Jukebox Chatter: Pepe Deluxe
They play their debut UK show on November 12 at the Scala, but not before chatting to us at the bar...
Hei miten olet? Thought it’d be nice to ease you into this written interview with some familiarity.
Hyvä meininki, kiitos kysymästä! In addition to being a baron of Sealand, I’m also an apple baron: just finishing bottling 86 litres of apple juice. We need that good sunshine energy to survive the long Finnish winter.
It’s understood that you’ve never played a live set in the UK before, is this because you have an issue with the Queen or is it because of Ryanair? Why has the trip never been made?
That has a lot to do with the Principality of Sealand: you know there’s been a small war between UK and Sealand, shots fired and all that? So I wasn’t quite sure if was safe to come to UK, would that be considered as an assault? Especially if we had equipment that could be considered as “sonic cannons”? But after Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria loved our new record and sent an official “thank you” letter to us, I was told that we are now welcome to UK … but only if we do a BBC London session and play a good number of tunes from the new album.
Your most recent release received a mass amount of praise, with Mixmag stating that, it "...makes Queen or Kanye's madly eclectic sonic excesses look like a campfire strum-along". It must be nice to still be lapping up critical acclaim after so many years, or is it just a standard routine check for you guys now?
Well you know what they say … “Everyone’s a critic”. That’s actually our secret: once we started making music for critics and critics only, the sales went up like a rocket. We actually have to pay some critics to write bad reviews just to prevent other bands from discovering our killer formula!
It seems denim companies took a big liking to you guys back in the early 2000’s, with Levi and Lee jeans both using Pepe Deluxe tracks in their adverts. Was that something you always aspired to obtain when you started off back in the mid 90’s?
Actually that goes way back to 80’s and me listening to lots of English metal. One of my fave tunes was Saxon’s 'Denim and Leather', and it made me want to become a long haired metal God and write more songs like that. Unfortunately my hair didn’t quite agree with my plan and instead of smelly rockers and Marshall stacks I ended up with two DJ’s and a sampler. As you mentioned in your question, the denim part was sorted early on with some ads and now we are working our way towards the leather people.
You’ve remixed the likes of Tom Jones and Eminem, but you’ve been sampled yourselves by the Prodigy, how does it feel to be held with such regard by your contemporaries?
I must say that while I love hanging out with Tom Jones and his mates, I do sometimes find their pranks a bit childish. “High regard” or “respect” are not the first terms that come to one’s mind when you start a mixing session just to realize that half of the mixer knobs have been superglued.
You have one lonesome token left for the jukebox, what will it be?
“We've come to be the rulers of your world, I am immortal, I have inside me blood of kings, I have no rival, No man can be my equal”. To hell with fake modesty!
Check out all the details about their Scala show HERE.