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It's already 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 this year.

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 that.

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 to do?

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 the tour?

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 so far?

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 stuff.

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



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