HigherFrequency  DJ Interview


Paul Oakenfold Interview

Following on from last year's national tour, the worlds highest paid DJ arrived back in Tokyo for his first appearance at Shibuya's Club Womb. He started as he meant to go on, atmospheric, groovy but always with a relentless beat creating an atmosphere on the dancefloor usually found at large festivals. After taking us a little bit deeper atmosphere with some twisted progressive cuts, he broke the tension with a couple of breaks tunes, before stepping it up for the last hour making the crowd go crazy with a selection of hard, psychedelic tracks before finally ending the 3 hour journey with U2's 'A Beautiful Day' in response to the endless shouts for an encore from the crowds. The perfect entertainer, Paul gave the Womb faithful a night to remember.

This is the email interview where he answered to the questions from HigherFrequency before he arrived in Tokyo, a more in depth interview that we did with Paul just before his appearance at Womb is available as Part 02 in our interview area.

> interview : h.nakamura (HigherFrequency)


HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : So this time, you're visiting Tokyo as a part of your Asian tour. Which cities in Asia are on the schedule?

Paul Oakenfold : Bangkok, Shanghai and Tokyo.

HRFQ : We all know there're loads of other Asian cities who are quickly developing their club scene, and both Zouk and Centro seem to start expanding their territory by opening up their seminal clubs in Malaysia. What is your general impression about the whole Asian market? Some say Japan is still moving ahead, but do you think it's really true?

Paul : My opinion is that it is getting bigger and much more exciting, an example would be that of Zouk. Supporting local talent and clubs is important to keep the club scene growing.

HRFQ : Do you have any more potential artists or DJs in mind?

Paul : A girl DJ called Sandra Collins, I highly recommend her.

HRFQ : We know a lot about the story of how you met Hernan, but can you tell us how you found the talent of artists like Timo Maas and Harry Romeo?

Paul : Some of my colleagues told me that there was a buzz about them under ground, and were popular in their own countries. I listened to them play and approached them to work with us.

HHRFQ : You must receive so many demo tapes from un-signed artists from everywhere in the world. But, how do you find the time to listen to those demos during your extremely busy schedule?

Paul : Being an A & R man it is extremely important to take time out to listen to the demo's, it's part of the job.B

Paul Oakenfold

HRFQ : Do you receive demo's from many from Japanese artists?

Paul : Not enough!

HRFQ : What do you do when you find great producers out of those demo tapes? Would you release it on your Perfecto label, or introduce it to someone else, or just play at your gigs?

Paul : I would sign them to Perfecto or bring them in to play at gigs.

HRFQ : About your imprint "Perfecto"...do you still deeply get involved in the operation of this label, or is someone else who understands your policy very well handling the day-to-day business?

Paul : Both, I am still involved as well as employing people to take care of the day-today running.

HRFQ : I think Perfecto used to sign with Warner Music UK, but what is your general impression to work with a major company like that?

Paul : Difficult!

HRFQ : We heard that you're now preparing for your 2nd album. Can you tell us about what kind of shape it will be? When is it coming out?

Paul : It's an album of melodic songs with strong rhythms. I would like to release the album at the end of this year but it depends on the on going lawsuit between Maverick and Warner's.

Paul : I have just completed work for "Shrek 2" and am currently working on material for the new Tom Cruise movie "Collateral"

HRFQ : I think your mix CD "A Voyage into Trance" which was originally released in 1995, was once re-released in 2001 as CD, and again just re-released but this time in DVD format. Do you feel positive about this kind of re-release of your old mixes, or do you think it's somehow against the nature of club music?

Paul : This is absolutely terrible as the record company is ripping off the buying public with old records. My advice to the fans and buying public is not to purchase the material in any shape or form. I truly believe that the record companies should not rip off people in such a way.

Paul Oakenfold

HRFQ : Also, your Greatest Remixes has been just released through a label called Topaz in the US, and it also contains a couple of your old works like The Shamen's Move Any Mountain. Do you feel it's a positive side of the things?

Paul : Again this is nothing to do with me and I am currently in the process of suing. My advice again to the fans is do not buy such material and get ripped off by the record companies.

HRFQ : I think you must be the 1st DJ who appeared and sold out the gig at Hollywood Bowl, where a lot of music legends like The Beatles and Frank Sinatra used to play. Do you feel like you have achieved a kind of great monumental work for Dance Music?

Paul : Not only was playing to a sell out crowd at the Hollywood Bowl an achievement for myself but it was also a great achievement for dance music too.

HRFQ : You also did a great gig at one of the Seven Wonders in the world, The Great Wall of China. Can you tell us about how you felt playing at such a marvelous place, and do you have any wish list to play at any other great historical places?

Paul : Playing at the Great Wall was a true honor; it was such a wonderful event and will stay with me for the rest of my life. I am currently looking into playing at other great wonders of the world but obtaining permission to play is very difficult.

HHRFQ : Recently, there is a lot of new technology discussion going on, and many people, especially around major labels keep saying MP3 downloads via P2P will destroy the music culture. Do you support their opinion?

Paul : No I think we need to be more open-minded and embrace new technology.

Paul Oakenfold

HHRFQ : What advice would you give to all the bedroom DJ's out there who are looking to breakthrough with their DJing?


HRFQ : Do you have any messages to the general readers in Japan?


End of the interview

Part 02