James Lavelle: Dj,
producer, boss boss of Mo' Wax record label, founder of Unkle’s project, the
aliens behind Psyence Fiction (1998), Never, Never, Land (2003)
and recent, extraordinary War Stories (2007). Collaborations with DJ
Shadow, Thom Yorke, Ian Brown, Richard Ashcroft, Mike D, Badly Drawn Boy, 3D of
Massive Attack and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age We can talk with him
in a break of Unkle’s world tour. Few questions, curt replies: this is Mr.
Let's talk about
War Stories: in what ways do the guests participate in the creative process of
Because it is a
collaboration they are essential to the creative process. But depending on the
song and the artist each collaboration is different.
Tell me something
about your writing process: can you talk a little about atmosphere when
It depends on the
situation. The writing process on this record was very relaxed being written
mostly in the desert, for me personally I need to me to escape to write which
generally means a quiet environment and somewhere that is going to inspire your
head to go to a different place.
What you think in
retrospect of your previous albums? Are you satisfied by results of work done?
I am generally never
satisfied. I think that is why you want to continue and write more records.
There are of course songs that you tend to like more than others over a period
of time but even that can change due to mood and atmosphere. I suppose albums
are generally about capturing a period of time both emotionally and creativly,
so sometimes it depends on how you feel about that period of time which again
How do you
approach your live shows? What about the War Stories tour, musicians involved,
atmosphere and the shows in general?
We tried to create a
live experience which would show the three albums in a more traditional live
enviroment. The best things to do as far as opinion of the show is see it. But
I think up until now it has been working well. For me what is important is to
try and create something that combines a visual and sonic experience.
Do you record all
Unkle's live performances?
No it depends.
At what point do
you get involved with Unkle's videos?
From the start.
Personally, I was
too excited by Unkle's remix of Depeche Mode's John the revelator. What did you
want to achieve with it and how do you imagine a Depeche Mode recording produced
by Unkle's touch?
It is not my
favourite. I did not think it was one of their best songs so for me I didnt
actually achieve what I would have hoped.
Are you producing
anyone right now, or do you have an artist or a band you’d like to produce?
Im currently just
working on this album and will start maybe in the studio mid next year.
What are you most
proud of at this point in your career?
originally want to be an artist or a Dj-producer?
What’s your own
record collection like? Is it mostly vinyl?
Up until two years
ago mostly vinyl, now mostly cd. My record collection is a mixture of musical
genres, collected over the last 20 years probably have something in the region
if 20,000 records.
Are you a reader?
What kind of books do you read? What influence does it have on your own writing?
I am not a massive
reader, I tend to read a lot of non fiction. And yes a lot of the things that I
do read will influence me as in most things I take in around my life.
Special thanks to Charlene Myles