When Swedish House Mafia Fought Sven Vath, Plus Bartending for Banksy
Red Bull Australia recently interviewed legendary DJ and producer Fatboy Slim, covering everything from DJ fights to Banksy to the best places to get Hawaiian shirts.
There are few DJs with resumes as impressive and extensive as Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim. He's had a number of records climb the charts since his debut in 1996, his tunes have been featured in numerous movies, and he has played countless massive events all over the world. He'll be heading back to Australia for the first time since 2012, to headline the Electric Gardens festival in Sydney. Leading up to this performance, he spoke with Red Bull Australia about his memories of previous trips down under, his thoughts on EDM, his experience performing at Banksy's Dismaland, and his recommendations for Hawaiian shirts.
On of his stand-out memories from previous trips to Australia was a fight between the Swedish House Mafia and Sven Vath:
The highlight last time was witnessing this fight between Swedish House Mafia and Sven Vath outside a restaurant in Sydney. That's my overriding memory... It was quite a comedy. It wasn't a serious fight, no one got hurt. It was really about EDM versus house purism. EDM outgunned the house purism but on the moral higher ground it was probably Sven.
He then goes on to describe his feelings about the rise of commercial EDM, and how his views differ from those of some of his peers.
I think it was around that time that people were realising just how EDM was taking over the dance industry. And still is. Because it's so commercial, it just distorts what everybody else does. From me in my place, it seems like there's two camps: One is, it's so commercial and horrible and it's ruining it for everyone. My personal view is that it helps all of us. The trickle down effect to the most underground purist DJ is being felt because globally there's just so many more people into the music. And all those kids in Middle America who are listening to David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia — they probably would've ended up listening to Miley Cyrus. Instead they're being turned onto dance music, and some of them might end up being techno heads rather than EDM heads. So I think it's good for the industry, but some people see those media monsters [in EDM] as the antichrist.
Speaking about his performance at Banksy's ironic theme park Dismaland, he describes how his lighthearted, fun approach to music actually fit right in.
It fitted straight in! I personally now have three Banksy smiley pieces, including a personalised one that he gave me. Banksy's a fan of the smiley, in the ironic sense, so that tied in. But also - though he's way more political than me - we're still both entertainers who like to do things a little differently; provoke people and do things a little bit strange. I see us as kindred spirits and we're good friends as well.
The whole idea of Dismaland was to make you laugh. The whole place was hilariously surreal. I don't know what you gathered from the pictures, but it wasn't this angsty protest thing. It was generally much more fun than Disneyland. I played on the bar, rather than on the stage where the bands were set up. That made it even more surreal. I was actually serving drinks while I was DJing, just in the early part of my set before things got hectic, which everyone thought was hilarious.
No Fatboy Slim performance would be complete without his iconic Hawaiian shirts, so he gave some tips for getting the best ones.
If you're a purist, the best place to buy them is Hawaii or thrift shops in America. But if you're a DJ, do not wear Hawaiian Hawaiian shirts, because they're made of really thick cotton and as soon as you start sweating they weigh a ton and stick to you and become very uncomfortable. So if you're going to be a DJ wearing Hawaiian shirts, wear something with man-made fibres, which is a lot better for playing hot gigs. This is based on years of experience!
Check out the full interview over at Red Bull Australia: