The 286th episode of our 12 Questions segment features Lexicon Avenue.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
– I was young when I had my 1st 12′ out in 1992. I think it was around 2000 that the Lexicon Avenue and Echomen tracks got us playing internationally. I’ve been Djing solo for around 10 years.
2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”
– i bought my 1st house music record – ‘Wired – To the beat of the Drum’ whilst looking for electro b-boy stuff… i think Model 500 – ‘Off to Battle’ was instrumental in making me want to explore how electronic music is made. My 1st release was licensed to a Deconstruction compilation in 1992 , after that, and hearing the track played in clubs , I knew I wanted to do it seriously.
3. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
– myself and a friend of mine ( who became Zero B ) would listen to electronic stuff and travel to the Newcastle music shops to check out the synths and drum machines that made the sounds we were hearing … i had kid jobs while at school and would save to buy stuff – when i left school i worked real jobs to save and buy electronic music equipment –real stuff in the eighties not virtual synths…. we just explored the instrument without any training. These were pretty expensive bits of kit so you had lots of time to learn one thing whilst saving up for the next.
4. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
Creation is the easy part … fine tuning the sounds is obviously now more difficult.. i don’t really hit too many creative blocks – i only question myself over production and sound choice / tweaking – which is a bigger hold up in the process.
5. What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?
– i’ve been involved with music for 23 years now and I haven’t done anything else professionally. Most of my days now are spent doing that and spending time with my children, family and friends etc. Although it’s been a lot of hard work , I do feel very lucky to have had this in my life.
6. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effort on your own productions?
– I like a lot of different stuff. New Order, Depeche Mode are obvious ones. I listened to a lot of Kate Bush when I was younger and bands like Fila Brazillia in the 90s. I think that most people making music are inspired by all kinds of music, consciously or otherwise , everything has an affect.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
Myself , my sister and my dad formed a family vinyl club when i was really young We would each take a turn in choosing a single but we all had to split the cost no matter what the other chose. There were a lot of different singles picked.. The Undertones, Gary Numan, The Human League , Adam and the Ants, Hazel O’Conner etc etc. Was a good way to get into music.
The last one was New Order – Music Complete.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
Most people who know me know but those who don’t may be surprised that i had 5 Top 40 tracks in the 90s and actually did TOTP.
Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
There are so many that have incredible talent but just can’t sustain a life from it because of digital distribution and redistribution/piracy. When labels only sold vinyl, the tracks had to be good enough to justify the cost of manufacture so inherently , only the good artists got a release. Lets face it , in the digital age , anyone can release a track so the visibility of a lot of good artists gets lost in the crowd.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
Martin Hannet , Nigel Godrich and Gareth Jones from the other genres.
3 from the house music world would be Maceo Plex, Deetron and Fur Coat.
11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
– get hands on – get inside all the tools you use in the studio, don’t just exhaust the presets and then crave the next offering… learn every synth you own …even if now the virtual version
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
impossible to answer that one but what a great question…. so many candidates from the last 30 years. For the sake of diplomacy I’d go with either Depeche Mode – Only when I lose Myself – Lexicon Avenue mix or Echomen – Perpetual.
Thanks for having me. Cheers.
Segment collected by Suffused.