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 - Homelands Interview - May 24th 2001

Interview -
Worldpop / Homelands - Kieran Wyatt
Website -

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

Orbital are the granddaddies of British acid house. From seminal singles like Chime and Halcyon & On through six critically-acclaimed albums and a breathtaking live show, Phil and Paul Hartnoll have done it all.

The brothers have recently returned with their sixth album, The Altogether, which is also released on DVD complete with a bunch of specially-filmed videos to accompany each track - and their version of the Doctor Who theme tune!

worldpop/dance spoke to Paul Hartnoll in advance of their appearance at this year's Homelands festival, where they are headlining alongside Pulp and The Orb.

worldpop/dance: Are you comfortable with your 'elder statesmen of dance' tag?

Paul Hartnoll: 'You have to be really because it's true. I'm very nearly 33 and can remember being 22 or so and starting out. You really start to notice it when the people making music now are so much younger than yourself. There was a patch when there wasn't much happening in electronic music but I've felt it's gotten really exciting recently. I love the Whole 9 Yards label and the Plump DJs and acts like Dark Globe and Elite Force.

worldpop/dance: Do you ever wish you were two 20-year olds starting out in dance music rather than a couple of seasoned veterans with a stack of albums under your belts?

Paul Hartnoll: 'Oh God no. Why do it again? I don't want to go back, I'm enjoying this now. When you hit 30 a different level of fun begins. You don't get caught up in the things that made you angry at 18. We got a bit strange with the Middle Of Nowhere and Insides albums but I find I can't write when I feeling like a tortured, angsty artist or if I feel like there's two thousand Orbital fans looking over our shoulders. So you got out and do something stupid, something fun, and remember what it used to be like. You can't worry about other people's opinions.'

worldpop/dance: Your music is largely instrumental - did that make it easier or harder to make the accompanying videos?

Paul Hartnoll: 'I think it made it easier because there was no brief to follow. Sean Ash, who directed the video to Illuminate, writes these brilliant treatments, almost David Lynch-esque in style. Sean actually got the short end of the stick because he had a smaller budget but he made an amazing video. It's probably my favourite video out of them all.'

worldpop/dance: You gave a bunch of directors an open brief - it's turned out real good but could have been a bit of a nightmare?

Paul Hartnoll: 'Yes and no really. All the directors we knew and have worked with in past. It was very much a family thing. Take Grant Fulton. He's done covers for our albums and even sung on our tracks. We just sat down in a pub with him and discussed a few ideas. It wasn't like we said 'You've got to do it like this', it was more like 'Here's a plan and an angle'.

worldpop/dance: The use of DVD and video for The Altogether - has technology finally caught up with Orbital?

Paul Hartnoll: 'I've always liked idea of an album with visual representation throughout. We're by no means an MTV-friendly so it's always been a case of 'Why bother?' before. There was no MTV playlist brief. What we wanted was more like when you stay up late and have Channel 4 on and are watching some strange commissioned art films - the ones they do in series of ten. It's about being experimental and trying stuff out, doing what they wanted to do.

'But what really interested me was the use of surround sound. We live in a 3-D world - so why not listen to music like that? When you listen to the album we wanted it to sound like you were amongst the band. It would be like recording modern jazz in surround sound with four mics either side of the ensemble. So when you listened to it on some speakers set up an exact distance apart, if you moved close to one of the speakers you'd hear the double bass. Move to another one and you'd hear the drums.

'The thing with electronic music is that you can also put the sound where you want it to go but in an abstract way. Like if you were listening to a tennis match and you hear the ball bouncing in different speakers and you involuntarily duck when you hear the ball coming towards you. Basically we wanted it to sound like an acid house barber shop quartet!'

worldpop/dance: Can you get this across in the live arena?

Paul Hartnoll: 'Well, the only problem is finding the right venue. The perfect gig would be a lovely square room with about 50 people in the middle all cordoned off. But that's not very practical! The closest we came was when we did a gig at the Royal Festival Hall in London and had this big, soft sound swirling around the room. We recorded an audience a week before and then mixed in their murmuring and chattering so people in the Hall weren't sure if it was coming out of the speakers or what. Then we mixed in these riot sounds - recordings of angry voices, bottles being thrown.'

worldpop/dance: You feature some unusual samples on this album - Tom Baker, The Cramps, Crass - and shorter songs. Did all this come naturally?

Paul Hartnoll: 'Well there was certainly no masterplan! Having said that, we did sit down and try and think it out. We had tried to do that with Insides [Orbital's fourth album] and make it jolly sounding - but that never happens. This time we said, 'Let's bloody well do it'. We set ourselves five-minute time limits and tried to say what we wanted to say musically but just in less time. We wanted to strip away the layers and force ourselves into a situation where we have to concentrate on one sound. It took discipline.'

worldpop/dance: If you could spend one day in any producer's studio, whose would it be?

Paul Hartnoll: 'Ooooh, now that is a hard one. Currently I'd have to say Missy Elliott. I read a cracking review of her new album and it made me want to go out and buy all of her albums. I loved her single because it was nothing like British pop music.'

worldpop/dance: Did you hide behind the sofa when you watched Doctor Who?

Paul Hartnoll: 'I used to watch it with a pillow wrapped around me, waiting for the fear to slowly creep on. I'd be terrified of those strange insect creatures - the Wyven, I think - and those walking mummified bodies. I'd go to bed thrashing and screaming. I'd crap my pants basically.' worldpop/dance: Finally, what about Homelands? Paul Hartnoll: 'I like Homelands because it's not so Ibizan in its view. It's not just got to be about banging trance. The line-up is more eclectic and there are all these different styles going. It attracts a more open-minded audience. The fact that Pulp and The Orb are on the bill swayed us into doing it.'

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