Interview mit Goldie (Metalheadz)
Clifford Price a.k.a. Goldie. Seines Zeichens B-Boy, Graffiti Künstler, Musiker, Produzent, Label Chef, Schauspieler und „the D&B’s largest character“ (breakbeat.co.uk). Im Gespräch erzählt er, warum Käse nichts mit Soul zu tun hat, weshalb er nicht auf die Musik der Kids von heute steht, 3 die magische Zahl ist, wie man zu einem „Doktor der Wissenschaften“ wird; und ja – der Metalheadz Backkatalog ist fertig gemastert.
Booga: Do you remember the 10 years Metalheadz anniversary party in Leipzig?
Goldie: Yes, I do. It was a very good party. I really enjoyed myself. It was me and Storm. It was fantastic. I have seen the pictures. It was great.
Booga: After 11 years Metalheadz is still a big label with widespread influence on the drum & bass scene. Have you ever expected this in the early days when you started it?
Goldie: Not really. We just meant to just keep the music alive. We didn’t expect it to be this good. I think in the age where things have become very commercial and very draw away we always wanted to be perceived as serious makers of drum & bass.
Booga: What do you think was your greatest attainment with Metalheadz over the years?
Goldie: It is too many to mention. I think reaching different parts of the world – that was one thing and the greatest attainment would be being able to start, literally start, scenes in different places and go to far places and start to sow a scene and than two years later, it starts to grow. That is what I did with just touring live stuff ten years ago. We were just going on tour and a lot of people remember the live shows so long ago. We knew what we could do with it.
And I mean now people are doing live stuff too. You know, we were doing it ten years ago. It was kind of weird, because I kind of went back to djing because I kind of did that and I just felt then I wasn’t really djing and it was just another way of spreading the word of the music, you know.
But it has been interesting. I think people still actually understand that the music as genre is still very young. It is only, in most peoples eyes, 10 – 11 years old and if you look at Hip Hop being 25 years old than you ask me that question in ten years time, because I think it still has a lot to grow.
I also think the difference is that the production as far as music is concerned has increased very well. But I think a lot of people have taken that on board and have forgotten the one vital thing it needs and that is soul. They seem to have forgotten that. A lot of the music I hear now might be very technical but doesn’t sound very warming and doesn’t sound very interesting. It is just very noisy. That is just my own opinion and I think there is a lot of well produced cheese going around. And for a genre which I helped to create it kind of offences my ears when I hear this.
I think people are relying on the technology too much and they are not relying on what the genre actually means in being creative.
Booga: Catchword triangle: Kemistry, Storm and you – how important was and is the spirit of the triangle actually for you?
Goldie: It has always been and it still is very important. It has always been there and it always will be there. There is an amazing book and it made a lot of sense when I read it. The book is called “The Beginners Guide to Constructing the Universe” and it is about the mathematical archetypes of nature, art and science and it lets us know how the word ‘tri-’ or ‘triangle’ is really important to us and how it is two sides of a valley and you passing through the centre of that valley is the third part of that and that the meaning is going forward. And I think if you’d move things ‘triangely’ … it is a very, very important thing. Most things are “one, two, three go”. Every thing “three” or “tri-“ means movement and going forward and staying together and that is why three peoples minds are better than two. Two people are conflicting; they will always argue a point, whereas a situation with three people will always be moving on. We did that and I think it is very important. I miss ‘Kemi’ a lot and her spirit is still there very strongly and it is very important to me and Jane. That’s just life. I think, most people in life lose someone somewhere along the line and we all gain something somewhere along the line, too.
Booga: Within 8 months you released two albums – MDZ 04 and MDZ 05. This autumn the next album „Winter Of Content“ followed. Do you have just too many tunes in the pipeline? What is the reason for this busy time?
Goldie: One reason being that as a label we never released two albums in one year. We have never done this and we always wanted to do this because from a record company point of view it was really good for us. It is financially very viable if you sell all the albums and also when I talk from an artistic point of view there are great tracks.
And of the albums, „Winter Of Content“ it is brilliant, I am happy with already, so I think it is just as good or it is not stronger then ‘05’. And I think that just shows that there is certain strength in what we are. This year, we are doing more outputs … As far as Metalheadz is concerned that is quite important and so I am very happy with that.
Booga: What qualities should a track have to be released on Metalheadz? Are there key features you are always looking for?
Goldie: I don’t know. You tell me that (laughs). I just know what it is and I think generally people know what it is and that’s it. I am not going to narrow it down for any particular thing so people know what it is. That is the bottom line. Metalheadz is Metalheadz. That’s it.
Booga: So there is no precise definition of Metalheadz sounds?
Goldie: Not in specific. If I go ahead and say “Right – it should be strings with strong breaks.” people would get misconceived notions and go and do the wrong thing. We all know what it is.
Booga: Doc Scott said Metalheadz is still underground. Do you think there is still an underground attitude within the label?
Goldie: Very much. I mean for my level or responsibility or doing stuff or doing everything else – I have gone far beyond different things and Metalheadz is still a very, very underground thing. I have a very small attitude and it is a very underground thing. That’s just how it is. I like it like that. I think it would be very hard to take it to the mainstream and to retain underground integrity. The key to underground is the sound. We are not commercial or any of those other people who sound very commercial and produce cheesy kind of stuff. That is not really my sound. People might like it but those people are usually kids. I am 40 years old this year. I don’t listen to kids’ music. I have grown up with this music so I listen to this music in its grown proportion. And I don’t think anyone has any right to tell me anything about this music. I created that fucking dog. To be quite frank that is my attitude. And I think to stay very, very underground … I mean it is a very small thing. I mean it created big waves, as small as it is – it is quite a weird scene… It has its own entity and even sometimes we are guided by that. It kind of lets us know what is going on. You know what I mean – it is kind of strange.
