TF Archives

Graham Gold- I Always Hated Punk and New Romantic

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Monday, July 28, 2003
"I've been a round for a long time and two scenes I never got involved in were punk and new romantic, because I hated the music. I've always liked my music to put a smile on my face, whether it's progressive house or Robbie Rivera style funky house, or Dave Angel tech-house. With punk it was angry music, like early techno was- it was born out of anger. And New Romantic was just white boy pop music, which sucked."

After a DJ career spanning four decades, Kiss FM veteran DJ Graham Gold remains one of club culture's most outspoken and often contentious players, his musical passion and sheer love of his lifestyle frequently prompting him to sound off where others bite their tongues. His sharp tongued diatribes and sheer relentless visibility (through his Kiss show and long running house night Peaches, at the Camden Palace) have spawned enemies in the media, who've clearly hurt him on occasion.

"I laughed my head off when Ministry (magazine) closed," he admits.

"That whole problem I had with them though was down to just one dickhead reporter, it wasn't anything to do with the editor or the magazine in general. The problem was that some of their writers were asshole, fucking journalists who knew jackshit and had been in the business for five minutes."

Speaking down the line from his North London home, he admits he's just come back from the gym, after a heavy session on the weights.

"I'm fitness mad," says Graham.

"I gave up smoking for seven weeks then I started again and now I'm back on the patches- I thought I'd kicked it."

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): How you view the state of the house music scene right now-

Graham Gold: "It's certainly much smaller than it was. Now you can look back with hindsight and say that the heyday was really with trance between 1998 and 2,000. For me personally that was a great time but I think the heyday historically was between 1993 and '97. Or from '93 to 2,000. I know that, from how much I was working. Unfortunately for me I never made that step to Radio 1, which would have kept my diary really busy. I still do a show in Kiss, I do 4 mixes for internet stations but it's bloody hard. There aren't the clubs anymore. If you look back to 1993/94/ 95 I'd be playing two gigs on Friday and three on Saturday, sometimes more if you were always in London, whereas I'm having Saturday's off sometimes, now, which is horrendous. It's weird, though it's given me more time to be more ruthless about my music, which is the big plus.

I now have time to really listen to my records, and be very choosy. I've always gone for good records but now I'm also comparing records, Every Friday I'll sit in the office at the PC pulling out everything that's come in the post and if it doesn't make me jump out of the chair going 'fucking hell, what's this-' then it doesn't go in the bag. Musically the sets are the best they've ever been and I'm playing the best I've ever done, I know it. But clubs want new talent. There's nothing wrong with that, we're doing that at Peach, which is still going strong, the 10th birthday is coming up in September. I've booked some of those big name European producers but I don't think their sets have been stunning, lots of them play very average fucking records. Even speaking as a promoter, they also don't pull anybody, sometimes we have busier nights when we have just residents DJing.

I've had CDRs of sets from various different DJs whose records I'm playing but the sets have been shit. At the end of the day they're taking our jobs."

Skrufff: Erick Morillo's put Dan Hartman's seminal disco anthem Relight My Fire and Lil Louis' French Kiss on his latest mix CD, are you tempted to go down that retro route at all-

Graham Gold: "Erm, no, I'm not musically where Erick is at but I will say that Erick is a superb fucking DJ, he's technically brilliant, he works those CDJ1000s (CD mixers), he really puts a lot of effort into his sets, he's such a cool guy and<