Happy people, happy memories: Go Home Productions Interview Pt 2
In the second part of the Go Home Productions interview we talk about Bowie, XTC, Madonna, adverts and the visual future of music.
5. What music thing since 2001 has most pleased you – Frank Skinner theme, David Bowie…?
I seriously can’t listen to the Skinner / Bowie stuff now, without wanting to disappear to the toilet and lock the door firmly behind me! I’m very thankful for being asked to do the stuff though. The Bowie ‘Rebel Never Gets Old’ thing (although personally not my best remix by any stretch of the imagination) was exciting. Maybe the Gang Of Four / Max Sedgley remixes were OK, I dunno. I haven’t really listened to, or played much of that stuff since I made it to be honest.
The ‘music (related) thing’ that pleased me the most was spending the day with Andy Partridge of XTC fame. It was a seriously great day spent mutually appreciating each other, hearing some unreleased (at the time) XTC stuff in his shed, then going out for a Chinese meal in the evening followed by us getting hideously drunk on Chateau Neuf du Pape, returning to his house and him DJ’ing all his fave Psych, Beefheart, Pink Floyd & Beatles tracks in his kitchen. I caught the last train back from Swindon to Watford, holding one of his hand-made toy soldiers, it was like some crazy psychedelic scene out of Mr Benn.
I think for me personally it’s always the ‘current’ project that pleases me the most and in that case it’s my work as Addictive TV. More on that later.
6.What’s your favourite own bootleg (I’m always torn between Ray of Gob and Shannon Stone)?
It’s a toss-up between “Ray of Gob” and “Rapture Riders” if i had to narrow it down. They were both created when I really loved making bootlegs and the whole satisfaction that I got from the initial ‘spine-tingler moment’ when you find they work together so well.
“Ray Of Gob” was created for a GYBO ‘punk’ challenge and I literally knocked it up 6 hours before deadline on a Sunday night in Feb 2003 *yes i had to look that up, my memory is terrible*. As chance would have it, XFM picked up on it within 48hrs from GYBO and it was getting daytime airplay. Single-handedly that bootleg got me signed and working with Bowie / MTV within a month. It also hooked me up with Steve Jones of the Pistols and lead to the semi-officially sanctioned “Pistol Whipped” release a year later. I’ve a lot to thank it for.
“Rapture Riders” is a similar story as it lead to further adventures with The Doors, Blondie, EMI, an official release, top 20 hits across Europe and me hooking up with Addictive TV. Yes, it really was conceived in the shower.
7. Copyright issues have dogged bootlegs since the start. How do you think it can be reconciled?
I think it was certainly more troublesome overall for the early bootleg days (2000-2003) as the blatant flirting with copyright laws was relatively new, thanks to the advent of mp3, file sharing etc.
Hard for me to chat too much at length about it as I’ve never really encountered the ‘copyright police’ via GHP stuff. I guess the issue lies in the fact of whether the bootlegging individual is making money out of other peoples ‘work’ or merely taking that work and ‘re-inventing’ it in a cool way, not for making money but showcasing a talent in production or editing, remixing etc.
I must admit that like most people making ‘bootlegs’ back in the day, we were just doing it for fun.Those of us in that scene who came from a musical / DJ background made them as ‘tools’ to play in a set or use as examples of ‘what we could do’ in a remix/production context.
Personally speaking, the flagrant ignoring of copyright issues and getting my creations directly in the the hands of the artists and their managers / labels, helped me secure commissioned work and enable me to forge a career in music / DJ / video production for the past 10 years or so.
Guess I’ve been lucky… and talking of lucky…
8. Have any artists/record companies tried to sue you?
From 2001-2007, I never had a cease and desist, letter of complaint or law suit. And that was when my bootlegs were pretty high profile.
Madonna’s management, Sex Pistols, Bowie, Dylan, Doors, Blondie, Kasabian etc all approached me personally to do official work for them. EMI, Sony, the same. I guess they must have liked what i was doing…but more than likely saw the cash register.
It wasn’t until 2010 (when GHP was doing probably 1 bootleg a year) that I had an email from the high & mighty at Universal asking me to remove all traces of a Smiths vs Destiny Child bootleg within 24hrs or else… I found out weeks later that Morrissey / Marr had heard and loved what i’d done but couldn’t be seen publicly endorsing it.
9. You were involved with club Bastard. What was it like for you, beyond its small size?
The appeal was it’s small size! hehe
Yes, I was honoured to be asked to play there several times in the early days and it was where I cut my DJ’ing teeth. First time was in 2002, i turned up with a premixed 25min set, mimed and threw t-shirts at the crowd… It was great place to hang out. Happy people, happy memories, big smiling faces, hot, and sticky. Lovely!
I was probably the one to blame for getting people to meet at The Black Horse in Rathbone Place pre-Bastard show, as it was the favourite haunt in my Chicane days.
I really, really miss the vibe from that time. It felt special. It was special.
10. And where do you see your music going now?
That was always the direction I thought the ‘bootleg’ scene would take me and that’s exactly where I’ve landed. Around 2008/2009 I found myself focusing more on music / video editing and got plenty of work the following few years, doing audio edits for TV ads: Heineken, Levis, Toyota, Starbucks, DHL and Bacardi to name a few.
Did a couple of months on DJ Hero with Freestyle Games.
All this stuff paid well enough and allowed me the time to go back to songwriting and creating original music, doing the odd GHP bootleg for fun and thinking where I could go next.
I hooked up with Graham Daniels of Addictive TV (they produced the official “Rapture Riders” promo video, when it was released as a single on EMI) a few years ago and as Addictive TV, amongst other things, we perform a live ‘audio/visual’ bootleg experience, by cutting up and remixing movies, films, tv and music videos.
Basically it’s ‘music you can see’.
We retain the ‘bootleg’ ethic of ‘borrowing’ from different sources and blending them back together in an intelligent and humorous way, retaining the narrative of films where possible and making ‘music’ out of the visuals. It’s by doing bootlegs in a more potent visual way, that I’ve managed to retain the enthusiasm for making them. And as was the case with GHP, Addictive TV also get commissioned to do official work, like alternative trailers for major movie companies. We are also gigging at least 2-3 times a month the planet over, in clubs, at festivals, cinemas and all manner of venues.
As an aside from the ‘audio/visual’ show, we are working on our own project called “Orchestra Of Samples” where we film local musicians on our travels around the world, building our own database of samples, then piecing back together their improvised performances and making new tracks out of the visual/music.
So for example we have a drummer captured in France, mixed with a Bass player from Mexico, percussionists from Senegal, with singers from Brazil, guitar players from Spain etc all blended back together in our studio to create an original track.
The project has been ongoing for the last 2 years and with any luck we’ll take it on the road late next year.
So Addictive TV takes up 85% of my time these days with GHP/Vidler doing the odd TV ad / remix the rest of the time. All exciting to say the very least but on my part, none of this would have been possible without the whole Remix / Boomselection / Bastard / GYBO bootleg scene back in 2001.
As Ben Soundhog said earlier, someone should write a book on those ‘early’ days…
My thanks to Mark for agreeing to do this and for such full answers. I said above that my favourite GHP bootleg was either Ray of Gob or Shannon Stone. So, here’s Shannon Stone [Shannon v The Rolling Stones] a true classic
FREE download: Go Home Productions – Shannon Stone