Smack my DJ up! The Prodigy get nasty


Techno-punk rock­ers The Prodigy, who took the world by storm with their an­gry lyrics and con­tro­ver­sial videos in the 1990s, want to be viewed as a Bri­tish “na­tional trea­sure.”

Hav­ing re­leased their first al­bum in six years ear­lier this year, The Day Is My En­emy, the Lon­don­based trio in­sist they have been as in­flu­en­tial to dance mu­sic as Brit­pop was to guitar rock.

“The Prodigy — what we did for elec­tronic mu­sic — is as im­por­tant cul­tur­ally as Blur and Oa­sis,” Liam Howlett, the band’s com­poser and main writer, told AFP in an in­ter­view in Tokyo.

“We’ve al­ways been for up­hold­ing the Bri­tish sound and we should be looked upon as a na­tional trea­sure.”

Perched on arm­chairs in a ho­tel suite and sip­ping green tea, the mid­dle-aged ravers look ev­ery inch rock-and-roll roy­alty. But they have lost none of their bel­liger­ence, straf­ing con­tem­po­rary DJ cul­ture with an abra­sive new record which draws on their rave roots and packs a punch with fierce cuts such as Nasty and Wall of Death.

“There was a real de­ter­mi­na­tion for it to have zero com­pro­mise,” said vo­cal­ist Keith Flint, he of the spiky hair, tat­toos and nose pierc­ings who fright­ened chil­dren with his ap­pear­ance in the video for the 1996 smash Firestarter.

“There re­ally needed to be an an­ti­dote to the DJ scene, which made it quite bru­tal.”

The track “Ibiza” de­liv­ers a scathing at­tack on main­stream dance mu­sic.

“We don’t re­ally care that much but we’ll slag it off when we can,” smiled Howlett. “There’s no cre­ativ­ity be­hind it. (‘Ibiza’) is a bit of vi­cious fun re­ally. It popped up out of a con­ver­sa­tion.

“Our light­ing guy was work­ing for some­body and had this CD and he says: ‘Here’s bla-bla-bla’s set. It’s pre-mixed, it’s his set for the sum­mer.’ I just couldn’t get my head round it — he’s a DJ!”

‘Art form’

The Prodigy can barely hide their con­tempt for the Span­ish party is­land, although the three snig­ger con­spir­a­to­ri­ally about re­cently play­ing there, just to un­leash that tune.

“I don’t like Ibiza at all,” snorted Howlett.

“I don’t like what it rep­re­sents. The whole elec­tronic mu­sic sound has been kind of hi­jacked re­ally by the pop world. There’s no bands mak­ing the harder end of elec­tronic mu­sic and we just think it’s our job.

“Peo­ple are just get­ting fed this shit,” he added.

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