Aphex Twin was interviewed by Space Age Bachelor magazine on September 25th 1997, in the afternoon on the day of a gig in Vancouver. The article which corresponds with this interview was printed in issue 12 of Space Age Bachelor.
Listen to the interview or read the transcript below.
SAB – I interviewed Luke Vibert a while back, and he said you were going to be buying a bank vault?
Aphex Twin – Yeah, I bought a bank. He’s actually on the bus.
SAB — So did you open up a recording studio?
Aphex – Well, I’m going to put my recording studio in it, but I haven’t got in there yet. Because I’ve got rats, and I’ve got to get them out. So I’ve got all my stuff in there now. When I came away to America, I locked it all up in a vault. Put my computer and my bike, and all that sort of stuff there.
SAB – What about the tank?
Aphex – No, I haven’t got that there. It’s at my sister’s house, but I want to try to bring it up to London soon.
SAB – Does the thing fire?
Aphex – Yeah, but I haven’t got any ammo left. I’ve only got about four rounds of ammo for it. I bought it in Cornwall, but my mom and dad moved to Wales, so I moved it up with them.
SAB – Do you get any government trouble for that?
Aphex — Not yet. I haven’t got cat wheel tracks. It’s got massive wheels, so you can drive it on the road. Normal tanks you can’t drive on the road, because they churn the road up.
SAB – How fast does it go?
Aphex – 45 mph forwards and backwards. It’s pretty fucking noisy though, if you go that fast. It’s deafening near the engine. Once you go over thirty, it’s so loud. But it’ll do 45 over rough terrain — really hilly, bumpy land.
SAB – Do you actually drive it around as your vehicle?
Aphex – Well, that’s what I want to do. I will do when I move it to London. I’m just going to drive it around, go shopping, and stuff like that.
SAB – Yeah, it’s pretty mad. I’m doing a course right now at university, learning about the history of weapons. It’s mad to think that the only reason we have computers is because the military needed to make them. They were invented to make bombs and stuff like that. Have you ever thought about using the tank for your live show?
Aphex – I was going to drive it onto the stage once, in Brixton, because you can get from the road onto the stage. But I haven’t gotten around to doing it.
SAB – You should set up a whole bunch of shit in front, like drums and stuff.
Aphex – It’s quite fucking hardcore though to try and get everything organized for a tank, because to drive it from London to Wales will take about two days. And it only does 4 miles to the gallon for petrol, so you’d use up lots of petrol.
SAB – So, say, if you got a whole bunch of money, like way more than you have right now, like millions and millions, what would you buy next?
Aphex – A submarine.
SAB – (Laughing) Have you thought about which one?
Aphex – I don’t know any models, but I just heard from the place where I can get ammunition for my machine gun — they’re selling off Russian submarines, and apparently they’re really cheap. Someone said they were like 50 grand, but I don’t know how accurate that is.
SAB – Man, you should record in one of those.
Aphex – I’d love it. I reckon I’ll get one. It’ll probably be a lot of hassle to do it, and you’ll probably have to hire like a crew to work it for you. I don’t know if you could properly operate it on your own — maybe you could, I don’t know. I don’t know anything about submarines. I just know I’d like to have one. It would be wicked for parties, and stuff like that.
SAB – Can you imagine the acoustics in that — I don’t know if you record with actual microphones or just on the desktop — but if you actually recorded in the submarine, it would be like an FX box in itself?
Aphex – Oh yeah, totally totally. My bank now is wicked. I use that as an FX unit now. It’s got a big stairwell with huge reverb, so I’ve got like really good mics and speakers on the stairs, so I use it as an actual FX unit sort of thing. The actual building sounds wicked.
SAB – You gonna hire that out to people?
Aphex – No, I’m going to live there on my own. I’m going to be greedy, because I’ve had too many years getting grief from my neighbors for noise. So I’m just going to enjoy living on my own, and making as much noise as possible.
SAB – So where do you normally record — in the bedroom?
Aphex – Yeah, just in my bedroom sort of thing. I’ve got to have my studio close to my bed. That’s the only important factor.
SAB – So do you like lie on your bed and make music?
