January 06, 2006
ICON:How did you develop the sound and style on the album?
STUART:The style came about because she wanted to make a dance record at the same time as I had been flying around the world dj-ing in every nightclub imaginable, from Russia to Miami, remixing a lot of bands and realising that really the lines between remixing and writing are so blurred. We had also just finished a tour where we had remixed a lot of her songs each day and just thought why don't we just remix some new ones?!
ICON:Do you have an idea of how many hours the two of you spent working on this project? Is it true to say that Madonna is a perfectionist and won't leave the studio until she's fully happy? Are you that kind of guy yourself?
STUART:Not a long time. She was so busy working on editing her film that we just took what time we could to have fun and work on the songs. Quite often she would come in for a few days and then have to go back to working on the film so we would trade mp3s of the tracks as they developed. So I think that escapist attitude inspired a lot of the immediate nature of the songs on the record.
ICON:What is your favourite song on this album and why?
STUART:The album is a favourite! But songs that stick out for various reasons would be Hung Up, because it was really the start of the record, the track that decided the direction and set the ball rolling for the rest of it, Forbidden Love because it was started and finished entirely in the same room, and Isaac because I never thought when Isaac walked in the studio that the next day we would have a song from it. But my other favourite thing is the flow of the record, the segueing and the absence of silence for 45 minutes. That it was made it like a mix-tape for any occasion.
ICON: Would you share your thoughts about the concept Madonna brought to your music and the way she illustrated it via the album's photoshoot and promo shows she played recently? Is it something you discussed together before the album's release?
STUART: They all feed each other. You have an idea for a song which inspires the look of a record. Then that same look inspires you to write another song. Or do a remix. Or how it can be done with a live band. And so on. The creativity itself becomes the fuel on which subsequent ideas are driven.
ICON:Did this collaboration make a significant impact in your life compared to your other music?
STUART:Significant for the reason that it was possible to make a record like this in the same way that many people could at home on whatever you have. The lo-fi ethos is key to making creative music, without consciousness of a ticking clock in studio fees. My studio actually isn't really that lo-fi, but the ethos was!
ICON:Oh, and in case you didn't know about it yet Madonna fans would all like to thank you for this incredible new album!
STUART: And a big thank you to you all for saying that!