The Remix and The Lawyer: Eddy Temple Morris Interview Pt 1
If punk had John Peel on Radio 1, bootlegs (mash ups) had The Remix with Eddy Temple Morris on XFM. I don’t think that’s going too far. It therefore seemed only right to try to get long-time host Eddy to offer a wider perspective on bootlegs.
Ten or so years after the event I can’t quite rely on my memory to be accurate. But in the early days of the millennium, anyone who was anyone in bootlegs needed to release a track via GYBO, DJ at Bastard and get played on The Remix to have arrived. And being offered a 30 min Superchunk on The Remix was the epitome. Before The Remix there really didn’t feel that there was any wider recognition of bootlegs. The Remix changed that. Eddy’s therefore kindly agreed to be part of this series and offer a slightly wider perspective.
1. How the devil are you?
Very well thank you for asking. I like that phrase. It’s ‘How the Devil’ not ‘How the God’. It appeals to the atheist in me. The devil has the best tunes and I’d rather be on a Highway to Hell than a Stairway to Heaven.
2. If Boomselection/GYBO was its online forum, Bastard it’s club then The Remix on XFM was it’s radio show. That sounds a bit creepy but do you think that’s fair?
I guess that’s fair up to a point, in retrospect. But you have to remember the chronology of all this. The Remix existed before Boomselection or GYBO. Boomselection was started by a brilliant kid called Dan [the_dr] who was inspired by listening to The Remix. Boomselection and GYBO’s raison d’etre WAS bootlegs and mashups, The Remix raison d’etre was to big-up the producer, the unsung hero of music culture and to de-mystify the cult of the DJ. Mashup culture always has been part of Remix culture, always has been, always will be, to a greater or lesser extant depending on fickle fashion.
3. How did you first come across mash ups (bootlegs)? Was it on MTV, who were also involved in the early scene (albeit not to everyone’s approval)?
No it wasn’t MTV, they were just copying and trying to make money from something they could see igniting in pop culture. That’s what they’ve always done. MTV never lead, they follow where they think the money is.
I first came across ‘the mashup’ through DJing. Every DJ back then used acapellas and instrumentals to give their sets something special or unique.
While I was still at MTV and before then, and while Erol Alkan was playing Stereophonics records at Trash, DJs all around the world were making ‘battleweapon’ mixes for their sets. DJ Food, Tim the DJ from Utah Saints, The Freestylers, Adam Freeland, all these guys were doing it regularly. It was just a standard thing. When I started the Remix in the early 2000 one of the first guests on the show was Steph and David Dewaele from Soulwax. At the time they called themselves The Flying Dewaele Brothers. I’d heard their radio show in Belgium, early Radio Soulwax, and knew they loved to mash records together in a really entertaining way, so I booked them to come and DJ, to do a mix, live on Xfm. This was the first time anyone had heard them, as DJs, in the UK. When they dropped Skee-Lo over Eye Of the Tiger and Breeders, the phone-lines went into meltdown.
At the same time friends like Garret ‘Jacknife’ Lee and Roy ‘The Freelance Hellraiser’ were sending me their unofficial mixes, and I encouraged listeners to have a go themselves. I explained how to do it, pointed people to the software to be able to do it and even told people where they could get hold of acapellas. I felt that music had been too exclusive until punk, and that DJing had been too exclusive until this moment. This was the punk period of DJing, when the doors opened and everybody felt they could have a go. That’s a wonderful and open hearted thing. I never tried to make money from it, it was like a gift, given with love and received with love and loads of tunes were made for nothing but love. That’s when it was really interesting and positive. it was only when labels, TV and others moved in, the way predators do, that it was ruined.
4. Why did The Remix focus so much on mash ups (or is that just my memory)?
Yeah, it was your memory. The Remix focused on Remixes, the bootleg/mashup scene that exploded after Soulwax’s legendary first mix on UK radio was something I reflected on air. In the golden age of bootlegs I was being sent hundreds of CDs per week, I still have many of them. So the volume meant that I played a fair few back in the day. It seemed like a lot because there was a lot of it around in its heyday.
5. Cease & Desist orders and hassle from BPI/record companies seemed a feature of those early days. How on earth did The Remix manage to run a show featuring mash ups without legal hassle?
Because I had balls, and still do. I had many slaps on the wrist, which I duly ignored, and one Cease & Desist, from a short sighted, over keen to impress her boss, minion at Warner Chappell. I got around this by simply playing the offending track and saying that I was mixing it live. People could tell from the smile in my voice that I wasn’t doing anything of the sort. But there was bugger all she, or anyone else could do about it. I’d talk directly to the lawyer/publisher: “in case you’re listening, I’m dong this live” I even started saying thing s like “I’m doing it again – look no hands”. If you have the balls in the first place, it doesn’t take much to show how stupid some music biz/broadcast laws are.
6. How did you decide which mash up artists to have on the Superchunk sections?
It was purely subjective. If I felt they had something that elevated them above the crowd, then I supported them by playing their tunes. If that support continued, again and again, then I asked them to do a mix for me. It was the same for a DJ/producer, the proper ones like Jagz Kooner or Paul Epworth, right through to the bedroom mashers.
The Freelance Hellraiser – A Stroke Of Genie Us
Essential Mix – Radio Soulwax 2005