Most twenty-something Americans can thank the synchronized prom dance in the 1999 teen flick She’s All That for introducing them to the Rockafeller Skank and its creator, highly acclaimed U.K. producer Fatboy Slim. As a pioneer of electronic music there isn’t much Norman Cook hasn’t done, except hold a Las Vegas residency. But he can cross that off his bucket list when he debuts on May 28 at Marquee Dayclub.
You haven’t played Vegas in about five years. Was it something we said?
Ten years ago I was coming here all the time. I’ve been playing in Brazil and Japan and Australia and places like that. I kind of forgot about America a bit, and I think that it forgot about me a bit. We sort of took each other for granted, maybe, we had such a big love affair.
So what can Marquee Dayclub expect from your big return?
Most of my shows are based around lights and LED video, and none of these really work at an outdoor pool party. So we started thinking of adding other visuals to the show that involved building a stage kind of over the pool and lots of CO2. To play during the daylight is kind of a new discipline for me.
What visuals have you and your designer created? What was your process?
Basically we sit down and go through the tunes I’ll be playing all summer long and write official scripts and make promo-videos. Sometimes we’ll have a guest artist. I did a tune with Iggy Pop; obviously he can’t turn up at all my things, so we made a special film with him that’s in sync with the track. It’s like a live show.
You’re obviously into music videos. The majority of them, as well as your songs, stand out from the rest because of their quirky, unique and genre-crossing elements. What inspires the creation?
I suppose the generation, seeing people dancing. When you’re DJing you just look at the crowd and see how they react to different parts of songs and get different ideas. I just love watching people being stupid and dancing and smiling, and that sort of becomes part of the music.
Christopher Walken certainly became a part of the music in the video “Weapon of Choice,” directed by Spike Jonze. Would you work with them again?
Oh, absolutely, at the drop of a hat. What I’d probably like to do is the soundtrack to one of Spike’s films. He came out of retirement to do “Weapon of Choice” for me.
How on earth did Walken get involved?
He sort of dropped hints to Spike that he’d like to get his dancing filmed while he’s still young enough to do it. Spike just went outside, rang me and said, “Christopher Walken, tap dancing. How about that?” And I said, “Yep!”
He just adds to the list of amazing people you’ve worked with, including David Byrne and Bootsy Collins. Who else would you love to collaborate with?
I’ve always said I’d like to work with Al Green, and I think he’s Reverend Al Green now. I think he’s heard what a godless heathen I am, probably doesn’t want to be in same room as me. We’ve dropped lots of hints, but he hasn’t gotten back to me. I think my reputation probably stopped him from that.
He wasn’t always an angel himself. Do you think there’s a specific age when people should stop running around and acting crazy?
I don’t think there’s a definite age limit. I’m done drinking, which means I can add more fun and not get tired, but I think if you pace yourself, you’re never too old to have fun. Michael Eavis, who runs Glastonbury, he’s got to be [more than] 70 and he totally enjoys it.
You’ve said before that Glastonbury is one of your favorite events to perform. Why is that?
It’s four days of being surrounded by the most beautiful lunatics, everyone just colliding around and listening to music. People are just wandering around having fun and doing silly things to each other and dressing up [and] letting [themselves] run loose. It seems like perfection to me.