Aphex – I do that as well, cause I’ve got my laptop as well. So I go to bed with my laptop.
SAB – Yeah, that’s pretty cool. I’ve got to get a laptop.
Aphex – It keeps the bed warm as well. If you leave it on, you can lie in the bed with your computer.
SAB – So if you don’t mind me asking, what kind of software do you use?
Aphex – I’ve got everything. It’s just jam-packed full of software. I write my own software now too. That’s what I spend most of my time doing.
SAB – Did you have to take a course on computer programming to do that?
Aphex – No, I’ve just done it all my life. I did it when I was younger, like making games and stuff on the home computer, and I did a little machine code and electronics in college.
SAB – Okay, that’s different. I thought you might have just decided one day you were going to start programming. And I wouldn’t know how to program anything.
Aphex – It’s in my blood I reckon.
SAB – What would you do if you didn’t have a computer, and had to make music?
Aphex – I’d be well into it. It would be loads more hassle though. That’s what I like about things, it’s so simple.
SAB – When you started out, you were making your own instruments — were they like electronic instruments?
Aphex – Yeah, I made conventional instruments as well — not very good ones though, just things out of scrap metal that you’d find in the scrapyard.
SAB – So where does all this military interest come from. Is it all the video games? You were saying you have a machine gun, too?
Aphex – No, on the tank. It hasn’t got a shell gun, just a machine gun.
SAB – Is it true that you make music for advertisements?
Aphex – Oh yeah, another one just got used a few days ago for Bank of America. They asked me the other day, if they could use “Girl/Boy” song off the last album.
SAB – Oh is that how it works. I thought you actually made music specifically for advertising.
Aphex – I have done, yeah, but I was just saying recently this happened, so that should be hilarious.
SAB – So every time it plays, you get money?
Aphex – Yeah, and they pay me loads of money to do it, too. Well, you get loads of money, but everybody gets a piece of the pie. Like for this advert, it’s a 125 thousand dollars to use it for a 30-second advert, but that gets split into two, and of the two parts, I get 60% of one half, and the other half gets recouped again, because my record will probably get swallowed up, because Sire doesn’t make that much money out of me.
SAB – Sire must make enough money off you, that they don’t need to steal your advertising money?
Aphex – Well, I don’t know yet, maybe they will off the new record. As of now, I’m unrecouped. I haven’t made enough money to weigh up against the advance, because I get a massive advance. So the last one sold 50,000 albums.
SAB – So is it the same in England?
Aphex – Yeah, I think it’s about 30, 000 in England.
SAB – It’s funny how album sales are always less than you would think.
Aphex – I reckon I’ll probably sell more albums as things go on, but I’m still surprised to sell one hundred. I can’t comprehend people actually buying my records anyway. So when you sell worldwide like a hundred thousand records, I just can’t imagine it — like a hundred thousand people buying my records. It’s pretty bizarre. I wouldn’t care if they didn’t buy my music anyway.
SAB – Then you might have to work though.
Aphex – Well, I might have to get a job, but I have loads of money now, so I might be able to live off my interest.
SAB – So now it really doesn’t matter — that said, at the same time, the stuff on Richard D James Album is getting more and more like candy, more pleasurable listening. So you’re probably going to end up selling more all the same.
Aphex – Yeah, well that’s just the vibe I’m on at the moment. I probably won’t be in that vibe for much longer — well, I’m not in it now. All the stuff I’ve been doing in the last two years is totally fucked up, computer algarhythmic music, which won’t sell anything at all.
SAB – Well before, it sounded like you were getting into this mad space-age/electro/easy-listening/classical sort of thing.
Aphex – I’ll still do some of that, like bits and bobs, but I don’t reckon it’s my main focus at the moment.
SAB – I interviewed Andy Weatherall about five months ago.
Aphex – Yeah, he’s wicked.
SAB – Well, he said in passing — well, we were talking about how he used to do manual labour and stuff like that — and he said that you said to him about when you were working, about how you’d hurry home on your bike to record, and be excited all day long. And now that you can do it all the time …
Aphex – It’s not very exciting at all.
SAB – And you’re thinking of getting a job again?
