Basement Jaxx: “It’s such an honour and a privilege”

Felix Buxton talks to WHO about the dance duo's upcoming orchestral tour of Australia

Regular visitors to Australia, the electronic duo’s April tour will be like none of their previous visits – they will reinterpret dance classics like “Where’s Your Head At” and “Good Luck” alongside the Metropolitan Orchestra. Felix Buxton, 48, tells WHO about the radical transformation of their back catalogue.

Where did the idea to reinterpret your music in this way come from?
Jules Buckley, who conducted the Metropolitan Orchestra in Holland, contacted us about eight years ago and asked if we fancied doing orchestral versions of our music. I jumped at the chance as I’m a big Mozart fan and love the orchestral sound, feeling it was a perfect way to represent the many layers of sound found in Basement Jaxx music.
Was it easier to adapt some of your songs more than others? 
“Good Luck” sticks very close to the original version as that already had strings and really is its most complete version. “Bingo Bango”, we turned into a waltz, which I love and incredibly still keeps its identity. I love the epic “Do Your Thing” arrangement – it’s got quite a 1930s big band intro and takes the spirit of the song to new places. 
It’s hard to imagine “Where’s Your Head At” played by an orchestra …
I’m not going to say much about the arrangement of “Where’s Your Head At”, as I don’t want to give anything away. Whatever people think, I’m sure they will be delighted by the experience. 
Have you been working on new music?
We’re hoping to include one or two new Basement Jaxx songs, which are in their initial stages – we have been playing them out whilst DJing recently. We might release a new EP about the same time as the concert, if we manage to get it finished.
One show on this upcoming tour is in the Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House. Is playing there a bucket list moment?
The funny thing was when we were first putting this thing together years ago, I laughed as I said to the orchestra, “You never know, in a few years we could be taking this round the world and performing at the Sydney Opera House”, and now we are. It’s such an honour and a privilege.
Basement Jaxx play Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne on Sat., Apr. 13; Sydney Opera House on Sun., Apr. 14; and QPAC, Brisbane on Thur., Apr. 18. Tickets on sale now: www.tegdainty.com

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