‘Electronic music’s been hijacked by the pop world;’ The Prodigy talk commercialization and their upcoming album
British trio The Prodigy sat down with Music Feeds for a video interview in the press tent just before going onstage at last month’s Future Music Festival. They touch on a wide range of subjects, from the commercialization of dance music and the meaning of the album’s mysterious red fox, to the effects of 25 years together in the music business.
After two-and-a-half decades performing and producing, Keith Flint says that time passes differently for them. “When you’re in a band, you’re in like a kind of time capsule, do you know what I mean, that moves in a different kind of time,” he said. “Our lives revolve around album cycles, which is kind of five years, so it’s kind of like…I don’t know, things always seem much slower to us.”
The band is excited to be back on the road after nearly a year-and-a-half of working in the studio. After their performance at Future Music, they played a solo show at Sydney’s state-of-the-art Big Top concert venue. The decision to do a separate show was based on a desire to keep “feeding the fans” with a more intimate kind of performance. Band founder Liam Howlett says they would do a lot more shows of their own if they could.
According to Keith, the band views it as an opportunity to play new material and push boundaries without being limited by the time constraints of a traditional festival set. “When we play, like, Future, we’ve only got a certain amount of time they’ll allow us to play for. I mean, we’d play longer but, it’s like, that’s our set amount of time,” he says. “So when we do like a solo show, we can play longer and throw in more new music that people haven’t heard before.”
Not too long, though. When asked if they were planning to play until morning, Liam snorts. “We’re not Sven Vath,” he says drily, but not without a small smile.
With their new album, The Day Is My Enemy, set to release March 27, Prodigy member Maxim says the trio is planning to take advantage of the buzz and new material to hit the road hard with touring and international performances.
“That’s the benefit of when you’ve got an album coming out…you just go to so many new places,” he says. “Now this is where it’s at for us: taking the new music to the road to new people all around the world.”
The fourth track on the album, “Ibiza” featuring Sleaford Mods, makes references to ‘lazy DJs’ and has caused more than a few fans to dub the album a tirade against the commercialization of dance music. According to Keith, this couldn’t farther from the truth.
“The thing about the DJs is basically one track of beef. It’s just a view and subject matter for some venemous lyrics, and to me a good laugh because people have got to recognize that for music to be taken seriously we can’t have people just bringing USB sticks and pluggin’ them in and just kind of playing pre-mixed shit,” he says.
Maxim calls it “more of an observation of what’s going on the dance scene…how people are becoming lazy and treading out the same music, the same kind of formula, over and over again.”
The album as a whole, however, is really about The Prodigy and their struggles. “That’s where the anger and the energy comes from, and it’s a reaction to music,” he says. “If…electronic music’s been hijacked by kind of the pop world, there’s gotta be an opposite to that. We’re the other end of it, do you know what I mean? We’re the harder edge of it.”
Throughout all of this – the vastly evolving electronic music landscape, the rapid pop takeover – Keith maintains The Prodigy has stayed true to their roots without allowing the environment to affect or change their writing or production style.
“It’s all about making songs and writing new music which is exciting to us, but it’s not about trying to redefine yourself, ’cause our music…you can trace it back to the first songs we wrote – it’s exactly the same.”
The love they receive from their audiences is also the same. When asked how it feels to still enjoy a strong and unwavering fan base after a quarter of a century performing, Liam says that “it all comes down to our fans, really. They keep us here.”
Watch the full interview courtesy of Music Feeds.