Bodyrox: Yeah, yeah, whatever...
Thu 1st Feb, 2007 Featuresin
It was undoubtedly the track of the day at all of the major NYD and summer dance festivals around Australia this year, with thousands of clubbers excitedly asking “what’s the ‘yeah yeah’ song called?!” Funny they’d decide to call it that, then? Far from being a new track to clubs, Bodyrox (made up of Jon Pearn – of Full Intention fame – and Nick Bridges) originally created the monster over 3 years back, with it given the remix treatment several times, gathering momentum along the way. A certified smash in Ibiza during the 2006 season, it finally made its way down under over summer. Following its success Jon Pearn will be touring Australia this month as Bodyrox, so get your dancing shoes ready! ITM caught up for a chat.
For many, the name Bodyrox has become synonymous with the absolute smash of the summer – ‘Yeah Yeah’ – but let’s go back a bit further… how did you and Nick come together?
We met in Ibiza around 2003. Nick was very keen to get into production and there were some other styles of music outside Full Intention that I wanted to explore, so we decided to have a go in the studio. It took another 18 months before we finally made into the studio and Bodyrox was born.
You’ve both tasted success previous to Bodyrox, you as half of Full Intention with Michael Gray, and Nick being a DTPM/Friction resident and one of London’s most in-demand house DJs. Needless to say, both your stocks are well and truly rising. How does that feel?
It always feels great to hear your tunes being played in the clubs and on the radio, it makes all the hours spent in the studio seem worthwhile.
‘Yeah Yeah’ was the anthem of 2006 in Ibiza, and everywhere else! It got tremendous support from a solid cast of DJs – Erick Morillo, Ferry Corsten, Roger Sanchez, Sander Kleinenberg and Sir Norman Jay, to name a few. Personally, it followed me through Europe last year, and then seemingly followed me home taking Australia by storm. How did it feel watching – and hearing of –such domination?
It was strange because this track must have had the longest promotion time ever for a single in all its different mixes. We made the track over 3 years ago, originally as the electro mix, and it was this mix that Eye Industries signed. We though it might be cool to have a more 4/4/ style house mix so we did the Turbo House mixes, and it was this mix that first appeared on Ministry of Sound’s Clubber’s Guide. The following year we did the more underground Ketamine dub, and it was at this stage that it really began to take off after Sander Kleinenberg licensed that for his mix CD. 6 months later we asked D Ramirez to do a remix, and it was that one that propelled the track even higher, refusing to go away! Luciana then got involved last summer when we decided to put a vocal on top to give it that final commercial push into the charts.
Music is obviously a tough industry, but you guys are riding the wave well. Whether it was during the absolute hyper-success of ‘Yeah Yeah’, or before that, has there ever been a single defining moment where you sat yourself down and realised that you’d “made it”?
I don’t think we’re quite there yet! “Made it” for me would mean a Grammy and a platinum selling album!
With ‘Yeah Yeah’, you’ve produced a different sound – one that has been described as everything from ‘new rave’ to ‘electro punk’. The inclusion of Luciana’s sexy yet feisty punk vocals have definitely assisted with that sound. Where did Luciana’s involvement come from?
I’d worked with Luciana years before on a project called Definitive, so we’ve know each other for ages. We wanted a different kind of vocal to work with this track and as Luci had just done a really cool vocal on Martijn Ten Velden’s ‘I Wish You Would’ we though she would be perfect for it.
What about the video? It’s raw, nasty, completely lacking in subtlety, and combines with Luciana’s sexy attitude absolutely perfectly. Where did the inspiration come from? Is there any truth to the rumour that two videos were produced – one as it was intended, and another for the faint-hearted?
We just didn’t want a normal dance video with the singer and a couple of producers looking uncomfortable in the background! Michael Baldwin came up with the idea of having people getting off to the music and it sounded like a fun video to shoot. There are actually 3 versions – the clean version you see on daytime TV and then a more saucy version for evening viewing. Then we have the original uncut version which never came out I’m afraid. By the time the TV regulator got his hands on it, most of the good bits had been chopped!
You haven’t toured as Bodyrox before, what are you expecting? What is the word internationally as to how us Australia likes to party?
You guys are crazy! I came over last June to do some dates as Jon Pearn and had a great time. I played at Tank in Sydney and Room in Melbourne. I’m really looking forward to coming back as Bodyrox.
Where do you see dance music going in 2007, and what and who do you think will be big in the European summer?
I think the electro thing will continue throughout 2007, possibly with some more soulful vocals on top. There is still a demand for house music in the UK so we’re going to do some of that too.
Where to for now for Bodyrox?
We’ll be in the studio working on our album in between all the DJing. I’m looking forward to Miami and the WMC, hopefully we’ll have the next single out by the summer.
Jon Pearn of Bodyrox tours Australia in February:
Feb 2nd – Metropolis, Fremantle
Feb 3rd – Platinum, Gold Coast
Feb 10th – The Metro, Melbourne
Feb 11th – Sounds on Sunday, Sydney
Feb 15th – The Monastery, Brisbane
Bodyrox’s dancefloor destroying single ‘Yeah Yeah’ is out now on Ministry of Sound/EMI.