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RS: Yes, I was going to ask you about that. As a dance underground guy, why do you think that pop artists come to you to remix their music? What about your musicality or why do you think they do that?
AVH: I hate to make it unromantic for you, because it is, but as you know I'm a person that likes to speak honestly.
RS: Go for it.
AVH: The truth is the artists, most of the time they don't know who I am and what it is I even did and they don't even hear it.
When a singer signs to a major label, somewhere in the contract is a paragraph that says the record label is going to have the right to remix the music to put it in any area or market they want, overseas or whatever. It's in there and most, if not 99 percent of artists agree to it, maybe Madonna wants control over it. So that's the unglamorous part of it, the fact that it isn't the artists calling me. They're not on the phone with me and we're not hanging out or going to strip clubs. Basically it's some A&R guy, who is actually more concerned with the hockey game, calling me and saying we want this remix, we've got this budget and we need to get it by this time. It's just an extra way of promotion in other markets and when they hire me, I am the keystone linking the artists to the underground, that's all it is. It's not any more romantic than that.
RS: Thank you for saying that, my readers will appreciate that from your mouth.
RS: One more thing about the Britney, in Miami at the Ben Sherman/X-Mix party, did you expect that to be the big record everyone talked about after you played it?
AVH: Oh, I didn't even know that people were talking about it, you're the first one that told me. To me, I just played that night and I don't know what the repercussions were.
RS: Later that night at the CroBar Made from Italy party and then at Jazid, everyone was like, 'when he dropped his Britney record, everyone went wacko over it.' Speaking of artists, are there any you would like to work with?
AVH: Usually no. My big thing is to find new talent, I enjoy it. I am almost like a Russell Simmons in a way, where you just go on the streets. When I'm hungry to make an original song and I feel that I need vocal talent on it, I go out into the clubs and check some bands out. I go on an adventure and see who I run in to, I enjoy that. It's better for me than with these high-drama divas, the Donna Summers of the world or whatever. It's always more fun to find new artists.
RS: I want to ask you about some of your older remixes. Did you know that your mix of Tori Amos "Professional Widow" is on her greatest hits album?
AVH: Yes, I did know that and I'm very happy she did that. She didn't have to do that that and it must have been her move because she's actually very hands-on with whatever has her name on it. She's actually one of the artists I did talk to on the phone. When the record went number one overseas, she called to thank me. Some artists are like that but most aren't.
RS: It makes you feel good to see that on the compilation?
AVH: Oh, yes. I didn't even know, I was the last person to know, I had actually gotten the info from some family members. But yes, to me that's all good.
RS: What was your reaction to the whole Dirty Rotten Scoundrels/Lisa Stansfield thing that just basically ripped off your mix?
AVH: What do you mean?
RS: The week that the Tori Amos came out in the UK, the Lisa Stansfield bootleg which ripped off the same exact sound, how did you react to that?
AVH: Oh those sort of mashup things don't bother me. You know they're not like a big thing. I buy so much and I collect some, but they usually suck. Even though people play them, they're they're just for the moment novelty type stuff, it doesn't bother me. I don't like it when people flat out bootleg something that I put out. When we were going to put out Flowers, it accidentally got leaked. I gave it to the guy who sang it, he gave it to David Morales and next thing you know it's at a distributor.
When something's about to be a bootleg, like somebody's going to press them and get $25,000 from the distributor, that's not cool. I made this song and you're putting it out before I could even figure out where it's going and that will hurt me. But in terms of mashup things, they never bothered me. I remember when the speed garage thing came out, I think every one of those records had one of my beats on it and I didn't give a shit.