(From Based, internet-based publication, 29 March 2000.)

--How did you get involved with music?

Youth I started doing music at 13. It was either gonna be a musician or I wanted to be a pilot, but my eyesight wasn't good enough to fly so I wanted to get into music production. At 15 I left school and joined a punk group. To be a teenager in those punk late 70's was really exciting and allowed you to do a lot of stuff. It allowed you to write your own rules in terms of how you wanted to express yourself musically. You didn't have to be a virtuoso musician, or have good hair and be good looking. You could just be whatever you wanted to be. I suppose that came together with Killing Joke. When I was about 18 I produced my first album there. By then punk had kind of been and gone really, it was '78, '79 and we were almost considered post-punk. I was always interested in the idea of being in a band with different individuals. Killing Joke was definitely a band of different individuals with a totally different look, style, and sound. I've always liked contrast in the work I do. I like to embrace these sort of contradictions and work with things that are out of context. With Killing Joke it was a very tribal, primitive, and vital sound. That led me really to New York in the early 80's-hip-hop and dancing era and the industrial music scene. I started making records in the 80's with that in mind. That lead me into dance music in the mid and late 80's. I got involved with The Orb, a label called, 'Wow Mr. Modo', and that lead me up to about the early 90's. I started with rock groups. I've done around forty albums. I used to do a lot of remixing in the early 90's and late 80's as well. I work very hard not to be type-cast. I started doing classical music, avante-garde music, art installation music, pop music, and remixing other people's records. Sometimes under other names because I couldn't get the work under my name. People associated me with doing rock or certain types of dance music. In the early 90's I got involved with the charts music scene with Dragonfly Records and the international party scene. I've now arrived at a place where I like and can do all of these different kinds of genres of music. There's not many musicians or producers that can work in different fields and it's not easy. I've had to work really hard to do that.

--Yeah. Musicians are always tends to be categorized.

Youth Here, as soon as you have a hit with something, you get asked to do ten other things that are the same. It's very hard when you're first starting out not to turn down the work and do something else where there's no money. But, it's different to get a different reputation in a different field, and that's what you have to do, you have to sacrifice the money and take a few risks. Now the challenge for me is doing film. I'm doing a soundtrack at the moment. That's good for me because it's a development of all those areas from the classical school to industrial. Simultaneously I've been working as a writer, writing poetry and some prose for the last 7, 8 years, and I've been painting and making books of artwork for the last 20 years. I've just started a publishing company to publish the books that I'm doing with artists and writers, mainly outside of music who share a view of collaborating as a collective on different multi-disciplined events. This year I'm tackling three new areas: publishing; art; use of the old Butterfly Studios as a gallery space.


--I heard, and you're doing a Druidic thing...

Youth It's a group of artists who work with a spiritual perspective. The idea of society is to encourage and create a space that allows people to work with different arts, spiritually combined in a slightly semi-conscious way. The society and myself have strong links to the native tradition here, which is Druidry. Especially the order of the Bardrates Druids, the order that William Blake was the chosen chief of in the 18th century. He's a great English mystic as well as a poet and writer, and a big influence on what I do. He and the other people of the time created a Renaissance with the Arts and the Romantic movement. It's interesting, when you look back in hindsight, you can see that there're some amazingly creative people involved. You can get a feel for their work and was going in that scene. There are not very many people doing that today on a contemporary level. I thought it'd be an interesting experiment to see what would happen if we did set something up and allow it to come through, it has it's own life, and you just follow it. What I really wanted to do as an artist is take some courses next year with papermaking and bookbinding and make my own books, printing blocks and physically put books together and do 200 limited editions with my own books to encourage the idea that people can do their own thing and write their own books print their own books and be a poet and a musician. I think that the work that you do as an artist is a vehicle for that. I think that leads you to different areas of inquiry of the self. Eventually you get to a spiritual stop and then you have to question existence itself. It works on a sort of mundane, sort of magical level. The mundane things in life like making sure your gas bill is payed, and have you got the money to do what you need to do creatively. The magical theory is, asking yourself if you'vegot the vision to see beyond the mundane and the ordinary existence of day to day life to be able to have goals and dreams and be able to focus and sustain your energy and concentration on them so that they manifest and occur. I think when you look at people who are very successful in their fields as artists and businessmen the two main qualities they seem to all have Is one their ability to be very focused and decisive, and at the same time very open and flexible and respective. That's what a good half of my work here is understanding the philosophy of that and that's what allowed me to become a good producer. I think when you talk about lifestyle, that is philosophy, isn't it? Your lifestyle is an extension of your philosophy.

--Nowadays people are presented with so many new philosophies. It is very hard, isn't it?

