Im getting older, my hairs getting longer and I want to do something with more substance. Im listening to different music at home these days, records that have a bit more meaning lyrically rather than just instrumental music. Im a big boy now.
Getting into raving as a 13 year old Spiral Tribe regular, 27 year old Londoner Tim Deluxe went on to become one of UK garages first stars before teaming up with Darren Emersons Underwater in 2001. Kicking off with singles club smashes We All Love Sax and Mundaya he went on to enjoy chart hits It Just Wont Do, Less Talk More Action and the release of his debut solo album The Little Ginger Clubkid last year, which cemented Deluxes reputation as a top dance producer. 12 months on though, hes adamant that his next musical step will rock, ably assisted by the punked up character whos just left his studio called John Keeble, apparently something of a name back in the day.
John used to be in Spandau Ballet, he got introduced to me through a mutual friend, Ive known him for years and he actually played on the last album, Tim laughs.
As soon as we met we just hit it off, hes an Arsenal fan and its all good, hes a top bloke, he continues.
Hes going to be doing loads of drums on the next album, its definitely going to be a lot more rocky and guitar based, it wont be so Latin influenced.
Future music aside though, his main priority remains Choose Something Like A Star, the fifth and final single from the album and the one that sounds most like Underworld.
it was meant to sound like then in a way, when you write a piece of music its definitely a reflection of how you feel at that time and I remember listening to Underworld a lot when I was making the album, he admits.
Ive always loved what they do and I wanted o make a piece of music that reflected the vibes and emotions and the moods that they capture and Star was my attempt at doing that. Its my favourite track on the album.
Skrufff: (Jonty Skrufff) Was it at all weird handing Darren Emerson an Underworld style track?
Tim Deluxe: Yeah it was, when I sent him the first demo I remember him saying it takes me back to Underworld, I love it. The way the vocals been done is very Underworld in style, its definitely a nod to those guys. And also people like Slam and Layo & Bushwacka, and to Detroit techno in general. I remember hearing Strings Of Life the first time and getting blown away by it so Ive always had that vibe and I dig what those guys do, even if its so far removed from It Just Wont Do. Thats the beauty of having an album, I get so much more joy and fulfilment out of it, when youre always trying to do one of big dance records, they end up becoming fodder.
Skrufff: What prompted you to grow your hair into afro?
Tim Deluxe: Nothing more than laziness, people think Ive done it for a new look but its nothing to do with that, though I do actually like it and its certainly caused quite a lot of attention and having attention, no matter who we are, is always good for the ego. I was touring so much last year and every time Id get back to London with a few days between gigs Id just want to relax and I never found the time for a haircut, then I discovered that even though its long the way I look after it is exactly the same as when it was shorter. I get up in the morning, jump in the shower and walk out of the door, without thinking about it; is just there. Lots of people tell me Im doing it for a style thing, no, not at all, Im probably the most unfashionable person youll ever meet..
Skrufff: How much has the new haircut changed the way people treat you?
Tim Deluxe: When it comes to people who are connected with the law they definitely look differently at me (chuckling) as do doormen. People with any kind of authority look at me differently because they judge me straightaway and I can see it in their eyes when I walk up to a club door, or approach a customs officer or police officer. Its only when I talk to them and they understand oh he can have a sensible conversation, hes not a drug head that they change.
Skrufff: Youve been Djing at the Underwater nights in Ibiza this season, whats your take on the island this year?
Tim Deluxe: Ive only been in and out and havent really been to any other clubs apart from Underwatewr at Pach but Id say in the general scheme of things it looks a little big quieter. But Pachas still busy, Amnesias still busy, Manumission was 10,000 strong on opening, so what more can you say? Maybe in some ways its better because the people that are there, coming to clubs are there for the music, not just the extra numbers to make up the night, the beer boys. Its good.
Skrufff: Are you a believer in the concept of the magic of Ibiza?
Tim Deluxe: Yeah, big time. I heard about it when I was a kid but I didnt know what it was, I didnt know if it was a holiday resort or something else, I didnt quite know what being a hedonist meant at that time. When you go to Ibiza and you discover more and more and see how people change when they get there you understand that yeah, theres something about this place.
Skrufff: How do people change?
Tim Deluxe: They start misbehaving, not in a bad way, but its a very easy place and a lot of people lose their inhibitions there. Like anywhere, when you go on holiday you loosen up and relax but going to Ibiza there are so many options and cultures of people, theres no wonder it has a special energy, its mad.
Skrufff: Puff Daddys complained recently about Ibiza being too expensive . . .
Tim Deluxe: I think its too expensive as well. I play at Pacha though I probably wont be playing there after I say this but I think, there are certain aspects of Ibiza that are over-priced. OK, if you want to charge a certain price on your door for entry thats fine but then to overprice your drinks as well and to deliver standard drinks, which are presented in such an umimpressive way; I think thats a piss-take. Truthfully, if youve paid 50 euros to get into a club and youre playing 10 euros for a cocktail you want it to be presented nicely. I think thats a bit of a cheap shot.
Their point is oh, we have standards, thats why we charge a certain amount on our door because we dont want riff raff in our club; fair enough, but then dont serve the drinks as if youre presenting them to riff raff. Have the whole presentation for everything spot on. Thats my gripe with Ibiza, if you want to charge expensive prices look after your customers. There are loads of things there that are overpriced and over-hyped because when you break it down youre getting exactly the same as you would anywhere else. Dont overprice things, theres no need to. Dont be greedy, thats my vibe about Ibiza.
Skrufff: You just got back from America, how was the trip?
Tim Deluxe: I was there five weeks ago playing in Denver, New York and also Canada. I had a wicked time with the people I met there, I always seem to make great friends in America but I always go there with real trepidation. I get to Heathrow and go uggh (shuddering) and its not because Ive got a seven or eight hour flight but because I know when I get off that the world changes. In America, you get off the plane and youre immediately treated as a suspected terrorist. Oh, travelling on your own are you, sir? Come this way. So I cant travel on my own now? I say, why cant I travel on my own? People who are up to no good travel on their own they reply. Yeah right, OK, wicked.
There are a lot of cool people in America, for sure, particularly in the dance scene, and maybe thats because theyre involved in dance music and they get out there and see the world but most Americans conform to this kind of nonsense thats bred all the way through, in the people who work in the armed forces, at airports, and its bollocks. Its not logical.
Its all about control; dont do this; dont do that, thats against the law. People say its because of Bush but when it was Reagan it was the same. Its America, its a vibe on its own, you either like it or you dont and much as I like certain aspects there are many things I dont. Its mainly the way the countrys run and how the people in power run it and their attitude to putting rules across. Of course, society has to has rules but exercise a little judgement.
Tim Deluxes new single Choose Something Like a Star (featuring Ben Onomo on vocals) is out on August 9 on Underwater Records.
Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)