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Basement Jaxx
The UK's Basement Jaxx are probably best known in India for a funky, full-out Bollywood video, jhatkas and all, for their hit song Romeo. Starring actress Divya Dutta and model/actor Kiran Jhanjiani, the clip combines the kitsch of Bollywood with the cutting edge of the Jaxx' successful sound.

With the release of their album The Singles, Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Button - the duo that makes up Basement Jaxx - give fans a chance to own all the hits on one CD and give new listeners an opportunity to identify all the songs they knew they liked with a band they didn't know made them!
The Record spoke to Felix Buxton of Basement Jaxx about his take on the Queen on a night out, Bollywood, bhangra and their new album, where their best hits come home - to the Basement.

The Record: Is your new album, The Singles, a greatest hits of sorts?
Felix: Yeah, it's a collection of all our popular songs really, a collection where people could get all the main songs that they liked. It seemed like a good idea to put it out now because a lot of people were coming to our shows and didn't really know that a song like Romeo was by the same people who did Where's Your Head At. Our music [across the years] is quite different so it has probably taken people a while to realise that it's all by the same band. So yeah, that was why really. It could be a collection for people who'd only just found out about us, or seen a live show and wanted to get our music.

TR: What are the elements of the essential Basement Jaxx track?
Felix: I think it's got colour and life and energy; it's positive and has a real mixture of sounds in it.

TR: The video for your new single U Don't Know Me is very interesting. Tell us more.
Felix: The video is by Matt Kirkby, who's done two other videos for us. Because the song is called U Don't Know Me, he thought it would be quite interesting for it to be about the Queen and to have her on a night off, sort of just going out, just leaving her bodyguards behind…so [it's about] do we really know the Queen, the people in the media, do we really know them?

TR: What kind of feedback have you got for it - it is a bit cheeky…
Felix: MTV wasn't allowed to play it in the daytime in the UK at the beginning but yeah, people seem to enjoy it. It's not malicious, it's more a bit of fun.

TR: Your biggest tribute to India has been the video for your song Romeo. How did that come about?
Felix: At that time I was very keen to do something Bollywood style. I thought it was really exciting and so full of colour and sometimes can be quite surreal and it seemed like a really nice idea. The only thing is that we couldn't go over to India to do the video but that's just the way it goes. It was expensive to get the whole thing done and even though we weren't in the video it was really thrilling to see it all. I wish I could have seen it being made. The original had an extensive narrative and a party scene but we edited it out to leave all the dancing in because we thought it was so beautiful. It worked out well, I'm really pleased with it!

TR: Would you consider working with Indian rhythms and samples in your music?
Felix: Yeah! I like bhangra and we have worked with a couple of Indian artists. A song we did will be on The Singles album on a special edition. It's got a number of bonus tracks on it, and one of them features a UK-Asian artist.

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Basement Jaxx in the August 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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