- Tue, 2005-11-22 15:58
“I Like Music because… it's my life!” Eddie Halliwell
ILM: So, your right in the middle of the BOSH LIVE tour with mixmag right now, hows that going so far?
Eddie: Well yeah it's been wicked! It's only really been the first date at the Brixton Academy with Heat who had also their 4th birthday and it was fantastic! I've got to say it was the best time I've done it, I really enjoyed it. The sound system was brilliant, I'm really buzzin' when the sound system is good. It was rammed as well. I'd just come back from Ibiza, I had a wicked weekend that weekend actually. I did Cream's closing party as well in Ibiza, and then straight back to do that. Really good weekend that was. The gig was superb.
ILM: Cool man, what a mega venue to do it in ...
Eddie: Yeah, the guys who organised the last BOSH tour kept going on at me to do something in London, and I was always a bit worried. The BOSH events have been like one-off parties here and there, and London was just something I was worried about doing in case no-one turned up to it ...
[ILM & Eddie laugh]
ILM: Not much chance of that happening is there!
Eddie: It worked really well, we did it in conjunction with Heat as well. Those guys are nice people so it just worked really well, I was really pleased with that one. Then there's the forthcoming ones, got a couple in Ireland and Scotland, so it's all good!
ILM: What kinda vibe can people expect coming to a BOSH LIVE event?
Eddie: Well it sort of originated from the BOSH mix CDs for Mixmag and the whole concept has derived from those really. They got a really good response to them so we decided to do a re-press of some of the CDs, and what we tried to do was put on the vibe of the first BOSH CD live in a club. I was a bit sceptical to that because I just like DJing where I'm working with the crowd and going from one record to the next rather than doing a fixed set. The concept was literally taking that CD compilation and mixing it live in a club. The interest in the CD was phenomenal, and it's initally one of the major things that helps get your name around and I was worried about doing that set in a club, but the guys convinced me and we got on with it. The first tour I was gobsmacked! All the gigs were amazing and Mixmag came out to do a review of one on the coach in Ireland. It was just an amazing night, the place was rammed, the atmosphere was electric too. I think there were 6 parties we did last year, they were just fantastic and the concept of this BOSH Live Tour (that was just the BOSH Tour, this is the BOSH Live Tour) is to take some elements of the tracks from BOSH 1 & 2 and doing re-edits of the tracks that have been featured on the CDs, but also future BOSH anthems and the DJs and artists who produced them and featured on the CDs. It's just like a one off, exclusive dates at some of the clubs we really enjoy working at.
ILM: You've toured all over the world. What do you look forward to the most about playing live?
Eddie: To be honest, I look forward to wherever there is a wicked crowd and good set up and sound system. If the set up is good it makes a big difference. I like to make sure the set up is right so you can perform to the best of your ability. If the set up is right, then I can just turn up at a gig, plug in and you're ready to rock and roll aren't ya! It's really exciting travelling all around the world, experience different clubs, venues and festivals. It's good to see how things are developing in other areas than just the UK. Everywhere you go they are all at different levels, especially in America it's so vast and there are so many different states that the dance scene is big in one state and not so big in another or it's just starting off in one. It's just wicked to gain the experience by travelling around these places and playing to different crowds.
ILM: Have you got a current favourite tune to play out? One that might end up in every set?
Eddie: Erhm, well I play right across the board. That's something I enjoy doing is keeping the variety in everything I do. Sometimes, like this week just gone I played Lush in Northern Ireland where you get to play a bit more housey. I was actually on a bit later and it was recorded to go out on Radio 1 so my set was a bit more energetic. You can go to Gatecrasher and play a bit more trancey and then you'll have the Brixton Acedemy with BOSH Live which was more pumping. I like to just play around and play for different crowds. Thats what I like, all sorts of DJing and dance music, so it's difficult to say one tune that might get dropped in every set. My sets totally vary depending on where I'm playing.
ILM: You mentioned Radio 1 there and I wanted to talk about The Residency. How did that come about and how's it going?
