eFestivals had a chance to speak to Phil Hartnoll from dance legends Orbital as they were in final rehearsals before their storming, headlining Glastonbury Festival set, and ask him a few questions about his forthcoming GuilFest appearance. Phil and Orbital will appear as headliners at this year's GuilFest appearing on the Main Stage on Friday 17th July.
After Glastonbury you've got GuilFest, have you ever been there before?
Yeah, I DJed there a few year's ago, well many years ago, and I've taken my kids up there. No, hang on twice. We have played at GuilFest actually, many, many years ago. I'm sure Orbital have played there, but I can't remember what year it was. I had a campervan, so it must have been in the '90s, when it was a tiny little one. Then about five years ago I had a DJ spot, it was the year Gary Numan was headlining.
You've got some new material on the horizon 'Gun Is Good' and 'Don't Stop Me' what do they sound like?
F**ckin' wicked! (Chuckles). Well 'Gun Is Good' has a few voice overs about the gun and religion, and war and religion, loosely based, little questions pointed at, as Orbital do. It is a bit more of a darker menacing track. 'Don't Stop Me' is more of a fun track, "Don't stop me, stop me." That sort of dilemma that I seem to get myself into, nearly every night. Doing things that maybe you shouldn't or maybe you should, or doing things that you really enjoy, doing it and then realising maybe you shouldn't be doing it. Then telling your mates to stop doing it, and it helps you stop doing it, and that whole indecisiveness really, about whatever it might be. Relationships, or drugs, or anything, anything you like really. They're both a double 'A' side really, we put those out there, so we can put them into a live set, so we can play them at festivals from now on.
Are there any other new surprises in the set?
Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm, no. I don't think so, just two new tracks is our limit really, at the moment.
It's obviously also 20 years of Orbital too, what have been your festival highlights along the way?
Oo, blimey. Dunno, what can I say? Obviously Glastonbury's a big one, it's up there, it's one of our favourite sets, it's our 'home' festival really. There's been quite a few in Japan that have been really good. One called Wild, and one this year called Summer Sonic which I'm really looking forward to. Out of the past I'd say all the Glastonbury gigs that we've done have been the highlights.
Are you at Glastonbury for the whole weekend?
Totally, I'm going down there Friday morning. Take my kids down there and have some fun.
And, when you're at GuilFest will you be there for the whole weekend as well?
No, I can't, that's a bit of an in and out job because of other commitments I've got in the area at that time. So I can't hang about at that one, which is a bit of a shame.
When you play festivals do you like to have the time to have a look around?
Oh yeah! Totally! That's part of the perks of the job really, and if I can stay, I will stay longer. Normally I go with the crew, we get there the day before and hang out. So, that's party time the night before and then being all sensible during the gig day, and then after the gig it's party time again. Waahey! So it's pretty good, a pretty good job really.
You mentioned a campervan, do you normally campervan or camp?
A bit of both really. The campervan is out of action at the moment so I'm not taking that this time. This time at Glastonbury I'm doing a yurt, there's four of us in a four berth yurt. The ones that are already set up. So I'm looking forward to seeing what that's like.
Presumably, it means you can take less gear with you.
Yeah, exactly, I always get the job of taking down the 12 man tent. I'm always thinking, "Wait a minute, this isn't written in the contract." Everyone else, all the family, can't be bothered, the kids are usually off, running around somewhere at the festival or scavenging what people have left behind, which is funny. They normally get some quite good booty doing that. The things people leave behind is incredible. Maybe they didn't mean to leave it behind. There's always loads of tents left behind if the weather's shit, because people can't be bothered to fold up a shitty tent. They've found loads of stuff top hats, drinks, loads of promotional coke and the kids just tanned also the promotional codes off the bottles and got tonnes of prizes, and it was good fun. But, yeah, I always get the job of packing up, so I'm not doing that this year.
Obviously, you've been to quite a few festivals, what advice would you give to someone who has never been to one before?
New festival goers? I'd say, take some baby wipes, a torch, and some welly boots. That's the major things, oh and a cigarette lighter.
Finally, what memories do you have of GuilFest?
It's a lovely little festival near home. A friendly festival that's just up the road from us.
Thanks Phil, I'll let you get back to rehearsals.