Carl Cox recently did an exclusive interview with the Metro newspaper’s ‘Sixty Seconds’ in the UK. Whilst these things aren’t always the best, this one was pretty cool, so we thought we’d share some of the highlights…
What is it about your generation of DJs that have lasted the distance?
Carl Cox: It’s the way we grew up – how hard we worked and how much passion we had – without mobile phones, the internet or social media. We went from club to club. We’ve all played on vinyl records and our art was based on how we chose records and put them together, as well as how we believed in what we did as artists. We were never manufactured in any way or built on our Instagram following or likes. We’re all individual DJs from different walks of life and we all created our own paths.
Pete Tong is still one of the best radio presenters and created his Ibiza Classics orchestral events, which are incredible. I remember Pete Tong aged 19 and to see him now with an orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall… Paul Oakenfold lives in LA running his record label and is known by everybody in the industry. The guy comes from south London. I used to fix his car, carry his record boxes and was his go-to sound guy. Our work ethic is the same.
Are people partying harder than ever?
Carl Cox: Yes and no. There are some – the 18 to 22-year-olds – who haven’t been to a festival before saying, ‘I don’t know who Carl Cox is but my mum and dad said he’s brilliant so I’ve got to go and see him’. So they’re jumping up and down, going crazy. Anyone between 25 and 31 is a bit more refined and I fit that narrative as well, playing more classic tracks. And then I’ve got my mobile disco-style events, which attract anyone from 25 to 60. So it’s been brilliant to see the reaction of people coming back to the dancefloor.
I’ve been doing the biggest festivals as well as the smallest clubs and it’s been the same – straight on the dancefloor, happy to be back. I hope things continue because my phone’s ringing off the hook. I could do an event every single day around the world for the rest of my life.
You’ve been back playing Ibiza – does it feel different now?
Carl Cox: Yeah, because now ‘you’ve got an app for that’ – for Uber, table service and what DJ to see and when. Back in my day, the Ibiza I remember, there was no plan. You went somewhere and stayed until you got kicked out. There might be some party afterwards and then you’d wake up in a bush somewhere at 3pm thinking how did I get here? But also, they haven’t earned any money in the last three years so everything’s gone up in price – villas, taxis, restaurant prices.
You live in Melbourne and Brighton. Do you live near Norman Cook in Brighton?
Carl Cox: I can see his house from where I live. I look out of the window and go ‘is he over there?’ The first port of call for any Londoner is Brighton. I had to drive on my scooter because there were people everywhere. Norman did an amazing party on the beach celebrating 20 years of his Big Beach Boutique party. People came down in droves.
Do you hang out with Norman much?
Carl Cox: Not really. Norman has his life with his family, and I have my life with my cars and bikes and my family in the UK. But our paths do cross every now and again. We’ll probably go to a local pub when we’re 75 years old for a pint of IPA, as that’s probably the time we’ll actually get to hang out together.
Did you ever meet the Queen?
Carl Cox: Unfortunately, no. But my whole career was basically supported by The Prince’s Trust. Prince Charles, as he was, helped young businesses start up and he helped me in 1984.
I was due to meet him a couple of times and it never happened because I was always working. Both Norman Jay and Pete Tong have got MBEs so who knows if I’ll get one. There’ll be a connection with King Charles if I do.