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Brian Eno

“People tend to play in their comfort zone, so the best things are achieved in a state of surprise, actually”


Richard Fearless

“A poisoned mind will make you blind”


Danger Mouse

“The one thing I could control was how hard I worked on the music, so that’s what I did every night”


Dr Dre.

“I’ve gone seventy-nine hours without sleep, creating. When that flow is going, it’s almost like a high. You don’t want it to stop. You don’t want to go to sleep for fear of missing something”


George Martin

“They did flower, they blossomed, and they astonished me with their ideas. Each song they brought to me was a gem, and I said to myself, ‘It can’t last.’ I’d say to them, ‘That’s great, now give me a better one.’ And they did. I was so thrilled with what they gave me”


Jeff Lynne

“Live shows are fun – sometimes. But you have to practice for months on end”


David Holmes

“I’m too old to make a load of 20-year-olds dance”


Phil Spector

“People tell me they idolise me, want to be like me, but I tell them, ‘trust me, you don’t want my life.’ I’ve been a very tortured soul”


Richard Russell

“When someone does that, I think of that as being what XL does or has always done anyway. We’re outside of the system, able to put music out without anyone interfering with it”


David Sitek

“I spent more time at the library than anyone my age when I was a kid”


Jimmy Iovine

“You try to do the best with what you’ve got and ignore everything else. That’s why horses get blinders in horse racing: You look at the horse next to you, and you lose a step. Beats succeeded because, as music lovers, we knew oscilloscopes don’t buy headphones – people do”


Rick Rubin

“There’s a tremendous power in using the least amount of information to get a point across”


Brian Wilson

“Humor – it helps to make the vibe better – it loosens up the vibrations”


Trevor Horn

“I hate having to read the manual”


Berry Gordy

“There aren’t enough people who care about the future. They are too busy worrying about today and what they can grab now”


Georgio Moroder

“Once you free your mind about a concept of music and harmony being correct, you can do whatever you want”


The Dust Brothers

“Up until that point in hip-hop, people had been using samples very sparsely and minimally. If anything, they would use one sample in a song and take a drum loop and that would be the foundation. But what we were doing was making entire songs out of samples taken from various different sources”


Quincy Jones

“Excellence isn’t an act, it’s a habit”


James Lavelle

“In the nineties it was still the lunatics running the asylum, and there was a lot of money so you could do crazy things. In those days [drum ’n’ bass producer] Photek could get a £150,000 deal with Virgin. I got a Jean-Michel Basquiat artwork as part of my major label deal”


Nelle Hooper

“He’s not one for mediocre experiences “



“Time is a mind construct. It’s not real”


Nile Rodgers

“Art is something that opens up and enhances your emotions and that’s what I like to think i’m doing”



“Don’t let your ambition, your hunger, your eagerness lead you down a foolish path. Don’t be eager to be in a crowd, your talent is your talent, what’s yours is gonna be yours, I think that’s the biggest glitch with the young mind is the desire to be accepted, the desire for the opportunity. Just work hard at your craft, the best is gonna come. The cream is gonna rise to the top, seriously.”


Norman Whitfield

“I don’t have any formal musical training”


George Clinton

“Ain’t nothin’ but a party!”


Kanye West

“I was never really good at anything except for the ability to learn”


Don Was

“I did drop out of school.”


Martin Hannett

“The guy was a genius”

Sam Philipps

“If you’re not doing something different, you’re not doing anything”


Dave Stewart

“I was a manic and eccentric kid. In my head I was very busy, so I must have seemed weird”


Lee Scratch Perry

“Take your time, dig it man”



“We had to redefine our musical culture. Not only our musical culture, however: at the end of the sixties all German artists had the same problems. Writers, directors, painters … all of them had to invent a new language”


Trent Reznor

“To me, rock music was never meant to be safe. I think there needs to be an element of intrigue, mystery, subversiveness. Your parents should hate it”


Rupert Goold

 “Every show should aim to change theatre”