A big ask: Carl Cox
Gabriel Tate talks collaborations and chat shows with the DJ who is appearing in ‘First Love’ on Sky Arts 1
Favourite TV theme tune to remix?
‘I wouldn’t mind having a crack a “Captain Scarlet”, one of the big arranged orchestral numbers.’
Piece of work you’re most proud of?
‘That I took something that was so mundane – playing other people’s records, basically – and came through all the snobbery about DJing to turn it into a serious cottage industry for me and the world. I’ve played to so many festivals and venues over the world – more than most high-profile bands. I stuck to what I believed in.’
And least proud of?
‘DJing took away so much of my early life – I had to move away from my family and friends when I was growing up to get to this point. I’m having to retrace those steps now.’
Weirdest story you’ve heard about yourself?
‘One where I was going out with Sade and made her pregnant. Of course, that wasn’t true, although it would have been nice! We could have been the Eurythmics of the modern era. Otherwise just the usual: I’m a millionaire, I’m skint…’
Worst thing a critic’s said about you?
‘Critics have been pretty good about me. They just don’t say anything about my performances because I just rock it – I’ve become boring. Carl Cox playing Glastonbury isn’t news, because they know I’m going to rock it. I do everything to the highest level. A lot of DJs want to do as little as possible for the most amount of money and get out of there.’
Is it hard not to get complacent?
‘Well, I will always push things forward – it’s not about being complacent. But sometimes it’s too far forward. I was playing dubstep three years before anyone even decided to call it dubstep, but I never got known for playing that style. I don’t mind the now generation being seen as the pioneers, but there had to be a Carl Cox pushing the doors open for these guys.’
You have an hour to kill in London – what do you do?
'I love the energy of Soho and Piccadilly, the lights, the slot machines, the cafes, the people-watching, the art. I’d just walk around and soak it up.’
Who would you interview on your own chat show?
‘Bette Midler. She’s led a turbulent life and got misrepresented. She’s a great singer-performer, she’s done theatre, movies… It intrigues me. I think she’d be straight and honest.’
Then you could collaborate.
‘[Laughs] Right – do our own Lulu and Take That thing. Our own version of “Relight My Fire”! Only it’d probably be better.’
Ever Google your name?
‘I have done, to see what other Carl Coxes are out there. There are quite a few: one sells RVs in Canada, one is a wedding photographer, and Carlo Cox is an amazing porn star…’
Carl Cox appears on ‘First Love’, which airs in February 2012 on Sky Arts 1.