Youth It is, and I think that's part of the challenge. You can't buy a philosophy of your life from a shop and put it on like a suit. You have to discover it. But I think that's all part of that process. It's like learning anything. You learn from your mistakes not from your successes. You shouldn't be afraid to make mistakes or follow philosophies or ideas. For instance, I go into ashrams and speak with gurus and different holy men and I'll go into church and talk to priests because you can find truth anywhere. What was important to me was the feeling of divinity in nature around me; the trees, the wind, everything. What's interesting is that tradition almost died out in America. In L.A. someone's prepared to pay 20, 000 bucks to do a workshop and talk about that tradition In the new age circles, and for them that becomes valuable. The last 100 years no one has been interested in it so it's not valuable. Their society has changed. To me in terms of being a modern person in the modern western world how am I gonna find that in a real way? I've read books on Native American traditions, Shamanistic traditions, and the closest I got to it was taking acid. Then I got into Leary and the whole 60's philosophy and I could relate to that. I started realizing that this is part of the bigger tradition that led me to the native tradition here, Druidry, which is very similar to the Native American tradition. In the same way with painting, you go to Royal College of Art and you say what makes a good painting? What makes the criteria valid or not and they'll find it very hard to tell you what that is. It's all an intuitive, gut feeling for them. So even with our sophistication and our technology we can't still tell what is art and what is not. In a very simple way It's a complete mystery to everyone including most of the artists. The people don't even know what it is, so how are they going to be able to use it consciously? For me, that is what it is. It's a philosophy and that mystery you're trying to find is not out there in boxes, but in here. The native philosophy not only enables me to focus the approach to what I'm doing but it also enables me to keep in balance with nature's cycles and seasons. Open my eyes up a little wider to the magic around me, which balances out my existence in an urban environment. That's why society's so fucked up to live in a natural way. We deny so many aspects of ourselves. It all comes out mutated and we live in a repressed society which I think creates a lot of problems. I don't feel the need to walk down the street and kill people or become frustrated enough that I kill my classmates like in America. I've worked at balancing my lifestyle out which I try and do as much as I can. I've got a VW camper van which I can just drive off and park in a field. Every two weeks I have to get out. I have a garden here and I can grow vegetables and plants and get in touch with it that way. I still have to combine a lot of other philosophies. I still have to do Yoga to keep myself fit. I'm quite into a lot of the Indian philosophies ミBuddhist and Zen ideas. I have to combine all these things.

--I think until the 60's music and literature had the same movement.

Youth I don't know, you go back to the 20's in Paris with the Surrealists and it's pretty radical. I mean, you know the Situationalists, that's where punk came from. They'd been doing some crazy stuff which must have really been hard to do in those days. Everybody was less individual. I don't really tend to think that since the 60's it's been only us that have been this free, but I think in the 20's, along with the Victorian period, It was pretty wild. Now the post-modern 90's, where we've seen it all and as you say we've got so much access to everything that we don't know what to do with ourselves. I think that's the challenge that we have today. We're all so individual that we won't join one thing because it might deny the other and so we end up actually not doing very much. I think that's gonna change. It comes from people who are doing really positive and imaginative things. They're bringing back color into a monochrome world. And for the last few years it's been quite unfashionable to do that but I think it's changing and people are realizing they want more than monochromes and greys and blacks and a superficial magazine existence. They want colors in their life and they're reflecting it in the catwalk and fashion and with those hippy influences coming back. I think that will continue. I think it's inevitable. In fifty years time we'll be living in a completely different way and we're just in the beginning of that.

--What do you think about the 90's as an era?


Youth Well, I think it's a lot of changes, isn't it? They might appear superficial at the moment because we've come out of the material 80's and there's still that essence. The changes are more invisible, but they're very strong. I think we'll see the fruits of those in the next ten years. I think the world is changing; it's becoming a better place, and that's definitely going to continue. Everybody wants to change the world in a way and make it a better place and that's what's happening. We've had our revolution and we've won it almost. We're already there. It's only a matter of time before politicians and the rest of the world catch up. You know what they're doing with heroin addicts now in Holland and Switzerland? They're giving junkies in prison heroin now. Slowly weaning them off, and getting them clean, and combining that with counseling. The crime rate in the prisons has gone down like 90% and the rehabilitation of getting junkies off junk and out of crime is like 70%. When you start seeing those kinds of statistics and that kind of philosophical approach, that makes me feel very positive. They're studying it here as a model. The whole war on drugs isn't working, I know if I was in prison I'd want to be a junkie as well. They're being given another way. I think the whole idea of treating drugs as a crime instead of a health issue is one thing that's changing. I think it's gonna be great. When the education system is changed and everyone gets chances, then it will be an incredible planet. We won't get a good education system here for years. But in Scandinavia, everybody gets a good education. You don't have that problem that you have in America and here. Then you look at Africa and all the work to be done there... but we're living in the global age. You could change those things around in one generation.


--The last question, if you had to explain your lifestyle in one word, what would it be?

Youth It's philosophy. It's your philosophy.