DailyRecord Interview (6 June 2008)


Fatboy Slim: I'll throw Loch Ness the biggest comeback party it's ever seen

Jun 6 2008 Exclusive by John Dingwall

FATBOY Slim star Norman Cook can't wait to hit the shores of Loch Ness after being asked not to play the festival last year.

The superstar DJ says he is still smarting over being left off the bill at the second Rock Ness festival last June.

So when he takes the stage tomorrow night as the festival headliner, he plans to throw the biggest party the nearby town of Dores has ever witnessed.

Norman, 44, said: "It's good to be back. Disappointed, I think, is the official line when it comes to how I felt about not being there last summer.

"It wasn't my decision and I would dearly have loved to have been there because we had so much fun the first time. But looking on the positive side, it is good to be back.

"I would like to do it every year but it would be synonymous with me rather than being a festival. Unlike Brighton Beach. If anyone else tried to play there, people would be asking, where's Fatboy?

"They didn't want me to play Rock Ness every year but, hopefully, I'll get to play every other year."

Norman brought his family – wife Zoe and son Woody – two years ago but admits he'll have to fly solo this time around, now his boy has turned seven.

"I'm coming up for the two days. Unfortunately, Zoe can't make it because Woody is at school. It's not so much of a family occasion as last time when I brought the whole family," he said.

"This time, it'll just be me. I am just learning about school holidays. When Woody was younger, I could take him away any time. Now I'm having to plan everything around school holidays."

As well as his duties behind the decks, Norman has been working on a new album – his first under his latest moniker, Brighton Port Authority.

He has teamed up with a whole raft of music pals, including The Stooges legend Iggy Pop, as well as Dizzee Rascal and ex-Talking Heads frontman David Byrne for the new recordings.

"I am bringing a record out in the summer but it's not under the name of Fatboy Slim," he revealed.

"We haven't disclosed the name of the album yet. The album's coming out as the Brighton Port Authority. That's the name of the act."

He added: "It was fantastic working with Iggy. He was a gem.

"You would have thought by now that he would look and act a bit jaded but he looks fantastic.

"You'd think he would be really scary but I have known him for a couple of years. He is an absolute sweetie.

"He came to Brighton and stayed at my house and we had a great laugh.

"We're both old men now and don't get out much. On the second night when we finished in the studio, we shared a few glasses of wine and he told us about the old days.

"He was very polite to my wife. Woody liked him. He said to him, 'You're another American, aren't you?' The BPA is a studio project that has been going on for years and every single track has at least one guest on it.

"As well as Iggy, David Byrne is on there, as is Dizzee Rascal."

Working with Byrne, who was born Dumbarton before heading to the US a child, was another ambition fulfilled, according to Norman.

"David Byrne is one of my childhood heroes and to work with him was fantastic," he said. "Woody really likes David Byrne and does puppet shows for him and charges him a dollar. I don't know where he gets all that showing-off for money. I blame his mother."

He says he is planning a series of surprises for fans turning up at the Rock Ness music festival this weekend, including a spectacular light show.

Norman said: "You might be seeing little of Iggy on Saturday at Rock Ness, maybe a virtual Iggy.

"We've got a new slant to the show is still just me playing records, even though they are not records any more.

"We've spent a lot of money on the lighting and visual effects. We're talking about lasers on the loch. Although I will play tracks from that album, I'm not here to promote an album.

"When I DJ as Fatboy Slim, I'm not out there to promote Fatboy Slim records. It's more Fatboy Slim having a party.

"Rock Ness is special because of the beauty of the environment. When you are used to playing dodgy festivals in muddy fields and smelly nightclubs, it's nice to get out and see some beautiful scenery.

"Also, just the fact that it is stupid and wrong and famous for being Loch Ness and no one had done it before.

"And, lastly, the welcome we got from all the people who came to the gig. And the people of Dores welcomed us so the mighty Highland reception appeals as much as anything."

He added: "After the weekend, I'll head back down to Brighton to be with the family and finish off the BPA album, then it's off to Glastonbury. I'm playing every weekend this summer and going home during the week."

The star-studded festival bill, tomorrow and Sunday, will include sets from the likes of Calvin Harris, Mylo, Pete Tong, Editors, The Cribs and The View.

"I can cope with The View, them young whippersnappers," Norman quipped. "I've been doing this for years.

I'll show them how to go on the lash properly.

"Mylo played the first Rock Ness and I got on very well with him. I bump into him from time to time at gigs and I have a lot of respect for him. I'm not sure if I have met Calvin but Mylo is great."

And he has denied his time as Fatboy Slim has come to an end, despite reports he is hanging up the name for good.

Having worked under seven names since he started out more than 20 years ago in the Housemartins – including Beats International, Freak power, The Mighty Dub Katz and Pizzaman – Norman insisted: "Don't believe what you hear. It's acomplete lie that I am stopping being Fatboy Slim.

"If you look at my summer from Loch Ness to Hyde Park to Creamfields to Brighton Beach, I'm not giving up being Fatboy Slim.

"I was thinking of splitting up with myself over musical differences but, unfortunately, I agreed with myself so I've not split up. Actually, it was all just lies and poor journalism.

"There'll probably still be Fatboy Slim records but not at the moment.

"Everyone thinks I'm changing my name but the thing is everyone knows me as Fatboy so I can't pretend to be anyone else.

"People would just look at me and go, you're Fatboy. Who are you trying to kid?"

It's good to be back. Disappointed, Ithink, is the official line about how I felt not being there last summer'

source: dailyrecord.co.uk

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