He’s come a long way, baby

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music - CAMERON ADAMS Fatboy Slim, Fu­ture Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, Mel­bourne, March 11, tick­ets from Tick­et­mas­ter.

IN­TRO­DUC­ING Nor­man Cook three years sober.

The Bri­tish DJ, trad­ing as Fatboy Slim since 1996, spent most of those years in se­ri­ous party mode be­ing paid to drink on the job.

But these days he’s us­ing two words you never thought you’d hear pass Fatboy Slim’s lips: nat­u­ral high.

Cook has done 70 DJ gigs this year re­plac­ing al­co­hol with sec­ond­hand ela­tion.

‘‘ I’m feed­ing off the au­di­ences’ eupho­ria,’’ Cook says.

‘‘ In re­hab they call it ‘ eu­phoric re­call’. That’s meant to be a bad thing. But when I see ev­ery­body else lark­ing about, it makes me feel high.

‘‘ I know that sounds like a real cop- out, the idea of a nat­u­ral high, but it’s not that nat­u­ral. I need over- ex­cited drunk peo­ple around me to en­gen­der it. If you see me on stage I still look and act as ir­re­spon­si­ble and ju­ve­nile as I ever have. But it is good to re­mem­ber it the next day.’’

Cook is play­ing the Fu­ture Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in Aus­tralia next year. His last visit, Good Vibrations in Fe­bru­ary 2009, was so de­bauched that he flew home to the UK and right into re­hab.

‘‘ Yep, straight into re­hab from Aus­tralia,’’ he says. ‘‘ I don’t know what that says about me and Aus­tralia.’’

Cook ( pic­tured), who turned 48 this year, is pre­par­ing for the next phase of his life.

He and wife Zoe Ball had a daugh­ter Nelly last year, a sis­ter for Woody, now 10.

‘‘ Weirdly enough, be­ing a DJ suits hav­ing a fam­ily,’’ Cook says.

‘‘ You do tend to work week­ends, I leave Fri­day morn­ing, get back Sun­day night and have the rest of the week at home. But when you’ve got a record out, you have to tour it for six months.’’

There’s no new Fatboy Slim al­bum on the hori­zon, the last re­lease be­ing a col­lab­o­ra­tion with David Byrne in 2010.

There’s a one- off sin­gle Get Naked, a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Beardyman and Riva Starr and Cook has pro­duced a pop band from his home town of Brighton called Riz­zle Kicks. But that’s about it.

‘‘ Af­ter 25 years of do­ing this, I think I’ve earned the right to not go and make a record ev­ery two years,’’ Cook says.

‘‘ I’m at the point where I don’t feel obliged to have some­thing new out. To be hon­est, I’m not in­spired and

there’s no point in mak­ing a record un­less I’ve got a real bee in my bon­net.’’

For Fu­ture, Cook is promis­ing ‘‘ dirty party acid house’’.

Don’t ex­pect a great­est hits set, he’s more ex­cited by other peo­ple’s mu­sic.

‘‘ There are cer­tain obli­ga­tions, but it doesn’t rule my life,’’ he says. ‘‘ I have fun with it. I put ref­er­ences to my stuff in there rather than just play­ing it.

‘‘ Things like Right Here Right Now and Rock­afeller Skank al­ways get ref­er­enced, but not nec­es­sar­ily played.’’

Cook’s ca­reer be­gan as bass player in Bri­tish in­die band The House­martins. The band re­united to cel­e­brate the 25th an­niver­sary of their de­but Lon­don 0 Hull 4 this year in pri­vate.

‘‘ We made a pact we’d never re- form,’’ Cook says.

‘‘ I met up with them all for the an­niver­sary of Lon­don 0 Hull 4, and over lunch we said, ‘ So about a re­union, we still stick­ing to the prin­ci­ples of the pact?’ and ev­ery­one said, ‘ Yep’.’’

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