TOM FINDLAY – GROOVE ARMADA

Tom Findlay is one half of grammy-winning super duo Groove Armada. Findlay and bandmate Andy Cato formed Groove Armada almost 20 years ago and become one of the most reliable party jam makers in music. The first time i had a chat with Tom was in 2002 during a private party at the magnificent Palais Bulles of Pierre Cardin near Cannes. Two years later we met on a plane from Edinburgh to London after the MTV EMA celebrations. In 2013 it was the turn of Ibiza, occasional rendez vous at Ushuaia. November 2014? Finally in Milan.

This is our interview just before his dj set at Tunnel Club

Tom, welcome back to Milan and nice to meet you again. What have you been up you been up to in the last months?
Well, we have been to Ibiza and we are working on an album for a label called Moda Black (thisismoda.com), a small UK dance label, founded by two guys called Andy and Jaymo. They do this little black book, they did one last year, so we are doing that and it’s good: it’s kinda like we are writing 5 or 6 new songs and then we are using a lot of stuff we have done in the last two years, that showcases more the house genre. So it’s good even if it is a different surface for us because we have always been touring with the band, so it’s a new situation.

Live touring, do you think this is going to happen again soon?
If it did, it would happen next year because is going to be the 20th anniversary of the band. But i have to say that i am not a great believer of the idea of like an ‘anniversary tour’. Gigs like the one we did at the Brixton Academy in 2010 have been absolutely epic and you are so conscious of your legacy and gigs like that come when you have been playing and playing and playing, so for me it will be a lovely thing to do again, i always felt when we did that last show in Brixton i never thought that was going to be the last one so, but there’s need to be new material, new songs, a story around it. And there’s no real reason not to do it, we are still good friends with everybody, it’s not that we don’t like each other, no a ‘Liam & Noel’ situation, you know that kind of stuff. So, we’ll see.

Almost 20 years in the business. Do you think that your public is different now compared to 10/15 years ago?
Yes, it is. The young crown is very conscious now of what they listen and i am curious to hear their feedback about our new work. This album is going to come out in February and be good; i mean, is not something that is going to change the world but i think is a nice representation of what we have been doing in the last four/five years.

Ibiza. How was summer 2014?
Well it was good even if with some changes. We are not in Space anymore, we used to do We Love Sundays and be resident there but they changed their brand for Disclosure and other artists going for a more young UK dj thing and we didn’t fit into that, so we did just one show and then we moved to Pacha. We did Fridays there and Mondays at Ibiza Rocks that is still big on the island. You know Pacha is a real institution, always with a good vibe and we really enjoyed it. We also played in a new place called Beach House (http://www.beachouseibiza.com), very nice new spot next to Ushuaia, where we did the closing party; and the thing about Ibiza is that where you’re gonna go you can play house music and people is still so into this music, it’s into their DNA, that’s what they love and this happened for example there, we played really nice house music and everyone enjoyed.

Any spot on the island that you particularly love?
My favorite place is called Es Torrent (estorrent.net), a spanish restaurant near San Josè. We always go there. I remember having lunch with Pete Tong 15 years ago when he was a God to me… and he still is, a very talented colleague!

Plans for next year? More Ibiza?
The new album is going to be really good so we are planning to play at Fabric in London (fabriclondon.com) taking the main room; 15 years ago we used to play in the smaller one, so this is going to be nice and maybe we will do few more dates there; and then let’s see what comes up with Ibiza: Pacha might come back but it’s also very interesting to see what’s going on in the island because things are changing a lot. I mean we can still do some classy Pacha nights but also some younger parties and still feel not out of place. And also Ushuaia Group is taking over Space so let’s see what happens.

About Festivals: you played (among the many) at Creamfield, Coachella, Glastonbury. Which one will you pick as favorite?
Creamfield has never been a natural hunt for us, it’s dance music in its purest form and we have never been that thing. Glastonbury is for sure the one that represent everything to me, it’s just the perfect combination for a festival in terms of the music, vibe, atmosphere: the people come there with the right spirit, it’s really a place with a strong personality. I mean Creamfield is fun but is more about Calvin Harris and David Guetta (and lots of drugs). Coachella i haven’t been in the last 4/5 years and for sure it has been changing a lot but i cannot compared it to Glasto even if the LA vibe is very unique.

After the interview we headed to DRY (drymilano.it) for a quick drink and more informal chats (his dream is to go to Burning Man once!) and then off to Tunnel (http://www.tunnel-milano.it) for Le Cannibale night (Tom played on Saturday 22nd November).

 

Tom was portrayed at AC HOTEL by Fabrizio Consoli