Aphex – Yeah, to counteract it. I always said I was going to get some shit job to make it better, or for making music. But I don’t know if I’ll get around to it, maybe I will. I still enjoy it though, every time I’m in the mood. I get excited, when I really want to do something. And I get excited when I’m opening my computer up. I still get like that, but not as much as I used to. I used to just like ride home as fast as I could from school, so I could do some music.
SAB – Do you reckon music making is an addiction?
Aphex – Yeah, sort of. I’d probably get quite strung out, if I didn’t do it.
SAB – When you’re on the road, can you record on your laptop?
Aphex – Yeah, I’ve been using it all the time. And I just bought a new one — a QY. I bought it yesterday, and I’ve done four little tracks on it already.
SAB – You’re into video games as well, aren’t you?
Aphex – Yeah.
SAB – Does that ever interfere with your recording?
Aphex – Yeah, I play games quite a lot. But I haven’t really played too much on this tour. I bought a CD with about 5 billion games, and I haven’t played any of them yet. There’s too much information going around these days. I don’t know what to concentrate on. It’s quite hardcore, I reckon.
SAB – Yeah that’s funny, because I was reading the Warp Internet site, and it said you were good at Chess.
Aphex – Well, I don’t know if I’m good, but compared to someone who’s shit, I’m good.
SAB – Yeah, it made it sound like you were a prodigy or something.
Aphex – No, I’m not that good.
SAB – Well, I don’t know how anyone can play chess these days. I don’t know how you can concentrate on it…
Aphex – Oh yeah, I can concentrate on it. I love it. I can get right into it. Concentration’s not a problem. As long as I’m somewhere nice, and not distracting. I can’t play Chess with the TV on. That’s well fucking irritating. But I can play it when I’m listening to music. I’m rubbish when I’m stoned though. I just make really crap mistakes.
SAB – Yeah, it’s just like math. You can’t make mistakes.
(Someone brings in the flyer for the night’s show.)
Aphex – I want it at the top. I’m not supporting bloody-what-the-fuck-are-they-called Sneaker Pimps.
SAB – So you had nothing to do with who you’re playing with?
Aphex – Well, I knew I was playing with them, and I didn’t mind, because Luke was doing the DJ-ing. So that’s good, because that’s two good acts and one shit one. And then they threw on this band on as well (Linoleum). They’re just a guitar band. They’re wicked people actually. I’m glad they’re on it, because they’ve made the tour more of a laugh.
SAB – What about them?
Aphex – The Crystal Method. I tried really hard yesterday to not hear them, and I managed to do it, which was pretty good. But yeah I hate them. They’ll be totally shit. I won’t listen to it today either. I’ll go sit on the bus … In Seattle, all the public toilets didn’t have any doors on them. It was well strange. What’s that all about?
SAB – I don’t know. I haven’t been to Seattle yet. So you had to take a dump with people around?
Aphex – Yeah, I had to take a shit, and they’re was like twenty people in a row going for a shit, and I was like, “uh.” After about ten minutes, I thought it was quite wicked actually. I was quite into the idea of it.
SAB – So you had no trouble getting through the border?
Aphex – The border? Yeah, we had loads of trouble. Why have you talked to many bands who have come across.
SAB – Yeah, I’ve even had interviews cancelled, because the border delayed them so much.
Aphex – Do you know anyone who’s got done really badly?
SAB – No.
Aphex – They kept us for four hours going back to America the other day, which was fucking shit. They tried to scare us, but this time around we were wise to it, so it was well funny. This woman was trying to scare me and Luke, and we just ignored her. They told us that we had cocaine residue in the back of the bus, and none of us do it, so they’re just lying, trying to scare you. Pretty crap really, though, because anyone can tell just by looking at us that we smoke dope and not cocaine. We’re such scruffy bastards. People who take cocaine are usually more smartly dressed I reckon. They wear more designer clothing. So they took the wrong guess. If we do another tour, I’m not going to go through the border. I’m just going to fly.
SAB – You ever thought about buying a helicopter?
Aphex – Yeah, but I’m not going to buy one. I’d crash it straightaway, because I’m just an idiot in anything that goes fast. I’ll just kill myself straightaway.
SAB – Why, you got a bad driving record?
