Groove Terminator (GT) is an Australian dance stalwart. Now, as half of duo Tonite Only, he chats to Colin Delaney about blitzing the charts, getting Mashed and The KLF. Tonite Only is made up of yourself – GT and Sam LA More – a fairly new guise but you’ve both been around for a while, what else have you done we might know? My other side projects are Love Rush and Chili Hifly on Ministry Of Sound around the world, and Sam has had a bunch of records on Underwater records in the UK with remixes for everyone from Darren Emerson to Robbie Williams and programmed things like Gwen Stefani’s ‘What You Waiting For’ and Nelly Furtado’s record. He gets about, he’s a bit of a whore like that. On his last day in LA someone tried to get him to work on the Kylie record and he looked at me and said, ‘Yeah, we’ve got our own record to do, thanks!’
Your remixes are all over the Australian dance charts, Sneaky Sound System, TV Rock, The Similou as well as your own track ‘Danger The Bomb’. Did you decide a blitz would be the best way of appearing on the dance scene? Ha ha. It’s pretty funny. We’ve basically just had our heads down writing and when we got signed to Ministry they were like, ‘Do you want to do The Similou mix?’ and we were like, ‘Yeah, we love that song but isn’t it a little old?’ and after that a couple of others came trickling along and they all seem to be doing quite well. We’re basically just making music for ourselves and the dancefloor and what works on the dancefloor. We aren’t listening to anyone or trying to second-guess anyone. We’re both very chuffed and flattered people are digging it as much as they are. It’s just really nice. I’ve been speechless.
You live in LA, while Sam is back and forth between the UK and LA. Somehow you’ve found time to compile the new MOS Mashed III CD as well as make your album. How much of it has been produced via the internet? About half the set that we’ll be playing on this tour has been done like that. It’s interesting – we’ve had the last several weeks together in the same room so there is musical cohesiveness to what we’re doing. [Yet] there seem to be less arguments when we’re on the other side of the world.
Australians – both DJs and punters – have really jumped on board the electro sound over the past couple of years or so. Is it bigger here than in the UK? In my experience, I got into it much earlier, when Australia seemed to be ahead of the rest of the world with the genre. The same could be said for breaks. The type of electro-played with house – the certain styles that seem to be working on Australian dance floors is pretty specific to Australia. In the UK it’s really minimal, like the Mandy/Booka Shade stuff, almost bordering on a progressive vibe and I find that interesting because from my experience that stuff tends to clear Australian dancefloors. Hopefully electro has some legs because it’s an exciting sound, it’s so much more exciting than funky-filtered house.
When compiling Mashed III did you get any rejections from artists you wanted to remix? We requested about 150 tracks, so that would give you a good idea. We asked for some pretty crazy shit. We were definitely trying to make a statement. We wanted to licence KLF’s ‘3am Eternal’ but we were going to remix it, we wanted the multi-track and some crazy old Giorgio Moroder track from 1978 and a soundtrack piece and some industrial Skinny Puppy stuff. Sam’s taste lends itself to a lot of 80s arthouse, industrial-type stuff – it seemed to be poking its head up quite a bit. We wanted the stuff that influenced the genre: some old New Order, they just don’t clear that, especially when we say we’re going to lay four tracks over the top.
There’s also loads of rock outfits getting remixed these days compared to a few years ago. On this compilation alone there’s Wolfmother, The Gossip, The Futureheads… why do you think that is? I guess you’ve got to look at the age of these dudes. Guys like Bloc Party are in their early twenties, they grew up clubbing and listening to a bit of this and a bit of that. I remember, going back to the early 90s, when Oakenfold did the Rolling Stones remix or the U2 song that went to number one around the world – that was just a shock. But it does seem like a trend when every new band has a MSTRKRFT, Tiga, or Digitalism remix. There is definitely an international crew that band together and they’re all just mates, you know.
What can we expect from Tonite Only’s album? Oh Christ, in 30 words or less? I know a lot of the stuff on our album isn’t sounding anything like our remixes. There’s probably a little more to them. I guess our role models were Daft Punk and Giorgio Moroder and the 30 years between those two artists. It’s a celebration of all things synthetic and electronic. – Mashed III is out now on Ministry of Sound through EMI.