Keith Flint, the crazed face of dance music's biggest band, the Prodigy, talks to SCOTT KARA about the group's rebirth and the new album
He reckons he's still got the poison. He claims to still have the remedy, too. And Keith Flint of the Prodigy is back to give you your
medicine but it's entirely up to you whether you want to take it.
Talking to the singer, dancer, and most recognisable face of the band who rose out of Britain's early 90s rave scene, the main thing he wants to get across is that the Prodigy never split up and they are better than ever.
"We are just looking forward to getting out on that stage and ruling it," he says about the band's headlining slot in the Boiler Room tomorrow which will be their third Big Day Out appearance following
performances in 1997 and 2002.
"I say this because you're a journalist, and I want you to write good stuff about the band, but we are on fire at the moment," he laughs.
And Flint - that's Keef to his mates - could be right if the seven sold-out shows they played around Britain last month are anything to
Although, it's fair to say the Prodigy - the biggest-selling act in dance music history with more than 16 million sales across four
albums - have had a low profile since the mainstream breakthrough
of 1997's Fat Of the Land with its string of hits like
Firestarter, Breathe and the controversial Smack My Bitch Up.
Their last album, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, from 2004 was
more or less a solo album by band founder and musical mastermind Liam Howlett with Flint and other mainstay member Maxim having nothing to do with it. It was around this time Flint and Howlett stopped talking to each other, something Flint refers to now as "turbulence".
"The band has always been together even though there has been some
brotherly-like feuds. It's like a family feud where you know that it's not irreparable and you'll always love each other. It's not so much three prima-donna egos, more like three powerful personalities and
that's what makes the Prodigy so powerful."
As well as the live shows, the other thing that's got Keef fired up is the release of the band's new album, Invaders Must Die, on February 23.
"The last album was so confusing for everyone because we weren't on it.
We, and Liam in particular, were trying so hard not to do Fat Of the Land 2... it's so hard to explain. But basically this really had to
be a complete band album."
And while there's nothing quite as catchy as Firestarter and inspired as Smack My Bitch Up, the Prodigy's sound does get a
freshen-up with songs like Take Me To The Hospital, which starts off by mining old school techno-rave before giving way to their
trademark swagger, and then there's the spooky sonic warfare of Omen.
In the early 90s the Prodigy built their reputation on a renegade
approach which showed not only on albums like 1992 debut Experience (which featured the Romper Room-rave of the band's first hit, Charly) and 1994 follow-up Music For the Jilted
Generation (with singles Voodoo People and Poison) but also in the rave scene they helped pioneer.
And Flint reckons this rebellion is still part of their make-up today.
"We do come from the scene of breaking into old office buildings, and old warehouses, and so I suppose we've still got that kind of f*** you approach.
"But it's not like a crusade we're on, it's just in us that we believe we are the best band in the world and anyone who's in a band should think that. If you're in a band and don't think that then you shouldn't be in a band."
Who: The Prodigy: Maxim, Liam Howlett and Keith Flint
Where & when: Big Day Out, Boiler Room, 10.15pm-11.30pm
Key albums: Experience (1992); Music For the Jilted Generation (1994); Fat of the Land (1997)
New album: Invaders Must Die, out February 23