We talk to the legendary producer and DJ as he prepares to play eight hours of his favourite music at Hoxton's The Basement
Few people can argue that they have had careers as varied as that of Andrew Weatherall. From fanzine writer to label boss, to one of the most notorious producers around – it was he who mixed Primal Scream’s ‘Screamadelica’ and gave it the vibe that ensured its success – he’s also been known to do a spot of solo work too. Now, after a career spanning twenty years, and a Facebook campaign trying to get him to take up John Peel’s slot on Radio 1, he will play ‘A Night With… Andrew Weatherall’ at The Basement in Hoxton in what is sure to be one of the final big events of the year. We caught up with the man himself to get his view on all that’s been going on and to find out what to expect from his Night.
Dazed Digital: What’s the night about?
Andrew Weatherall: Me inflicting my musical taste upon people for eight hours. Which is a good thing or a bad thing depending on whether you’re an admirer of my work or not.
DD: We presume most people there will be.
Andrew Weatherall: One would hope so yeah!
DD: So is it a complete range of everything you’ve done?
Andrew Weatherall: It’s a range of everything I play in discos really. The first part of the night will probably reflect a night I do called ‘the love from outer space’ at a very small club in Stoke Newington, which is kind of psych disco – it’s music of a certain tempo and a certain feel – kind of sleazy, kind of slow, disco/ post-punk influence from the past, present and future. It’ll just be a reflection of that. At first I thought I should play some rockabilly, but it won’t flow and I’d rather do something that would take you a little bit more by surprise and sucks you in.
DD: How did it all come about?
Andrew Weatherall: Derren, who’s a good friend and colleague, knows how to put on a good party. He used to run the T Bar and is one of the finest promoters in London. He’d been doing it for quite a while and just when I was beginning to think: ‘bastard, he’s not called me’ – the bastard called me! And asked if I wanted to do it. He knew that I was chomping on the bit and ready to do it!
DD: Flattered to be asked?
Andrew Weatherall: Yeah I am. I don’t get asked enough – and that’s what I enjoy. I enjoy working for my money. I think it’s the working class roots in me. I always have done. I still to this day feel guilty if I’ve only worked for an hour – say the weekends when I play with Primal Scream - I get remunerated way beyond what was reasonable and I feel guilty, so it's nice to be asked by someone to do your job properly.
DD: What do you think to the John Peel campaign?
Andrew Weatherall: I’m aware of it, but I don’t indulge in social networking myself. I’d be churlish to say that it’s not nice to know that there are loads of people enthusiastic about what you do. But then the curmudgeon says I’d rather be the one Andrew Weatherall than the second John Peel. That’s why I try and not look at it because it’s so easy to get sucked up into it. When I started out I believed all the hype and when NME are telling you you’re the best thing since sliced bread it can go to a young man’s head….thank god I’m a slightly more rounded individual than I was back then.
DD: What else you got going on?
Andrew Weatherall: It’s been a really fertile period for me – probably the busiest I’ve been on the remix front since I’ve started work. I’ve just done a remix for Alice Gold, I’ve done Steve Mason, Trentemoller and then I’ve just done a remix for a new act signed to Heavenly called Le Corps – I also did the Grinderman thing. Then there are a couple of extra bits that it’s probably not best to talk about in case I jinx the whole thing!
DD: Are you working on much of your own stuff at the minute?
Andrew Weatherall: No I’ve got an album, which I’ve just finished as the follow up to ‘A Pox On The Pioneers’ but it wont be coming out – that’ll be my great lost project that will probably end up being bootlegged in ten years and gain mythical status that far outweighs how good it actually is! There was a slight disagreement with an ex-writing partner – we’ll leave it at that.
DD: What are you listening to at the minute?
Andrew Weatherall: Forest Swords, Salem, lot of grind influence, ‘Goth music’ for want of a better word - ‘Goth Step’. There’s a label called Triangle which I really like and there’s a band called ‘How To Dress Well’ who are like cheesy R’n’B which is weird because it’s like there’s an eighteen year old brother and fourteen year old sister and you’re standing in the middle between her playing R’n’B and him playing a Burial album – but in a good way! There’s a lot of interesting stuff being done in that area.
DD: What does the future hold?
Andrew Weatherall: Just to carry on. This is the busiest thing I’ve been in 20 years. You go in and out of vogue so you need to learn when to cash in because you don’t when it will be a bit leaner – then I’ll work on my own stuff.
A Night With…Andrew Weatherall, Saturday December 11, The Basement, 12-18 Hoxton St, London, United Kingdom, 10pm – 6am. Advance Tickets £10 - £15 Only Available HERE