Eddie: Ah man, its amazing! It's something totally new to me and something I never dreamt I would get the oppourtunity to do. I mean let alone the whole DJing thing, it's taken over my life! I started getting loads of interest and breaking into the scene as a DJ is something I never thought would happen, but to get to do a show on Radio 1! It's going really well, it's quality! It came about initally when Nic Fancuilli and myself would do live essential mixes, we did one from Cream and one from Amnesia and some mixes from Miami and they sort of classed us as Radio 1 residents, and thats what it's progressed into. We've taken on six new DJs including Nic and myself, there's the Trophy Twins, Kutski, Crissy Chris, Jon O'Bir and made a weekely show, called in The Residency and put us all on alternative weeks so we each get an oppourtunity to do a show every six weeks, it's buzzin!
ILM: Well it's a very cool show man, we always listen again online in the office. So, when's the next Eddie Halliwell session?
Eddie: It'll be November 6th. It's not a show done in the studio, it's a mix coming from Lush. I did one a couple of weeks ago from the studio, it's just quality to be classed as a weekly show split amongst all of us to gain experience as you go. It's cool because it changes every week with a new DJ, it's really good.
ILM: Is there a piece of studio or live equipment could you not live without?
Eddie: As a general thing it would have to be the laptop, I couldn't live without that. I have just done a Pioneer DJM909 tour, it's something I will use when I can get it plugged into a set up. I'm really buzzin' about that mixer, it's a wicked scratch mixer. It's also got a wicked bank of effects in there too ... And obviously the music! [ilm & Eddie laugh]
ILM: Just out of interest, what kinda software are you using on your laptop?
Eddie: I use Protools and Ive got Ableton Live 5. Logic, VST and stuff, but I used to use them a few years ago. But mainly it's Ableton Live 5 now, it's wicked, you can operate so quickly on it you can do what you want to do in such a short space of time, some of the sequences and programms are great. It's just very DJ friendly, it can always pretty much do what you want it to do. Yeh, I really like it.
ILM: Can you explain the Eddie Halliwell process of preparing a killer DJ set?
Eddie: I never really prepare a fixed set kind of thing. I think just having your music organised to the point of knowing where everything is and having order to your music. I like to take as much music with me as I can which is great with everything being digital now being able to take so much. I like to feed off the crowd and go from track to track and see whatever gains the best reception and that will determine what you next get into. Just being totally on top of your music is the best thing I think and general practice as much as you can. I spend a hell of a lot of time travelling now but it's wicked to have hands-on practice at home or in your studio and just preperation and organisation. It's not just about preparing one single killer DJ set, it's constant learning things as you keep going and you just go and do your set.
ILM: Well you just mentioned digital music. From a DJ point of view are you exclusively using CDs now, I mean do you play any vinyl at all?
Eddie: I do yeh. All the scratch tools I use are all on vinyl. If I get a killer track sent to me and it's on vinyl, it'll get chucked in my bag and taken out with me, but the majority is off CD and download. I will predominantly play from that format because thats what's being sent, but I'll buzz off scratching off a turntable because that's what comes more naturally to me and has been there since day dot. That's where it takes practice. It's ok scratching from a CD deck and it makes a similar sound, but it's the movement, the platter is smaller and to create certain rhythms or patterns your hands aren't perhaps as used to it, but saying that, if you started on CD decks, then it's probably the other way around. I'm just buzzin' that things are evolving at such a rate that you can get more creative as a DJ. It just takes time out to learn all these bits of equipment to the max really. It's one of the main things with production too. I'd love to get into production but there is so much equipment that you can bring to your live performance, for example the EFX1000 and the DJM909, the learning curve with them is mega. There's loads you can do, that's what I like to do when I actually get the time, instead of sitting in the studio, right now for me that's what has to take priority.
