Nearly 15 years after “Praise You” brought him a taste of mainstream U.S. success, Norman Cook, better known as Fatboy Slim, has never been busier. In the past few years, he’s collaborated with David Byrne and Iggy Pop, headlined Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival and held a residency in Ibiza. The DJ/producer/musician has also found time to squeeze in a Marquee residency. “They sort of billed [Vegas] as the Ibiza of the West, but it’s got a whole different vibe,” he says. “Vegas has got a whole different set of rules or tolerance against rules. It’s quite an experience for me.” Cook was in an affable mood when the Weekly rang him up in Ibiza.
- Fatboy Slim at Marquee Dayclub
- September 4, doors at 10 a.m., $30+ men, $20+ women
- Marquee Dayclub, 333-9000
This weekend marks the third show of your Vegas residency. How has it been going so far?
I think it’s all right. It was a big shock, cause when my manager said a residency in Vegas, I was thinking, like, two weeks in a penthouse with my family, and I’d just have to nick downstairs and knock off a show. Kind of in a sort of Liberace-type fashion. I didn’t realize I’d have to commute, and they never told me it would be windy. The first one, we were trying to do a pool party and we built the decks in the middle of the pool. And there was actually waves overlapping the deck. So we moved the first one indoors. [However], the second one was fantastic. I don’t know, I think the best thing to call it is a takeover, rather than a residency. It’s less likely to attract DJs, but it’s a more accurate description.
How is DJing in Vegas different than in a place like, say, Ibiza?
At the moment, it’s still quite a novelty thing to me. You’re not used to playing daytime pool parties; you usually play at night. And I’m used to playing to people with some amount of clothes on. In a way, it sort of detracts from the music—but I’m not saying that in a way that, you know, I demand people sit and listen to what I’m doing. I think a DJ’s job has always been to throw a party first and educate second. But it is quite … you’re just looking at how weird [your] surroundings are. I don’t know, to me it’s like a scene out of a film.
I checked out YouTube footage, and it was kind of bizarre. It was you looking over people in swimsuits splashing in like a baby pool or something.
Half of that is my fault, I must say. I played New Year’s in Miami and Tiësto played out by the pool. And he had the pool between him and the crowd, which is quite hard to get atmosphere going. So it was my suggestion to put the decks in the pool and to put the crowd in the pool as well if they wanted. But it’s great. It’s probably the only place in the world you can get away with throwing parties like that.
What’s been really resonating? Is there any particular song or style that people have responded to?
My favorite is I’ve kind of done a re-edit of “Sunshine, Partytime” by Rockers Revenge. Do you know “Walking on Sunshine” by Rockers Revenge?
I’ve kind of done a re-edit of the rap version, which is just going, [Cook sings] “It’s sunshine, it’s party time/Everybody’s feeling fine.” Which is a tune I’ve always loved, but I would never, ever dare to play, because it’s quite silly. But I thought I could get away with it in the sunshine in a pool.
What’s been the best thing about doing shows in America again?
There’s a vibe in American crowds when they get going. There’s a kind of abandon with American crowds you don’t quite get with European crowds. If there’s that abandon, that normally means they’re really, really, really high, whereas the Americans kind of get overexcited without necessarily getting so high. Sometimes it takes a little while to coax it into them, they’re like, “Oh, you’re not like other DJs.” I’m not moody and not too pretentious about it. But then when they get the idea, that it’s just about a party, then it kind of works.