NuSkoolBreaks interview - Phil Hartnoll - 24th November 2004 
   
Loopz Interview - USA Tour - Minneapolis -18th October 2001
   
Homelands Interview - Worldpop - May 2001
   
Altogether Interview - Jo Vraca - May 2001
   
Making Music - May 2001
   
Brothers Gonna Work It Out - Amazon - April 2001
   
Orbital in The Altogether - NME - April 2001
   
Orbital for Scape - Jo Vraca - Winter 2000
   
Dotmusic - Webchat with Paul Hartnoll - 24th February 2000
   
Innerviews - Beats of Daring - 20th May 1999
   
Bassic Groove Magazine #4 - Good Techno for Bad Movies - 1999
   
CDNow Website - Orbital Lands in the Middle of Nowhere
July 1999
 
NME Webchat with Paul Hartnoll - 29th June 1999
 
Community Service Tour - Webchat with Paul Hartnoll
7th June 1999
 
DJ Magazine - The Odd Couple Issue36 : Vol 2 : March 27th - 9th April 1999
 
Loopz Interview
12th December 1997
 
Unknown
In Sides / Orbital Review
November 1996
 
SonicNet - Webchat with Orbital - 5th September 1996
 
Details Magazine
Floppy Disco
August 1996
 
Select Magazine
In Sides
May 1996
 
Guardian Paper
Sibling Chivalry
19th April 1996
 
Unknown
Feile - Orbital Stole The Show
August 1995
 
DJ Magazine
Orbiting the Feile
31st August 1995
 
Select Magazine
Suburban Spacemen
September 1994
 
NME Paper
Brothers Up In Arms
13th August 1994
 
Select Magazine
Twin Bleeps
October 1992
 
NME Paper
Fission Blips
07th March 1992
 
INTERVIEWS - Bassic Groove Magazine - Good Music for Bad Movies - 1999
Interview : Dutch Magazine - Bassic Groove
Original Dutch Text : Renť Passet
Photos by: Dervin CuriŽl
Translated into English by: Marco Visser
If there are any spelling mistakes or any other problems then please inform me via email.
 
Goede Techno Voor Slechte Films - Good Techno for Bad Movies
Good Techno for Bad Movies


Orbital. Named after the Sunsetstrip of the London acid house-parties: the highway around London. Five albums on their name and together with Leftfield, Underworld and the Chemical Brothers tightly anchored in the hall of fame of dance music. But do not think that Orbital goes self-assured into the new millennium. Their new album 'The Middle of Nowhere' laboriously took shape.

"Do you know what the strangest thing about making records is? You need to forget you are making a record". Phill Hartnoll (36) sighs. Together with his four years younger brother Paul they have already been together for ten years as Orbital. They made five albums, of which the previous last album 'In Sides' sold 400,000 copies. "I know. But every time i feel the pre-album stress", smiles Phill apologising.

The Hartnoll brothers are not to be blamed of pride (megalomania?). "I was very aware that everything we were recording was going to end up on the album. On top of that every time i go through a phase in which i compare the new recordings with older material. Than I freeze up and dont do nothing at all". According to Phil at such a time you should be more selfish as a musician. Otherwise it won't work. "You cannot make up sounds behind the machines which you surely know will be consumed by fans. It just doesn't work that way. At least not with us".

Perhaps the tension was caused because Paul and Phil immediately went into the studio after their return from their american Lollapalooza-tour. Were they burnt up after night after night playing the stars from the sky on foreign stages? According to Paul it's more the opposite. "Live playing we became more loose. If you spend too much time in the studio, you risk your own navel becoming the centre of the world. On the stage there is not much room to fiddle around. At that time you must play the stars from the sky. It's the art of finding the right balance between perfectionism and the raw, spontaneous of a life performance."