ILM: You say turntablists like Q-Bert and Scratch Perverts inspire you and you are famous for dropping scrtaches n stuff into your sets. Scratching is something that requires real dedicated practice to pull off tight live. Does heavy touring effect the more technical side of your DJ'ing?
Eddie: Well yeh, when I was back at school and college I was constantly practising, every spare opportunity, every single day. But now I have all sorts of other things that are as important but do take you away from the decks. Like I just had to build a website that took time, and mainly probably the travelling, but that's something you gotta take on the chin. I'm trying to adapt myself so I can do things whilst I'm away. When I first started, on my first few international gigs, I was in pieces thinking "what am I doing! I've gotta get home! I've gotta get back!" because I didn't have anything with me, but now I have a lot of music on the laptop. I can be doing other things that are also creative, it's just you have to split and manage your time well. I've just got different things to do now I suppose.
[ilm & Eddie waffle off into nerdy turntablism/DJU chat for some 10 mins]
ILM: Shall we get back to the interview?
[ilm & Eddie laugh]
Eddie: Ok yeah ...
ILM: Have there been any DJs/live acts that have inspired you recently?
Eddie: To be honest, the times I get to see bits of other peoples sets is at big festivals. I don't really get much time to hang around... I'm always shooting off to the next gig man, it's hard to say off the top of my head!
ILM: Do you have advice for young musicians/DJs/producers trying to break into the industry?
Eddie: Once you've decided it's what you really want to do just put 100% into it, practice and do as much research as you can. Also learn as much as you can, and when you feel you have something different to offer, approach promoters. The most important part is probably experience. The amount of CDs I get given from DJs who say they have been doing it two months, you just can't do something eye-catching and different if you've only had decks for two months, if you can that's amazing! If somebody gave you the oppourtunity after just two months, would you have the music knowledge or music back catalouge to make the most of the opportunities that might get thrown your way? When things kicked off for me, it was all running at 100 miles per hour, and you're DJing with your idols, and people you have been looking up to. I just think if you haven't put in the time or the preparation you will struggle. It was difficult enough as it was to keep rolling with things. I was playing with decks everyday for over 5 years before anything happened for me.
ILM: What is in your CD player player right now?
Eddie: It's actually some CDR that I've been sent. The thing now with downloads and getting sent so many things, I'm murder for trying to listen to every single one, I don't want to miss anything! I just ram them on CDs or in the mp3 player so I can listen to them wherever I am. That's worked very well. I don't get to listen to much other stuff, I could if I wanted to, but I'm always sifting out new music for my DJing ...
ILM: I'm not suprised, the work as Eddie Halliwell is just full on ...
Eddie: Yeah that's it. As I see it, no matter how busy I am gig wise, performing out physically, or even when I didn't thave those things, like when DJing took over my life, when I realised how much I loved it, I didn't have any gigs to play, but I would take any given moment to work on it. It's the same now, but you just manage your time on doing things differently. Whether you had 1 gig or 10 gigs in a week, you'd still be mentally focused the same, and make the best of every gig ...
ILM: Well that's what makes a good DJ, you have good workmanship branded in you and you make it the best everywhere you go ...
Eddie: Sometimes I'll come away from a gig and for whatever reason, might be tired or not made the most of it for whatever reason and it makes you feel really upset inside, you think you haven't made the most of it, its' from the heart, it just feels bad if things have gone wrong for a certain reason. Like this year a few of them have through just being so tired or what-have-you, it's just a learning process on how to structure them next time around ...
ILM: You'll probably never stop learning ...
Eddie: I suppose if you don't want to learn any more, then that's the time to think "is this what you want to be doing?" That's kinda the thing with production for me, I want to do that but my feeling inside I just wanna keep learning more for my DJing so I can bring more to the table. If that ever dies it will be time to do something else.
ILM: From the conversation earlier, I'm fairly sure of the answer but I have to ask. Is there any production in the pipeline?
Eddie: Not as such no, just doing things for myself, re-edits while I'm on the move, the things I can do while travelling with the laptop and being creative and looking for things to better my DJing