MAURICE FULTON (Interview)

RBMA: »This is Maurice Fulton, he lives in Sheffield currently, he has lived everywhere else in this world, please give him a warm welcome (applause). So Maurice, before we start doing our little bit of hands-on session, we should maybe talk a bit about where you’re coming from musically and what were your formative experiences in the world of merry music.«

Maurice Fulton: »Musically I come from Funk.«

RBMA: »Funk as in Parliament, George Clinton«

Maurice Fulton: »George Clinton, Funkadelic. (to participants)I don’t know if you’re all familiar with Parliament/Funkadelic. Yes? Especially Funkadelic. It’s what got me into music, period.«

RBMA: »What’s the difference between Funkadelic and Parliament?«

Maurice Fulton: »Funkadelic was more Rock, hard Rock, and Parliament was like Soul, with a lot of horns. First record I ever bought was a Funkadelic record, ‘Let’s Take It To The Stage’, I don’t know if you’re all familiar with that record? That’s like my favourite record on this planet.«

RBMA: »Do you have it with you, maybe?«

Maurice Fulton: »I have one song in CD, it’s called ‘Better By The Pound’, it’s a dance record.«

RBMA: »Well, maybe we should just play it for a bit?«

Maurice Fulton: »Ok, you can still talk while I find it.«

RBMA: »What was the next step from Funkadelic? You started collecting records then?«

Maurice Fulton: »My brother was into music, a lot of stuff, a lot of R&B stuff, but mostly Funkadelic was on rotation.«

RBMA: »You were abusing your brothers record collection?«

Maurice Fulton: »Oh yes. Every chance I got whilst he wasn’t home.«

RBMA: »What time was this?«

Maurice Fulton: »I guess the mid-70’s?«

RBMA: »And you were a DJ too then, right?«

Maurice Fulton: »I started in the early 80’s. I pretty much had two turntables but they weren’t Technics or anything with pitch, they were Fisher, I don’t know if you’re all familiar with that brand? You could stack 45’s on top and it had three speeds, 33, 45 and 78. It was a wooden thing and I had two of them with no pitch and it was pretty interesting because you can get creative when you don’t have the usual tools.«

RBMA: »So you had to use your hands a lot of the time?«

Maurice Fulton: »Oh yes. That’s how I learnt how to touch the label to make it slow down and get certain different sounds if you touch it a little but hard and get that ‘brrr’. Love that. And that’s basically how I started, and just practiced, constantly practiced because with that equipment I couldn’t do too much and when I had my friends come over they all laughed at me because of y equipment. Now they understand why, you know? But I just practiced for a whole year, scratching and cutting. And I got good.«

RBMA: »And do you remember the first party you played?«

Maurice Fulton: »Yes. It was a waistline party in Baltimore. What I mean by a waistline party is that you pay your measurements when you go to the door. The guy has a tape measure and he measures your waist and if you were thin you paid little money.«

RBMA: »So you’d better be a skinny dude if you want to go to a waistline party?«

Maurice Fulton: »No, we always liked the big ones, because they partied.«

RBMA: »They’d paid a lot of money to party?«

Maurice Fulton: »Well, not if we liked you. You could come in free (laughs). That was the first party and it was a good party.«

RBMA: »And your name back then as a DJ?«

Maurice Fulton: »I used to call myself Dr. Scratch. Don’t ask me where it came from, I don’t know, but I just thought it sounded good.«

RBMA: »I have distracted you from looking for that Funkadelic tune.«

Maurice Fulton: »That’s right, sorry (searches through CD case). Just to show you, I’m going through all these CD’s. There’s a lot of CD’s here. This is my set, my DJ set, because I don’t play vinyl. I’m not a vinyl hater, I love vinyl, but when you travel it gets expensive for extra luggage and I like to carry a whole lot of records and I found this to be the cheapest way, just to carry CD’s. And plus they sound better, to me. CD’s don’t scratch. You don’t hear pops on CD’s.«

RBMA: »Its usually the argument of vinyl that it sounds so good?«

Maurice Fulton: »I love digital. I thank God for digital. It’s in here somewhere, let’s see.«

RBMA: »With vinyl you could look for the sleeve now?«

Maurice Fulton: »Yeah, it would be bigger and I could see it bigger, but my hand writing is atrocious so it’d take me some time. But I know it’s here. I don’t think I brought it with me, sorry.«