Aphex – Yeah, I’ve written off loads of cars. I haven’t actually passed my driving test, so when I drive my tank it’s illegal. But no one actually thinks of stopping you. Like the police laugh when they see you. They don’t think of stopping you, because it’s too ridiculous to even contemplate.
SAB – So you probably get asked about this a lot, especially a couple years ago, but I never quite understood what lucid dreaming was? Is it actually dreaming or just daydreaming?
Aphex – Well both really. But what I meant was when you’re asleep, like making sounds in your head, and trying to work out songs. I used to do it. I don’t do it anymore. Like I had a dream on the bus the other day, and I had this tune in my head, and I couldn’t remember it when I woke up. It takes a lot of practice to remember it when you’re awake.
SAB – How do you train?
Aphex – Well, for about a year. The training is to remember it basically. Because most of the time, I have a dream and know that I’ve dreamt up a wicked tune, or sound, or idea, and when I wake up all I can remember is the fact that it was really wicked, so that’s really irritating.
SAB – Most of my dreams I have no control over.
Aphex – Yeah, I can change it. Not all the time. But most of the time — 75%. That’s why I love sleeping. For me, there’s different degrees of control. There’s ones that are like a movie, where you’re in the movie, and you can control yourself, and those are the best ones. And then there’s ones where you control everything, and that’s really boring, because nothing happens.
SAB – I’ve only had one or two dreams I could control, but it was really funny, because I was in hardware store, and the first thing I did was smash shit off the shelves.
Aphex – Yeah, I’ve done that. I’ve smashed everything up, fucked everyone, blown everything up, burnt everything, done everything. I used to dream I was invisible when I was young. Those were one of my favorites. Now, I like eating in dreams — smelling and eating are what I do now.
SAB – You can smell in your dreams?
Aphex – Yeah, only just. I’ve just worked out how to do it. It’s really weird. It’s like sound as well. Because it’s not real, but it’s like in your imagination. But when I eat food, it can be really vivid. I quite like looking in mirrors as well.
SAB – When I get drunk and go to bed without drinking any water, I drink soft drink after soft drink in my dreams.
Aphex – Oh yeah, yeah, I do that as well. It’s worse, if you piss yourself as well. I’ve done that about three times, when I’ve been drunk. You want to go to the toilet so much, but you’re drunk, so you just dream it. And then when you wake up, you go, ‘Ah fucking hell, I’ve pissed myself.” You’ve never done that?
SAB – No, I haven’t pissed my bed since I was a kid. Some people say if you piss in dreams, then you’ll piss in real life, but I don’t think that’s true.
Aphex – Yeah, not always. Like I usually start pissing in a dream, and then realize it’s a dream, and wake myself up. But when you’re drunk, I don’t control anything. I hate drunk dreams. They’re fucking shit. They just go in loops, and repeat over and over again. And I’ll remember things in the night, and they’ll just loop over and over again. So I have to wake myself up, and go back to sleep.
SAB – So when you make a song, do you already have the song in your head before you make it?
Aphex – Sometimes. Sometimes, I have little ideas for a loop, or a melody, or a concept, or sometimes I have the whole thing finished in my head.
SAB – And if you hear a sound in your head, can you then go and create that sound?
Aphex – Yeah, I can get it quite close anyway. When I’m awake, I do. But when I’m asleep, I can usually only get rough copies.
SAB – I was reading that you made songs before, and just threw them away.
Aphex – No, only ones I didn’t like. I wouldn’t chuck out ones I like. I probably have done by mistake. I used to chuck out the ones I hate, because I can’t stand listening to them… Have you seen those things in the toilet? Those information ads. They say the average time for sex is 33 minutes and 42 seconds, including foreplay.
SAB – Including foreplay. Oh man, that’s gotta be bullshit.
Aphex – Don’t know. I couldn’t work out if they were bullshitting or not … I don’t know what my average shag length is. I suppose it depends on what girl I’m with … I can go as long as I want now. It’s up to me. It just takes a lot of practice, I think. Well, it depends. For the first shag, maybe I won’t be able control myself, but if you have like two in the night or something, after the first one you can do whatever you like. I can anyway.
