Interview: Robert Miles

Paths That Lead For Miles

Robert Miles returns with the first single from his "Organik" album this month after a lengthy chart absence. It's been some 4 years between the last hit "Freedom" and the current release "Paths". The innovative atmospheric maestro took some time out from the studio to speak frankly about music, travel and record company rifts.

AD: "Organik" is a much darker album than either "Dreamland" or "23AM". Why is this?

RM: Because, for the first time, it was the kind of work that I wanted to do and reflects the kind of person that I am. It wasn't a very pleasant time for me while I was at Deconstruction as we had very different views. I wanted to do more experimental music and they just wanted me to keep coming out with pop records the whole time.

AD: Is that why it's taken 4 years to follow up "Freedom"?

RM: Yes, because it's taken 3 years to get back to ARTISTIC freedom. Deconstruction were putting pressure on me to add vocals on many of my tracks and I really didn't want to go that way.

AD: Did you see "23AM" as a retaliation to the record company?

RM: What do you mean?

AD: I just meant that I personally felt that "23AM" was nowhere near as 'poppy' and upbeat as maybe "Dreamland" was….

RM: I see. No it wasn't a retaliation. It was just an attempt to do something different again. You see I'd already achieved the poppy success with the first album, and what you've got to realise is that I never expected to have that success. I was projected in something that I didn't really feel comfortable with. I wanted to do as many things as I could that were just…pure, and management did their very best to try to hold me back from that.

AD: OK. Anyway, you've stated before that your dream is to compose and produce a film score. Should you achieve this aim, what kind of film would it be and which actor(s) would you choose?

RM: It would have to be an independent movie, as I feel they are more original and always have fresher ideas. Something like "The Last Temptation Of Christ" would be good, or something more sci-fi because that's the kind of thing that I like. For an actor, I think I would have to choose Al Pacino.

AD: "Organik" was largely influenced by your travels around the world. What were the biggest influences?

RM: Well, while I was travelling, I had my Dat machine with me and was taking samples of noises from different cultures, but more importantly, just talking to people from different races and their points of view gave me some really good input. Travelling made me more mature and helps you become more honest with yourself. The new album was also definitely largely influenced by the Future Sound Of London.

AD: Is that you on the cover and what is the idea behind it?

RM: It was me, yes. It was taken by a German photographer and the image is supposed to represent evolution from the past up to our present day. It is a double image of myself, and if you look you can see that my skin is peeling off. That signifies that I am evolving into something new.

AD: Finally, I'm going to Venice and Rome for my honeymoon soon. What do you suggest I do (aside from the obvious of course)?

RM: (laughs) Very nice. I don't know, just go and enjoy the sunshine. Do as many things as possible, chill out and enjoy the women!

AD: Seeing as it's my honeymoon I might have trouble doing that last bit….

RM: Don't worry. There's more women in Sicily anyway.

Cue the sound of thousands of hot blooded men in their teens and twenties desperately trying to get through to change their holiday destinations to the aforementioned babe paradise. And Al, if you're reading this, you know who to ask for your next film soundtrack. Thanks to Robert Miles for being a thoroughly nice chap.

Interview and transcript by Tone E.

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