Interview: The Orb
Published on September 30th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Next week sees the release of The Orb box set History of the Future: The Island Years, a four-disc affair celebrating the electronic legends’ 25th year of operation.
Quite the package it is too: for a not-ex-Orb-itant fee, you get a disc of singles, a disc of remixes, a disc of live material and a DVD of promo videos, with a few Top of the Pops appearances thrown in for good measure.
Top of the Pops even existing, let alone featuring an act as groundbreaking as The Orb? Different times indeed.
With a glut of UK dates across October and November also approaching, we flung some questions over to The Orb mainstay Dr Alex Paterson to find out more…
Congratulations on making it this far. Have you always had an eye on the long haul, or – in footballer parlance – have you always just “taken each game as it comes”?
Thanks mate. My thoughts are each game as it comes, but never stop practising , learn new tricks and stay true to yourself.
To what extent does the old punk in you still inform what you do?
It can lead you to troubled waters if you follow the “punk” inside yourself. The young punk vs the old soul head. But the old punk can tell you to fuck off and not be bothered if I offended you. It can also lead to police cells and trouble, so I’m more of a old soul head these days .
What does Thomas “bring to the table”, as it were? (Sorry about all these clichés…)
Swiss cheese, wonderful ears and a great smile .
What can you tell us about your Moon Building opera at this stage? Presumably it’s sci-fi…?
It’s based in 2703 A.D. and it’s as boring as paint drying.
Did you get your Ghanaian field recordings? Will there be an Orb & Kakatsitsi album?
Maybe in a year, but not right now.
What is Lee “Scratch” Perry like to work with? Did you already know each other well from DJing together, or was it a relationship cemented in the studio?
Lee was inspirational! Yes I knew him before. I had played records at Lee “Scratch” Perry gigs in Finland, Mexico and Exeter .
In what way is David Gilmour like a schoolmaster? (At least I think I saw you describing him as such…)
Posh bloke, talked aeroplane propellers. Has a school desk in his office and looks like my old warden from school. Even speaks like him too.
Have there been any further developments on the John Foxx collaboration?
Next year I’m having lunch with him and his lovely manager. We are touring up to December this year and I’m trying to move house as well…
Finally, has there been any new music from 2013 that you’ve enjoyed?
Teebs, Kutmah, Metamono, 81Neutronz, The Boat Party.
Dr Alex Paterson, thank you.
History Of The Future: The Island Years will be released on October 7th through Island Records / Universal Music Catalogue.
The Orb will play the following UK dates across October:
10th Oct – Brighton, The Haunt
11th Oct – Reading, Sub 89
12th Oct – Manchester, Academy 2
13th Oct – Dundee, 20 Rocks
16th Oct – Wolverhampton, Civic Centre
17th Oct – Great Yarmouth, The Oakwood
18th Oct – Bath, Komedia
19th Oct – The Forum, London, Kentish Town
20th Oct – Newcastle, Warehouse 34
6th Nov – Gloucester, Guildhall
8th Nov – Bridport, Electric Palace
9th Nov – Nottingham, Marcus Garvey Centre
10th Nov – Holmfirth, Picturedrome
13th Nov – Exeter, Pheonix
14th Nov – Bournemouth, Old Firestation
15th Nov – Hebden Bridge, Traders
16th Nov – Dublin, Button Factory
17th Nov – Buckley, Tivoli Venue
24th Nov – Cambridge, Corn Exchange