been a huge year for breakbeat favorite
DJ Hyper, aka Guy Hatfield. He's played
dozens of huge events around the globe
and has remixed tracks for the Sugababes,
Paul Van Dyk, Sarah McLachlan, and Pink
(who personally requested Hyper do a remix
of her latest and all future singles).
In addition, Hyper released two new singles
of his own, "Outsider" and "Shockproof",
both of which are sure to find their way
onto several best of 2004 year end charts.
And if that hasnt been enough, the 26
year old Hyper even managed to get married!
Hyper's latest album Wired
was released in the US in March and will
be released in additional countries, including
Japan, Australia, and his native UK in
early May. The album is a stunning two-disc
set of rocking, cutting-edge breaks that
are helping DJ Hyper to show his latest
direction and secure his place as a leader
in the breakbeat genre.
Currently, DJ Hyper is on tour as the
opening DJ for one of the largest electronic
bands in the United States, The Crystal
Method. Just a few hours before their
Boston show, Raves.com's Shawn Wallace
had the opportunity to talk with Hyper,
who discussed the new album, touring with
The Crystal Method, and his upcoming artist
album that he hopes to complete later
Shawn: How has the tour been going?
Hyper: Good, amazingly.
Yeah, really, really well. Been getting
some really amazing responses to the shows.
And you know, after the first few shows
I started getting on the mic and since
I'm the support act its a totally different
way of DJing for me. Im actually putting
on a show and because I am the only support
act, I don't really want to be the faceless
DJ. I want to make it something that the
crowd can get a hold of a little bit more.
So the band is probably on the stage and
I'm set up on the stage every night and
I'm making it much more of a show really,
it seems to be really paying off. Selling
CDs and T-shirts at the gigs and there's
a lot of good chat from what I've been
told on the internet. So I've been really
pleased with that and you know it has
just opened my eyes to a totally different
way of doing DJing really.
Are you spending any time with Ken
and Scott (The Crystal Method)?
Oh yeah loads. We're living on the bus together.
What have you been playing while
you have been on tour? Have you been playing
stuff off the new album?
Yeah, I've been hammering stuff from
the new album, the Kilowatt stuff [Ed
note: Hyper's new venutre, his own record
label], and a lot of remixes that I did
right after I put my album together. Because
I was on such a tight deadline at the
start of the year, I had to mix a new
CD. I did a mix for Pink a while ago and
she asked me to do another one. So I did
another one for her, one for Paul Van
Dyk, one for Sarah McLachlan as well.
So I've been playing them a lot out even
though theyre not on the CD.
How have the crowds been reacting
to the remixes?
I run straight through from the Paul
Van Dyk to the Sarah McLachlan because
they work so well together and that's
probably the biggest part of the show.
And people - the Sarah McLachlan one has
been going really, really well. Scott
(Kirkland) from Crystal Method did an
interview the other day and they asked
him for his top 10 records and he said
Sarah McLachlan Hyper Mix times 10. So
that's got to be a pretty glowing statement.
Everyone has just been into it. Funny
enough, it's the one that goes a little
bit deeper. I mean it goes off, I mean
it properly goes off after the main breakdown.
But it's a little deeper and I was hemming
and hawing about whether I could actually
get away with fitting it into the set.
But I threw it in there a couple of times
and the response has been amazing. I think
also it has been starting to be on TV
a bit now as well, or on the radio, the
original, and people are picking up on
How has the response been for the
Outsider and Shock Proof tracks?
Really, really good. I mean I've been
playing Outsider a lot more over here
because I know that it's more of a...
it seems to go down better on the big
systems. Also we got an amazing cut on
that record, it's really loud, its really
in your face. So I'm trying to end my
set with it. Because it's a little bit
older as well, so I didnt play it so much
to start with. But people kept coming
up and requesting it, so I ended up just
putting it into the set as well.
With WIRED was there a
plan for the album when you started or
were these tracks that you had around
and thought would work well together?
Did you have an idea of what you wanted
I always have an idea of what I want
to do when I am doing a compilation. I
always have my little methods that I work
towards with my albums you know because
this is something that I have been known
for for a long time now. You know with
the Y2K and the Bedrock Breaks.
I mean the main focus with this one was
to really to kind of make sure that I
am doing this album for me. You know,
I'm not advertising other peoples brands
all the time. And also because I have
come from this other way around in terms
of production where people generally get
DJ work on the back of their production.
Where I'm one of the few people whose
come the other way around, I'm a DJ first.
This is just really a bit of a showcase
to stuff I have been doing personally.
Half of the tracks on there are mine or
my remixes or collaborations and also
there is a lot of the stuff on there from
Kilowatt. So it's a lot of the artists
that I'm pushing in my sets that are on
there. There's also quite a lot of vocals
which I hadn't realized really when I
put the track list together, really when
we did it we were like there's an awful
lot of vocals on there. But I mean it's
really about showing the diversity of
breaks really, thats the whole idea and
always has been. But, really it's more
I've been playing bigger clubs and its
big system sounds, but really lots of
melody in there. It's not just big bass
lines for the sake of big bass lines.
