#ADE2015: Catching up with Alan Fitzpatrick in 15 minutes
Again, the Amsterdam Dance Event turned out to be a great and unique meeting point. We seized the opportunity to catch up with Alan Fitzpatrick, if only for 15 minutes. Our chat started with his work during ADE for the Drumcode family and ended with his urge to cuddle a species called Carcharodon carcharias. Yep, we’re talking Great Whites!
Alan, you’re known for your versatility. How do you adapt to an ADE crowd?
This must be my 6th edition of ADE, so I pretty know what to expect, I guess. It also fairly feels like home as there are many British fans among the crowd. In general there are so many different people coming from all over the place, that it allows you as an artist to be flexible, giving you more freedom to pick the right tracks.
Being part of the Drumcode Family means being part of Awakenings. Locals have mixed feelings about the Gashouder and its acoustics. How do you feel about playing at this particular venue?
I do like it actually! It’s such a cool building. I’ve been playing the Gashouder for six years now, so I roughly know what will work in there and what won’t. I like the unique sound that comes with the cylinder shape, the kind of ‘dome reverb’ as I would call it. Due to my experience with the venue, adapting to its acoustics is not such a big problem to me.
Black music has had a big influence on your work. Tell us about it.
James Brown was actually the first artist doing the 4x4 drums, which meant a tremendous shift in the drum patterns. If you listen closely to Detroit techno, you will recognize the funk vibe and the massive influence of artists like Brown. As a youngster I listened to anything on Motown Records and Stax Records. This kind of music still reminds me of my first proper club nights in Southampton.
I read somewhere that you are the proud owner of a huge record collection. Let’s imagine your house is on fire. You’re able to take just three of your records. Which ones would you pick?
I probably would keep the 45 inch version of This Old Heart of Mine by the Isley Brothers. And I just wouldn’t be able to say goodbye to whichever album by David Bowie. Oh, seriously only one? Guess I would then pick a greatest hits compilation (laughs). Favourite track? I guess Ashes to Ashes. Or perhaps China Girl. I do like his older stuff too – I own practically every album he has ever released – but these two songs stick to my head more ‘cause they’re roughly from my youth. The third record would be Madonna’s Immaculate Collection. I don’t have a specific favourite of the album, but I do like Lucky Star. I know that’s totally cheesy, but hey, that’s me (smiles)!
On several occasions you’ve mentioned your urge to perform live. When can we expect you to do so?
Well, this will come as a secondary thought from releasing my second album. While going on tour with it, I’m hoping to do some live shows with a band. Rather than me with a laptop and a couple of controllers, that is. Anyone who plays live can quite easily do that, if you know what I mean. A group with live vocalists and live instruments, like Apparat or Modeselektor, that really would be something. It will be totally new to me, thus being more of a challenge, I guess. I am already working on some of the music, but it all depends on how well it shapes itself. There are people I would like to work with, but they need to be available. I expect the album to come out late next year, early 2017. We’ll see. When it’s ready, it’s ready.
Planning to move to Berlin at some point?
No, I’m quite settled in Southampton with my wife and two little ones. I travel to Berlin often enough, and I do have a lot of friends there. But I kind of like the idea of going back to ‘normality’ and to what I am used to. Maybe in a different life I would have moved to Berlin, but not now.
So, apart from the album, what are your plans for 2016?
I’ll be in the studio a lot. There’s a new Drumcode EP coming up and new work on Hotflush as well, which will be slightly different from what I produce for Adam Beyer. And there will be remixes in between for sure. It was so much fun working on the ones I did last year for Leftfield and Roisin Murphy.
I had a look at your crazy schedule. You’re flying intercontinental most of the time. Isn’t it killing you?
It’s hard work, but I’m kind of used to it now. It’s all about logistics and planning things really, really well. I’m hoping to have a weekend off every now and then while working on the album this coming year. That will ease things up a bit, and hopefully bring the right balance.
Being a very busy person, do you have a so-called bucket list?
Funny that you’re asking. My wife and I actually started making our bucket lists about a week ago. Mine is already three pages long, and there will be more. She and I agreed to do at least one of the things on each of our lists every year. I haven’t seen her list yet. Still wondering about the similarities (laughs).
What’s on top of your list?
Diving in a cage with Great Whites in South Africa. Being that close to something that is, well, a prehistoric predator, is mad. Speaking as a gentle person, I’d like to do something that’s way out of my character. It’s a fucking mental thing to do probably!
Txt: Bonita van Lier // Imgs: Dan Reid