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Tim Deluxe: Haircuts, Holidays and Rocking With Spandau Ballet

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Sunday, August 1, 2004
"I'm getting older, my hair's getting longer and I want to do something with more substance. I'm listening to different music at home these days, records that have a bit more meaning lyrically rather than just instrumental music. I'm a big boy now."

Getting into raving as a 13 year old Spiral Tribe regular, 27 year old Londoner Tim Deluxe went on to become one of UK garage's first stars before teaming up with Darren Emerson's Underwater in 2001. Kicking off with singles club smashes We All Love Sax and Mundaya he went on to enjoy chart hits It Just Won't Do, Less Talk More Action and the release of his debut solo album The Little Ginger Clubkid last year, which cemented Deluxe's reputation as a top dance producer. 12 months on though, he's adamant that his next musical step will rock, ably assisted by the punked up character who's just left his studio called John Keeble, apparently something of a name back in the day.

"John used to be in Spandau Ballet, he got introduced to me through a mutual friend, I've known him for years and he actually played on the last album," Tim laughs.

"As soon as we met we just hit it off, he's an Arsenal fan and it's all good, he's a top bloke," he continues.

"He's going to be doing loads of drums on the next album, it's definitely going to be a lot more rocky and guitar based, it won't be so Latin influenced."

Future music aside though, his main priority remains Choose Something Like A Star, the fifth and final single from the album and the one that sounds most like Underworld.

"it was meant to sound like then in a way, when you write a piece of music it's definitely a reflection of how you feel at that time and I remember listening to Underworld a lot when I was making the album," he admits.

"I've always loved what they do and I wanted o make a piece of music that reflected the vibes and emotions and the moods that they capture and Star was my attempt at doing that. It's my favourite track on the album."

Skrufff: (Jonty Skrufff) Was it at all weird handing Darren Emerson an Underworld style track-

Tim Deluxe: "Yeah it was, when I sent him the first demo I remember him saying 'it takes me back to Underworld, I love it'. The way the vocal's been done is very Underworld in style, it's definitely a nod to those guys. And also people like Slam and Layo & Bushwacka, and to Detroit techno in general. I remember hearing Strings Of Life the first time and getting blown away by it so I've always had that vibe and I dig what those guys do, even if it's so far removed from It Just Won't Do. That's the beauty of having an album, I get so much more joy and fulfilment out of it, when you're always trying to do one of big dance records, they end up becoming fodder."

Skrufff: What prompted you to grow your hair into afro-

Tim Deluxe: "Nothing more than laziness, people think I've done it for a new look but it's nothing to do with that, though I do actually like it and it's certainly caused quite a lot of attention and having attention, no matter who we are, is always good for the ego. I was touring so much last year and every time I'd get back to London with a few days between gigs I'd just want to relax and I never found the time for a haircut, then I discovered that even though it's long the way I look after it is exactly the same as when it was shorter. I get up in the morning, jump in the shower and walk out of the door, without thinking about it; i's just there. Lots of people tell me I'm doing it for a style thing, no, not at all, I'm probably the most unfashionable person you'll ever meet.."

Skrufff: How much has the new haircut changed the way people treat you-

Tim Deluxe: "When it comes to people who are connected with the law they definitely look differently at me (chuckling) as do doormen. People with any kind of authority look at me differently because they judge me straightaway and I can see it in their eyes when I walk up to a club doo