Will Atkinson interview
Hi Will, how are you today?
Not too shabby cheers!
First off, I see that you are a 90's kid (like myself!) who/what were your first memories of dance music?
My first memories of Dance music were Gatecrasher’s Summer Soundsystem Adverts, Live Radio 1 Dance Parties and Paul Johnson’s “Get Get Down” on cassette :)
You say you started mixing records at the age of 7, tell us what was the first bit of equipment you used?
I couldn't even begin to remember the name of it. It was one of those all-in-one box numbers. 100% Wedding Dj gear. From there I graciously progressed into “Home Mix” Belt Drives straight out of Littlewood's Catalogue maybe when I was 10 or 11. And Technics followed from around 14 years old. Now I have no decks funnily enough. And a stack of useless Keygens sitting on my Laptop. Depressing really ha.
At the age of 14 you started to produce. Tell us what software you used and how it compares to what you use today.
Propellerheads' Reason was probably the first “proper” piece of kit I got my hands on. I persevered for a good few years - managed to rustle up Cloud Surfing, Enough Is Enough & Perpetual Sunrise - they probably clocked up 15 Radio 1 airplays alone. And a bunch of other mad old tracks which I'd love to take apart and re-do. I’ve still got the original Dell 700mb Ram Badboy - it’s sitting right next to me now, he doesn't speak much, just splutters out an occasional dustball now and again - keep meaning to boot him up so I can open up some of my old projects. There were actually some serious ideas in there which would rock the jukebox without a doubt. Anyway, at 18 I moved down to Glasgow and probably my first proper friend down there, Nick Callaghan, introduced me to the ways of Ableton. I’ve been working with it ever since.
What was your inspiration for Pat Butcher? It is very different to other tracks that are out there! Also, why the name Pat Butcher?
People ask me what was running through my head when I made Patty. Probably one of the most common questions people ask me ha ha. The answer is a combination of “not sure” with a mild hint of Next Tuesday. Seriously, I was just lacking the types of tracks that send you home, into the night, talking or trying to figure out what the hell “that track” was. For me, these were tracks like Dj Elites bootleg of “That Fuct Camera” and Dj Dan’s Needle Damage back in 2000/2001. I guess it maybe pays homage to these days. And why Pat Butcher? Well it used to be called The Butcher. but I just had to stick a Pat on it ;)
Tell us a bit more about your alias "Darkboy"?
I’ve not seen him in a while!?
As well as Trance, do you produce any other genres of music?
Is this is trick question? I would say only 20% of the music I do produce is “Trance”. Sure I like to add those big melodies and touchy sub melodies into most my music, but what a lot of people consider “Trance” these days, is something I would not associate myself with. If we’re talking, deep, hypnotic and emotional grooves, then yes, this is the Trance that I’m producing. And a lot of the Techno and Progressive House I’m making right now has a similar backbone.
For the producers out there, what do you look for as the most important part of a track when you a sifting through promos?
I would say if you can’t find the music for your sets, create it.
Are there any artists out there that you feel don't get as much recognition as they should?
I used to sympathise but I think if you’re not getting recognised, then there has to be a reason for that. It’s not just some tragic mishap of mother nature. The fact is you’re probably not making the music that breaks peoples hearts, changes people’s lives etc etc blah blah blah.
You have a residency with BBC Radio 1. How does it feel to have such a big part of one of the biggest radio stations in the UK?
It’s a dream. And I really do mean that. It feels like I’m going to wake up any minute. And one morning I WILL wake up and it WILL be over. So till then I’m just savouring every fucking moment of this. I really can’t put into words how it feels to walk into them studios, surrounded by these super talented producers and rattle out a show. I just never want it to end. This was always my main goal since day 1. And it used to embarrass me when people asked me what my main ambition in life was. It is everything its cracked up to be and so much more. The show finishes after December. Obviously we are pushing for something more but if it doesn’t happen again, I can be at least a wee bit proud that I held down a 6 month Residency on BBC Radio 1. But lets be honest, this is simply not enough!
You have an upcoming set at Digital Society at o2 Academy, Leeds, alongside John Askew, Mark Sherry, Menno de Jong, Standerwick, Kearney and many more... describe to us in 3 words what we can expect from you for this?
Good Fucking Bye
Finally, where else can we expect to see you for the final quarter of 2016?
Quite busy wrapping up 2016. This weekend I was in Germany, followed by a midweek show at Amsterdam Dance Event this Wednesday. Then I return back to Glasgow for Colours at SWG3 - first home gig since 2016. Looking forward to catching Football Focus on Saturday morning I have to say. After that, Colombia, Ecuador, 2 Friday shows in Australia then immediately flying over to Los Angelas for Dreamstate SoCal. And also Lush! @ Portrush for Halloween. December sees a home run of UK shows which is nice. Manchester, Swansea, Newcastle, Glasgow, Sheffield, Dublin and New Year I’m away but I’m not sure if it’s been announced yet. So just a nice, fairly relaxed end of year as you can see.
Buy tickets for the Digital Society & John O'Callaghan pres. Subculture show here.