Head into town and loudly proclaim that there's supposed to be a recession on, so where have all these bloody people come from? Or maybe you pottered round the garden in the sun, lulled into the missasumption that we're actually going to get a summer this year before it all fucks up circa early June and we collectively hit the mouth-wash in an attempt to dull the soggy pain...
Or is that just us? But what did we get up to we hear you ask? Nice of you to ask hoss. Well Clash packed the thermals and shuffled our way into the Alps in order to attend the 10th Anniversary Edition of Snowbombing - a musical festival cunningly situated in the Austrian Alps. The canny little fucks.
Rather than rock up, drink heavily then retire to A&E with an indetermined alpine injury, Clash decided to bring our lexicon to life atop a mountain in the snow. We repeat; on top of a fucking mountain in a heap of the cold stuff. Playing out to a VIP crowd, the Arctic Igloo party saw house don Jon Carter, L.E.G.E.N.D. Greg Wilson and Kanye producer Mr Hudson bringing the hills alive to the sound of music.
Accompanied by the Clash DJ crew, we closed the last day of Snowbombing style and you were all invited - but if you weren't able to make it we've endeavoured to make it feel like you were. In addition to the photo gallery we also got chatty with our special musical guests, discussing all things Snowbombing whilst inadvertently hitting on the idea for a new Jon Carter ITV show; Shambolic Fun On Ice. And if that doesn't make you feel like you were there, we'll post out a Jiffy Bag of snow. Happy now?!
Mr. Hudson Interview
How have you found Snowbombing?
Amazing. Ten minutes ago I was stood outside trying to play an acoustic set 10,000 feet up in the air and now I'm sat here chatting to you in an igloo. An igloo! I played last night down in the town, but it didn't come close to this. In fact someone just told me that I'm the first person ever to play live up here. But you know, it was hard. I was getting put off by the view and my tour manager keeps feeding me Jagerbombs... I can see the reviews now; Mr Hudson mumbles at the top of a mountain whilst people watch on deck chairs! I'm enjoying it as a member of the audience though, apparently tonight I'm on a magical journey into a forest. With Jagermeister. I'm not sure who is playing since Fatboy Slim pulled out...
It's 2 Many DJs...
There are always too many DJs! Not enough bands. Although I have noticed that they seem to have made a real effort to diversify the line up with bands and solo artists. I mean I'm here for one thing. But we're not playing everywhere - this is special. When the last record was out we went to any field that happened to have a stage in it, but you can be spread too thin. And it's a hard life. People think being on tour is all a laugh, but the lack of sleep, drink and need to entertain does take its toll in a way that a normal job doesn't. Other than Glastonbury, I don't think we're doing any of the big festivals.
Do you enjoy playing to big crowds?
I didn't think I would, but I kind of got thrust into that world...
Because of Kanye West getting you to produce on the album and supporting on his Glow in the Dark tour?
Exactly. But it wasn't easy, people turning up were expecting to see Rhianna or Pharell up there and they got me. I understand that certain audiences want certain things, but the thing with Kanye is that he tries to expose people to new music and sounds. I happen to be that new sound. As an artist it was quite a big decision for me too. I'd spent fifteen years (I was in my first heavy metal band at 14) being this struggling artist who scratched around in Camden pubs and all of a sudden I was granted the opportunity to be a big, pop artist. I pondered on it for a while then thought; fuck it, I can always go back to that. This is my chance and I'm going to take it. There's a real satisfaction in being able to walk down the street past Coco and see my names up on the hoarding.
How did you come to work together?
I basically got a call from his management around the time of Graduation saying he wanted to hook up, so I went to the label and we had talk when he was in London. We really hit it off. Kanye gets a bad rap in the press because what he says often looks arrogant in print, but that's not the case. He's just confident in himself and doesn't feel the need to hide that - its something I admire and I'm trying to take on board.
Would you come back to Snowbombing?
