Where are you based? Brighton
Is this your home town? Nope. Born in Luton, raised in Bracknell.
Bracknell, the same neck of the woods as Mark Seven. Did bump into Mark in Bracknell? I knew of Mark, but I still have never actually met him. I don’t think. Initially through mates going to football with some of his mates and then through the parties they threw before House came along. They / he played Hip-Hop & Rare Groove in pubs and bars in places like Windsor and Chertsey. They later got into House like we all did. A couple of years later he was involved in putting on one of the best parties I ever went to. Hearing Andrew Weatherall playing Dizzi Heights for the first time in an equestrian centre was a moment never to be forgotten.
How did you end up in Brighton?I ended up in Brighton as I wanted to live by the seaside.
What is your first musical memory? Telling my mum I wanted a kalabiba (guitar) for my 5th birthday.
Did you get the kalabiba? Can you play?Yes I did and no I can’t.
What was the first record you bought?Madness` “Absolutely”.
My first record was the Specials LP. Did get into the Two Tone thing? Where did you go musically / youth cult from there?Yes of course. Bracknell for the shit hole it is, was actually pretty good for learning and hearing about music. I got exposed to pretty much everything there from 2 tone, 60’s Soul, Reggae, Hip-Hop, Funk. You name it we heard it all.
What was the last record you bought? Theo Parrish`s “Any Other Styles”. Madness, but under a different name!
I hate to be the heretic here, but I don`t really like Theo Parrish`s productions. I find them over long and self-indulgent, but that just could be due to the fact that I don`t often have 15 minutes to sit around listening to a mid-tempoed House track these days. What do you like about Theo`s work?The fact that his imagination knows no bounds is good enough for me.
What inspired you to start DJing / making music / the label?The LOVE.
How long have you been DJing / making music / running the label? DJing 20+. Making music and running labels around 10ish.
Can you remember your first DJ gigs? Can you remember the music you were playing?Probably the first “out”gig was ‘Shave Yer Tongue’ and I probably played some of the same records I play today hahaha.
Do you know what happened to Scott James?No. I haven’t seen him for 20 years. I think he went back to roofing though around that time as DJ work dried up.
What was your first production?The edit of Estrak Lancois ‘Cosmpolitan Wave’ was the first real thing I did in a studio properly. My own original piece was probably “We Hunt Buffalo” or one of the other album tracks I did. Most of them were 4 or 5 years old before eventually getting released so I forget.
Can you please give me a run down of the labels that you are involved in, as it could be easy to lose track. Soft Rocks, Kinfolk, Vibrations, any others?Soft rocks recordings is anything we do personally that we don’t give to someone else to release. Kinfolk is music from other people we like and want to push that ‘usually’ always get a remix by us. Vibrations is a House only label that is run under mine and Piers ‘Roots Unit’ guise.
Can you tell me something about the Salinas Jockey Club? Is this a recording project?Salinas Jockey Club is a project that Andy and I decided to try and produce some music under. Since we buy and listen to such a lot of music that we felt we could do something on a bit of a different tip to what Soft Rocks is doing.
How would you describe your sound / the label`s sound?Awkward. Eclectic. Passionate. Uncompromising.
Which production / release / remix are you most proud of?“The Curse Of Soft Rocks”
How did the four of you that make up Soft Rocks meet? How does the creative process work?Mainly all through my Pure Pleasure Music shop. I met Bobby when I first moved to Brighton and then Piers and Andy afterwards. Creatively we all have very similar tastes so can work together or alone. There have only been very few times when we don’t actually like what one of us is doing, so it works well.
Which production / release / remix would you most like to have done?Still looking.
What are your favourite places to play / hang out in?A small club, nice sound, full of people I know.
You need to play Bonobo in Harajuku with us next time you are in Japan.Cool. Hook us up, sounds good.
What is your favourite place outside of a bar / club / record shop?My personal beach front in Brighton.
Do you have one of those beach huts, aren`t they ever so fashionable now? My sister was out-bid on one by Janet Street-Porter.No, I just have a mile of beach.
Do you see yourself as part of any scene? NO!
Do you want me to leave the exclamation mark in?Yes.
Who does the label`s artwork?BJ Marr of Ipswich.
Who is BJ Marr? How did you hook up? Any links available to their work?He’s a friend of mine that nobody anyone else would have heard off but he gets what we want and always does a sterling job. All the Soft Rocks artwork except the recent LPs have been done by him.
Is a visual identity important?We hide under facial hair but that now has an identity all of it’s own.
How does this reflect your own likes / inspirations?I listen and like people with facial hair ONLY.
I recently shaved my beard off, figuring unless you are prepared to give it the full Weatherall there is no point, you`re only playing at it. Do you think there will ever be a beard backlash?I remember when Andrew didn’t have a beard. There will be a beard backlash of course, it’s inevitable. Long hair suffered the same fate circa 1991.
Which artists are you currently working with?Gibraltarian Matty, Soul Punch, Tiago & others. We are releasing a Tiago track, which we are remixing as Roots Unit. There will be a Soul Punch on kinfolk with a remix from Soft Rocks and Matty is generally helping us with new material.
I really like Tiago`s rework of “Obo”. Do you have a favourite on the remix CD?I actually like them all a great deal but Andrew’s mix of “Buffalo” did blow me away when I first heard it.
How did you manage to get Jorge Socarras To do the vocals?I am a massive Indoor Life fan and tried to track him down with no luck but a friend of mine, Jake Reif, in NYC met him at a Beats In Space show that I think Honey Sound System were doing, and we hooked it up from there.
Who would you most like to work with?Bree Olson.
Would Charlie Sheen be watching?He will probably be gagging to be involved let alone watching,
Does playing and making music pay the rent?NO!
How about selling records? Any chance you could talk about how you got into collecting and selling? I`ve bought music from you for years. I don`t think people realise how much stuff you have that`s not advertised on Discogs. If looking for something rare, you should be the first port of call. The person that all other record dealers buy from. In the late 90s you were supplying Weatherall with Electro and some amazing break beat Funk tracks. Do you still sell the odd bit to Andrew?Just picking up stuff that I already had and selling it to friends and it went from there really. Yeah, lots of it doesn’t reach the internet and gets sold privately or through the shop in Brighton. I still supply some people regularly but the internet changed everything on that front, and on lots of other fronts not just records, so the middle men aren’t needed anymore as the knowledge and accessibility is now at your finger tips.
What sites, if any, do you regularly check on-line? Other than listening to radio shows & podcasts I don’t really get time to look online that often, but obviously if an interesting interview comes up on a site then I will read it. That and the usual sites men of my age look at.
What was the last book you read? Shaun Ryder “Twisting my melon”.
What is your favourite book?Fyodor Dostoevsky ‘Crime and punishment’
What was the last film you saw?“Searching For The Sugar Man”
What is your favourite film? “Once Upon A Time In America”
What is your favourite piece of music? If that`s too difficult, what`s your current favourite piece of music? Arthur Russell`s “In The Light Of A Miracle”. The tune that has everything.