Our second Artist of the Week Spotlight features a true legend: Nick Muir. Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the past 15+ years, the name Nick Muir isnt unfamiliar. Not only is Nick Muir one-half of bedrock (the other one being a fellow that goes by the name of John Digweed, perhaps you’ve heard of him), Nick is responsible for such movie score classics such as Trainspotting and Stark Raving Mad, to name just a few.
FRISKY: How did you get into djing?
Nick Muir: I always thought of myself as more of a musician/producer than a DJ. I was a professional session keyboard player for years and the idea of playing a set behind decks didn’t appeal - to be honest I was having such a great time going to parties and listening to other DJs that
I stuck to doing that! However when the technology improved and Ableton software came out, the opportunity to play some tunes and
twist them up was too great and I started playing some sets.
I did used to do a live thing which involved taking more or less the whole studio out and setting it up at a club. Then one
day a couple of years ago I did a gig with Charlie May (of Spooky/Sasha fame) and while I was struggling with a truckload of equipment
he took his laptop and controller out of a backpack and was ready to play in 5 minutes! The penny dropped…
FRISKY: You did a lot of scores for movies and tvshows. Anything big or interesting coming up soon the fans should know about?
Nick: As i write John and I have a project ready to go which is different to anything we’ve done before; and that, I’m afraid, is all I can tell you! I risk death at the hands of Diggers if I reveal any more - sorry.
Anytime we’ve contributed soundtrack we’ve enjoyed it and it’s worked out well - obviously if the right project came up we’d consider it but it’s
becoming a little bit of a cliche that people in our position are looking to make soundtracks. Everyone seems to be angling for it, so we’re not
holding our breath. Of course because we’re known for dance music then any offers seem to be slightly biased towards that area but it would
be great to step outside the genre. I work with a small production company that requires soundtrack from time to time which can be anything
from world music to full blown orchestral - it’s great work to do, challenging and I enjoy coming up with something just when they think they’ve got
FRISKY: Do you approach the production of a movie/tv score differently than any other ‘club’ track?
Nick: There are similarities; coming up with a successful musical arrangement is key to both disciplines, getting the energy flow right is important too, you have
to make it sound natural, even when you’re working with totally electronic sources.
The big difference is that you rarely work to a steady unchanging pulse when you’re writing to a scene (although that can be made to work well)
and the pulse is what club tracks are all about of course. But within a club mix its common to get the intensity to rise and fall which you also do with soundtrack, but the level of subtlety you sometimes employ with a score you will rarely hear in a club mix. Not in mine anyway, they’re a right racket normally!
FRISKY: You are one half of the legendary Bedrock duo with John Digweed, how did you guys meet, why the name bedrock and who came up with that name?
Nick: We met through a mutual friend of ours, the saxophone player Simeon Jones. Simeon and I were in a touring band together and knowing I was into the dance music scene,
he introduced me to John who he’d met in the Austrian alps during the ski-ing season; Simmy was in the resident band and John was DJ-ing there. We made contact, next thing I knew John turned up at the studio and we were writing a track!
‘For What You Dream Of’
After we wrote ‘For What You Dream Of’ we were looking for a name (I remember ‘Oddjob’ was one of the names that came up, haha) but John was already running a night called Bedrock, I believe he borrowed the name from a Chicago nightclub, which, legend has it, had a volcano that they somehow rigged up in the club which actually used to erupt! I thought it was a pretty cool name which also meant something to people who had seen John play.
FRISKY: What is the craziest place you partied?
Nick: I remember these guys who used to hold raves in unlikely venues and one time they managed to get into a shipbreakers yard and set up in the rusting hull of an old ship! it was a very cool place - but it sounded like shit.
FRISKY: What can we expect from Nick Muir and or Bedrock in the future?
Nick: There’s lots of things I’d like to do, whether or not I’ll get the chance is another matter. I’m interested in sound systems and would like to experiment with how music is relayed in a space. We’re on good terms with the guys at Funktion One and I’m hoping we may do some work with them at some point.
I would like to make more albums, not something we’ve done a lot of over the years, as the compilation is more the medium in which DJs tend to work - also the internet is still in its infancy and is going to continue to evolve. Its going to be massive and all encompassing - I think traditional broadcast radio has had its golden era and stations like Frisky are the future. People are going to make great things for the web. It’s going to be awesome. It already is.
FRISKY: If Simon Cowell asked you to be a judge in his rumored DJ-Idol competition, what would you say to him?”
Nick: Look I’m sure Simon Cowell is actually an OK guy but of course the very idea of DJ-idol strikes terror into the heart of any true lover of club music. If he asked me to be a judge, firstly I’d pick myself up off the floor, then I would accept on the basis he paid me an obscenely large amount of money with which I could throw some proper parties and help a few people that really need it with anything left over.
FRISKY: What do you think of the current debate thats going on about the the alleged over-commercialisation of dance music? Good or bad? Whats your take on it?
Nick: I’ve been working in dance music for a long time now and the debate has been going on as long as I can remember. If you’ve got a scene a bunch of people like then someone’s going to try and exploit it, which I haven’t necessarily got a problem with. If you’re going to make money then there will always have to be a bit of that.
Also, while the focus of attention is on the latest cheesy dance spectacular it gives the underground dance scene a chance to breathe a bit and to re-position itself exactly where it should be - underground.
FRISKY: If you were to play your last gig ever: Where would it be and what track would you play to close it out?
Nick: Ah well, there’s a question. As far as I’m concerned Space in Ibiza is just about the best club in the world (although if you could re-open Twilo that might nick it) so maybe there - I might play Born Slippy/Underworld - so many memories, its a whole lifetime in one track - plus the opening riff is my wifes ringtone!
Underworld - Born Slippy
Nick Muir - FRISKY Artist of the Week airs Tuesday July 31 at 11AM Los Angeles / 02PM New York / 08PM CET on friskyRadio.com