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Comprising brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll, Orbital first emerged in the late 80s illegal rave scene within the M25 (London's orbital motorway, gettit?). Within a few years, these dance music pioneers were labelled one of the best live acts of all ti

They're just back from a five year break, so don't miss 'em...

How's it feel being back together? It's brilliant. I think when we stopped working we were a bit overworked and it was all a bit stressful. This time we have a manifesto just to enjoy ourselves. There's no record companies, there's no pressure. We've got some gigs coming in, that's what we want to do. It's just good fun.

Is it all about the live shows for you? Certainly at the minute. Before, we always had a major record deal so it was always towards the next album, then the tour to promote the album. Now, you might release an album, but only really to promote some shows. The music industry all of a sudden is upside down. It's brilliant.

So you prefer it? Well I'm enjoying it at the moment. I think to my dying day I'll enjoy the album format. The pure joy of getting a new record. I'd hate to think that people only put out single tracks. Do you know what I mean? It's boring really. There's something about an album, a body of work. It's got a flow and a feeling. But as far as Orbital goes, live is where it's at.

You've not been to Oz since 1992. How come? There's no reason. It's just the way things fall. We got asked to do the Big Day Out at least three times and every time we couldn't do it because we were in the middle of writing an album, blah, blah, blah. So it's long overdue.

Any memories of Australia? The first time I came to Australia I did one gig and stayed for seven weeks, but I barely left Sydney, ha! I had a great time. Flying back I think I cried all the way over the whole continent of Australia. I didn't want to leave. I was playing cassettes on a Sony Walkman, that's how long ago it was!

Are you bringing your trademark headlamps? Oh yeah, absolutely. We first saw them in Terry Gilliam's film Brazil. Robert De Niro's wearing them and we just thought, "yeah, love a pair of them". So the first time we went to New York we went to the shop and bought about seven pairs. We were wearing them on our first tour because we couldn't really see what we were doing that clearly with crap screens. By the end of that tour, that was it, we were the band that wore torch glasses.

What was it like being in the middle of the acid house movement? It was exciting times, but you know when things like that are happening you don't really feel like you're part of it. You're so in it you can't see the bigger picture. It was exciting times, very edgey. The police and the government were absolutely horrified at acid house. It was almost like, "why are you scared of this, what is your problem?" I had a great time. I still am.

Ever have any trouble with the police? Yeah I was beaten up by police. There was a party and the police raided it. They dragged me out because I started shouting and losing it. The big chief just nodded to one of his minions who picked me up, dragged me off and punched me in the balls and threw me on the floor outside, next to a casual copper dressed in plain clothes who said something like, "move one bone in your body and I'll kick your fucking head off!" Another mate had his head put threw a window at a police station. It was mental.

Got a favourite dance move? You'll have to find out in a couple of weeks! I'll tell you one thing I can't do, I've never been able to master the moonwalk. I still can't do that and it really bums me out, but there you go. Orbital headline the Playground Weekender festival (Feb 18-21), plus play Melbourne (Feb 19), Sydney (Feb 23) and Brisbane (Feb 24). See http://www.moshtix.com.au.


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