doing so many shows each year performing, of course I assumed you were DJing.
Junkie XL: Yes, I can see why. I'm on the stage bending over on something and it could be anything – maybe records. There are a lot of DJs that play with computers right now so it gets really, really close. But no, I'm a traditional musician from way back - I play drums, bass guitar and Piano. I come from a family where everybody plays several instruments. My mum is a violin teacher at a music university and I have a classical upbringing as well, so that came first and then later more the electronic side of things.

RS: That really does make sense because a lot of times when DJs start making records, it's more like DJ records. Someone like you who's a musician, who's producing music, and you're making music.
Junkie XL: Yes, that's always been the case.

RS: I saw your presentation in the Logic room at the Remix Hotel and one thing I noticed is that you're really passionate about the software. What is it about Logic that makes you love it so much?
Junkie XL: I think the most important thing with any program that you work with is that you shape it for your own needs. That's why if I sit down behind another computer I almost feel very clumsy because I'm looking at a set up that somebody else made - the keyboard commands are not the same, the screen set up is completely different and everything is is completely different. In my studio, everything is shaped and set up how I want it, and I can work so fast with Logic. It's so easy to get connected with it and that's the beauty of it.

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