They may've been on a short hiatus, but Orbital still produce one of the best live shows around. We spoke to one half of the duo, Phil Hartnoll, ahead of their Get Loaded In The Park headline set...
Welcome back guys. How does it feel to be embarking on a return to the festival circuit this summer?
Phil Hartnoll: “It’s really exciting to be back and we’re both looking forward to what looks set to be a fantastic summer. Let’s hope the sun shines!”
What were your reasons for coming back?
PH: “Well we always said ‘never say never’, but I think the timing was just right. We had both done solo records and worked on different things apart. I have been working on a film score and scoring music for adverts but you do miss going out and playing the old tracks live.”
What have you missed the most?
PH: “The buzz of playing to audiences and seeing their reaction… sun setting over a festival and people enjoying themselves to your music is a great sight!”
What have you not missed at all?
You’ll be playing your only festival show in London at the Get Loaded in the Park festival. Are you looking forward to the gig?
PH: “We are both really excited about Get Loaded. It’s going to be a great moment as the sun sets over Clapham Common, we just hope everyone enjoys themselves.”
What can we expect from the new show at Get Loaded this summer?
PH: “There is no new record so people can expect the old favourites. There will be no messing about, its going to be a fun packed show!”
How have the rehearsals been going?
PH: “We are in the middle of it right now, let’s just say we’re busy!”
What Orbital tune are you most looking forward to playing out live again?
PH: “It’s always great playing ‘Chime’; always is a great moment.”
Have you ever been to Get Loaded before or heard any stories from those who have been?
PH: “I’ve had a few friends tell me that it’s great fun. I think as it’s a Bank Holiday and your in a park in London. People are obviously out to have a fantastic time and that just rubs off on everyone and the vibe is great.”
What’s the best thing about one-day festivals?
PH: “Personal hygiene!”
Do you have any festival survival tips to pass onto the Get Loaded gang?
PH: “Drink plenty of cider. No water, that’s the one…”
Get Loaded in the Park takes place on Clapham Common, scene of many a rave or an after party way back when. What memories do you have of the Common yourselves?
PH: “It’s sketchy but I do remember Clapham having some huge warehouse parties that would go on for days. People are probably living in loft apartments there now!”
What was the rave scene like in general when you first started out?
PH: “It was just a lot of fun, nothing was particularly well organised and that was its charm… it was just a lot of friends setting up a spontaneous party and playing the music we wanted to hear.”
Was there a defining moment that stands out for you from that era?
PH: “For Orbital, I think playing at Glastonbury in 1994 was a defining moment for us. Looking out and seeing 50,000 people dancing to your music was very surreal and obviously very exciting.”
Tell us about your love affair with Glastonbury. How did it feel to be the first dance act to have ever graced the main stage and what was that experience like?
PH: “Yes that was 1995 on the Pyramid Stage, just before Pulp. I was feeling scared but it was brilliant at the same time. Although I do prefer the Other Stage.”
It’s good to see the trademark glasses are back. Let’s be honest – when you first wore them, was it for A) practical reasons (i.e. see what buttons your pressing in the dark!) or B) fashion reasons (i.e. looking cool!)?
PH: “It was purely practical, we needed to see our equipment and so after being inspired by Robert de Niro’s character in Brazil, who wore some plumbers torch glasses, we got ourselves some and the rest is history. We have just had our first ever custom built glasses made by a model maker so we’re getting professional with them now!”
Your music videos have always maintained a strong visual thought process. What are the big influences in life that inspires you?
PH: “Everyday life – kitchen sink movies of the 60s that kind of thing. Ken Loach, Mike Leigh etc”
Are you planning a new LP perhaps down the line?
PH: “Never say never.”
Which current artists are floating your boat at the moment?
PH: “Metallica, Elbow.”
As brothers, will you be making it a family occasion at Get Loaded in the Park with siblings, parents, aunts, uncles all in tow watching from the pit?
PH: “Yes we’ll have our kids there I’m sure, unless they think they’re too cool to be watching their Dads.”
And finally, and possibly most importantly who would win in an arm wrestle between the pair of you?
PH: “We’ll do one onstage at Get Loaded and find out!”
Get Loaded In The Park 2009 takes place on Clapham Common from 30 August with Orbital headlining.
Tickets are still on sale priced at £35. Click here to buy Get Loaded tickets now.