How did you two meet, and what were your first impressions of each other?
Fatboy: We met in a place called Swindon. He was opening for me. Somebody had said, “there's this hot new DJ you need to check out,” so I made a point of having listened. I just instantly saw, “there's somebody who's got the same love of music, entertaining manner and sense of humor about what we do.” We just chatted backstage and hit it off immediately.
Eats: That was 2012, so eight years … I don't want to blow smoke up Norm's ass, but when you've been buying a man's records, been to Brighton to the big Beach festival, been one of those 200,000 people while he's a little dot on the stage DJing – then you warm it up for him and chat to him, and he's actually a really quite sound guy. A lot DJs are sound, but Norm has this similar – well, he's a bit of an idiot behind the deck, I'm sure you won't mind my saying that. It's aspirational to watch someone who does what they do the way they do it, and they do it better than anyone, for them to be as sound and as fun offstage as they are on it.
Fatboy: I think the reason for the affinity we feel [is that] we both take our music very seriously, but not necessarily ourselves.
Eats: That's exactly what I always say. I'm serious about the music and nothing else.
When did you first go back-to-back?
Eats: In 2017 at Glastonbury on the Bread and Roses stage. It was like, “that can be quite fun. Let's do it.” Norman wasn't announced and I was, and then it just worked a treat.
Fatboy: It's one of those things that probably could only happen at Glastonbury. You just have an idea of "let's try this out," and then it sort of becomes seminal. I haven't done back-to-back with anyone for about five years. I don't jump into bed with everyone I meet.
Eats: I'm one of the fortunate ones. It was my hairstyle.
Did you guys stay friendly in those years between?
Eats: I'm not going to say we were texting each other every day, but we played together a few times at different events. There would be a text every two or three months, and if I had time to go out of my way and see Norman, I would do it. He's a friendly guy, always got a little laugh and a joke in him.
Fatboy: Most of it was Glastonbury related. We would often end up camping really close to each other, and Glastonbury sort of breaks down the barriers. We cemented that last summer when we did an enormous back-to-back thing on the Arcadia spaceship.
Eats: Obviously Norman's done big, amazing stuff for Glastonbury a lot more that I have, but that will live in my memory forever. The sheer size of it, and the spectacle. Sometimes [big stages] can be a bit devoid of soul, but this was just a smile from ear-to ear-from the very moment we walked up, to the very moment we finished. I don't know how true this is, but apparently there were like 60,000 people there, which is a quarter of the festival.
Fatboy: We were basically playing in a crane suspended above the middle of the crowd with Idris Elba as the M.C.
Eats: It was so funny when he popped up in the booth. For days afterwards, [I was] cock of the walk.
When did you get in the studio?
Fatboy: Dan just kept badgering me, saying, “let's do a tune together,” and I haven't made a record for a couple of years. I don't really do collabs, but just in the way that I felt comfortable doing a back-to-back with him, I just thought maybe this could work. There was a vocal that I had lying around for ages, the “all the ladies” thing. I've used it in my DJ sets but never quite finished it. Dan just suggested doing that. I thought it was after Glastonbury.
Eats: Maybe it was. In my head it was April, but maybe it's August. I remember it was warm.
Fatboy: For me to drive all the way to Bristol to go into somebody else's studio. If you knew me, that's not what I'd normally do. That's a man in love.
How far of a drive is that for you?
Fatboy: Three hours.
Eats: We got it done in a day. I've been in the studio with quite a lot people over the years, and I would say about 20 percent of them it works with, and probably five percent maximum people it really works with. A lot of people, you'll do one session and that's it, you'll never bother again, but I imagine myself and Norm will do another session. Sometimes when you're in studio, someone kind of takes over and is in charge and you feel like you're pushed back, but everything was a mutual decision.
Fatboy: I think we work the same way. Dan's a bit harder than me, and I'm more into the pop hook.
Eats: But it comes together perfectly.
You guys have a day of brotherly love vibe going on.
Eats: In this industry, you meet a lot people, and you get on with pretty much every one, but there's not loads of people that I want to introduce my son to. Not loads of people would invite me and my wife to stay at their house, but Norm has done that. It's quite a fickle world, and I'm not badmouthing anyone. I'm almost beating Norm up in the sense that he goes the extra mile. He's a more welcoming person. I consider him a friend because of his attitude to life.
Fatboy: I think we are actually proper friends, aren't we?
Eats: I really do actually think we are proper friends.
Did you guys work on a few things?
Eats: No, we just did the one.
Fatboy: I don't normally do this sort of thing, so it was a bit of a try out to see if it worked.
Eats: And it did work. I don't want to give anything away, but we're doing something else. If it works, it could be spectacular. There are a few things not achieved yet.
Fatboy: Don't say too much.
Eats: Okay, it could be good, that's all I'm saying.
How has this song been working out in your mixes?
Eats: Every time I played it, it works a treat. I've done a few shows with Norm where I've warmed up for him on his UK tour last year. Having heard him use the vocal in his sets, he puts it over different tracks. People who are into Norm, which is a lot of people, will know the vocal, but they won't exactly know the music. Everyone is getting a boner over it.
Fatboy: My theory of DJing has always been play to the ladies. This is going right back to when I was doing weddings and really shitty nightclubs. If the ladies are dancing, the men always join them.
Eats: It's gotta be a bit of groove.
Fatboy: This tune is specifically for the ladies and they react to it. It's a sexy tune, unashamedly. This is our Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdink music.
Eats: Who's who? I've got to be Tom, surely.
Fatboy Yeah, bigger lad isn't he? I'll be Englebert, then.
Eats: A great name. I'm not sure it suits you.
Fatboy: Not even the Humperdink bit?
Eats: Englebert I'm not sure works for you, Norm, but Humperdink perhaps.
Fatboy: Maybe I should just say Barry White. You can be Barry White, I'll be Marvin Gaye. Let's get it on.