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Dirty Vegas talks with clubZone

by Carolina Galli

Published Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Dirty Vegas (made up of Ben Harris and Paul Harris on instruments/production and Steve Smith on vocals) were gracious enough to be interrogated by one of our very own. What did they have to say?

How’d did you guys come up with the name Dirty Vegas? Did it happen one morning after one of you woke up in Vegas with no recollection of what happened the night before and realized that you were covered in dirt?

Well it could have come about like that, I mean, have you seen the Hangover?!! We were actually originally called Dirty Harry and some nice people over at Warner’s said that we couldn’t use that name. Later that night, we were in a casino…and basically that’s about it! 

(Paul): And yes… I’m the gambler!!!

What was the concept behind your smash hit ‘Changes’?
Changes is about a person and their realization that they’re being made a fool of by someone close to them. They’ve had enough and have found the strength to move on.
With the 3 of you, do you ever run into the problem where there are ‘too many chefs in the kitchen’?

To be honest, after working together for so long you get to know each other pretty well. You learn each other’s strengths and you let them step up when they’re needed in certain parts… We do get on very well, and I honestly can’t remember any problems that we have had over the years!
You guys are recording the next Stealth Live! at Sankeys on the 3rd.  I know you previously did Stealth live! at Amnesia but what does it mean to you this time around?
To be asked to record the comp was a great honour for us. We did Amnesia for them over the summer and had such a great show! 

(Paul): I think they liked the way Ben and I use 4 decks in triggering samples and also how Steve plays the percussion live and sings! We bring more than just a DJ set, you also get a show!

You guys have achieved a rare feat in the dance music industry – winning a Grammy for the track ‘Days Go By’. What did it mean to the three of you and more importantly, who gets to keep it?
It was a bizarre moment for us. To be honest, we thought we had no chance of winning! We were up against some very talented groups such as No Doubt, Kylie Minogue etc. and then there was us. But hey, we actually did win and we are very grateful. 

(Paul): We each actually have one…I can see mine in my office now.

‘Tonight’ is the official International Music Summit anthem – how did that come to be?

(Paul): One night Ben and I were talking to Ben Turner (who runs IMS along with
Pete Tong and
others). We were merely talking about just coming to IMS and next thing you know, we were asked to do the anthem. We’re extremely honoured to be able to do this again and to top things off we couldn’t believe our luck when we found out 
Above & Beyond were remixing it!
Your third album is coming out… what do we have to look forward to?

A great selection of tunes – similar to album 1 in that it will showcase the dance side of Dirty Vegas but with a little Indie undertone.
Any tour plans for the rest of 2009 or 2010?

The end of 2009 will be very, very busy. We just got back from Asia and already have gigs lined up from now to 2010 including the mainstage of Cream fields in Argentina. Keep your eyes peeled at our MySpace for future shows.
I know you guys took about 4 years off before coming back together. What did you each do during the break?

(Paul): We all went off and did our own thing. Steve continued to do work as Dirty Vegas for TV show, Ben took some time off and concentrated on other things he had going on while I went off and wrote for other artists and put out quite a few more club based tracks on Toolroom etc. We all stayed busy!
What is your favourite place in the world? To play, to live, to eat?

(Paul): Personally, I would answer Brazil to everything except to live. I live in London and that’s the best place to live! 
If you could talk to anybody dead or alive, who would it be and why?

(Paul): I was watching a program on Andy Warhol last night and I’d love to talk to him. I think the guy was one mad genius!
Who was the biggest music influence on each of you individually?

(Paul): Mine changes from day to day. I’m all about the producer more so than the artists so of course people like Bloodshy & Avent, Max Martin, Timberland, Calvin Harris, and Cutfather have all influenced me. I’m all about looking at great skills! 😉

(Steve): I was brought up in a house where I heard everything from Marvin Gaye to Pink Floyd but my biggest influences would have to the The Who, Pink Floyd and the Acid House music of 1989.

 To learn more about Dirty Vegas and their upcoming gigs, check out their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/dirtyvegas 

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