SAB – Well, that’s the trouble with the first one.
Aphex – Well, I’m quite good with the first one, but if you’re going to shag this girl again ten minutes later, then she’s not really worried. It depends who you’ve got as well. If it’s a girl you don’t really like much, then you’re not going to put much into it.
SAB – It depends where you are, too. I don’t know if I’d want to shag in some of these places.
Aphex – I like shagging. The girlfriend I’ve got at the moment is totally up for shagging anywhere, like in the street. I had a wicked shag on a beach in France before I came to America, and it was really good. There was this quite pretty woman, who was quite fit and about thirty, and she started wanking like about thirty feet away from us. She was wanking herself off, watching us two. So when we finished, she just crept away.
SAB – That’s pretty odd. Well, it’s France.
Aphex – Well, I’ve got a lush French girlfriend right now. I’m well missing her on this tour.
SAB – So are you pretty popular in France?
Aphex – No not at all. I think it’s probably the lamest territory. I’ve only played there once. But I said yes to a festival there later in the year, because I thought I’d get to see my bird.
SAB – So when you meet a girl, do you meet her cause you’re Aphex Twin, or has it got nothing to do with that?
Aphex – I try, if I meet a girl, to make it so that if they know who I am, then I’m not into it. That’s why I wouldn’t want to be any more famous. Cause basically the only people that know me are in some certain scenes. Like this girl would have heard of me, but she wouldn’t have recognized me. So it was pretty sorted. She wouldn’t give a shit about that sort of thing anyway.
SAB – Yeah, I figure there’s going to be some bars, where you can get just about any girl in the place, because they know who you are.
Aphex – Well, she’s the opposite way around. Being famous is probably more of a handicap for me, because if it’s a girl who’s intelligent, she’ll probably think, “He thinks he’s a right fucking stud, because he’s famous, and he can fuck off.” So it can work the other way around. That’s probably what my girlfriend thought, and then she met me, and realized how right sorted I was. I’m more into girls who don’t like what I’m into, because it keeps you interested more. If girls are to into what you do, you just get bored completely.
SAB – Well, I know this is a pretty cliched question — I’m doing one of these movie star interviews now — but is there a big difference between Richard James and Aphex Twin?
Aphex – I don’t know. I don’t know what Aphex Twin is anymore.
… (TAPE SIDE ENDS)
SAB – What’s the new one sound like? Can you describe it in anyway?
Aphex – It’s got a heavy metal track. But it’s not really. It’s just like aggro noise with me shouting on the top. And it’s got some other stupid vocal ones on it. And some ones that are like what was on the last album. But it’s mostly quite different.
SAB – On Richard D James, it sounded like you were mixing up styles quite a lot, like decontextualizing sounds. Like there’d be drum’n’bass sounds on it, but it’s not what you’d call drum’n’bass.
Aphex – Yeah, just little snippets.
SAB – And you’ve talked before about how you’re not really influenced by anyone, but are you influenced by styles?
Aphex – Yeah, for that album, I was totally influenced by loads of things, cause I was living in a house with loads of my mates just listening to all this music all the times of the day. They all listened to wicked music. So I just couldn’t help incorporating it into my music. I didn’t mind, I just don’t want to do that anymore. I’ve moved out on my own, because I prefer to get inspired on my own.
SAB – So does that mean that when you’re on your own, you don’t listen to music?
Aphex – Well, I do. I just won’t carry it across. I don’t switch between listening to music moods, and making music moods. I just get on a making music mood for ages, and then I’ll get bored of it. And then I’ll go and listen to music for ages. It’s like two separate things. I don’t listen to records and get motivated to make music. Whereas, if you’re in a house, and you’re in a making music mood, and everyone’s playing wicked tracks, you just can’t help nicking things. The best way for me is to just wait till you’re really bored, and that’s when you make the best music. But I can’t be really be bored these days, because I’ve got so much to do all the time. It’s quite hard.
SAB – It’s hard to get in the right mood to record in. Sometimes, you make so many dark tracks, and you just want to make a light track, and you don’t want to record until you can do that.
Aphex – Yeah, I go through all the moods. It’s sometimes the other way around too.
SAB – Do you record any time of the day?
