little background. You became a professional musician at a very early
age, but what inspired you to seek that path to end up as a legendary
drummer and producer?
Well, it all began at
the age of 12 when I fell in love — not with a woman — but with drums!
This was a real ‘revelation’ for me.
year later, I started to play with several rock bands and finally, when
I was 18, I created my own band named Kongas. We performed
together for about 3 years and did a world tour which happened to be
record company (which was Barclay in France and Buddha in the USA by the
time) wanted us to do more ‘Pop’ songs which I didn’t find exciting at
all, so I left the band and produced something I wanted to do, and which
lead to my first album Love In C Minor.
some reason I can't put my finger on I quite like the cover for that
debut album ;)
still like the cover;)
What was your
knowledge of the bands history before you began to work on one of their
tracks? Would you label yourself a fan?
Aside of course from
knowing their hit single ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’, I didn’t have any
particular knowledge about them, but I really like Philip’s voice!
I know Philip
Oakey is a big fan of you and was very thrilled when he received the
news of your remix, but how did it come about that you were picked out
to do a mix of brand new single Night People?
Very simple: Mark
Jones called me up one day with great news, which was that Phil would
love to have one track remixed by me! It was obviously a great pleasure
and a honour to work on this track.
Since this is the
first new Human League material in almost 10 years, what was your
initial thought the first time you heard the track?
Still find the voice
The remix has
caused very positive reviews among fans and I agree. Love the way you
kept the feel of the original, but still created a very
different sounding version. So how did you approach the job of remixing
this electro stomper?
As I considered
Philip's voice to be the key element of the song, I focused on building
all the sounds to underline and serve the voice, because to me, melody
is the most important thing.
also not to sound too ‘Cerrone’, and aimed to magnify the Human League
touch which remains their most acknowledged trademark. I also had in
mind this remix was for the clubs, and as I still do numerous showcases
around the world,
what the clubbers like, without being necessary into boring ‘DJ sound’.
deconstructed the song for the remix, any particular parts you enjoyed
the isolated sound of?
The last part of the
song had many good things. I can't really decide…
very happy to learn that your version made it to the 12" release of the
single as I value having a physical copy of the mix. Does that matter to
you or are you satisfied with a digital only release?
I always enjoy the
sound of vinyl, even if, like many I listen to more and more digital,
because it’s so easy and versatile, and you can have it at once,
you make more than the one remix that made it to the final release? And
if you did, how did it sound?
Actually no. I found
rather quickly the direction I had in mind.
What kind of gear did
you use for remixing the track? Is it all virtual synths for you or do
you like to "fiddle with the knobs" from time to time?
I worked with my
with virtual synths.
bunch of very good plug-ins and they sound really great! They allow you
to be efficient and to choose quickly between several options in a few
clicks. Nowadays time is a key factor in production. One cannot spent as
much time as one did back in the 70's
Philip Oakey is famed for
collection old synths, but you've worked in the music industry all the
way through the evolution of the synthesizer, so any favourite piece of
Well you know, I'm a
drummer ;-)… which means I’m not much into synths. Anyway, all periods
had both interesting gear and junk, so…
Your mix is part
of the best remix package in decades for a Human League single release
with Mylo, Emperor Machine and Villa also providing excellent remixes.
So have you heard any of the other contributions?
Yes, some sound
pretty good indeed.
If you could pick
any Human League song out of their vast back catalogue, which one would
you like the most to remix?
Don’t You Want Me
Baby, I guess…
Could you see
yourself producing the next Human League album and how would you want
them to sound?
Although I like their
music, I don't see myself producing a Human League album as their style
is too different from mine ;)
Their signing to
Mark Jones cool Wall Of Sound label looks like a perfect match?
Well, I suppose so.
Out of the bands
vast back catalogue, can you name your favourite Human League album,
song and single?
As I don’t know much
of their work, Don’t You Want Me Baby would be my only choice.
Have you ever
experienced a Human League concert? And if you have, when was it and
what did you think of it?
No, I haven't…
The band has some
very loyal and dedicated fans that try to get to as many shows as
possible on a tour. Have you had the same passion for a particular band?
You know, following them around the country, crashing on train stations
as you wait for the first train home?
I'm afraid I'm too
busy a man managing my own career to be a fan! ;)
You've worked in
the music industry for 5 decades, so how do you look at the changes the
technological evolution has made through your working years?
The technology bring lot of
new sounds and ways to create and compose new sound but finally, the
first idea is the same when you compose a track. The technology is just
a way to create not the aim...
You seem like a
very busy man, so what are the future plans for Marc Cerrone?
I'm working a lot, that is
I currently work to make a
really big show in Paris very soon... I target to release a new Album
with lot of guest stars in featuring ...All the projects are top secret
for the moment so... stay tuned! haha
to the Cerrone Club Mix of Night People
buy it digitally
while you can buy the 12"
To learn more about Marc's career and future projects, check out these links;