Your new album ‘Tales of a Kleptomaniac’ has just been released, can you tell us a bit about this?
What can I say? I would say, more open minded than anything I’ve done before, even though if you follow all the albums that I have done, I was going in that direction of making all sorts of different kinds of music, in a way I think it’s the happiest album I’ve made, the most musical for sure, maybe one of the most dance floor that I have done for a long time. Before I was more approaching some kind of a more cinematic kind of mood, with this album I’m going more towards the dance floor, it’s not just fall on the floor of course, but it’s all sorts of different styles of dance music.
Where does your inspiration come from for the music on your album?
The thing is, in between this album and the last studio album that I released, which was 4 years ago, ‘Ground Making Machine’ there has been another album that I released about 2 years ago, which was a live album, which completely passed, people didn’t really see it. I know that live albums are not very easy to sell, they don’t really interest people.
But the last album was a very important phase for me, as I’ve been doing live for about more than 10 years now, with all sorts of live musicians, and the live album which was called ‘Public Outburst’ was basically the result of everything that we had been trying for years on stage with the musicians, and when I released this album I really thought that it would be quite nice to go back in the studio and move forward with the musicians and make a proper studio album with them. So the idea was for me to make the music on my own until a certain point and then incorporating all the musicians and doing some work with them.
You will be bringing your live show to Creamfields for the first time, can you tell us what we can expect?
They better be very open minded. If they’re really expecting a techno live album from me they will not get it, because this is not what we’re doing. Even though the live show is very dance floor, I think that you can actually dance to each track, we’re going from drum n bass to dubstep to techno to jazzy house and stuff like that, it’s like a proper live performance. I never wanted to be on my own on the stage, with one of those computers, and I never wanted the crowd to feel like I’m sending emails on stage, a lot of those techno laptop live shows are really boring because nothing is happening. I really wanted to have some proper musicians, cause for me a live show should be like that. It should have musicians, and the musicians should interfere with each other, it should be a lot of improvisation and this is what we are doing.
Can you play a musical instrument?
Very badly, just the keyboard, but quite badly, I have a keyboard player with me and when I look at him play, he’s so good, that you better not do anything because you look ridiculous.
But if you could choose an instrument, would it be the keyboard?
Yes, I think it would be the piano or keyboard, definitely. Especially now with technology, you can trigger any kind of sound with a keyboard now, so yes I would choose that because the panel of what I could do would be much bigger.
What’s your favourite track off the new album?
This is a very hard question as for me an album is something that you construct, I feel very sad with the way that kids download now. They go on a website and they will pick up 2 tracks from the album thinking, this is what I like and I don’t like the rest. But they do not realise that without the rest, the album would never be there, it would never live, and if a track on the CD is at track number 3 and the other one is at track number 7 it is because all the other ones will basically tell you a story and bring you into somebody else’s world.
You know an album takes nearly 2 years between the time you switch on your machines for the first time and the time that it is coming out. So there is a long time, a lot of things are really thought about, so for me, I can’t choose one track, because quite frankly I like them all but at different times of the day.
You were a regular at Cream back in the early days, do you have fond memories of that time? How do you remember Cream in Liverpool?
Crazy, Epic, funny as hell. Liverpool is funny, it has always been a very crazy city, even when I was living in Manchester, going to Liverpool was some kind of a journey, but that’s a long time ago.
The beginning of my history with Liverpool was at Quadrant Park, and then after that I started to go to Cream and every time you go there, it’s pretty mad, but really good fun, and I remember so many times when I went to the back room, and I was playing all sorts of different kinds of stuff, and I think people were coming to that room to escape the big room a little bit, and to listen to different things. It was very much fun, I have great memories of it.
As you said you have a strong relationship with Manchester. How will it feel coming back to perform to such a massive Manchester crowd, will you be seeing some old friends?
I’m sure there will be lots of old friends, every time I come back there I always see lots of old friends.
Being one of the more mature DJs, do you think you can still connect with club culture audiences of 20 – 28 year olds?
There are countries where the crowd is much younger than other places. Sometimes I go to places and when the crowd is not much older than 18, I am asking myself the question a lot of the time, am I still relevant? And do I bring something to them? Or am I just has been? And usually when I ask myself that question I kind of look at the crowd and I see a lot of people with smiles on their faces and they’re smiling at me and showing me how much they are happy and enjoying it. So as long as I keep the crowd like that, I think I should carry on. But then it is true, especially in France, I can hear what the kids are listening to, I do not cater for those kids, so when I play in France I usually get to have an audience that is 25 and up, than more like a 17 – 25, because the youngsters are listening to a lot of this new rave electro rock, what ever you want to call it… and I’m not into that, it’s not my thing, but I think by being honest with what I play, and I haven’t sold out, I still play the music I believe in and I still play some underground music there will always be space, it doesn’t matter if it is a big rave or a small club with 200 people, as long as you please and cater for a crowd it is fine by me.
And just to finish, every time that I think of this, I think of Francois K, and he is way more than 10 years older than me, and every time I play with him, and I have played with him a lot this summer all around the world and we are very close friends and see each other a lot. And every time he rocks the crowd so I think he is still very relevant, and he is the guy that I’m looking up to, so when I think I’m too old, I look at him and think, oh no, he does it well, so why can’t we just carry on?
Can you finish this sentence, Creamfields is…
I’ve only been once or twice to Creamfields, so for me as much as I hear about it all around the world, Creamfields is a mystery, so Creamfields will be an experience.
Laurent Garnier performs Live in the Chibuku Arena at Creamfields UK, Daresbury, Halton, Cheshire on Saturday 29th August Bank Holiday weekend. Tickets on sale now Tel: 0844 888 4401 / link