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Lavender Pill Mob - conducted by Todd E. Jones  


Riding Mikes Bikes With Gary Asquith

April 2006

MVRemix: Tell us about this collaboration with Dif Juz, called Tranquil Trucking Company.

Gary Asquith: I've known those scoundrels called Dif Juz for many a good year. Really excellent musicians, top notch. I love Bromley's bass bandit attitude and wanted to collide with the Curtis brothers. Dave Curtis lives around the corner from my mother’s. I'd pop in to see him frequently. We started writing some stuff together and it finished up being Tranquil Trucking Company. I haven't spoken with Dave much since my move to France. I hope he's well.

MVRemix: You worked with other artists too. Do you have a different approach for every artist?

Gary Asquith: Not really. I like entering people’s musical world, if I like their style, that is. It's bliss for me to get involved with musicians who inspire me.

MVRemix: When creating a track, do you have a set theme or idea first, or the music first?

Gary Asquith: It works both ways, like milking cows. Sometimes, I just write stuff and then, get a lyrical idea. Sometimes, I just go on a pen frenzy and write down what's going on in my head, at that moment. Then, I fit it into whatever tracks that are around. Then, buzz them in.

MVRemix: Favorite drum machine / sampler?

Gary Asquith: 505, band in a box.

MVRemix: Favorite guitar?

Gary Asquith: Fender Precision Bass.

MVRemix: Describe the creative process. Where do you do pre-production? How long does it usually take to finish a song?

Gary Asquith: When I worked with my much-respected brothers at Renegade Soundwave Towers, we'd spend ages getting things to sound like nobody else could imagine. You can hear how slick those recordings are still today. With Kevin, it's a different state of mind. He doesn't like to dwell on songs. One-take Kevin. So, my formula has changed since I started working with Kevin, or Special K, as I sometimes call him. When I'm in full writing mode, I like to get a song finished in a day. We have a mobile studio that we cart around London. When we're vibed, we unlock the machines from their cases and proceed with caution.

MVRemix: How and why did you start your label, Le Coq Musique?

Gary Asquith: I needed to write songs. I don't like the nerd culture at record companies. They take the piss out of their artists then, dump them on the freeway. Le Coq Musique is about me & Kevin. It's our home and we're perfectly capable of writing songs for ourselves, rather than some fat clueless music industry executives. Le Coq Musique is cool and I'm very proud of having the likes of Adam Ant, Mekon, Film 2 and The Detroit Sinner involved in the projects. We're a good connection and we write good songs. For sure.

MVRemix: Is there a deep meaning behind the name, Le Coq Musique?

Gary Asquith: No, it's a play on Le Coq Sportif. Also, Tottenham Hotspurs are my North London football club with a cockerel as their motto. So, it just fit real good.

MVRemix: Will there be other artists on Le Coq Musique?

Gary Asquith: Yep. The Imbeciles & Templeton are our latest additions. We still want more from our Detroit Sinner.

MVRemix: What happened to Renegade Soundwave? Why did RSW break up?

Gary Asquith: We imploded. I never really got on well with Danny. When Karl left, there was a void in our sound. I did most of my writing with Karl. Mute Records dropped us because we were hard work to deal with. Pretty much everything that went wrong at Mute, Renegade got blamed for. If someone took a cab without authorization, you can be sure it would turn up on the Renegade Soundwave account. In fairness, we were no angels, but we didn't give a fuck about what people thought of us. We always made good records and pushed our boundaries.

MVRemix: What did you do between the end of RSW and now?

Gary Asquith: I've just continued making records when I like and with whoever was about at the time. I've relocated. I've always got plenty of stuff going on in my houses that keep me occupied. If I only could invent a machine that slows and accelerates time….

MVRemix: The song, ‘Cocaine Sex’ by Renegade Soundwave created some controversy. What kind of criticism or effect came from this song?

Gary Asquith: ‘Cocaine Sex’ actually charted in the middle week English chart. I'm proud to have that song in my repertoire. I can't remember the fuss, really. We got tons of press and we left Rhythm King Records shortly afterwards. Mark Moore from S Express played it out when it was still a promo and I can remember the whole dance floor erupted into a mass of hysteria. Fantastic vibe to see 600 people gyrating to a song that still hadn't been released. ‘Cocaine sex is fast…’

MVRemix: Do you still do cocaine?

Gary Asquith: Not today, thank you, Todd. I've done my fair share. The last time I DJ'd in London, I got offered cocaine. I took a bottle of beer instead. It kind of bores me now. I'd like to be a better advert for modern society than a drug-fuelled asshole who can't get his words out quick enough. We've got too many jerks on our planet without me being one of them.

MVRemix: What other drugs have you done? What drugs do you still do?

Gary Asquith: I like the liqueur shops still. Fine wines. Chateau Chambert 1998 is a good wine and not too expensive. Pot crops up from time to time. I've done most of the drugs that have hit the market squares of my life. I loved the E thing when they had the MDMA capsules. New York speakeasy’s and a magic pill took me to my favorite places in the early 80's. They fucked that drug up when it changed to a pill.

MVRemix: The b-side to ‘Biting My Nails’ is a song called, ‘Kray Twins’. Morrissey also has a song about the Kray Twins called ‘Last Of The Famous International Playboys’. What did you think of his track?

Gary Asquith: I've not heard it. I'm not too crazy for Morrissey or The Smiths. All those whining Northern English bands piss me off. An old girlfriend of mine, called Fiona, is now living with the guitarist’s family in Manchester. I've heard he's a really nice guy, but that's it for me on Morrissey connections.

MVRemix: What did you think of the film ‘The Krays’?

Gary Asquith: Crap. It's a shame.

MVRemix: RSW were one of the first electronic hip-hop groups with a white emcee. If Renegade Soundwave came out in 2006, how would things be different?

Gary Asquith: I'm not a hypothetical type of wizard. Renegade Soundwave would always be a good band because all of its members have contributed to music through their love of music. Skills in abundance.

MVRemix: Do you still listen to hip-hop? What hip-hop artists or albums do you like?

Gary Asquith: Yeah, I like The Common, Rammellzee's new stuff, all of the old Beastie Boys, and Run-DMC stuff.

MVRemix: Will Renegade Soundwave ever release something new?

Gary Asquith: I'd love to do a new Renegade Soundwave album. Vinyl for Danny and a double CD for me. Anything is possible, in my world. I'd have to patch up some bad history with Danny, though. That could be difficult. Karl would be the one who I'd love to have another opportunity to write with, Karl and Danny. One playing live drums while the other programs drums. Make sure it's Karl playing the live drums. Gee, I miss those comrades.

MVRemix: Looking back, what do you think of the music of Renegade Soundwave?

Gary Asquith: Classic and innovative.

>> continued...





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Rich Gang – Rich Gang album review

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"In fairness, we were no angels, but we didn't give a f**k about what people thought of us. We always made good records and pushed our boundaries."