Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Music Is Too Safe. People Want Noise; Six Albums in, There's No Sign OFTHE Prodigy Going Soft - Even If They Are All Now Middle-Aged. the Band's Liam Howlett and Maxim Tell Andy Welch What Gets Them Stirred Up Now

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Music Is Too Safe. People Want Noise; Six Albums in, There's No Sign OFTHE Prodigy Going Soft - Even If They Are All Now Middle-Aged. the Band's Liam Howlett and Maxim Tell Andy Welch What Gets Them Stirred Up Now

Article excerpt

Byline: Andy Welch

THE Prodigy has never wholly belonged to any genre. Whether it was the emergent rave scene at the start of the Nineties, Britpop later in the decade through to more recent dubstep and EDM - they were lurking, all the time selling millions of records and just as many tickets for their incendiary live shows.

Now, the Essex band are back with their sixth album, The Day Is My Enemy, perhaps they're angriest collection yet, and certainly their best since 1997's 10-million-selling Firestarter-spawning The Fat Of The Land.

"It's always a nice feeling to finish a record you're happy with and take it on the road," says the band's founder and main creator Liam Howlett.

When we speak, The Prodigy are getting ready to take the new album to Australia for a string of shows, before returning for a UK tour.

"This new album's just the next onslaught, really," he says of The Day Is My Enemy. "It's more violent sounding, and the reason that is, is it's a reaction to what's going on out there," he says, gesturing outside. "Musically, culturally, everything..."

The thing that really seems to have upset him and bandmate Maxim is electronic dance music, or EDM as it's more commonly known. They're particularly upset at the likes of David Guetta and deadmau5 - although they stop short of naming names - hijacking the genre they loved so much and turning it into a commercial enterprise.

The sentiment's perhaps best summed up on new track Ibiza, which features Jason Williamson from Sleaford Mods on vocals, berating the superstar DJ culture.

"It's a sarcastic take, and it's not an attack on the country or the island," he says, "but unfortunately, Ibiza is where most of the lazy DJing takes place. They know who they are. They turn up and do minimal work, really taking the p*** out of the public, just playing pre-mixed sets for all that money.

"The track's what I call a wink and a punch at the same time. It has that wit about it, but impact too - at the end of the summer, everyone will be singing it."

"Electronic music has turned into pop music, and pop music has hijacked dance music," adds man-of-few-words Maxim, now 48. "That's why it's important for us to make a record like the one we have. There are a lot of people out there waiting for some noise. They have been bombarded with safeness, plainness and dullness. And we're fighting that wave, and the people are waiting for us to come back with new music."

Howlett believes there's a more worrying knock-on effect of the highly commercial nature of dance music, too.

"Every sound and genre is co-opted by the mainstream straight away," he says. "Nothing gets enough time to live on its own, it's pillaged by commerciality. Music fashion is so fast-moving, it's all borrowed by someone else. …

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