Since establishing himself in 1997 with the seminal 'Far From The Maddening Crowds' & breakout album 'Behind The Sun' (2000), through to his second-gen LPs; 'Somersault' (2007) and 2010's 'Giants', Nick Bracegirdle has fashioned a flawless and hit-filled album discography. Now, adding to that canon comes 'Thousand Mile Stare'.
Jacqueline caught up with him to ask him a few questions about that.
Hello Chicane! Welcome to the Podium, where do we find you at the moment, and how've you been?
Well you find me on a plane to the Philippines to do some shows. Everyone around me is having a kip and I am
still workin away!!
You're one of the leading pioneers of the Trance scene, with a very sweet 16 years of success to your name in both undergound, and commercial Electronic Dance Music. This is a vague question, but what is your take on the Electronic Dance Music scene's evolution into the commercial/mainstream within the past half decade?
Since I started producing dance music we have seen the rise and fall of dance in the public eye, it has now once again
become today's 'pop' and looks like it might take America properly by storm. The scene has splintered off into so many different genres now it's hard to keep up, but I think things are generally very healthy. Everyone's mate is a DJ again!
We've been lurking the social media world and have seen comments with your most recent tune "Going Deep", many have made comments on how it's "way off of your style". How does a producer as well as a DJ adapt to the way singles are being produced and sets are being delivered within these evolutionary phases?
People like to keep you in a box and that is what you do, nobody likes change. I have always been an advocate of the 'Chicane sound' being applicable to many genres. It is super important to please yourself as a producer first and do what feels right, not churn out the same stuff endlessly. Be bold and try new stuff out, thats how progress is made.
In December of last year the album "Thousand Mile Stare" was released in a very unique and personal way. To some who are unfamilliar with the arrangement it was released with a cassette-shaped USB flash drive of rare material and an album of remixes. Every preliminary order also included the buyer's name on the album sleeve. We must firstly commend you on this system. Do you feel in our extremely pirated consumer market within the music industry that these measures could encourage listeners to engage in purchasing more?
We tried to deliver a personal and unique product which my true fanbase would really enjoy. What most don't know is that TMS was indeed pirated in an attempt to ruin it's success. A character going by the name of 'Igor' obtained some of the tracks for the album by means foul and posted them on a trance site. What drives an individual to do this eludes me, if you are reading this 'Igor', 'keep looking over your shoulder mate'... Anyway I do hope the way we have been selling music will encourage more peeps to buy and not steal...
It's been almost 2 years since the release of your previous artist album. In which way has your style changed since then?
I don't feel I have changed much to be honest, never have done. I keep the core ideas of what I do close and dip into what is happening without jumping on the latest bandwagon.
Thousand Mile Stare - is there a story behind this title?
Yeah, when I sat down to start work on the album, it was post crimbo and wasn't really in the mood. I stared blankly at the screen and drifted off. I think a lot of you can resonate with this, to be totally upfront, I was the dreamer at school, looking out of the window. I can remember a teacher once attempting to get my attention, waving her arms, and me just staring right through her... until I got a clout round the head, that is. So the album is kinda about finding yourself in that state.
A cliche question, but what is the track that you're most happy with on the album?
The opener 'Hljóp'.
You've recorded Hljóp with a live orchestra in Iceland. Have you ever done this before? What was the experience like?
Never, it was a mad experience. Vigri, the band I collaborated with on it are hilarious wonderful mental bunch of organic musicians. It was such an honest and heartfelt session. I think the track has such emotion and dynamic in it, and so refreshing to produce. It's up there with my best work for me.
You have worked with few guest artists on the album. Do you enjoy working with other artists? Do conflicts appear while working with them, and if so, how do you overcome those?
Collaboration can sometimes throw up conflict, but this is the very thing that makes one do something in a slightly different way. Something fresh always seems to come out of working with someone new. It has rarely gone tits up but discovery has always been a slightly messy business.
Last month Armada Music officially announced the collaboration with your UK label Mondena. Congratulations! Now, you've worked in the trenches with them for many years now. So, these grounds are more familliar between the once distrubuted parties. Do you feel that with your music being released in this fashion that it'll give you more time to spend in the studio? We're really egar to hear much more of your productions with this efficient label collaboration!
Christ... I am always in the bleedin' studio, I have what you would call a 'studio tan'. I think that with the new partnership I will find myself out on the road more and more as we are reaching further than ever before. This is cool, bring it on I say!!!
What comes next, both on the professional and personal field?
I have a big summer tune I have been putting together with someone very well known!!! Watch this space...
A message to the TrancePodium readers?
Keep supporting and believing please.
Thank you for your time Chicane! You've been a name extremely missed on the charts and we look forward to hearing so much more of you to come!