Doctor Who
Who recently saw Orbital on the stage in Amsterdam knows how raw and energetic a performance by Orbital can be. They are a real sensation to watch life, along wich the brothers are not affraid to mix Berlinda Carlisle and Jon Bon Jovi into a musical set, as a well-tested and approved intro to 'Halcyon'. Even the 'Doctor Who theme' is part of the show. "That's Paul's thing", smiles Phil. We watched Doctor Who when we were young. Even for those who don't know the series its is a fabulous melody." You won't find Doctor Who on the new album, but Suzi Quattro (a female rock-star from the seventies), Dollar (enjoyable bad plastic popduo) and tv-star Rolf Harris are shamelessly used by the Hartnoll gentlemen. "I do believe this our happiest album yet", assents Phil, who recently moved out of the capitol to the southcoast and is father of three children. "We both are more positive in opposite to a couple of years ago at the time of release of the album 'Snivilisation' (Orbital's 'political' album, ed.). This album is much less melancholic. We also have tried to make our songs shorter. But we still aren't very good at it, i believe." The thing at which Orbital does get better in, is their cinematographic approach. The Brittish duo never hid their love for movie soundtracks. Paul and Phil see movie score writers as Lalo Schifrin and Ennio Morricone as their favorites and assent to the fact that the single 'The Box' from 1996 is an ode to John Barry. In the meanwhile has Orbital some experience theirselves with writing of movie scores, but sadly nearly all of the movies were no big hits, like 'The Saint' and the science fiction movie 'Event Horizon'. How come Orbital makes bad choices in choosing directors? "We have nothing to choose actually. I do read a lot of scripts, but there are not many good movies among them. The most are science fiction. The best thing about 'Event Horizon' was we got to work with Michael Kamen. That was really awesome. He filled an old theatre with an orchestra and did a sort of a jam session with them, which we recorded. With that we went to our studios, without ever seeing anything of the movie. We had a vague idea of what the movie would be about." With the theme of "The Saint", with which Orbital had big hit two years ago, was it a bit different. "I am not very charmed by the movie, but we loved the original theme. During a dinner we were offered to do our own version of it, which we of course didn't reject." The single "The Saint" landed on the third spot in the British hitcharts, but the movie vanished silently after a few weeks display in the cinemas. Perhaps the tides will turn soon for Orbital as unlucky darters on the moviescore board. Last year the duo made the music for a tv-show on Channel 4. "And we are asked to do a soundtrack for 'The Beach' (the new movie of director Danny Boyle, to which Underworld also accepted to do a soundtrack, ed.). That promises to be a nice movie. You know what the nicest thing about writing movie scores is? You get a working direction. You need to enhance the images with music. With our own recordings we start with a white sheet and have to color everything ourselves".

Brixton drama
This summer their will be no time for new recordings, because Orbital will be on tour to promote the new album the next few months. Recently was the band for the second time a short period in the Netherlands to play on the Drum Rythm Festival. The tour in the UK did not start very well. The 'kick-of' should start in the beginning of March in the Mass Club in Brixton. It was cancelled because of software problems. Phil looks painfully as he is reminded of this. "It was the first time we had to cancel a show. It was awfull! Three days before the show our software crashed, while we were copying all new tracks from our studio to the sequencers we use on stage. These machines are a little older and do have some temperament. When we wanted to use our back-ups they had the same error. In the end we lost the work of a week. Even if we would work day and night we still wouldn't be on time." To add to the disaster the BBC was going to broadcast the show in Brixton live on on the radio to warm up the fans for the new album. "Our record company had decided to release the album in April instead of February and the dates for the tour were already set. I can tell you we were quite a bit nervous about the situation. We hadn't played for about three years on stage. That's why we decided to give the show to the BBC, to give the fans at least the opportunity to hear the new songs.

In the meantime our new songs have proved themself to work in the clubs. Especially 'Spare Parts Express' and 'Nothing Left' had the same calibre as tested Orbital-hits like 'Impact' and 'Satan'. "During the tour songs change into something new", knows Phil from experience. At first they sound like the album versions, but at the end they change into something radically different. We remove things and add other sounds. None of our shows if ever the same as before. Yes, the setlist is set, but the song structures aren't. We can make a song last for 1 or 10 minutes. If the audience reacts strongly to a song we add a couple of measures".

What do the kids think of their famous daddy? Phil: 'My son of nine years old is crazy about Fatboy Slim and The Prodigy. Sometimes I take them to our shows. A couple of years ago I took my sons and put them behind the stage. But when i looked back at them about 15 minutes later they were both asleep!" 'The Middle of Nowhere' of Orbital is released on FFRR/Warner Records. Orbital's new single 'Nothing Left', with remixes of Way Out west and Adam Freeland wil soon be available in the stores. For tour dates and other news check out the Orbital website on: www.hyperreal.org/loopz

 

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