Of course, the people here are so friendly. Normally when you see people in fancy dress I immediately assume they're dicks, but by and large that doesn't appear to be the case. Not that it's reason not to come back just because people are in fancy dress! But it doesn't matter anyway, so what am I talking about?
[This is the moment where the interview descends into Jagermeister incompetence... Mr Hudson has left the igloo.]
Jon Carter Interview
What do you enjoy most about Snowbombing?
It’s like Ibiza. But in the snow. In fact, I’d say it’s better than Ibiza! Why? Because everyone here seems to be so much more up for fun – there’s none of the posing that you get in Ibiza and people trying to have fun because they think they should. Any what’s more you get to go snowboarding every day.
How did you find playing at the top of a mountain?
Well I had to use CDs as records don’t play at this temperature – the needles just don’t pick it up! I stood there, looking out over the mountains and realised I have the best job in the world. In fact, it’s not a job. Getting to go out and watch DJs and bands play then board in the day... I should be paying them.
So why did you choose to play the Clash party?
I think it’s fucking great. We need more people like Clash to get involved, it means that more people come to the event and see different things. One problem nowadays is that the media is so catered towards the individual that people don’t get exposed to much. Clash is the opposite and it’s great to see them here.
Is this the first time you’ve been?
No – I was here ten years ago. It’s changed a massive amount though. When I was first here it was a shambles, but everyone made the best of it. It’s still a shambles now, but a shambles in the best possible sense. Shambolic fun on ice. There’s the quote!
Greg Wilson Interview
How have you found Snowbombing?
I honestly treat it as a privilege to play overseas wherever it is. But this is surreal. I was up there, on the mic and looking out at all these people sat on deckchairs in the mountains and I realise I’ve come a long way since Wigan Pier in the Seventies. Back when I started out the idea of going overseas to play records was not something you could ever consider as a career – it just wasn’t. I had mates all going into proper jobs and I was getting paid to pay records. I could live, but it wasn’t really a living. The thing is, British DJs have always been big in Europe – I think it’s because pop music is an English language phenomenon. We didn’t used to mix records, between them you would talk and that’s what they wanted to hear; an English voice. Whether it was in Corfu or Austria – they needed that voice in there.
So what did you play out at the Clash party? How do you choose what suits a mountain?
It’s funny we were just talking about being on the mic, because one of my decks broke and I had to get on the mic. Like the old days all over again. But I was up here a year or two ago and the Trojan Soundsystem played out reggae. Everyone thought it wouldn’t match, but it went perfectly. So I thought ‘I’ll play out reggae’ but everyone else is doing it, so I went for soul classics and Sixties classics. Start off downtempo then bring it up as you go on. I'm on a mountain though! What can you say? You can't go wrong. And what's good is that everyone was into it, you know? The same people who were into Jon Carter were taking mine too. That attitude is what makes you realise people have tastes beyond what you might expect. But, by god it's cold! I was expecting it to be much warmer - I dread to think what it was like up here at night. If you didn't bring your coat, you'd be in real trouble!
Do you feel the industry has changed much?
Yes and no. When I started out you couldn't even get 12" singles - everything was still 7". But I'm all into MP3s. As long as it's good quality, it doesn't matter. Having said that I'm a bit old fashioned and do like to own an object. If I download it I'll buy it. When playing live though I do prefer to have the thing in my hand, it just makes more sense in my head. My son though, he's a different generation. The record industry will adapt though, they always do. To be fair they've been ripping everyone off for years and now they wonder why people have no sympathy as the buisness model tanks? They need to make CDs better value though. Stick extra content on there, that kind of thing. They could be really special, not a shitty plastic thing.
Have you been on the slopes?
I had no choice really, but I get nervous about injuring myself. I'm not 22 anymore - when I land, I land hard. My son is here with me and he's been having a great time.
So will you be back next year?
They better ask me! Clash - if you don't ask, I'm coming anyway. And then I'll play whether you like it or not.
We'll like it...
I bet you would!