Interview: Andrew Weatherall set for RockNess 2012
Esteemed DJ and producer talks to us about A Love From Outer Space and festivals
Andrew Weatherall is just one of the new announcements for 2012’s RockNess line-up, where he’ll be joining Soma Records who are taking control of the new Arcadia UFO. He'll be joined by Sean Johnston as they present an epic five-hour A Love From Outer Space set. In an exclusive interview, he lets us in on what to expect:
Looking forward to playing RockNess again?
If it’s half as good as last year, it’ll be rather lovely. It’s a beautiful festival to play, and it was a particularly good afternoon I seem to remember - or so people tell me.
Loch Ness is an amazing backdrop
Festivals are all about location really and RockNess’ location is big, and the line-up is interesting. The perfect ingredients for a festival really.
You’re playing A Love From Outer Space set. Could you just explain what that is?
It’s a night we’ve just finished in London but do in Glasgow now once a month. It’s a down-tempo to mid-tempo psychedelic disco evening. It’s a mish-mash of post punk and new records but with a big nod to the past, disco, post punk and psychedelia.
How did you start working with Sean Johnson?
I’ve known Sean for years. We’ve been in and out of each other's orbit over the last 20 years or so. It’s just a mutual shared musical taste.
How does it work with you DJing together?
It’s usually three or four records on and off. If we’ve got five hours, it’s three on three off. It depends really. Sometimes we do an hour each, but at the one in Glasgow we’ve been doing three records each.
Does having five hours give you more room to explore different sounds?
We’ve got 40 years accumulated DJing skills. We just play records we like, and over five hours you can experiment and play weirder slower records. You just get people used to the tempo. That kind of tempo is second nature to me. Things start at 90 bpm and end up about 120, but it’s a slow gradual build-up - that’s always been my favourite kind of DJing.
Do you approach doing a festival differently to a club set?
It depends how big the stage is. If it’s 5000 people at T in the Park, subtlety goes right out the window, but I like that at festivals, that big gathering of people and being part of something bigger than just yourself. But it does effect how music is made. It’s not just dance music, but also rock music, where songs are being developed with a big epic festival vibe, I can detect elements in techno and rock’n’roll with tracks being written with festivals in mind. You see that in reviews, especially with dance tracks, where they say ‘this will end up a festival favourite’.
Do you tailor your sets to different festivals?
It depends what time of the day it is and who’s on before and after. There’s no point going on at 7pm and playing a set that’s more suited to midnight. I don’t know if other people think like that but that’s why at RockNess last year I played a disco set, because it was early evening and it was pissing with rain, so I thought a techno set might be a bit depressing. I was right. I played a disco set and it was brilliant. People were dancing in the rain and it lifted everyone’s spirit a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I like a techno banger, but right time, right place.
Do you think A Love From Outer Space will fit in nicely at RockNess? Especially with their line-up that takes in rock and indie as well as dance music.
We go into clubs that play house music, indie music, all sorts really. A Love From Out Of Space is 25 years of my record collection distilled into five hours.
What can people expect on the day are you preparing anything special?
Lots of stuff they haven’t heard and a smattering of stuff they might have heard before, but a lot of hot-off-the-presses remixes and new tracks to play, so plenty of new stuff.
Andrew Weatherall plays RockNess 2012, 8-10 Jun.