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 - Select Magazine - Suburban Spacemen - September 1994
Interview: Clark Collis
Pictures: Mick Hutson

An interview with Paul and Phil Hartnoll which featured in the Select Magazine in Septemeber 1994.

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

"Alright," mutters Paul, a manana-style look of contentment filling his face. "That's the hi-fi turned on. Now what do you fancy listening to?"

This isn't how it's supposed to be. These are the people who, ever since 'Chime', have been at the very forefront of dance music, who've become the first ever credible techno pop act, successfully combining high-octane innovation with an instantly recognisable sound and a simple yet effective image based on an absence of hair and two pairs of daft robot glasses. They make fully-fledged dance LPs of instantly accessible music that relies on more than hammering 125 bpm rhythms for mass appeal. They've remixed everyone from Meat Beat Manifesto to Queen Latifah. At Glastonbury, they proved that faceless techno bollocks could be as exciting live as any amount of bearded, guitar-gurning rock stars. They're apparently a smear of hi-tech, not-a-day-off-since-January activity.

"It isn't always like this, you know," Paul says, less than convincingly. "Sometimes we actually get some work done as well."

It's hard to believe. They're supposed to be remixing Japanese band Confusion, but they haven't even sorted out their equipment yet. In fact, they don't even know what the song is called.

"Well," muses Paul, "it's either called 'Joy (The White Room)' or 'The White Room (Joy)'. Anyway, what it sounds like at the moment is The Shamen meet Dannii Minogue."

And it will continue to do so unless they pull their fingers out. Now everything's ready to go, but. . .but hold on. They're not quite ready yet. No. Paul's just picked up a copy of 'Volume 10'. . .

Such rockist slothfulness seems a million miles away when, several days earlier, Phil Hartnoll ushers me into his absurdlv normal-looking terraced house in Finsbury Park. For one thing the place is immaculately tidy. For another, apart from Phil's voluminous tracksuit trousers, there is no evidence that he makes a living doing anything more unorthodox than, say, being a mildly surly tax inspector.

And then there are the kids.

"Waaaaaaaaaah! "

"Milo. Pick up the Ice Pops."

"Don't want to."

"Come on Milo. Look, I'll help you."

"Mmmrnmm. No. Waaaaaaaah!"

Phil is very much a family man. Having married Rachel just as 'Chime' was going nuclear ("I told Phil I was pregnant and it was three weeks before we could carry on the conversation," she says) he is now the proud father of Milo (three) and Louis (six). It's a role that Phil appears more than content to fulfil. But combining it with his alternative life in Orbital has obviously been something of a strain.

"People get things totally out of perspective," Phil explains, balancing a half-naked toddler on his lap. "Over the last few years so many people have supposedly embraced this whole new age, community spirit there is."

Out in the calm of his back garden he reminisces about his early excursions with Paul. "We became friends as opposed to just brothers pretty early on, by running around discos trying to get DJs to play our favourite records. We drove them up the wall."

Can you ever imagine doing stuff individually?

"Paul does. He did 'Science Friction' on the new album. There's certainly none of that, You-can't-do-that-because-Orbital-is-you-and-me bollocks."

He stands up. "Sorry, but I've got to go and bath the kids now. Hang around if you like."

Meeting Paul should be a different kettle of DX8s altogether. Four years younger than Phil, he spends most of his free evenings working and has a reputation for being "something of a drinker". Mind you, his choice of rendezvous for Sunday lunchtime drinking - London Fields' The Pub On The Park - could not be further from the clubs where he earns most of his extra-Orbital spondulicks. A band are winding up their note-perfect rendition of 'Stuck In The Middle With You' while outside middle-aged men berate each other over what looks horribly like a game of boules. So, Paul, what are the main differences between you and Phil?

"Phil's more of a tryer than I am. He'll keep going at it until he's satisfied that it's just right. The main difference, of course, is that he's got all these responsibilities that I haven't. If I'm not working then I'm watching TV or going down the pub."

While talking, the techno overlord has found a bit of paper and, using a small, sharp-looking knife, has cut out an intricate and rather attractive doily.

"It's something they taught me at primary school. It keeps my hands occupied and stops me smoking so many fags."

As the shadows lengthen Paul grows misty-eyed at the chances Orbital may have missed out on.

"We wanted to do the music for Tank Girl. We wanted to get a Madonna remix. We wanted Sinead O'Connor on our album. We're still hopeful about getting on the Judge Dredd soundtraaa... SHIT!"

What's the matter?

"I've just cut myself. These fucking doilies are going to be the death of me."

Back in the studio the concept of Paul and Phil taking on any more work seems faintly comical. Sure, Orbital-esque tunes are now blasting out of the speakers but they turn out to be a tape of their Glasto performance that a charity wants for a compilation LP. All well and good, but it won't pay the rent. Nor will the guided tour which Phil undertakes just as Paul finally looks ready to start work.

