The Prodigy get fes­tive Down Un­der

The Prodigy bring their own fes­ti­val Down Un­der for Fu­ture Mu­sic, writes Cameron Adams

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE 'N' LOUD -

GENE and Ace reg­u­larly has­sle Liam Howlett about the over­due al­bum by his band The Prodigy. They’re not im­pa­tient mem­bers of Kiss, al­though Gene Simmons did record The Prodigy’s Firestarter, which Howlett called ‘‘aw­ful, ter­ri­ble’’ at the time.

Howlett, a Kiss fan, called his son Ace and his brother-in-law Liam Gal­lagher’s son is called Gene.

‘‘Gene keeps ask­ing me ‘Have you got any new mu­sic’,’’ Howlett says, not­ing it’s nearly four years since The Prodigy’s last re­lease, In­vaders Must Die.

‘‘When In­vaders came out my son Ace and Gene were sorted out with Prodigy mer­chan­dise – T-shirts, ruck­sacks, the lot. They were run­ning around in Prodigy gear much to Liam’s dis­may. He was try­ing to get them to wear his cloth­ing line Pretty Green.’’

The kids are re­al­is­ing what the rest of the world has long known – The Prodigy work at their own speed.

They may re­lease a new song by the time they play Fu­ture Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in March. Or maybe not.

‘‘The main thing is we are com­ing with new ma­te­rial to play live,’’ Howlett says.

‘‘There’s no point com­ing with the great­est hits show again. We’ve done that so many times.’’

This time, The Prodigy will stage their own fes­ti­val within the Fu­ture Mu­sic Fes­ti­val. The War­riors Dance Arena, which ran as a stand-alone fes­ti­val in Tokyo, Ser­bia and Lon­don, will be housed in a noisy tent at Fu­ture. As well as The Prodigy play­ing live, they’ve cu­rated a bill that in­cludes Boys Noize, Feed Me, Zeds Dead, Kill the Noise, DJ Fresh and Zane Lowe.

‘‘It’s tak­ing con­trol, giv­ing peo­ple a party from our point of view. It’s The Prodigy’s party,’’ Howlett says.

‘‘You’re com­ing in to cel­e­brate with us. And we can tell you for sure the sound in our tent will be the best sound in the fes­ti­val, it’ll be all about the bass.’’

The Prodigy also hope to bring their res­i­dent tat­too artist to ink fans with the band’s ant logo.

‘‘One guy got the ant tat­tooed on his head. Some peo­ple are crazy,’’ Howlett says.

The Prodigy are busy work­ing on a new al­bum, with the work­ing ti­tle How to Steal a Jet­fighter.

‘‘You al­ways know what you’re go­ing to get with us. It’s al­ways go­ing to have the beats and the bass. We’re pi­rates,’’ Howlett says.

‘‘We take what we like from what­ever’s hap­pen­ing in the elec­tronic mu­sic scene and make it our own. ‘‘Peo­ple think we’ve gone dub­step. We haven’t. ‘‘In Eng­land, that mu­sic isn’t hap­pen­ing so much any­more. It’s like a phase. We stick to our guns. We know what we do. If a new Rage Against the Ma­chine al­bum came out I wouldn’t want it to sound dif­fer­ent, just to sound fresher.’’

Howlett wasn’t amused by Muse’s re­cent dub­step flir­ta­tions.

‘‘I love Muse, but I like them as a rock band. It seemed like they were a bit late. When Korn did it with (Dub­step act) Skrillex, even though it wasn’t re­ceived very well, it seemed they were ahead of the time.

‘‘It was like Muse missed the boat a bit. I don’t think Muse needed to change. I al­ways get sus­pect of that. I’m sure they don’t do what they’re told but it seemed like a jump on the band­wagon.’’

Howlett, who says hits Breathe, Firestarter and Smack My Bitch Up re­main pop­u­lar with ad­ver­tis­ers and film mak­ers, li­censed Breathe for an Aussie beer ad last year – with noc­tur­nally mi­grat­ing deer.

‘‘That ad felt wor­thy of the song. You have to pro­tect the tunes. Loads of of­fers come in but it’s im­por­tant it’s some­thing of qual­ity. I don’t put them on ev­ery­thing. They’re clas­sic tunes,’’ he says. ‘‘The an­them for Prodigy is Smack My Bitch Up. ‘‘I hear that when I go out. DJs still drop it and it still sounds big and fresh.’’

The al­bum that fea­tures those songs, The Fat of the Land, turns 15 this year and is be­ing reis­sued with young US elec­tro acts remix­ing their favourite tracks.

‘‘Fif­teen years seems a long time but this job keeps me young. When you’re in a band it’s like you’re in a time warp,’’ Howlett says.

The Prodigy play Fu­ture Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, at Doomben Race­course, Bris­bane, on March 2.

Fu­ture Mu­sic Fes­ti­val stars The Prodigy (from left) – Maxim, Keith Flint and Liam Howlett.

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