Booga: What was the idea behind the label outlet “Metalheadz platinum”?
Goldie: It is two major issues with ‘Platinum’. It is either artists that have been around a long time releasing 12 inches because they have their own labels and are established. Sometimes they got their product for too long without being released. This is kind of an opportunity. What is the problem?! So ‘Platinum’ – we just slip out things earlier. You know, get things out.
Also, every 7 or 8 month I get what is called an exception – a tune comes along and I think “Fuck – that really is an exception!” I think „True Romance“ is one of those tunes. It really stood up in a time when everything was sounding the fucking same. If you want to talk about what the true nature of Metalheadz is – that’s what it is. We want to stand up above everyone else like that and be able to do these things. We don’t want to turn out fucking well produced cheese every fucking week. That is just not how we are and you know there is old school and old school … we have our sound and that’s it. Period.
The thing with Metalheadz is that as far as I am concerned it will keep going on and keep going on and keep developing and that’s how it is. That is how I challenge myself.
I got approached many, many years ago to sell my label to a major but it is just never really been me. I always claim independence with the label and I put a lot of my own money into it. If we lost money we lost money. If it makes money it makes money. If it breaks even it breaks even – fine. It is like a hobby for me, I treat it like art. That is the way it should be.
It was quite strange because I had to give a speech at a university two month ago. They made me professor which is quite funny. I got my honouree PhD at a university which I found very strange.
Booga: How come?
Goldie: Because it is strange. I am getting an honouree degree for music and arts for the last 20 years. It was quite weird. I took Storm with me and she was actually very proud of this – people finally acknowledging what we are doing with the arts and music. I think even I forget sometimes how much ground has been covered with the arts and everything else and I was quite happy with that. It kind of really woke me up. I still want to be here much longer in the future trying to provide people with this platform because it is important. The one thing about this label you will not be forgotten. I just think it I is a completely different ballgame with this label.
Booga: Many fellows are asking me about the delayed updates on Metalheadz.co.uk – what’s going on there?
Goldie: We had a little bit of a problem with the guy who was designing it. He got ill. We had problems but we are looking into it and correcting it. It was a bit of a nightmare.
Booga: Do you see the need or importance of web community building for the fans and supporters of Metalheadz?
Goldie: Definitely. I want the website to work properly and I will get someone else to do that. I am looking into new people at the moment. It is really important but you see that is what we are infamous for – the lack in information creates a myth also. That’s always been the attitude with Metalheadz. It is like ‘Why don’t they do this?’ – but if we were all corporately great and all put together and it were all updated every second we would be like some big corporate company and we probably would lack the kind of infamy.
Booga: It is said you are about to release a new album. Where and when will it be released?
Goldie: I don’t even know the date yet. It is done, it is 13 tracks, it is the soundtrack to my movie I am directing next year and I am happy with it. I am not sure. I probably go for, maybe, October. Maybe.
Booga: Can we expect some lower tempo tracks like discussed in the legendary producer and DJ meeting last year ….
Goldie: In where …?
Booga: There was a producer and DJ meeting last year where things were discussed like lowering the tempo of drum & bass tracks.
Goldie: Who told you so?
Booga: Erm, gossip factory… (laughing)
Goldie: (laughs) Who believe this that’s their own fault. I always been pushing things. I never ever brought an album where I don’t experiment so yes there will be lower tempo tracks, it will be the same as it has always been.
Booga: It is said you are drawing diagrams while you are producing your tracks. Is it just about visualisation of what is in your mind?
Goldie: Yes it is mostly. I have always done this.
Booga: Because of your graffiti background?
Goldie: Yes. Definitely.
Booga: Where do you see the future of drum and bass? Other styles to fuse with or will drum & bass make its own way – maybe to the charts big time.
Goldie: I don’t know. I can hardly comment on this because I just know where I am going with it. Where other people are taking it I do not necessarily agree with.
Booga: How did you experience the 7th of July this year in London?
Goldie: I don’t know. It doesn’t bother me really. I don’t pay any interest in that kind of stuff.
Booga: Do you think music can help fighting fundamentalism?
Booga: It is far beyond that?!
Goldie: Yes, of course it is. I don’t know … that’s what I think.
Booga: You are looking into expanding the label activities to America. What are the reasons and will more continents follow?
Goldie: I don’t know. It may not happen. I am looking into it but I am not sure about it. We will see. My main thing is taking care of the stuff in the UK first.
Booga: Could you give us a little overview about what’s up with your movie and what it is about? When will it be released?
Goldie: The movie is probably coming next year. I can not say what it is about. It is a fictional story based on a fourteen year old boy and his experience in the ghetto where he lives and that is all I can say about that. Basically the film is written, produced and directed by myself and my partner. The album „Sine Tempus“ which is the title of the film is the soundtrack for that film and that’s it really.
Booga: Will there ever be a re-release of the Metalheadz back catalogue?
Goldie: It is mastered, it is done. We are just looking for the right time to do that. But it has been done. It has been all mastered. Re-mastered and done. So that is just sitting there somewhere and we are going to be doing it soon.
Booga: This year?
Goldie: Not this year but probably next year. I have a plan in my head.
Booga: Do you have plans to do something like the first Metalheadz Box where the artists came up with one drum and bass track and a lower tempo track together on one album?
Goldie: Yes, we will be doing this. This is a project, yes.
Booga: Thank you for the interview.
Storm, Booga, Goldie