"This is the kind of thing that Herbie Hancock used in the mid-'70s," he explains, pointing out a large black box with some knobs on it. "That's a sort of early Public Image keyboard. This is the famous 808. That one is mostly for hardcore..."

They all, of course, look exactly the same. But sitting in pride of place is something anyone can recognise: a copy of 'Rolf Harris Plays Stylophone Latin-American!'. Sadly, as Phil reveals, all is not as it seems in Rolf's Latin-stylee garden.

"It was designed so that you play the stylophone along with it. But we lost ours."

Couldn't you just sample it up and use one of your keyboards? Phil slowly surveys the vast amount of user-friendly digitalisation. He thinks for a moment and examines another machine... "No."

It's decided that a spot of lunch outside is in order, so that the lads can return to their task with renewed vigour. Or this is the plan. Meanwhile it's a good opportunity to ask Phil and Paul a few questions about their childhood, their new album and whether or not jungle is destined to take over the world. Like, how come you two are techno uber-meisters while your other brother became a doctor?

"Well, we all had this crazy adolescence," explains Phil, tucking into a chilli burrito. "Because my dad was working really hard and was rarely at home while our mum was freaking out on Halcyon (a then-popular prescription tranquiliser). His way of dealing with it was locking himself in his room and getting really studious. Whereas I was trying to deal with the emotional housework downstairs. Don't get me wrong, mum was always very loving and caring. But they prescribed her this drug and she just kept on doubling the dose." It was this which inspired 1992's 'Halcyon' and its video, which depicted bald Kirsty out of Opus III as a snooker-loopy housewife rattling around her suburban semi.

Out in the sunlight, lots of mineral water is ordered and the brothers ruminate on what it's like being the dance band that indie fans like.

"Basically, it's great." Paul admits. "It's such arsehole behaviour when people start saying, Techno is the future, fucking guitar music is dead." Do you meet a lot of people like that? "Actually, it was far more rife about a year and a half ago. People shouting, Play some fucking hardcore! I can't stand that macho bullshit. You know, if you don't like something. . turn it off."

As the burrito mountain is whittled down we discuss whether 'Snivilisation' is the first ever politically aware techno long-player. It isn't a view that either of them seem particularly keen to endorse.

"I wouldn't be so bold as to say that it's political as such," argues Paul. "It's more observational: it questions the concept of us being the most intelligent being on the planet because we clearly aren't."

There were rumours that 'Snivilisation' was going to feature a lot of jungle. Paul adopts a face of utter confusion as he tries to cadge some curry.

"Yeah, all that hype is a bit of a mystery to me. Someone rang up and I mentioned something about jungle, and all I've heard since is all this crap about us writing a jungle album. It's like, Oh right."

"All we've done is take a few techniques out of jungle music and apply it to what we do," adds Phil. "I like jungle but it's not as if I drive around with it banging out of the windows all the time."

Right. Er. . .shouldn't we be getting back?

"Oh, what's the rush?" asks Paul with a resigned sigh. "It's such a nice day. . .

" We do, in the end, make it back to the studio. And bizarrely, things actually begin to happen.

First the pair reacquaint themselves with what Confusion were like in the first place. Paul was right: Dannii sings The Shamen. Next, we listen to what the duo have done with the track so far. The remix is instantly recognisable as an Orbital job: the pounding beat; the high, chattering counterpoints the sudden desire to rip off your clothes and dance till you drop. all are present and correct without entirely losing Confusion's, er, distinctive feel.

Satisfied, the Hartnolls wheel their chairs over to the mixing desk and set to work. For anyone who believes that techno is a matter of loading discs and writing programmes what follows would be a revelation. While Phil's hands flicker over the mixing desk in a blur of knuckles, Paul alternates between yanking at his battered old Atari computer and jabbing frantically on the Emax II keyboard to his left.

At first the track remains largely unaltered. Then the music begins to fluctuate as Phil pulls a lever here or modulates a frequency there. By this time Paul has chosen a sample from the vocal track and is tapping it out in ever more complex rhythms on the keyboard. In effect, this is both re-mix and gig (albeit to an audience of one) with the brothers egging each other on in a manner to rival any bass-and-drum empathy you'd care to mention. All that's missing is the lightshow and some E'd up goon demanding something "a bit more hardcoooore."

When the song clatters to a halt the pair play back their handiwork. It still sounds ace even without being able to see the demonic concentration on their faces. Phil at least seems happy enough.

"Yeah, well, the original was pretty poppy. So what we wanted to do with the remix was club it up a bit. And that's what we've just done. I hope."

Mission accomplished the pair prepare to leave. The track still needs a bit more work. A tweak here. An additional sample there. But, broadly speaking, a cat/bag rendezvous has been completed. As they don their sandals, there is suddenly wild talk from Phil about the possibility of coming back later on to start work on remixing one of their own tracks. It is not an idea that curries much favour with Paul.

"Nah. I wouldn't mind doing some more stuff with the Confusion number. But our own single? Nah. I mean, what's the point in rushing things?"

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