We managed to catch Judge Jules backstage at Global Gathering on Saturday 29th July 2006 before he broadcasted his live show across the nation on BBC Radio 1. We asked him a series of questions based on Global Gathering, the digital revolution, and his brand new clothing label. This interview is available to read or to download in MP3 format for you to listen to! Read on to find out how our interview went....
Our main interviewer, Carl, accompanied by "Winty", went backstage to ask Jules a few questions before he was due to start his set.
Unfortunately, due to the recording taking place quite close to the main arena, the interview has background noise, although the conversation can still be heard. The full interview is 8 minutes long. Feel free to download the interview from the following link: http://carlbriggs.ttamixhosting.co.uk/interviews/JudgeJulesInterview.mp3
If you'd prefer not to download the interview, then we've included it below in text form:
Carl: Hi Jules. Thanks for interviewing TheTranceArena.com - we've got a few questions for you. First of all, how does playing at such a big event such as Global Gathering compare to playing out in a club?
Judge Jules: I think, when you play, you, you know, playing in a club is where you road test records. Playing in a big arena, in particular, you..... you play records that you know will work, but at the same time, I wouldn't say you play obviously, but you're not really going to take many chances - and I think most DJ's would say the same thing.
Carl: Can you describe the "buzz" you experience when playing in front of so many people?
Judge Jules: Errr, probably not no - its really really hard to explain. You know, even when I play to my mates, sometimes the security at these big things can be quite arsey about mates being on stage, but, you know, where I have had mates on stage at the really big events, even then its hard for them to kind of get the feeling, because they can see the physical amount of people, but only you can really understand the kind of.... at the risk of sounding pretenscious, the kind of biotic relationship between what you're playing and when you play it, when the certain moment in the records happen, the crowds reaction, the way you're feeling, the buzz you're on sort of thing, so... I guess thats a bit of a description.....
Carl: Have you got any special tunes lined up for this evening?
Judge Jules: Errrrr, I haven't really.... I'm gonna have to have a little..... because i'm "on-air", and I need a little bit of breathing space to actually concentrate on the speaking, i'm gonna have to think about what I play - at least some of what I play in advance, which I wouldn't necessarily do, but I haven't done it yet, so i'd better get my f**king skates on (*Jules laughs*)....
Carl: Erm... going off topic a little bit...... Your new "Proven Worldwide" album is already out in the United States, and is due out in the UK in September...
Judge Jules: Yeah....
Carl: Whats your favourite tune from that album?
Judge Jules: Ermmmm, I mean they all come about for different reasons really, I.. I guess... the one that in a silly way is my favourite is "Keep Me Running" because I sing on it.....
Carl: Yeah, thats my favourite too!
Judge Jules: Because I sing on it, and errr, and I never thought I could sing, and you know, and it taught me that if I can sign, f**king anybody can, I can assure you.....
Winty: Its amazing what modern studio's can do isn't it..... (*laughs*)
Judge Jules: No, I mean, no..... you just learn eventually..... because i've written quite a lot for other people, where i've basically, just gone into the studio, put the headphones on and got used to the way.... what it... the hardest thing with... you know, we can all sing in the bath up to a point, but the hardest thing with learning to be an actual singer is things on record - you need to get used to the sound of the studio - the way your voice sounds through the cans, and through writing a lot of songs for other people, I kind of eventually learnt about that, and now feel more confident and able to do it.
Carl: That was certainly my favourite along with "Without Love" with your wife, Amanda, on the vocals.
Judge Jules: Thank you!
Carl: Which producer do you rate very highly at the moment out of all the new up and coming producers?
Judge Jules: Errrr..... There's a guy called Fabio Stein - from Brazil, who erm..... I think there's one thing about dance music, not just Trance, but dance is general is that its littered with people that make one or two great records and then kind of disappear back into the wilderness and er.... its quite difficult.... its almost like, if you make five or so great records the you're gonna be in the DJ magazine top 25 DJ's in the world (*laughs*) because its very difficult to do, erm..... but yeah, Fabio Stein has done a lot of really good stuff, and I only... you know, I got sent a record by him for the first time erm........
Carl: Was that "Tran 4"?
Judge Jules: Yeah, which was..... ironically, I was actually in Brazil when I got sent the record, even though he sent it to me thinking I was at home, so it was yeah, January this year, and since then, I wouldn't say i've loved everything he's done, but there's been sort of five tracks that have been..... he actually did a remix of "Keep Me Running" aswell....
Carl: Thats one tune I asked you to play at Godskitchen last month, so thanks for playing that for me! Erm..... Judgement Sundays! You're half way through in Ibiza at the moment - how are they going? How do you make them bigger each year?
