Wednesday, September 22, 2004

DJ Zebra

Just for the record, why the name "DJ Zebra"?

Because of a book, Le zèbre by Alexandre Jardin. My philosophy teacher thought I was like the man the book is about: a excited guy, always doing a thousand things...And a zebra is a bi-coloured animal, & as him, I don't always know where I'm going.

What are you up to these days?

I'm DJing all over France, doing a rock show behind my turntables, & little by little in Europe. I also have a daily radio mix on Oüi Fm (rock radio in Paris), doing mash-ups & remixes for French bands. Plus I will compose an album in French in spring 2005.

What music are you currently listening to?

I always listened to a lot of funk & soul music: Sly & the Family Stone, P-Funk, Cameo, Stax Records...I like the funky side of all music, in rock, afro-latin, reggae, hip hop or electronic sounds. But I also like the punk energy.

What album, if push comes to shove, is your all-time favourite?

The only album I know in all its details is a live recording made by Prince & the Revolution in 1986, for his birthday in the "Parade" tour. It's not a real album, but it's my favorite one. If not, I'd say Truth & Soul by Fishbone.

When was the last time you bought a record that was horrible? Where did you buy it?

In 2001 in Los Angeles, I bought a jazz compilation. I thought it was good, but it was played with a cheap synthetiser by a bad local band. It didn't happened to me again since that time.

Which artist, other than yourself, have you ever wanted to be?

Joe Strummer, or maybe Frank Zappa.

Can you recall the most embarassing & bizarre thing that has ever happened to you when DJ-ing?

Embarassing: This year, in February, I was invited to a big rock party to mix bastard pop. I started with Rage Against The Machine "Killing In The Name Of". After the intro, I cut to play my Shaggy vs. RATM "Killing Boombastic". Half of the audience started shouting. They were really angry, & I had to stop the record. I mixed only 30 minutes & I finished drunk backstage.

Bizarre: Once I smoked herb before mixing, but it was too strong, & I heard the music much slower than it was. I was pitching it up, but then it was too fast for the dancers. I never smoked again before mixing!

The Last of DJ Zebra:

Last album you bought = The Libertines
Last movie you watched that you cried = L'adversaire, a French movie about Jean Claude Romand
Last book or magazine you read that was awsome = L'empire des loups from Jean Christophe Grangé
Last concert you went that was boring = The Vines
Last mash-up you heard that rocked your world = a mash-up between "Hella Good" (No Doubt) & I don't know who, downloaded from Go Home Productions' website ("Artist A vs. Artist B"). When I heard it, I jumped in my room. It made me crazy!!!

What are the reactions of the French when it comes to bootlegs?

It's easier in electronic styles (house, techno, drum n' bass or hip-hop), but not in rock; because the dancers don't like to hear strangers on their favourite sacred songs. But on the radio, it's different. They listen more than dance, so they take the time to appreciate.

Which bootlegger, in your opinion, is considered the best (so far)?

It's not a surprise if I say Mark Vidler (Go Home Productions). I'm always surprised by the quality of his mixes. The sound is good, & he's a real musician! I also love the works from Loo & Placido & TiMG.

On the other hand, which bootlegger should stop making bootlegs altogether?

Me...because it takes too much time, & my wife says, "Make music for money, honey!"

Can you list ten of your favourite bootlegs of ALL time?

01. Go Home Productions - "Karma In The Life"
02. Loo & Placido - "Kids Rock"
03. TiMG - "Don't Stop The Jungle Boogie"
04. DJ Zebra - "DJ House Lovers" (I'm proud!)
05. Go Home Productions - "Music Go My Way"
06. Loo & Placido - "Queens Of The Freaks"
07. Kelis - "Trick Me (Ultra396 Remix)"
08. McSleazy - "Paranoid Funk"
09. TiMG - "Toxic Secret"
10. Bangers & Mash - "Pass The Devil"

Bonus track: DJ Prince - "I Want You Back Human"

Any boots you wished you've done but didn't?

A French boot by Loo & Placido named "Danse comme un connard", between 2 French bands: Les Conards & Prototypes. Very very funny. I like when the mash-ups make me laugh (like the Freelance Hairdresser ones).

Let's play word association. We mention a name & you give us your thoughts...

Thomas Bangalter = Music sounds better with him.
Audio Sault = What is it?
La Haine = Matthieu Kassovitz is a genius.
Depeche Mode = Not punk enough.
The Beathunters = Who are they?
Streamload = Useful.
Bathing Ape = Excuse me?
Monica Bellucci = "C'est le plus beau rôle de toute ma carrière"
The Kinks = The grooviest white band.
GYBO = What would I do without GYBO?

Which decade do you consider the "golden era" of music?

It was before all these Records Industries, before electrified instruments. I would say the 20's, because everything I hear from this time is amazing.

What do you remember about the following years:

1985 = Prince & the Revolution. I saw this birthday concert I told you before, it was a shock!
1989 = My first year at Art School. I bought drums, guitars & amps, & I played in my first band, punk rock stuff.
1994 = The year of success. I was playing in a band called Billy Ze Kick et les Gamins en Folie, & one of our songs, "Mangez-moi", was the summer hit in France & Belgium.
1997 = I got married. I still am...
2003 = Back on air! After 5 years without having a radio broadcast, Oüi Fm proposed to me to do rock mixes every friday night. I said "Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!"

What's your favourite Saturday night record?

Prince's "Sexy Motherf**ker", or James Brown's "Cold Sweat".

And your Sunday morning one?

Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On".

What's the good thing about being DJ Zebra?

Having a big cock.

And the worst?

Not to use it as often as I want.

Do you still see yourself making boots in ten years time?

Why not? I don't think I'll be a DJ anymore (not the way I do now, for sure), but I'll certainly be a producer & musician, & if i have ideas of good bootlegs to do, I'll do them.

What do you think the future for bootlegs / mash-ups / remixes would be like, given that being a home musician is so easy these days?

It's a free movement. The more we are, the best it is, so there's a future! I don't know if the boots will be as surprising as they are still now, but I will listen carefully. A home musician has to be a musician before all, & a computer can't give talent. I think the bootleggers need more talents than remixers, because we have to compose with more complicated material. We need more motherfuckers in the house!!!

Check out this exclusive DJ Zebra boot:

Are You Gonna Be My Motherf**ker? (Prince vs Jet)

Here's another two of DJ Zebra's boots:

1. C'mon F**k Me

2. Rock N Roll Train

You can visit DJ Zebra's website here or listen to his radio show at Oüi Fm here (Click on "DJ Zebra mixe et remixe").