Aphex – Yeah, anytime. But in the night’s better. Like after one O’Clock, when the phone stops ringing and it’s quiet. It’s really noisy where I live. It’s on the main road, so there’s lots of traffic.
SAB – It’s a pain in the ass having neighbours. I want to make some shit this year, but I have this neighbor who keeps on banging on the wall.
Aphex – Yeah, that does my fucking head in. I almost killed my next door neighbors once, because I was trying to do a track, and they kept banging on the walls. And I was like shouting through the walls, “Fuck off, I’m trying to do some music.” They threw rocks threw our windows and everything. They got well aggro. They got the council to try and evict us, and we used to have big fights with everyone in our street. They pinned up all these posters to the trees and lampposts about our house and how we ruined loads of people’s lives, and everyone should sign a form to get us evicted. I couldn’t believe I didn’t do anything revengeful on them at all. A few years ago, I would have got revenge, but I must have grown up, because I just couldn’t be hassled to do anything whatsoever. I just couldn’t be bothered. They’re too sad anyway. They don’t need to be fucked up. They’re already fucked up. It’s just a waste of energy to try and do anything more. I used to be like, ‘Well, if anyone messes with me, that’s it, they’re fucked.’
SAB – Well you can just get other people to do it for you now.
Aphex – Well, what I was going to do — the original plan. I thought we were going to all move together as a household, and I was going to do a PA in my house, and advertise it in the newspaper, and do it for free. But then some people didn’t move out at the same time, so I couldn’t do it. But that would have been wicked, like take all our stuff out, and then just go back for one last party, and like destroy the house. If we had a party with like 400 people in the house, it would totally fall down I reckon.
SAB – Is it attached?
Aphex – No, it’s detached. No, I mean it’s attached on both sides. On one side is a bloke who’s totally off his head. He used to go mental. My mate went around there once, cause he was playing music so quietly, and he used to come out and shout at us, and call us fucking cunts and bastards. And he came up to me and he was going, ‘You fucking hippie. You’re playing voodoo music. That’s what that is — voodoo music.’ And he tried to kill my mate with a knife, with a fucking machete — he was like jabbing it at him.
SAB – So you like living in London?
Aphex – Yeah, I love it. It’s wicked. I’m going to get out of there in a few years though, because it’s just too fucking boring. I’m going to wait till I’m a bit older — old and boring — then I’ll move away.
SAB – You reckon you’re going to make music into old age?
Aphex – Oh yeah, I’m looking forward to it.
SAB – Do you see where the work’s going to evolve to in the future?
Aphex – I don’t think it’ll evolve anywhere. It’ll just change. Hopefully, it’ll get better. I feel like I haven’t made anywhere near as good a stuff as I’m going to make. I’ve just been so lazy. I can’t possibly have made good music at all yet. I will get around to making a good bit of music sooner or later, instead of fucking around.
SAB – It sounds like with your music, you focus on the sound itself, which I like. Everybody talks about where the music is going, and the build-up and shit like that, but bottom line is that every second has to be exciting. It sounds like you subscribe to that.
Aphex – Yeah, I used to like stuff to go on for ages, but not now. I like my ears to be alerted like every few seconds. I like something different to happen, something good to go on.
SAB – Well, I’m getting low on questions …
Aphex – You haven’t got any weed have you?
SAB – No.
Aphex – Can you buy it in Vancouver?
SAB – Oh yeah, you can buy it.
Aphex – Can you get it in cafes and stuff like that?
SAB – No, I don’t think so. It’s not like Amsterdam or something.
Aphex – I’d love a spliff right now actually. I’ve got a hangover from last night.
SAB – You should make someone give it to you on stage.
Aphex – Yeah, I’ve done that before actually. I did it Detroit actually, because I didn’t have any gear. So I said at the end of the set, ‘If anyone’s got any gear, bring it to our bus, because we want a smoke.’ But I forgot to say we wanted to buy some, so there was like 80 people outside the bus saying, ‘Do you want to have a spliff with us?’ And I couldn’t really have a joint with like 80 people one by one on the bus. So I was just like, ‘Well, I just wanted to buy some for me and my mates,’ but I did get some in the end, so it was pretty good.