RBMA: »So, no Funkadelic now, but from Baltimore and Dr. Scratch to New York, right? You were influenced by what was happening in that – whatever you want to call it – New York dance culture thing?«

Maurice Fulton: »When I first moved to New York I think the biggest thing was Masters At Work, they were ruling New York and that sound…«

RBMA: »Early 90’s then?«

Maurice Fulton: »Yeah. It got me interested to go to the clubs and see what was happening and I think the Sound Factory bar and Shelter was big at that time. I started going, started dancing, started partying, good move.«

RBMA: »You started to produce then yourself or you were already a producer by then?«

Maurice Fulton: »I was already a producer because I’d worked with the Basement Boys which is a production team, three people. I felt that I was being not held back but I was losing creativity because I was only doing one style of music.«

RBMA: »They were very much into that garage/vocal kind of thing?«

Maurice Fulton: »And I wanted to do more, I wanted to do all types of music, so that’s why I went to New York and discovered it.«

RBMA: »So maybe we should play some of your tracks right now to give people an idea of what Maurice Fulton is about?«

Maurice Fulton: »OK. Before I play this track, let me just explain something. I do many different types of music and what I’m going to play you is the new MU, which is a song that’s called ‘No More Fake Tits’.«

(music: MU ‘No More Fake Tits’)

RBMA: »MU is actually your wife, right? And you’re doing this project together and it went from Punk to Country now.«

Maurice Fulton: »Well not only Country, it’s a lot more other stuff, we do all types of music but the main influence is Punk. There’s another track I wanted to play. Kathy Diamond. I wanted to do a different style of music.«

(music: Kathy Diamond ‘Over’)

RBMA: »So you like to work with vocalists?«

Maurice Fulton: »Yes. Vocalists, bands, MC’s, country stars, everybody.«

Participant: »(Inaudible)«

Maurice Fulton: »Yes, if they sound good, yes.«

Participant: »Did you remix an artist you don’t like?«

Maurice Fulton: »I never did that, if I don’t like the song or the artist I don’t bother at all because I have to be inspired to do the mix«

Participant: »What is different in the creation process where you’re remixing than your own track.«

Maurice Fulton: »It’s the same. When I remix it’s literally me having to do another track to fit the vocals, so it’s the same process, you know, sit down, smoke, get the keyboards, maybe hire a drummer or program it myself, smoke, mix it down, put it on CD, smoke, listen to it, then send it off.«

RBMA: »No smoking before sending it off?«

Maurice Fulton: »Oh no, I have to go to the mail to send it off. You don’t want to be stoned to do that (laughter/ applause).«

RBMA: »Taking about being inspired form the original artist to do a remix you can be inspired by something you dislike also, right?«

Maurice Fulton: »Yeah, like Britney. But I used that for my own tracks. I wouldn’t use it for other peoples mixes because they would get mad at me if I took a reference from Britney Spears.«

RBMA: »You never thought about one of the tracks you remixed, ‘Oh, it’s utter shite but I can make it sound nice?’«

Maurice Fulton: »No. If it doesn’t make me move inside my chair, and wiggle my butt, then no way.«

Participant: »You said your main influence was Punk. Punk was your main influence?«

Maurice Fulton: »That’s what I’m doing right now, I have phases that I go through, sometimes I go through a Hip Hop phase, Gospel House, ear-bleeding Trance, Hip Hop, Country and now I’m into Punk.«

Participant: »Punk the sound of Punk music or the way of working?»

Maurice Fulton: »Well, matter of fact I have a Punk track here. It’s a new one from MU’s LP, let me find it first. Song is titled ‘You Look Good And They Don’t’.«

(music: MU ‘You Look Good And They Don’t’)

RBMA: »That’s pretty far out there?«

Maurice Fulton: »Punk.«

RBMA: »How hard is it to work with someone who you’re married to? A lot of fights during the process?«

Maurice Fulton: »No, its easy. I do the lyrics first, then I imagine what it’ll sound like with music and then I put the music to it, then I ask MU just to… I’ll go over with her how it should be sung and just record and there you have it. It’s real easy to work with MU.«

RBMA: »So she’s never into the process of actually making that track with you?«

Maurice Fulton: »(laughter) Oh no. She’s off reading ‘OK Magazine’ or ‘Heat Magazine’ or what is it you have here, ‘NW?’, ‘Next Week’? I picked that up yesterday because I’m getting into the junk magazine thing, the ‘Heat’ and ‘OK’, I find it interesting.«

