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 - The Altogether interview - Jo Vraca - May 2001

Interview -
Jo Vraca for 

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

Before the current spate of dance music producers, before the whole thing turned upside and sideways, before Oakenfold made it into the Guinness Book of Records even, bands such as the KLF, The Orb, System 7 and Orbital were spearheading a sound that has remained distinctive, embedded into the very psyche of a pseudo-revolutionary subculture. For Orbital fans, the trademark, lush melodies and catchy hooks are in evidence through such successes as 'Chime', 'Halcyon + On + On' and 'Belfast'. And who could forget 'Kinetic', their collaborative effort with The Pied Piper under the guise The Golden Girls back in the embryonic early 90s. And now, they've arrived once more with a new album 'The Altogether' and its first single release, 'Funny Break' with its Plump DJs phat, phat, phat, dreamy, new-skool-breaks-with-acid-twist.

Formed in 1989 by brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll and retaining this same line-up throughout - "we've got the same musical tastes and we have got very similar attitudes, setting the world right and all this sort of thing," Phil asserts - Orbital began during what can only be described as the halcyon days of dance music; during the plenty-of-Es-to-go-around-for-everyone Summer of Lerve. Their first dispatch, 1989's 'Chime', served as a catalyst, spring-boarding their career to include remixes for Madonna, Queen Latifah, The Shamen and techno demi-gods Kraftwerk. They even landed a visit on Top of the Pops although Paul stresses, "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 - a target through the sight of a barrel."

It was Orbital's tours with traditional rock bastions such as Lollapalooza, Woodstock - the second coming - and Glastonbury which showcased the band's crossover-ability. In fact, their inaugural performance at Glastonbury in 1995 saw them receive an NME Brat Award for 'Best Live Event'. You would be a little remiss if you were to categorise Orbital as a purely dance band. Although not exactly renowned for turning it on à la Sasha or Paul Van Dyk, Orbital's music has, nonetheless, saturated the dancefloors. "We draw influences from all types of styles of music,' explains Phil, "and essentially, when we're composing, we don't compose for the dance floor like someone like Sasha would do or like DJ/producer type people would do. We just leave that alone. But obviously we're heavily influenced by beats and rhythms that are associated with the dance floor but it's not the main criteria. It's a very selfish thing really."

Orbital's music, lyrics, untitled albums and song titles have always been, shall we say, a tad on the philosophical side. With titles such as 'I wish I Had Duck Feet', from the 1994 album, 'Snivelisation, perhaps the brothers Hartnoll are recapturing or re-examining their own youths. "Ok, ok, well that one in particular… If you listen closely, it's got all these late night radio adverts for breast augmentation and changing your body basically, cosmetic surgery. It was all about that really. How fucking ridiculous is this? Now we can twist our faces… Well you know the Dr Seuss book 'I wish I had duck feet'? Do you know that book?" I didn't really get into Dr Seuss as a child, I tell him. "Ok, it's about a boy who wished he had duck feet because it would impress his mates in school and then it goes through the scenario of him having duck feet and then it all goes pear-shaped and then the bully comes along. Then it's 'I wish I had a trunk' like an elephant and I could do this and the whole book's 'I wish I had this, I wish I had that'. And it's all about his physical being and obviously, it all ends up classically with 'oh, I'm quite happy with myself, actually.' So that's the basis of that track really."

Some have ventured to offer that theirs is an intellectual techno. This clearly amuses Phil. "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. I think in comparison to what else is around, you could say that. I could quite easily see what you're talking about really. I don't like going around saying things like this," he hastens to add. Then again, perhaps part of the Orbital approach involves some sort of new age response to the current political, global environment. So, the question bears asking: Do musicians have some innate responsibility to provoke the audience and to change the world? "I just can't understand why musicians have so much power. For God's sake, what we're doing is what we enjoy anyway, a fortunate position to make a career out of it, which is good.

"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… Musicians and the rock'n'roll world have got this celebrity status out of proportion. You can then manipulate that and use that. 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."

With their latest offering, 'The Altogether', gone are the more melancholic variations that were distinct in the 1999 release 'Middle of Nowhere'. "I've got an analogy of a day at the fun fair," laughs Phil, "the last LP was much more of a headphone, solitary sort of thing in my opinion, whereas this one is about going to the fun fair with your mates. We've sampled The Cramps and really had fun with them and it's techno-psychabilly. That's the equivalent of a rollercoaster. We've got 'Funny Break' which has got a very ethereal female vocal on it and a really nice sort of break to it and that's kind of like the love tunnel."

Perhaps some will accuse Orbital of having sold out, by producing shorter 'songs' that will receive definite airplay, incorporating luscious vocals. Hit makers? "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. And essentially we have to come from a very selfish attitude where it's got to please us and then we put it out and keep our fingers crossed. 'I hope you like this but sorry I'm not going to make any excuses it you don't'. That's just the way it goes. Music is music in that sense."

'The Altogether' is, despite what the naysayers would have us believe, a masterfully temperamental album, filled with swarming vocals, nefariously funky basslines, sexy side-shows and stirring melodies - in essence, what we have come to expect from the Orbital camp. "It's whatever comes along in your life. When we wrote the album 'In Sides' about three of our mates died around that time and I can't just leave it on the street or at the door. It goes with you. Luckily we've been having a bit of a laugh recently."

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