Producer Interview: Michael Gray - The Weekend
| Track Listing: |
1. The Weekend [Radio Edit]
2. The Weekend [Extended Vocal Mix]
3. The Weekend [Original 12 Inch Mix]
4. The Weekend [Nic Fanciulli Vocal Mix]
5. The Weekend [Video]
Check out a preview of the video:
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SS: Your list of remix credits is impressive, built over several years - how did you get into this line of work?
MG: I started DJ-ing at the age of 12 doing under 16’s discos, then moved into night clubs, then joined DMC as a megamixer all the time building up my studio equipment collection, I then started making underground house records, (most with Jon Pearn my partner in Full Intention) which led to remixing and producing for others.
SS: I read that you turn down nine out of ten mixes you're offered, what criteria do you feel necessary to take on a mix?
MG: The song normally would have to be melodically hooky or a part in the original music being so good it inspires you in reworking the artists track. *
SS: Do you have working method in place fro a mix - can you run us through it?
MG: Normally Jon will work various chord progressions, I will then choose the best out of say 6.We will then work on the keyboard, bass and drum sounds together. I will arrange, mix and engineer it.
SS: The remixers job can be quite stressful, with deadlines and the such, what do you do to unwind?
MG: A full body massage every 3 weeks! Vodka & sex.
SS: The Full Intention partnership has clearly been a successful one, but the Weekend is a Michael Gray release only, are you working on a solo career, any Michael Gray albums in the pipeline?
MG: Yes, working on ideas at the moment. I also have just produced (& co wrote) and album for a new wave band called Portobella to Island records this year. I have also nearly finished doing the same to a new Electro clash group called Koolwah.
SS: How do you feel about being remixed yourself - especially by a legend such as Kurtis Mantronik, why did you choose him?
MG: I have always been a fan – I used to play his records! The record company and I wanted to do a down tempo soul mix instead of the typical ‘alt House remix’. The moment I heard his mix I loved it.
SS: Commercial success or credibility - both are nice, but what's more important to you?
MG: Credibility first always.
SS: So therefore, your definition of a successful remix is…?
MG: A strong groove, with a nagging hook that can be played in a cool or commercial club and hopefully radio!
SS: Are you not tempted to go straight for production work - is this something you also do?
MG: Yes, producing gives me the biggest buzz these days.
SS: Sonic State has always been a haven for technology fans, are you one yourself or do you just use whatever you need?
MG: Yes I m a fan, but not in the ‘anorak’ sense, but I do love buying quality outboard gear, for me, its still warmer and crisper to plug ins at the moment.
The Weekend is available now at iTunes (just search for The Weekend from within the iTunes application)