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 - DJ Magazine - Orbiting the Feile - 31st August 1995
Interview: Andy Crysell
Pictures: Paul Massey

An interview with Paul and Phil Hartnoll which featured in DJ Magazine on the 31st August 1995.

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

The Stone Roses. Terence Trent D'arby. Paul Weller. Elastica. Orbital. Backstage at Ireland's Feile Festival in Cork's Pairc Ul Chaolmh sits a row of Portakabins, each one with a different band's name on it. Outside Elastica's there's Justine and Damon... snogging! Next door, shooting the breeze with D'arby (a man who's brought enough stage costumes to launch a west end musical), there's Weller, sporting perhaps his worst haircut to date. All's quiet on the baggy front. Two hand looking blokes guard the door, but predictably The Stone Roses fail to show their faces.

At Orbital's place, by contrast, it's more of a family picnic than a VIP chinwag sesh. Hanging out with a bunch of mates who hitched a lift in their snazzy two-decker tour bus, the Hartnoll brothers, Paul and Phil, seem so removed from this impenetrable star system as to be hardly there. Some six hours later, however, the reason why Orbital are at Feile becomes magnificently clear. But as for the stardom bit. Well...

"I'll tell you one thing. I'm just glad we're not a trendy band in the same way that someone like Tricky is," says Phil. "You hear these tales about the hangers on that follow him around without him even wanting them there; about how he has to put up with people like David Bowie storming into his dressing room to have his picture taken with him. It's not Tricky's fault, he's a totally normal bloke, but when you get caught up in that flavour of the month thing a lot of stuff gets really fucked up. It's horrible. Like everyone's trying to scavenge a bit of your trendiness."

The kudos of having megastars in their midst might not count for much with Orbital, but their ability to rock crowds that stretch off over the horizon unequivocally does. There are those who claim they have little to do with the dance scene, because their tracks aren't DJ friendly and because students like them. This is a large dose of tosh - people who say such things live under the illusion that the UK dance scene should aspire to America's. Dance music in Britain spans numerous elements, unlike America's it's successful, and Orbital, well, they're the techno band who take on the rockers and beat them at their own game. Like The Prodigy, they're the stuff that festivals are made of. Which is fortunate, seeing as tonight the Hartnoll brothers have a challenge and a half on their hands. They're on last in the main stadium, directly after the long-awaited return of The Stone Roses.

"I'm happy about the fact that they're not treating us as third rate citizens anymore," says Paul, the younger Hartnoll. "I'm into playing alongside different kinds of bands rather than being segregated from them. And with someone like The Stone Roses, who're pretty funky, they've probably got more in common with us than with some really pessimist, indie band."

Orbital, like The Roses, sprang from the era of musical freedom that was the late 80s and early 90s. The Hartnoll brothers gave up dead-end day jobs and blasted sky high into the charts with 'Chime', one of the most effortlessly jubilant and gobsmackingly beautiful pieces of homegrown house/techno the warehouse nation had experienced. They haven't yet climbed as high in the singles chart again, but with three solid LPs, all boasting a string of unforgettable tunes, and a legendary reputation on the live circuit, they've found acceptance for electronic dance in places it's never been welcome before.

"Our wildest dreams were about achieving the same status as Cabaret Voltaire," laughs Paul. "I guess we've gone beyond them now." By a mile - largely due to a sound that's as staunchly tuneful, fluently musical and wholly distinctive as it is abstract or awkward. They've propelled this distinctive sound across frontiers as varied as clanging industrial dub, expressive neo-jungle, ethereal vocal tunes, driving trance and now, on their new single, 'Times Fly' (which is too long to qualify for a chart position and Orbital are admirably and typically too obstinate to consider cutting it down to size), immaculate downtempo techno-funk, next to off-kilter drum & bass and the wizard-like use of female vocals they bring to so much of their work. Next out of the studio is a track called 'PETROL', destined to be the soundtrack for a game on Sony's soon-to-be-launched computer games console.

"I hate snobbery," says Paul, "whether it's a class thing, a fashion thing a musical thing or any kind of thing. All these divisions have really damaged dance music. I mean, rhythm is rhythm, isn't it? And it's got a lot more to do with people's attitudes than what specific genre they're making. You don't have to sound like a band to identify with them. It's about what lurks deeper inside them."

It's obvious that something political lurks near to the core of Orbital. It was never closer to boiling over than on 'Snivilisation', their last album, they say.

"It couldn't be helped I guess," explains Paul. "The Criminal Justice Bill protests were really getting going while we were making it and that influence worked its way really deep into the music."

But do they think people have lost hope in ever beating the CJA?

Paul: "I think some people have, to be honest, because we're such a lethargic country. Smash the broadcasting companies and you'll get some motivation out of people. Take their TVs away from them, basically. "

Phil: "Maybe the Thatcherite years have knocked the stuffing out of everyone. It's almost as if no-one knows how to fight anymore. The laws have every angle covered. it's like trying to fight with your arms tied behind your back."

