Superstar DJ Fatboy Slim on dad duties and jet setting
Fatboy Slim is the perfect choice to DJ at the season-closing Sandance festival.
The high-profile Englishman plays to huge crowds all over the world, and also knows a thing or two about big beach parties - he’s all set to host a fifth ‘Big Beach Boutique’ in his home town of Brighton in June.
But the party atmosphere doesn’t happen by accident. The DJ admits the business of developing set lists he terms ‘hard but fair’ is a full-time job which takes hard work and a lot of research.
DJing at big parties across the globe has kept the ‘Praise You’ star out of the studio, and he admits he’s enjoying his extended spell behind the decks. He says: “Maybe people think I just turn up and play the records but research is a big part of the job that people might not realise. I spend at least two full days a week sitting down, on the internet listening to every new release, trying to find the ones I like and then editing them down.
“It keeps you bang up-to-date with music. I’d describe what I play as tough but accessible house - dirtier than that Euro stuff that you get, but still accessible. I don’t want to alienate people by being too hardcore.”
Partying hard and travelling to some of the most exotic and exclusive clubs around the world sounds like a dream job. But it’s a tough business for a devoted family man.
A quick chat with the DJ and father of two, who was also a former member of English popsters The Housemartins, is more like a three-way conversation with frequent contributions from his two-year-old daughter.
And he admits his domestic situation is one of the reasons why he’s happy to hit the decks rather than work on his own releases in the studio.
He adds: “When you’ve got an album out you have to commit six months to promoting it. But the best thing about the DJing is that you don’t have to do any of that. I work weekends really, I go off on Friday morning and come back Sunday night. The rest of the week I try to work not necessarily office hours, but a bit later, when the kids are asleep.
"I’ll be pottering around generally during the day, on dad duties. I do the school run most mornings. But after years of DJing, you’re not scared of interrupted sleep - I have no body clock really!”
Although he loves putting on a party, Fatboy Slim admits he can’t personally enjoy the high life all the time. He’s learned to calm things down personally, and credits his new quieter lifestyle to an unlikely source.
While working on 2009 project ‘Brighton Port Authority’, one of his collaborators was none other than legendary rock wildman Iggy Pop.
And the DJ, known at home as Norman Cook, says: “I think Iggy Pop surprised me and impressed me the most by not living up to his reputation. He’s absolutely the most polite, mild-mannered and hard-working, humble person you’ve ever met. Until you put him in front of the mic. And then he can switch that Iggy persona on. Actually that has been a great influence on me.
“My Fatboy persona - of hard partying and slightly irresponsible lunacy - is great but you can’t live that 24 hours a day. Iggy taught me that even though that character can live inside you and be there, you can suppress it and be sensible! That’s a valuable life lesson - hence the fact that Iggy is still alive!”
ALSO PLAYING AT SANDANCE...
ZANE LOWE: Joining Tinchy Stryder and The Japanese Popstars on the new line-up after Dizzee Rascal had to pull out for medical reasons, this will be the second set from BBC Radio One’s prime-time presenter and DJ after he played the festival just last month. Expect everything from rock to punk and dance from the New Zealand-born DJ.
TRAVIS: After their second album ‘The Man Who’ charted at No.1 in the UK album chart before spending 104 weeks inside the top 100, the Scottish band have seen great success with hit songs such as ‘Why Does It Always Rain on Me?’ and ‘Sing’. They’ll be playing the ‘After Sunset’ set. For more details or for Sandance tickets, check Facebook or visit www.virginmegastore.me