Interview with Slam at T in the Park 2012

It’s ten minutes before Slam are due to go on stage and kick off their tent at T in the Park. I’ve just been ushered into a portakabin behind the tent to talk to Slam’s Stuart MacMillan and Orde Meikle. Orde’s a big lad, Stuart’s smaller and chattier.

I kick off by asking what they’ve got in store for us today during their four and a half hour set.

Stuart says, “I think it will be more akin to what we’re used to doing in [London nightclub] Fabric because we always play 5 or 6 hours there from the start to the end. I guess we’ll probably start quite deep and then build it up and just take it on a bit of a journey. It’s a really fulfilling thing to do as a DJ, especially at a festival because very rarely does a DJ even get 2 hours at a festival. It’s good to do it with Sven [Väth] as well because he’s another guy who likes playing long sets.”

Orde expands, “I think you hear the best of Sven, probably the best take of us as well, over a 4 or four and a half hour period. So, yeah, really looking forward to it. Usually you turn up and you’ve 45 minutes or an hour and it’s the middle of the afternoon…”

Stuart continues, “In Fabric you’re just getting started after two hours. The beautiful thing about it is you’ve really set something. You’re not having to go on after someone that’s really banging it or doing something that’s the antithesis of what you’re going to do. The vibe that you’ve created is built from the start.”

Moving on to the Saturday, I ask about the thinking behind the line up they’ve selected.

Stuart says, “The Saturday’s a bit of a departure for us musically. It’s not really representative of our own musical tastes. I guess there is a big responsibility in running what is the main dance tent at something like T in the Park. As always we’ve tried to keep it really credible and relevant so there’s a lot of new guys and some more dubstep and stuff like that which is not really what we’re known for but at the end of the day we can’t be completely narrow-minded.

“It wouldn’t be right to be narrow-minded when there’s such a wide demographic. We have to try and cater to that, but we’re not going to put Judge Jules or something on or some big trance guy.”

Orde says, “Not till next year.” (laughs)

They mention that the line up on the Sunday is more to their taste and I put it to them that Sunday in the Slam tent is awe-inspiring.

Orde agrees, “Absolutely, yeah. With Orbital kind of the icing on the cake really. So we’re looking forward to that.”

Stuart continues, “… and Dubfire, Len Faki, Maya Jane Cole’s a great DJ. I don’t think it’s any secret that we love house music as much as we do techno. Maya Jane’s definitely somebody that’s right up there in the house music stakes at the moment. For such a wee person it’s such a big sound.”

Orde says, “Really unassuming person and just a fantastic DJ. We had her on at Pressure a couple of months ago and she just rocked it. Absolutely rocked it.”

They don’t even mention Simian Mobile Disco or Joris Voorn.

Orde says, “We’re going to be up on Sunday enjoying ourselves meeting a lot of our friends we don’t normally get to see.”

Stuart says, “I’m looking forward to hanging with the Pan-Pot guys [also on the line up] as well because they’re really good friends of ours and we just had a party together in Barcelona at Sonar. The mobilee roof party. Which was (Orde – Stunning!) a really great party. It’s on the roof of the diagonal hotel overlooking Barcelona – packed, just nice. Really cool crowd. It was great.”

I thank them for their time and wander off into the mud contemplating whether it might be time to change my profession.


About problemofleisure

Freelance journalist and retired councillor.
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