The last time Big Shot talked with Judge Jules he had signed on as an international ambassador for Amsterdam-based Dance4Life, a nonprofit working to educate young people about this ongoing global HIV/AIDS pandemic. A few weeks later, Jules gave us the exclusive lowdown on his forthcoming second artist album, Bring The Noise, as well as his new clothing line and upcoming gig at Monster Massive in LA.
Big Shot: When was the last time you played LA? What can people expect from your set?
Judge Jules: It’s been a whole year since I last performed on the big stage in LA. Monster Massive is one of those untouchable events that have to be experienced to be believed. The line up for this year’s event is outstanding, and the crowd are in for a really special night. I’m going to be road testing some of my new material from my new album at the event, so expect some hot off the press exclusives that not many people wouldn’t have heard before.
Monster Massive is always such a huge event. Is there a difference in the way you approach big gigs vs. small gigs?
Personally I try to make an impact on people, to leave the crowd feeling excited for what’s coming next. Naturally playing to bigger audiences means you’ve more people to keep involved in the dance floor, although this can sometimes work in your favor. Ultimately it’s important to focusing on what matters, which is playing the right records, generating an aura to the event and exciting the crowd. Putting on a show and giving the audience an experience to remember is the fun part for all events.
What’s your favorite part about playing in LA?
I love coming to LA. As a city, it has an amazing vibrancy to it which is really captured in the night life making it the perfect setting for an event like Monster Massive. As you mentioned, it is always a huge event and a phenomenal experience to be involved in.
Tell us about your forthcoming album.
The album is called Bring the Noise and it’s my second artist album. This [full-length] is a lot different from my previous album [Proven Worldwide]. I’ve collaborated with a few people on this album—most notably Si Paul and Headstrong—but the album consists mostly of solo work. One particular single from the album to look out for is “Judgement Theme”—which is a kind of reflection on the past year in Ibiza. The release date for the album is set for the last week of January 2009 and will be out on Maelstrom Records.
I understand you are involved in a clothing venture with Heroes and Villains. What is your involvement with the brand?
Men’s fashion is something I’m interested in, and I’ve always felt there was a shortage for the male shoppers on the high street. So with this in mind, I put together a selection of offerings that I felt would stand out, whether in a club or as regular day wear, and with the Heroes and Villains team developed them into a clothes range. The side of the brand that I’m involved in is the creative aspect which allows me to develop my ideas and tailor them to my inspirations.
Your Radio 1 show has a devoted global following. How do you keep it fresh?
The bedrock of any dance show is the music, an area which we’ve always worked hard to stay at the front of. It’s about pushing new talent and new music while retaining a familiar nucleus which the audience can associate with. As the majority of shows one does are mixed in a studio environment, we make use of having phone-ins with DJs and promoters, as well as allowing the listeners to do shout-outs. We frequently invite guests on to the show or have guest perform exclusive mixes for us. Another aspect is presenting from outside the studio. Radio 1 has a long history with ‘live’ based shows, something which is a firm favorite with the station’s listenership.