Eddy Temple Morris Interview

Eddy Temple-Morris: The Power of the Remix.

Eddy Temple-Morris is the host of the Remix radio show on XFM. He is also one half of the dance act Losers. He is also the creator of Ibiza Rocks, which brings live acts to the clubbing mecca. Eddy recently wrote in to discuss his first experiences DJing, his approach to production and what he looks for in a remix.

Do you remember the first DJ you ever saw?
That’s an interesting question that nobody has ever asked me before. I won’t count the guys who’d turn up with a soundrig and multicoloured lights in a wooden cabinet, the ones who’d wait until the last chord of a tune then fire off the next snappy, crackly, poppy 7inch. The first proper DJs I saw were at a club called ‘Boy’ at 21 Oxford Street. They were residents called Daz Doggett and Steve Horwood, of course they had obligatory silly 80s names then, and silly hair to match. They played the hottest dancefloor fodder at the time, in the London Goth scene; Sisters Of Mercy, cabaret Voltaire, Psychic TV, DAF, Fad Gadget The The, and mixed them with glam and post punk classics from T-Rex to Gang Of Four.
Around that time I saw Boy George and Rusty Egan at Camden Palace, Jonny Slut at The Batcave, the resident gay house/proto tech massive who payed Asylum at Heaven, Clive The Doctor (of Doctor and The Medics) at Alice in Wonderland, and Simon Hobart at The Kit Kat. None of these names will mean anything to most people under 40, but at the time they were pushing the musical envelope and broadening horizons.

What was the first album you bought?
I persuaded my mum to buy me a couple of albums that were racked next to the checkout tills at the local supermarket, one was Elvis live in Las Vegas, the other was ‘Great Movie Themes’ which I loved the best. But the first record I bought with my own pocket money was ‘Rattus Norvegicus’ by The Strangers, which funnily enough led to my love of electronica, through its producer, Martin Rushent, who went on to make Dare by Human League.

How old were you when your first began DJing?
I first had a go in those 80s Goth n Glam Clubs, but the first actual set was a a place called ‘Iron Orchid’ at 21 Oxford Street. It was an ‘Avant Garde’ club with the tagline ‘from John Cage to Einsturdzende Neubaten.’ It was run in conjunction with Stevo from Some Bizarre, the man who signed Matt Johnson and Soft Cell. I was always in awe of him. A true maverick and inspiring character.

Where are some of your favorite places to DJ?
Clubs wise I loved the soundsystem at Matter more than any other. My favourite club, pound for pound, I think, is Razzmatazz in Barcelona, and I love the crowd at places like We Are Your Friends in Bournemouth (south coast of England).
But I’ve never had more fun than when on tour with The Prodigy or Pendulum. I did Pendulum’s first headline tour, as their only support. It was amazing. And I was lucky enough to be hand picked by The Prodigy to go on their Greatest Hits tour a few years ago. I could have died happy right there, a career high for me.

How does your stylistic approach differ when you are DJing versus when you are producing tracks? 
These are two very different disciplines for me. I steadfastly refuse to take a laptop to a DJ gig. I think the combination of a two-dimensional barrier between you and the crowd only serves to distance yourself, I love eyeballing the crowd and trying to read their thoughts, plus it looks like you’re answering emails, not a good look. Ableton etc has its place in a live scenario, but for me, its a heads-down experience and takes the performance element out of your sets.
Making music is more about getting your head down and getting lost in your world of sounds and grooves and the subtelty of production.

What qualities do you look for in a great remix?
I think if you’re remixing a good song, then that song should be treated with maximum respect. Just putting a bit of chopped up vocal over one of your castaway tracks is not good enough. I always admire a mix that takes a track and puts it in a completely different context, and brings it to a new audience, or those special ones that make you appreciate the a-side that much more. Stuart Price’s mix of Killers ‘Mr Bright Side,’ Aeroplane’s mixes of Grace Jones and Friendly Fires, more recently, or Evil Nine’s rerub of Temper Trap, which made me realise how great Temper Trap was.
The flipside of that same coin would be the mixes that take something that not really up to much and make it sublime. Skream’s mix of La Roux would be a case-in-point there.

What artists would you like to remix yourself?
I’ve always wanted to get a mix of a Wall Of Sound artist, because I love the label so much, sadly that’s never come my way.
Pendulum would be a massive look, I guess I’d love to do Soulwax, just because they are such amazing remixers themselves, and I’d love to update a classic. Losers have done some great bootleg mixes of Rage Against The Machine and Candi Staton, but to be above board for once would be nice.

What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve had in your career?
The biggest challenges were personal really, dealing with horrible people who took advantage of me awfully. I’m always motivated by love, but I’ve crossed paths with a few people whose only motivation is money and fame. But I’ve weeded those f*ckers out now and I’m so much happier.

How did you first get started with XFM? 
I had the idea for the Remix while I was listening to Xfm in the car. At the time my pal Zane Lowe, whom I discovered on a VHS video cassette while at MTV, was on air there. I wrote the proposal for the Remix on one side of A4 and he got me a meeting with the programmes boss, a man called Andrew Phillips. He had the balls to let me pilot the show live on air!

What’s been your most embarrassing moment behind the decks? 
Equipment failure is the worst. When one deck goes and you have to wait until the end of a record, then take the boos and ‘Loser’ signs during that awful dead air before the next CD cues up.

What do you feel is the most overrated style of dance music?
Definitely Trance.

How has the dance scene evolved since you first started DJing? 
Its become so much more fragmented, open-minded, less purist and cliquey in the negative sense. People are demanding more of DJs now, they want shows, they want to see songs being played live too. Gone are the days when an over-rated knob can turn up to a Superclub with 4 records (that all sound exactly the same) in a plastic bag.

How did the concept for Ibiza Rocks first come together? 
I was asked to host the back room of Manumission the year after I played and was the first person to drop rock on that dance crowd, in the context of a beat matched set of course…the question of a name came up and straight away I told Andy Mackay (who was looking after this back room for his brother Mike, the Manumission Head Honcho) call it Ibiza Rocks, then you’ll own the island. He said no, we have a brand to uphold, we should call it ‘Manumission Rocks.’ I kinda scoffed and said ‘start a new brand, trust me, Manumission is on a downward curve, just the way music is going, start a new brand and OWN the island in perception.’ He duly changed his mind, and is now claiming HE came up with the name, which is quite amusing because two of my friends witnessed this conversation.

How has the scene in Ibiza changed over the years?
I think that question is best answered thus: when my pal Adam Freeland first played at Privelage, the owner stopped him during his second record, literally stopped his set, saying ‘this is not house music!’ And he was duly escorted from the club. When I invited him back in the first year of Ibiza Rocks he had every pair of hands in the air (before he collapsed because someone had force fed him a space cake;). And I had t finish his set for him!

What are the biggest mistakes up-and-coming DJs make? 
Trying to be somebody else. Be yourself. True creativity only happens when you don’t copy. Inspiration is wonderful. Imitation is, well, not. Just because Josh Herve or Jackbeats choruses go ‘wowowowowoowwowow’ doesn’t mean yours *have* to!

For more information on the Remix, check out http://www.xfm.co.uk/onair/shows/the-remix

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