A Sit Down With DJ Soulwax
The year 1999 saw the arrival of Soulwaxs first UK release Much Against Everyones Advice. The album received critical approval across Europe but only a handful of music lovers fell for the admirably constructed beats, the intricate guitar chord sequences and Belgian-English crossover lyrics penned by the Dewaele brothers. They have built a solid fanbase thanks to extensive touring and many festival appearances but it was with 2Many DJs that the broader audience really started noticing the Dewaele brothers and their Soulwax combo. With remixes of Playgroup and DJ Shadow they also gained credibility in their musical abilities that not many other artists have achieved despite them trying! One needs to stress that these remixes were produced under the Soulwax name rather than 2Many DJs.
"I appreciate there not being a paywall: it is more democratic for the media to be available for all and not a commodity to be purchased by a few."
Whats Soulwaxs work method, how do you work as a band?
I dont know, we just make music. Me and my brother write, Stephaan was in the original line-up. Steve was our second drummer, then he went to New York and came back. Dave has his own band but is now playing second guitar. All the rest is fairly boring!
Do you have a particular favourite Factory artist?
I know this might sound weird, but it has to be New Order. What is there not to like about New Order? I could go on for hours and hours about them. I think one of the biggest compliments we got was when we met Peter Hook from New Order and he said one of our remixes was one of his favourites that had been done of them. It was an amazing compliment because I think he really understood what we did and where we were coming from.
Do you still do the TV and Radio shows?
No, not anymore. We did a 2-hour thing for Radio One, the Essential Mix. We wanted to do some more but we would need more time. Much to our despair, and excitement to see the band live at last, we parted with Soulwax. Half an hour later the band invested the stage for what has to be, in our eyes, the best gig of 2005 so far. Soulwax played a seamless set that mixed compositions from Much Against Anyones Advice and Any Minute Now and got the crowd going wilder with each song. No doubt many of the spectators that night had already witnessed Soulwax and 2Many DJs live in a festival or other and I bet you it wont take long for Soulwaxs popularity to grow into a beautiful monster!
All of your DEEWEE projects hold a unique catalogue number, even your studio building. Similarly they are all designed by Ill Studio, as was your live show. I'm from Manchester and I recognise that modus operandi. Would you say Factory Records was an inspiration?
100%. It's hard to explain. I really loved what they did, what they created. It's timeless. It comes from a different period yet it's still something unique in the way it sounds and in the way it looks. And it's very consistent. It has been such a big influence not just on DEEWEE, but on everything that we've done. Maybe DEEWEE is the culmination of it, but it's in everything that's gone before as well.
So has what you play altered much?
Whether it was Peaches or Metallica or Dolly Parton or Electric Six, it was all kind of fucked-up pop music but now theres not much we play thats on the album.
What exactly can people expect from your live shows?
The real star of the show is our drummer because he has to go on for 50 minutes. There are very, very few breaks in it so he has to keep the beat going which is cool. It's a fun thing to do and hopefully people will like it.
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