Exclusive interview with Leeroy Thornhill (December 2020)
At the beginning of December 2020, theprodigy.ru team made an interview with Leeroy Thornhill, ex-The Prodigy. He dropped his new mixtape called “Back To Me” on the 27th of November 2020 and it is only available on Bandcamp. You may check it out here: leeroythornhill.bandcamp.com
Leeroy Thornhill told us about the concept of the new release, shared the differences between “Back To Me” and “Evolve” and showed his vision of Bandcamp advantages for music producers. Russian translation can be found here.
Some fans have noticed that you seem to like the concept of creating continuous mixes. Are you planning to make an EP with the best tunes from the “Back To Me” mix?
I feel the concept album gives me more freedom to put different styles on one record and make them all work together. I think it makes it a bit more interesting to listen to. As there are no DJ-gigs now, I don’t see the reason to be writing just DJ music. I will make an EP with some extended mixes, so I can play them when I’m DJing. I have not set any boundaries on the style of albums I write, so the next one might be totally different!
Looking at “Evolve” and “Back To Me”: what is the main difference in idea and vibe between them? What is “Back To Me” for you?
On “Back To Me” I used more a lot of tunes that I had already started writing when I was on Get Hype Records, I really wanted to put them out, so I don't think it has as many tracks that set a vibe (reggae, funk, etc.). “Evolve” I wrote fresh from start to finish designing the vibe as I went along. “Back To Me” I had to approach a bit different as I had music already written, maybe it’s a bit harder. The idea with both albums was to write with different styles of music that I have been into, inspired by throughout my life.
What is the best track/part of the new album that is the most important and interesting for you and for us?
That’s a hard one! I can’t pick a favorite part, I really enjoyed making tracks like “Wasted” (it starts ≈ from 54:00) as it’s a different thought process to the rest of the album. As for you guys you will have to tell me what tracks work for you! Hopefully, there’s a few.
A long time ago there was a rumor from BBC Radio 1: they said that Liam Howlett did some production for the debut Flightcrank album. Did Liam produce any tunes for ‘Beyond All Reasonable Doubt’? If yes, how much did he contribute to this release?
Nope, Liam never got involved with the album. I think you can clearly hear that, lol.
This year The Prodigy has turned 30. Are you planning to upload any rare items connected with the band? Loads of fans would be happy to hear your “Baby’s Got a Temper” remix you did back in 2002. Is it possible to upload it to Soundcloud or anywhere else?
No plans for anything special. I’ve had the honor of playing with lots of Liam’s tracks but have only ever done them justice once: that was a Hotride remix. The rest have never been good enough.
About 9 years ago your Jagged Slap bandmate Joe Morena uploaded his Hotride remix to SoundCloud. Did you take part in its production? Or was there another Hotride remix from you that had never seen the light of the day?
I never heard the version Joe put up, so I don’t know what it was. My remix never came out and I never put it anywhere.
There was a rumor that you and Liam Howlett did some special mix of «No Souvenirs». Do you have any thoughts about the source of information about the ‘Liam Howlett & Leeroy Thornhill remix of «No Souvenirs»’? Was it just hearsay from the music journalists, or were there some plans for this track that you hadn’t finished?
I know nothing about the “No Souvenirs” rumor. Hear this for the first time!
We also have a few interesting questions for music producers. Why have you decided to ignore all streaming platforms and release all stuff just on BandCamp?
At the moment I am happy to have complete control over what and when I release music, so the Bandcamp platform is working for me. The whole music business has changed now, and it has become even more unfair for artists. Spotify, Apple, and others won’t pay fair rates, so I don’t want anything to do with them while I’m independent. If I sign to a label that will change, as labels want to maximize your exposure. But these platforms just take from artists and don’t give anything back. You design and update your page all the time to make them money… Whatever approach you take is going to take hard work, but it’s better to see that hard work come back to you directly.
After releasing the first album on BandCamp do you still think it was a good idea? Keeping in mind royalties from previous releases, how big is the difference between BandCamp and DSP’s distribution?
Unless you are a well-established artist you are very lucky to see royalties in the first few years, and again everybody else takes their cut. It’s still early to tell how good it will work out but the platform is growing and more artists are seeing the benefits of having a page and reaching your fans directly. Right now it’s a positive for me, and most of all I'm happy to have control over everything.