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Liam Howlett's interview with CONNECTED.IEIt’s not often you get the chance to fire questions at one of you heroes. It’s also not often that this man agrees to do interviews. So I felt extremely honoured when Mr H said yes to this Connected interview. First off, Liam Paris Howlett is a B-Boy to the core. He first started his musical journey at the tender age of 14. Making mix tapes of songs he had recorded from the radio, something a lot of DJ’s and producers have done in their younger years. But little did he know what was about to happen next. Platinum selling albums, world tours to stadium rock sized crowds and adulation from a whole generation of dance music lovers and just plain old music lovers. I hit him up with some questions about the early years, his inspirations, influences and a little bit about the future.

Your a B-Boy at heart, when did you first get hooked on the culture and start breaking with “The Pure City Breakers”, where you a tight breaker, what was your speciality?

Well it must have been ‘85. There was eight of us school mates and we used to re-enact the beat street battles in our local youth club. I was the hand glide and windmill man. We were wick wick wack! But it passed the time.

Who was busting out of your ghetto blaster back in the day? Were you a Punk fan or strictly listening to a mixed hip hop diet before you got into producing? I know you where part of Cut 2 Kill crew?

I was strictly hip hop, no guitars. I used to tape Mike Allen’s Capital Rap show for the newest shit then I used to go to Groove Records & City Beat which was actually owned by the guy that started XL. I used to stand in the shop for hours

Did you have any idea of what was going to happen, when you first started producing? When did you realise that you’d made something really special, that was going to explode and have such a massive impact?

I always believed the early 1989 demos I did were as good as the records the DJs were playin. As for exploding, it wasn’t about that, it was more to play to my mates.

Your a big Massive Attack fan right? Were you there in the Wild Bunch days and if yes what where they like back then?

I wasnt involved with the Wild Bunch but I’ve met them over the years and they are top geezers. Rob© 3d is a good friend of mine. They just take too long to write albums ... like me!

Did the Wild bunch have a big influence on the Prodigy in any way?

No completely different, we just had the same appreciation for bass.

I heard you worked on some of the Ping Pong Bitches album would you ever see yourself sitting in the role of producer for another band. If yes, who’d be top of the list?

I will and am producing other stuff, can’t talk about it till we got a record though. Ping Pong girls are great, they were on our last album.

You’re just about to start production on the next album, do you have any idea of a direction or what sort of angle your looking to come from?

Well we just started so whatever it is it will be inspired from the live side. More melody for us but keeping the beats angry.

What sort of people are you really feeling musically at the moment, has any one blown you away lately?

No.

Would you consider working with any of the rising stars from the UK hip hop or grime scene, like Lady Sovereign or Sway? How do you rate these scenes?

That doesn’t feel right to me either, working with the grime vocalists. I’m not from that scene but I respect the fact it is pure British solid street music. Music to fight the Americans with.

Do you have any interest in DJing in the future?

Maybe, but it will be one deck and two laptops.

I’m a massive sneaker fan, would you have any interest in doing a Prodigy sneaker or is that just something you’d never venture into?

We talked about that once, limited converse. I¯ ¯m off to Japan to fill my case with new shoes. Are you jealous?

What do you think bro, I’m sick. But if you see a pair of Nike Rainbow Presto’s in a size large grab them for me bro

Ok.

If I hooked you up with the Back to the Future Delorien, flux capacitor included who would be in your ultimate super group?

Well Keith Moon on drums and thats it!. I would just sample him.

Ha ha, good answer bro.
I heard a vicious that your a big fan of Coronation Street and Eastenders, is this another case of rumour gone wrong or did you get a kick out of evil Nic Cotton and the ‘Rovers Return’ massive?

That’s an evil rumour. I don’t look at the TV. Maybe if a good film comes on.

What is a typical day in your life like?

Beats, champagne and family.

Tell us something the world don’t know about you?

I love buying sofas.

Will we ever see a follow up to the Dirtchamber Sessions?

Yes at some point after new Prod album. Maybe that’s when I will DJ again.

All 'Back to Mine' have always been quite a chill out style comp series, how did it come about and why did you want to do it?

Yeah I couldn’t work out why people just listened to chill out music at home. That aint me. If my stereo goes on, it goes on loud. If I want to chill I go for a walk in my garden. The compilation is meant to reflect what goes on after hours and this is it.

Peace LH

Liam’s just compiled the latest volume of DMC’s acclaimed ‘Back To Mine’ series, which features the exclusive new Prodigy track ‘Wake The Fuck Up’. It’s out now and is available from all good record stores. The Prodigy’s ‘Their Law: The Singles 1990-2005 is also still doing the rounds and worth a gander just to have a selection of their best tracks in one spot. Liam is preparing to get the next Prodigy album ready as you read this, who knows when it will arrive but we shall wait with bated breath.

Arveene – Clampdown


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