Paul Oakenfold

On tour with Madonna, EDM in the States 2012 and the release of his brand new Four Seasons album

Hey Paul, welcome back to DMCWORLD after another incredible year for Greenhithe’s favourite son. This month sees release of the final chapter of your Four Seasons series with a stunning box-set that documents your four mixes that has complimented each season. Talk us through it…

“The idea behind Four Seasons was to showcase my favourite cutting edge electronic music from breaks to trance to Goa to progressive – the best of melodic music that have been the biggest tracks on the four seasons tour. On my travels we have come across some great new dj/producers Richard Benyon from Canada, Protoculture from South Africa and Thomas Datt from the US – these are the names to look out for.

Great to see one of the tunes from the Four Seasons series Gary Maguire and Stereo Wildife’s ‘Always Different’ reaching No. 1 on Trackitdown this week, what’s coming next from the mighty Perfecto label…

“Reboots of a couple of classics ‘Bullet in the Gun’ and ‘Reach Up’ (Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag) and on the Flouro side new tracks from Yahel & Tammy, Full-Tilt and Sonic Element. Keep an eye out for my new remix of “Creatures” on Fluoro – which came out this week…”

What are the album plans for 2013?

“I’ve now signed to Sony for my Pop Killer album – which will be similar to the last two albums in the respect that it will feature various collaborations, I am also going to be doing a couple of compilations including a live one in October next year.”

You are currently in the middle of the MDNA world tour with Miami on the horizon. You spin for an hour before her royal highness takes to the stage, talk us through a typical set list you’d play that we understand includes a different twist for each city…

“We have another month left of the tour, which I have been on since early June. The set is more commercial, I’m here to warm the crowd up so I play a lot of my own mash-ups and reworks of established acts and artists also my new remixes of various tracks like Bruno Mars and Madcon, Chilli Peppers, U2 etc. – big tunes like these.”

The Madonna fans seem to be really making huge effort with their costumes on the tour – which city to date has really blown the roof off?

“Actually Miami last night blew the roof right off!”

After the recent Minneapolis concert you played a cheeky gig at epic, a venue you hadn’t been to for years and you had a chance to “play all sorts of music”. What’s it like re-visiting these little venues that you were hitting years ago before EDM took over the states?

“When you’re constantly playing big shows it’s great to play the smaller venues, it gives me a chance to get close to the fans. I like the intimate vibe and love being able to play more of an underground set.”

Touring with worldwide superstars is nothing new for you, the 90s saw you spinning for U2 on their Zoo tours…what is the biggest difference in being on a massive world tour two decades later?

“I have been lucky enough to open for U2, Chilli Peppers, Lenny Kravitz and Madonna, the difference is the level of the organization. The logistics behind a show like MDNA is incredible.”

Loving your tour bus that it transporting you across the US, I take it you’ve been able to watch your beloved Chelsea FC who are flying in the premiership at the moment…

“I have seen every game so far but it’s not the same as being at the Bridge watching it.”

The celebrity list of Chelsea fans is unbelievable, who are your big Chelsea mates over in Los Angeles who you get together with to watch  Rafael Benitez’s blue and white army?

“There are a bunch of Brits that I hang with but they support Tottenham and Arsenal – though I’m trying to persuade them to become new blues!”

What is the current top ten you are spinning?

“For me there is no top ten as such, there are so many tracks out so my choice has to vary from one night to the next – especially now when I’ll do a commercial set for Madonna and then go on to an underground EDM club and play something totally different.”

I interviewed Norman Cook last week and we were talking about the new breed of superstar teenage producers who have been propelled onto the world stage before having any real mischief in clubland; “you can’t talk the talk without walking the walk. I would advise all young djs to explore getting as high as their audience to understand what the crowd want. Getting mashed in some shape or form is part and parcel of club culture and should be compulsory for all djs before they get their public entertainment licence. For fuck’s sake let your hair down while you still have enough…” What are your thoughts on this topic?

“Dan, I totally agree with Norman.”

Ibiza seems to have finally caught up with the rest of the world splashing the cash on their venues, hotels, bars and even their airport! You dj’d for IMS, your great pal Pete Tong at Pacha and A State Of Trance at Privilige with Armin. Looking back, what was your vibe of ibiza 2013…

“Ibiza has changed so much in the last few years, with the added touch of pool parties that are going on all over the island, with the major influx of high end, Ibiza really is the best time it’s been for many years, I love that I can play different clubs to different audiences all over the island that’s what DJing is about for me – being able to play totally across the board. Also with the new restaurants and bars springing up everywhere – it’s exciting, the island has needed some change for a while and it’s getting it now.”

Nicky Romero told me in the summer that he preferred DJing to a crowd in the states than Ibiza. Are American clubbers that more advanced musically than their Balearic counterparts already?

“No its the opposite. European crowds are far more clued up after all we have been doing it for 25 years, in America electronic music has only recently kicked in and it’s totally mainstream. It’s gonna change though, the promoters and the clubbers are getting tired of hearing the same music by the same DJs.”

You have remixed the likes of Justin Timberlake, the Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead and New Order. What one re-work are you the most proudest of as you know the artist absolutely loved it?

“U2 ‘Even Better Than The Real Thing’, and Massive Attack ‘Unfinished Sympathy’.”

You have created film soundtracks for some mighty Hollywood blockbusters including die another day, the Matrix Reloaded, Swordfish and the Bourne Identity. What however is your favourite ever film?

“‘Blade Runner’ and ‘The Insider’.”

What has been the best club gig of 2012?

“My residency shows at Ministry of Sound on my Four Season tour this year.”

And finally Paul as the festive season approaches again, what do you want for Christmas?

“More time with my family.”


Paul Oakenfold ‘Four Seasons’ is out now…