Judge Jules: Erm.... I mean.... It keeps.. it keeps growing and growing. I mean, I wouldn't say it doubles in size every year, but it seems to be like... at least ten or fifteen percent bigger each successive year, but at the same time, its not.... its in a big enough club, but its not aggressively busy, but its busy enough to be, you know.... have a really great atmosphere. For me, its all about atmosphere you know? I mean, over the course of the summer I go out to most of the clubs in Ibiza and if you were judging it purely on the basis of venues, I think Pacha is probably the nicest venue anywhere in the world, but if you were judging it on the basis of atmosphere, you know, Judgement Sundays beats it hands down. Pacha doesn't get the atmosphere.. Pacha can be a bit lacking sometimes erm.. so we're not in the most.. in the best venue, but if you want nice atmosphere, I really don't think there's much competition.
Carl: So will we see Judgement Sundays again in 2007?
Judge Jules: (*long pause*).... sorry?
Carl: Will we see it again in 2007?
Judge Jules: Oh most definately, yeah!
Carl: Who are your big friends in the industry? I know you're quite close to Eddie Halliwell - in fact, you've probably helped to boost his profile over the last few years.....
Judge Jules: Yeah... I'm close to Eddie Halliwell, I mean, I guess inevitably, you tend to be quite friendly with the people on the same management stable as you, because they tend to get bookings for the same clubs, you often together disproportionately. Simon "Dogzilla" Patterson (*makes quote suggestions with his hands as he says "Dogzilla*), to use this kind of bracket in his name, is a good friend of mine, erm... John Kelly - pretty much all the "Serious" people (referring to his "Serious Management" company).
Winty: What about Tim Westwood (*laughs*)
Judge Jules: (*giggles*) Erm.... Westwood I erm.. Westwood I actually get on with really well...
Carl: I've heard that bit of banter on the radio when you swap over.....
Judge Jules: Yeah... no, no, I get on really well with Westwood - he's got a really, you know, a really cheeky sense of humour......
Carl: Erm... Since the digital revolution, you've sort of edited all of your tracks down haven't you? Any particular reason why you edit tracks down in length?
Judge Jules: Erm.... it.. it initially was because I ... I just think that eight minutes plus for a Trance record is unnecessarily long and....... and although it might seem insignificant just taking two minutes out and turning tracks into like six minutes long, I actually think the effect on the dance floor is quite huge when you do that because your set becomes more compact and more to the point - not so many really really long breakdowns and I think that.. I think the era of the really big, long breakdown in Trance died a couple of years ago. I think people are much more hungry for kind of beats and basslines erm, than they are for, sort of a series of hands in the air moments. Errrr, so a lot of the editing as far as the Trance stuff is concerned is taking out those bits, but, you know, that'll be eight out of ten of the edits that i've done, the other, the other twenty percent is actually doing a much more sort of comprehensive reconstruction of editing.
Carl: I know, on a few of the tracks i've bought, i've actually preferred your edits, because, like you say, some of them go on for far too long and its pointless.
Judge Jules: Sure......
Carl: Erm... You've got a new clothing label coming out, I believe, soon?
Judge Jules: I have yeah..... Its still erm.... I've kind of got the range together, i'm still.... I'm just, i'm still honing it - I keep thinking i'm gonna launch it, and then I think "I'm not quite ready yet" - I think I might change a bit, a change of focus, but... but it'll come eventually yeah.
Carl: Erm.. one more for you, and then we'll let you go then.... (*chuckles*) Erm.... how do you manage to keep yourself so refreshed? You do a lot of travelling at the weekend - two or three gigs on a Friday and Saturday plus Ibiza on a Sunday......
Judge Jules: Errrrr... lots of cat napping really. I slept all the way here in the car, errrrr, between my sets today i'm gonna go back to the hotel and go to sleep. I'm quite boring. Quite boring really (*laughs*).
Carl: So will you catch up with Eddie or anyone a bit later on in the night?
Judge Jules: Errrr..... To be honest, at festivals...... at festivals, because its such a big area, you generally don't see that much of other DJ's because they're....... DJ's generally come and do their sets and then go again - its not like... its not like you can go out into the thick of things because, if you're one of the more recognisable DJ's, a lot of people.... you're just bombarded by people trying to take photo's, which, on the one hand is nice and i'll never begrudge anybody a photo - i'll always stop - but it doesn't make for a very sort of relaxing, kind of social experience.
Carl: Thats it then... thank you!
Judge Jules: My pleasure, cheers!
Carl: Thanks for your time, have a good set later on!
Judge Jules: Cheers!