Interview with Mr.Scruff

by David Gluzman

A lot of things have happened since a young Andy Carthy started answering to the name Mr Scruff – making a name for himself under the shadow Manchester’s mid 90s club scene. Not only has he released three critically acclaimed albums, including 2002’s monstrous ‘Keep It Unreal’, but with countless tours and club events he has cemented his ‘legendary’ DJ status.

Just this year he has toured Australia, New Zealand, Japan (twice), North America (twice), and the UK, as well as his residencies in Manchester and Brighton. This is a DJ that can sell out the 1600 capacity London Forum armed only with his records, some turntables and a few spare packets of teabags.

David: First off thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to meet with us and answer some questions for our readers.

Lets jump in with both feet and talk about your latest release ‘Keep it Solid Steel (Part 1)’, you’re renowned for putting out some of the sickest sets, and coming from Canada I know that it’s a must stop to checkout your residency – ‘Keep it Unreal’ – if we’re kicking in the UK. So how did this recording come to be, and since it’s part 1, where will you be taking us next?

Mr.Scruff: Ninja asked me to do a solid steel mix, but I did not think that I could fit everything one one cd, so I asked if I could do a series. Thankfully they agreed, and I set to work. I decided to represent my club night over the course of the series, with the mix progressing in the same way that my club night does, starting slow and building over the course of the night. As for the next cd, it will follow on logically from the first, increasing the tempo and covering several styles, but I have no idea what it will turn out like until all the tracks are cleared.

DG: What’s it like working with the Ninjas (ie: Ninjatune)?

Mr.S: Ninja tune are great to work with, as they are very enthusiastic, but also very reliable and experienced. They also allow me a lot of freedom, as illustrated by this mix series.

DG: With all the bizarre genres out there and loose definitions of each, how would you best describe the type of music you produce / spin?

Mr.S: I would say that the music I produce is cheeky, soulful and varied, coming from a beats perspective, and encompassing a wide range of influences. Spinning wise, If it’s good and soulful I will play it!

DG: What are your thoughts on the current state of the music industry (*cough* RIAA)?

Mr.S: There is a lot more music around than there has ever been, and a lot of it’s dreadful, but there are many small independents who are making great music, and making themselves heard. FM radio is the worst it has ever been.

DG: What are your top picks in the following categories: Album, Movie, Country you must visit?

Mr.S: Album: Sam Dees ‘the show must go on’ (atlantic)
Movie: forbidden planet
Country: I have been lucky enough to visit a lot of places, my favourites so far are New Zealand and Canada.

DG: Whenever someone drops Mr.Scruff into a conversation your artwork is always brought up. And with some of your past DVD release (checkout the review) you have put out a small collection of some fine work. Are you planning on doing more features, or perhaps putting together a plot driven piece directed to your music (think the Yellow Submarine, but good)? ;)

Mr.S: I am not considering doing something like that soon, as I think that my music videos & club visuals need a lot more work, but you never know I quite like yellow submarine, by the way…

DG: What have you learned in your years as a top DJ / Producer and what sort of suggestion(s) would you have for someone inspiring to follow your footsteps into the next decade?

Mr.S: I would say that is important to be yourself, and to reflect your personality and influences in your music/djing, rather than following the trends and rules of genre. Oh, and have fun!

DG: Thank you very much for your time in answering these questions. Is there anything you’d like to tell your fans before you go?

Mr.S: I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone for their support and feedback, and for proving that there is a widespread appreciation for good music of all kinds.

  • Interview with Mr.Scruff
  • by David Gluzman
  • Published on October 1st, 2004
Ninja Tune

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