Basically trying to get as far away from
the Nu-skool breaks tag as I possibly
can in one CD.
There is definitely a progression
from your past albums to this one, but
I think the number of vocals was the main
thing that stuck out when I first listened
to Wired. Shock Proof was the track that
I think I have liked the most from the
album so far.
Oh really? Thats really weird bro, because
that track, we did it. We did Outsider
and we were like this is the A-side we
know it is, but weve got to do it turned
out it wasn't. Theres a reason for that
really, because Shock Proof was kind of
the B-side and me and Ronny here, who
I work with on the Hyper stuff, we were
like, it's alright, its alright. Then
when we put it out and everyone went mental
for it and everyone was like this is amazing!
And we were like, really? I liked it and
was playing it out a lot, but we just
assumed that Outsider would be the one.
To be honest, Outsider over here has gone
down really, really well. I mean it has
really crossed over, people like Chris
Fortier and D:Fuse have been raving about
it. You know some people in the UK maybe
thought it deeper have been more about
Shock Proof. It's just been a good contrast
between the two.
How was Miami for you this year?
Did you get to play some of this material
during your sets there?
Oh God yeah, I hammered it over there. I left The Crystal Method tour a
couple of days early when they went to Miami so I could go over, I had like
six shows to do. I mean its a big showcase for the tracks. This is where
I kind of realized how well the Outsider and Shock Proof were doing,
because not just all of the breaks people were coming up to me telling me
how they liked the single, there were a lot of house DJs, and a lot of
really big house DJs. It only went out to Balance and they sent it out to a
lot of people. I did like five shows, maybe more. There were a couple of
breaks things that went on. I did something for Thump Radio. I did the URB
Magazine party at Ultra. But my favorite one was the Crobar with Timo Maas
on the Friday, that was amazing.
With people coming up to you about
the album, has there been anyone that
you were surprised that they liked it?
I don't know. It's only been out for
a really short while, so Im finding out
more and more. And obviously because I'm
on the road, I'm not on email as much
as I want to be. Because it's just so
hectic and trying to do anything, even
interview like this, it's really hard
work. So I'm still finding stuff out.
But from what I gather, the response has
been really, really good. Probably the
strongest Ive had on album for a long
time. Which is really obviously exciting.
Apparently there's been a lot of emails
going around, for example people emailing
my management company saying that they
really liked it and thats never happened
before. Whether it's from being on this
tour as well or what have you, I dont
know, but I know it's going down really
well in Australia and we've got a lot
of good press in England coming up as
well. So it's really exciting.
So what's going to be next up after
Getting back in the studio and working on my artist album. When I get off
of The Crystal Method tour, I'm back for
like two weeks. I leave the tour three
days early to go back to do the launch
for my album in the UK at Fabric on the
30th of April. And then I have to tie
up a lot of the Kilowatt stuff in that
week, go back in the studio to work on
a remix for a really old classic track
called Bassline that I always said that
I wanted to remix. I said to this guy
if you ever want to re-release this track,
please let me remix it. So he said cool,
do it. I was not going to do any more
remixes, but I cant turn this one down.
But after that, we are just falling into
the album that we are working with people
like Leroy from The Prodigy and loads
of different people interested in vocals.
So what does that album sound like
It's going to be all over the place.
What's its not going to be in the same
way that the mix albums are I guess is
not full-on dancefloor tracks all the
way through as you can imagine. I want
it to be an artist album without trying
to force that issue too much obviously.
Because if you try and force that issue
and you do what we do I think sometimes
you can come unstuck. But we are going
to have some really nice melodic electro,
lots of vocal, and a lot of guitar stuff.
But not guitar as in like guitar on the
album really. I like to use the guitar
more as an element of the track rather
than this big fashion to make everything
really rocking, Im not really about that.
I come from a rock background anyway so
I love rock, but the dance thing is what
we do. I want to use the guitar as an
element of the track rather than the style
of the track. So there are going to be
a lot of guitars in there, but big soundscapes,
lots of electro, some interesting samples
from punk bands. We're already working
with samples from a band called Crass
and maybe something from Killing Joke
if we can get it cleared. So some interesting
What has a typical day been for
you while you have been on the road?
The best place to start is, we finish the show and then we party a little
bit, drinking and stuff since we cant load out until everyone else has
loaded the equipment back onto the truck. So even though our shows are
pretty early, we cant get out until three oclock in the morning before we
get on the road. So we sleep on the road then we wake up in the town
probably around lunchtime. Then well go and check into the hotels, do
interviews, whatever we need to do, send emails, shopping. Then we
soundcheck and we start again really.
Kind of a vicious cycle?
(laughs) It's a vicious cycle, a fun vicious cycle.
I appreciate you taking the time.
Nice one man. Cheers.
-- written by Shawn Wallace