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By William Smith on 1.2.2024


Beguiled by the star power of last week’s Everybody Loves Paul Simon interviewees, Foals, Editor Charlie has charged me with unearthing more celebrity nuggets from the pregnant strata of my failed fanzine, Leisure Pirate.
Here’s an interview I did with near-peerless electro act Simian Mobile Disco towards the end of 2007. Fresh produce next week, I swears!

Simian Mobile Disco are two guys called James; Ford and Shaw. They make electro music that crunches, squelches and takes over your mind. James Ford is also very much the producer du jour (that’s French, you pigs), manning the knobs for Klaxons and the Arctic Monkeys among others.

Me: Describe Simian Mobile Disco for the unenlightened.

James Ford: World-class electronic party DJ’s.

M: What first attracted you to DJing?

JF: It’s a piece of piss.

M: How were your first sets received?

JF: We used to play a real mishmash; from 60s psyche to odd electronic stuff. Needless to say, people were often a bit bemused!

M: What do you enjoy about remixing other artist’s songs?

JF: Trying to distil it down to the most relevant bits, then making your own track out of it. Also, as a producer, it’s like looking into someone else’s brain.

M: Do you have a particular approach to production that marks you apart?

JF: We try hard to stay away from techniques that everyone uses, i.e. the same plug-ins, the same modern programs… We’re analogue gear junkies and try and involve as much human performance as possible.

M: To what do you attribute electronic music’s recent increase in popularity?

JF: The never-ending cyclical nature of culture? It’s exciting. Clubbing is fun.

M: How do you see the genre progressing?

JF: Information travels so quickly at the moment. You can finish a track and before the end of the day, some Canadian bloke has got it off a blog and remixed it! Anyone can get involved.

M: Who influences you musically? Any new artists caught your eye?

JF: We’re really liking James Holden, Audion and The Chromatics at the moment.

M: Do you enjoy the touring lifestyle? Any tricks you use to make the time fly?

JF: It’s fun if you don’t do it non-stop. You always come up with the best ideas when sitting on the Eurostar with only one hour’s sleep.

LP: What advice would you give to aspiring DJs and remixers?

JF: It’s obvious, but, considering there is so much competition, you have to find your own sound. Be inspired by stuff, but don’t copy.

LP: Lastly, could you recommend one album our readers MUST hear?

JF: ‘Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release’ by Simian Mobile Disco. Haha.


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