"People have gone one stage further than fighting," Phil decides later. "Whereas punk tackled things head on, people are now subversive in the sense that they'd rather party and enjoy themselves instead of attempting to live up to the standard and accepted ways of living that have built up over the last century. Passive social rebellion - perhaps that's the only option left."

Leaving politics behind, the conversation takes a dive into the rather less earth-shattering realm of the easy listening muzak revival - an issue that for unexpected reasons Paul is keen to comment on.

"Well, it's hardly acid house, is it? I can't see the tabloids getting too worked up over it. One thing, though, I don't like the idea of too many people searching through the same racks in secondhand shops as I am. I can see my sample supply getting eaten up. It's like, piss off! I was here first! This is my patch! I feel like some bearded old man on the beach," he laughs, "collecting bits of driftwood."

Paul's cranky attitude may be a joke in this instance, but when it comes to liaising with their label, particularly some of its overseas divisions, a little bit of forcefulness comes in dead handy, they reckon.

"When you're dealing with people wearing leather waistcoats, cowboy boots and Metallica t-shirts, you know you're in trouble," says Phil. "We sort of accept that kind of bullshit as being another part of the job now. Not a very nice part, but still something we have to tackle. It's a shame, though. All we really want to do is keep on making music for as many years as we can. Anything to avoid ending up back on a building site."

The hours are ticking away. Soon Orbital will don spotlight specs, brush away the nerves, press the power switch and take to the stage to play their first ever set in Southern Ireland. They've no idea how familiar the public over here is with their work but as proven by the crazy scenes going down in the Groove Tent (situated just outside the stadium), dance music is firmly established. Earlier in the day, a bunch of rock bands no-one gave a shit about played on the main stage to an embarrassingly small crowd. The dance tent, however, was relatively packed within half an hour of opening time, as a succession of DJs and live bands (Laurent Garnier, Andrew Weatherall, David Holmes, Chemical Brothers and Underworld were among those who played over the three days) whipped up sheer delirium under canvass.

"I saw Underworld playing in there," beams Paul. "They're one of the few electronic bands that sound dirty and rude when they're live. Some electronic bands, you hear 'em at a few festivals and it's obvious they're not brave enough to jam. They sound the same every time. I'm sort of waiting for a few good bands to emerge and follow in our footsteps."

Leave the festival behind for a while and take a trip into Cork City and you come across the confounding sight of condom machines covered in religious nutter graffiti urging people not to use them, some emblazoned with stickers claiming they don't protect you from the HIV virus. Along the road to the festival site, on the other hand, volunteers stand by a caravan dishing out free rubbers to all and sundry. It seems as if something's got to give in this land, eventually, and ultimately only the youth can decide what it'll be.

The night before meeting up with Orbital, photographer Paul and myself are out walking about town when we come to a street crowded with youths. A drunken kid smashes a bottle and shouts, "Fuck the English", receiving cheers from some and disapproving expressions from others. A bit sad really, but it's so out of context with everything else we experience in Cork to be of minimal importance. Young people here pack a degree of energy and enthusiasm most Brits would find shockingly alien.

And hey! Even the police are friendly.

"When we were in Belfast," says Paul, referring to the occasion they visited David Holmes' Sugar Sweet club, eventually naming a track after the city as a tribute, "I was really interested in finding out what religion people at the club were and whether it really mattered. I was delighted. It turned out that no-one really cared. I was speaking to mixed couples and they were saying their parents wouldn't let them in either house together, but they didn't give a shit. They didn't wanna sit at home anyway."

When The Stone Roses amble onto stage the tension is magical. Some can hardly believe it's them. This is the closest they've come to playing in the UK for five years and it's truly eerie to hear those tracks from the first album live again after so long. Sublime even, except for the fact that vocalist lan Brown looks alarmingly like Jim Morrison and can't sing for toffee. By the time they launch into tracks off their second album and indulge in a few drawn-out progressive rock type manoevres the bubble is bursting and the crowd at the front is visibly decreasing. Oh dear, by the end it's verging on a fucking shambles.

Orbital turn things round almost instantly. Waves of spiralling sound and curvaceous bass slalom round perfectly formed rhythm sequences and samples of Belinda Carlisle and Bon Jovi loop dramatically as the crowd melts into a sea of thrashing limbs and immersed expressions. Event the front-of-stage security guards let their hair down and by the shuffling break of 'Impact' kicks in, those on the terraces have surrendered completely. Speaking to people near the front, it's obvious many of them know very little about Orbital. They like what they hear, though, and by the time they leave the stage the Hartnoll brothers can claim to have taken another festival crowd of mixed musical taste to the heart of a one-of-a-kind techno experience.

The t-shirts, publicity and hype might have had this marked down as The Stone Roses' night, but the public voted with their feet, raised their arms and burnt up the turf. Orbital are a compelling and inimitable two-headed groove machine who could probably win over an OAP's tea party. Pure genius.

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