SAB – Yeah, I don’t really smoke much weed — it’s a bad of a badhead. Liquor makes me really loving, but weed makes me a bit quieter and darker. Anytime someone says something stupid, I just think, ‘What a dick.’
Aphex – That’s quite good though. It sounds like being quite objective. It’s good to tap into all the different sides of your brain.
SAB – Yeah, I’ve been having some arguments with a friend on the e-mail. I might drink too much, but he’s telling me to take some drugs, but I don’t know. I just think if I’ve already got lots of creative ideas and ideas waiting to get out, then if I take some drugs, I’m just going to pollute what I’ve already got in my head.
Aphex – Oh yeah, don’t do anything creative with drugs. It’s just a bit of escape, like a laugh. I like to be totally straight, when I do my music, so I can think about what I’m doing. I don’t like being stoned. And I could never do stuff pissed. Well, I’ve done some stuff pissed. I did some stuff with Mike Paradinas — the Mike and Rich album — most of that was done drunk and on acid, as well.
SAB – I never heard of that album.
Aphex – Yeah, it was a bit messy. One of those albums that people ever love or hate.
SAB – When did it come out?
Aphex – A few years ago. Two years ago. But we made it a long time ago. It was sitting around for like a year and a half.
SAB – Was it on Rephlex?
Aphex – Yeah.
SAB – I’ve never sent the mag to Rephlex. Does it have publicity and stuff like that?
Aphex – It’s just my mates. They’re Teddy Bears tonight. They work for Rephlex. And the other person is on a tour with Squarepusher in Europe. We’ve got five people working for us right now, which is pretty good, I reckon. It’s a good business. I employ my mates. It’s well bizarre. Like my mate, he was really clever at school. He was always in the top class, and he’s working for me now. It’s bizarre. I pay him to work for me. It’s pretty good actually. I like being the master. I give him days off work though. It’s wicked. I was sitting around my mate’s house, just getting real stoned, and he’s like, ‘I gotta get up, and go to work.’ And I was like, ‘Hold on, but you work for me. Just take the day off, take the morning off, take the week off, and roll up another spliff.’
SAB – You must get a load of demos and stuff like that?
Aphex – Yeah, we’ve had loads on this tour. No good ones as yet.
SAB – Do you listen to them all?
Aphex – All the way through — every track. I didn’t listen to one all the way through the other day, because it was so shit. It’s all been rubbish so far, except one thing from someone, who we reckon will be good in a few years. But what he gave me definitely wasn’t good. I got quite a few last night. I haven’t listened to them yet. One bloke gave me a tape with nothing on it at all. No number or name or anything. Those are usually the best ones. My mates had to run after him and get his number.
SAB – Yeah, I don’t know if I like the idea of putting out a demo. You might as well just put out a record.
Aphex – It’s quite romantic though to get signed with a demo. It is quite a good thing, if you can get signed off a tape. Like when I sent my things off, I thought it was wicked.
SAB – Yeah, I used to want to get signed up, but now I’m thinking, ‘fuck all that shit, I’ll just do it myself.’
Aphex – It is best to do it yourself sort of, but it depends. It’s quite hard work running a label. Our label’s only just paying off now, and it’s been going for five years.
SAB – Is that right?
Aphex – We’re making good money now, only because we were at the right place at the right time. Any other little label won’t make fuck all. But it might make satisfaction … Warp are fucking brilliant I reckon. I love them. They’re just really good. There’s not many good labels around. Rephlex is almost as sorted as Warp now. It will be soon, because my partner’s so good. He’s the King. I knew him, when I was young, and I knew he was going to do something good.
(Tape off for a bit)
(More talk, but mostly noice for the next 10-15 minutes)
SAB – There’s lots to do [before heading off for a tour].
Aphex – Yeah, especially when you’re leaving your house for a month. Yeah, it was mental. I locked all the stuff in the vault, and then I went around and locked all the doors. There’s like hundreds of keys, and I left my fucking backdoor open. And then my mate went around like a week later to water my plants, and the door was open. I live right on a main street. I’m really lucky. When he told me, I was on the plane, and I just about shit my pants, when he told me I left the door open.