Having forged an early career as master remix duo The Dust Brothers, schoolmates Ed Simons and Tom Rowland unveiled a new identity in 1995: The Chemical Brothers. Today, more than two decades on, the pair are still considered amongst the premier dance acts and festival headliners on the international music circuit.
But all good stories have to start somewhere, and this article, from the very first issue of MUZIK in June 1995, captures the boys in ebullient form ahead of the launch of their debut album, Exit Planet Dust.
“Nobody from the dance world has come up with an album to reflect these times,” Simons (affectionately referred to as ‘the pudgy one’) tells interviewer Push. “Why is that? Why is it left to a group like Oasis to express the way that young people want to go out and get battered every weekend?”
Elsewhere in the interview, the duo reflect on the importance of having a broad interest in music – “I can’t believe that even the most dedicated techno buff would want to stick on a Basic Channel tune when they woke up on a summery Sunday morning. I bet they all have a secret stash of Simon and Garfunkel under their beds” – their respect for Richie Hawtin and Aphex Twin, and details of a tiff with Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez over sampling rights.
“I don’t know why he’s creating such a fuss,” says Tom. “Apart from the fact that we’ve only ever used one of his beats, he makes music in precisely the same way as us.”
Some 23 years later, and with dozens of top selling singles and albums behind them, The Chemical Brothers are testament to the old adage: ‘You don’t stop having fun because you get old, you get old because you stop having fun.’
Keep up the good work, lads.
[Article copyright MUZIK magazine, June 1995. Article by Push. Photos by Vincent McDonald]