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
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
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 - Orbital for Scape - Jo Verca - Winter 2000

Interview : (c) Copyright 2000 by Jo Verca. Reproduced with permission.
Website -

If there are any spelling mistakes or any other problems then please inform me via email.

Phil Hartnoll, the senior of the Orbital duo doesn't mince his words, he also doesn't think that music can change the world.

I've come to the conclusion that yours is an enigmatic, intelligent techno.

Do you like that?
Yeah, that word intelligent… I don't think any of my old school teachers would agree. Oh, I don't know. I dropped out of school really, in true punk style.

Do you think that musicians have some sort of responsibility to provoke people?
No not really.

But music can change the world.
No, of course it can't. I do not believe that really.

But they told us that in the 60s.
Yeah and look what happened. It didn't, did it? You know, I'm coming from a punk background, very anti-establishment. Music is very emotive and it can be a part of change but I don't see it as that powerful… W hen we did have a very rare Top Of The Pops appearance way back ten years ago, the only way that I could possibly appease myself for going on Top Of The Pops and pretending to play an instrument was to have an Anti-Poll Tax t-shirt which was a very strong issue. And then you've got the whole Frankie Goes to Hollywood thing - 'Relax' t-shirts… And you know, like I was saying, coming from the punk world, it is very political especially when the second generation punk lot came along - Jello Biafra and people like that - I totally love what he does and he's totally dedicated to setting the America's right, which is great. And that can be very emotive. And the whole punk thing, it wasn't just the music, it was the whole subculture.

You played at the second Woodstock, the second coming. Has dance culture pick up where it left off 31 years ago?
Yeah, possibly.

But do you think that the drugs issue has spiralled it all out of control and we're all a little too cynical to give a shit?
Oh… Let me just backtrack a minute. There are about ten questions there. My opinion about it and I'm only talking about my little nucleus around me, we went through the punk culture, anti-establishment, in your face - 'fuck off, fuck off, fuck off, fuck off… don't like you'. Okay, that didn't really work did it? Let's face it, we don't have the great anarchy political party. It just picked up on an attitude really. So the government weren't really threatened by it at all. Something would have happened otherwise. The rave culture came along and there was the introduction of ecstasy at the same time but then what happened was that rave culture became very subversive… The nature of ecstasy sort of chilled people out. Through the generations, every music subculture has had drugs associated with it. I feel that it's a bit unfair just to pick on the raves. But I do actually believe that it did break down barriers. Me being 36, I've seen it. I used to go to discos in the 70s where you couldn't even talk to a girl without the threat of being beaten up. What the introduction of E in the clubs has done is break down the sex barriers. Rave culture was subversive in the sense that we can have a party, we're not bothering anyone because we're in the middle of nowhere, having a laugh. There's hardly any violence whatsoever and at seven o'clock in the morning, we're going to go home. Okay, there might be a bit of mess there, sorry about that because we're a bit irresponsible young things.

· Rave culture aside, Orbital is where dance meets rock'n'roll - without roll.

· Phil Hartnoll doesn't assume to be a rock'n'roll star, carrying the entire weight of the world on his shoulders, but at the same time, he has a slight aversion to calling Orbital a dance act. This is after all, the band that committed itself to the equivalent of a pub tour (well, in clubs) back in 1989, even before their first release 'Chime' was a twinkle in the Hartnoll brothers' collective eyes. On the other hand, they're very techno - the DAT machine barely leaves their side - something which served them well on their first trip to Australia in 1992. Talk to Phil about our traffic lights and walk/don't walk signals and you know that you've hit upon something. Paul Hartnoll, the younger brother who doesn't necessarily bear evidence of his brother's punk roots, has even attempted to slog it out on a didgeridoo, albeit pathetically as his brother acknowledges. It's amazing what you can do with a sampler and a computer - the results of both sounds can be found on 'Walk Now' off their second (untitled) album known in some circles as the 'Brown' album. Phil's fascination with this country doesn't end there - he's a fan of the Severed Heads, can't wait to catch up with Cabaret Voltaire's Steven Mallinder over in Perth, loves Nick Cave (to my absolute displeasure) yet, lo and behold, he has never heard Madison Avenue although agrees that Kylie's a bit of a gem in the thorny Australian crown.

· Possibly the most ingenious act of benevolence that can be attributed to Orbital, and perhaps Phil's uncanny sense of humour, is the inclusion of dance acts on Glastonbury's main stages (namely, the second stage) back in 1994. He ascribes this to "a top blag" that he pulled on the organisers of the event. "Björk was on the second stage, headlining and we approached [the organisers] saying 'look, why don't you have a bit of a disco bit at the end, after the main act. Bring on Orbital. It'll be great.' Björk was up for it because she was the mistress, she had a lot of power and then nobody could really stop it. So that was a top one."

· Should rave culture be blamed for the downfall of a generation?

· Do musicians have a responsibility to educate or provoke their audience?

Notable quotes by Orbital's Phil Hartnoll

· About the human race: "The human race is beyond it. I think they've gone right up their own ass that they think that they can do what they like. The arrogance! I would change the arrogance of peoplekind."

· About the long-awaited follow-up to last year's acclaimed album 'The Middle of Nowhere': "Oh yeah, we've sold out. They're all two-minute tracks. No, no, it's a hotch potch again. There's a great psychabilly, psycho-rockabilly, pshychotechno sort of track which was really fun."

· About drugs at dance parties: "Well I do feel quite strongly about that. You can associate the drugs but I think that's a bit unfair. Look at what happened at the Olympics. The Olympics! The superstar sports people were getting caught left, right and centre."

· About mainstream success: "We've been accused of selling out. What the fuck are they talking about? The only reason you sell out is if you do a really contrived sort of thing."

· About writing hits: "We've tried. We got a bit drunk and tried to make a hit and it just sounded crap, we're not good at this. It's just not happening because our heart's not in it. I'm a bit of a purist in that way. If the music we're making doesn't do anything for us, it doesn't work."

· About DJs and music secrecy: "I think that's crap. But what I can't get with these DJs and all this snobbery, like I'm not a DJ, but nobody's picked up on MP3s where people have lots of unpublished music out there… It's even better than a white label if you ask me."

· Phil had to give up drinking coffee recently as he has "internal heat problems". He overheats and breaks out in itchy lumps. Until three weeks ago, he attests to drinking bucketloads of cappuccinos each day - "it's worse that alcohol, worse than spliff."

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