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 - Brothers Gonna Work It Out - Amazon - April 2001

Interview -
Matt Anniss
Website -  

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

When Orbital released their first single, "Chime", back in 1990, few gave them much chance of survival. Back then, dance acts didn't produce great albums, write intelligent music or play amazing live sets. Over the last decade, Phil and Paul Hartnoll have consistently done all three. What's more, they've done it on their own terms, with epic space opera, cinematic electronica and dark, blunted beats. Now they're ready to unleash their sixth studio album, The Altogether, their first since 1999's underrated The Middle of Nowhere. Those who've followed the Hartnolls' career over the last 10 years are in for a few surprises. It's their most varied set for a long time, featuring a mixture of rock-sampling instrumentals, full-on vocal tracks and quirky, old-style numbers. Some people will love it--others will just get confused. So what exactly are they up to? contributor Matt Anniss met up with Phil and Paul Hartnoll to find outů The Altogether is a very diverse album. Do you think it holds together well?

Paul Hartnoll: To me it sounds really odd for an Orbital album because I'm used to eight really long things, and this has got eleven shortish tracks. When I listen to it, I keep thinking it's going to finish, and there are like 3 tracks left!

Phil Hartnoll: It reminds me of records that bands used to make a long time ago, the albums I used to buy as a kid. I've often thought about getting a proper band to record versions of our songs. I'm not sure how it would sound. Some of our sounds and noises would be very difficult to re-create. You're famous for eight, nine and ten minute tracks, but most of the tracks on The Altogether last four or five minutes. Why the change?

Paul: We consciously made a decision to make shorter tracks. We tried to do it with In Sides but ended up with an album with the longest set of tracks we've done. This time we tried the same thing and it actually worked! We said to ourselves "let's try not to make anything longer than five minutes". Inevitably for us that was difficult, so everything has nearly ended up exactly five minutes! That's the only thread going through the album that was conscious--"let's make short, jolly tracks". Which not all of them are, but overall it's quite an "up" album. There are quite a few punk-sampling tracks on The Altogether. In fact, the whole thing seems angrier than previous releases. Would you agree with this?

Paul: I don't find it angry. To me anger is the Dead Kennedys. The stuff we're doing is fun. To me it's energetic bat music. What does Batman listen to when he wants to let his hair down? He does the Batusi. That's the sort of thing we're after. To me that's not anger, it's fun and energetic.

Phil: It's a release. Things like "Tension" and "Tootled" are energetic. Don't misinterpret energy as anger. They're completely different things. Does this mean that you're making a conscious move to get away from your dance roots?

Phil: Whatever people say, we're not a dance band. We never have stuck in a groove. We've been influenced by the dancefloor, but we get heavily influenced by lots and lots of different types of music. We don't stick in one groove. I think we're halfway between an indie band and the house scene, if you like. The electronic music tree has got so many branches on it these days that it's easy to express yourself in any way you want, and be accepted.

Paul: People don't want to hear Orbital when they're out at raves or in Ibiza, just as much as they wouldn't want to hear us at Castle Donnington Monsters of Rock, though we'd probably go down better there than in Ibiza!

Phil: Now there's a challenge!

Paul: I can wear spandex as good as the next man! How do you think The Altogether compares to your first five albums?

Paul: I think it's the happiest one, alongside the first one, but they're all different, like chapters in a book or something, and it's very hard to pit them against each other as individuals.

Phil: I'd compare The Altogether to a day at the theme park, really. You've got "Tension" and "Tootled" which are like the biggest white-knuckle roller coasters, then there's "Funny Break", which is like the tunnel of love. "Shadows" is like the haunted house, while "Waving Not Drowning" is sort of like a soft play area for the under threes. The new album features a collaboration with David Gray ("Illuminated"). How did that come about?

Phil: Me and Dave have got something in common. He's married to my wife's sister. He's sort of brother-in-law once removed. He's an uncle to my children. We used to go and see him play and I used to be his biggest heckler. I'd be like: "Dave, you're rubbish, get off!"

Paul: "Illusion" was an idea knocked up before the last album, The Middle of Nowhere. It started off just as a tune that I got David Gray to help me with. I went out to buy an acoustic guitar and got Dave to help me choose one, him being king of acoustic guitars. The first thing I wrote on the guitar was "Illusion". I transcribed it into the computer and got Dave to sing on it. The late, great Ian Dury also makes an appearance on The Altogether in sampled form. Are you big fans of the great man?

Paul: Yeah, love Ian Dury. I haven't got any of his albums, but I've got a "best of" and its brilliant. It's just packed with brilliant music. He was a wonderful lyricist . I reckon he was a really sound bloke.

Phil: It's strange what happened when we were making the Ian Dury track. A mate came round one day and I played it to him, just after we'd finished it. He went home and later that day phoned me to say that Ian Dury had just died.

Paul: So we made it on the day he died. Spooky. It's good to know that, as he died, new life was being breathed into his music. It's like his music lives on. You're planning to release a DVD version of the album. Why is that?

Phil: It's because of the 5:1 surround sound. It just opens up the stereo field. It isn't just stereo--it's all around you. You can make any channel go "whoosh", or push sounds backwards and forwards, around the speakers. It's like a whole new dimension, man, we're talking Dr Who here. We've utilised the home cinema surround idea, recorded it off our own back and said to London records "how about doing a DVD? This sounds wicked." They agreed and gave us a tiny budget to make up some visuals. The DVD is being released in June. What can we expect?

Phil: With the budget London Records gave us, they expected to do a small DVD, a three-tracker, maybe. I wasn't happy with that. We've done the whole LP. As far as I'm aware, no one has done what we're doing yet. Underworld did their live thing, but no one has recorded and constructed the whole thing in 5:1. There are videos for every track, and "Meltdown" [a track recorded for Scott Walker's Meltdown festival] is there in its full 25 minute version. It has turned out really, really well--better than I could ever have hoped for.

Paul: We're only really scratching the surface of what you can do with DVD. Hopefully it will be the equivalent of a Charlie Chaplin film--rather basic but a classic in years to come.

Phil: It will certainly set the precedent for music DVDs. I'm not just largeing it up or anything, because I don't do things like that: it's a fact. I've done my research. There have been no albums specifically recorded for DVD before.

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