RBMA: »I never saw that. Ben might know it?«

Participant: »(Inaudible)«

Maurice Fulton: »Is it real cheesy?«

Participant: »(Inaudible)«

RBMA: »Any more questions? Marsha?«

Participant: »I was just wondering, that Syclops track ‘Mom, The Video Broke’. Do you have it on you?«

Maurice Fulton: »Do I have it on me? No, I’m sorry. It’s been… that’s a pretty old track. I’m so sorry. I should be punished.«

Participant: »I’ll punish you later.«

Maurice Fulton: »Ok.«

Participant: »Hi. Can you play the ‘Paris Hilton’ track? Where did you get the… with all those samples and stuff, it’s so random? Where did you get the chick?«

Maurice Fulton: »There’s no samples, that’s MU.«

Participant: »Is it? That’s awesome.«

Maurice Fulton: »I wanted to do the (makes noise) because I haven’t heard it in a dance record.«

Participant: »I just love it. It’s so good.«

Maurice Fulton: »I know I have it somewhere. The making of that record, I wanted to create something to make people dance and laugh at the same time, while they’re dancing. When someone told me that they’d never laughed so hard and danced at the same time it was a big compliment to me. It’s a really big compliment. I think dance songs, you should have fun and laugh and have a good time, while listening to the song.

Participant: »I just love it. It’s so good.«

Maurice Fulton: »I know I have it somewhere. The making of that record, I wanted to create something to make people dance and laugh at the same time, while they’re dancing. When someone told me that they’d never laughed so hard and danced at the same time it was a big compliment to me. It’s a really big compliment. I think dance songs, you should have fun and laugh and have a good time, while listening to the song.«

RBMA: »So why did you cal it ‘Paris Hilton’?«

Maurice Fulton: »It sounded nice, because when I was recording the ‘shake your body, body, move your body, body, dance your body, body’ I had a writers’ block, what should go after dance your body, body? Paris Hilton!«

RBMA: »So you like her movies also?«

Maurice Fulton: »No, she was on TV too much, there was an overload of Paris Hilton one time, I just thought, why not just do a song?«

(music: Maurice Fulton ‘Paris Hilton’)

RBMA: »So House music from Chicago is also a pretty big influence on you, rhythmically?«

Maurice Fulton: »Oh yeah. Adonis. Marshall Jefferson, Lil’ Louis, stuff to shake your booty.«

RBMA: »And what is the new music you can draw inspiration from? Except for Britney Spears now?«

Maurice Fulton: »It’s tough with dance music but with other types of music, I like Neil, the R’n B artist, I like Jay-Z, I like Letoya, the girl that used to be in Destiny’s Child that got kicked out. She has a solo [album], I like her.«

RBMA: »Dance music sounds pretty stale to you these days?«

Maurice Fulton: »Not all. I like the Idjut Boys, I like Theo Parrish, Lindstrom, all I can think of right now.«

RBMA: »Any more questions?«

Participant: »You just managed the culture shock that hit you when you moved to Sheffield? Does it matter where you are for your music?«

Maurice Fulton: »No, not at all, unless you made music outside it doesn’t matter. In the house it doesn’t matter.«

RBMA: »In a forest? Next to the sheep?«

Maurice Fulton: »It would matter, yes. Then you would have sheep influence. It really doesn’t matter were you’re at in the world, as long as you have an electric cord and some speakers you can do it anywhere.«

RBMA: »You proved that. You moved…«

Maurice Fulton: »A lot of different places. As long as you have an electric cord, speakers, it’s all good.«

RBMA: »And your favourite place in the world?«

Maurice Fulton: »New York. It’d have to be New York. I’ve never seen a city with so many different cultures and different people from other countries in one city. Plus it stays open all night. It doesn’t close. I love that.«

RBMA: »So why not move back there?«

Maurice Fulton: »The party scene is not exciting as it is in England, there’s a lot of clubs happening in England. Most of the clubs in New York are very pop so that doesn’t appeal to me.«

RBMA: »So you would have to play Britney Spears then?«

Maurice Fulton: »Yes I would, in heavy rotation.«

RBMA: »No other questions? They don’t want you to go smoking, that’s’ what it is.«

Participant: »Could you tell us how you mix your own track? What are your tips for mixing?«
Maurice Fulton: »That’s easy. Alright. I take each instrument and try to add a little bit of maybe EQ, maybe delay or maybe anything, but it takes…«

Participant: »You use your laptop?«

Maurice Fulton: »For mixdown, yes. It’s mostly plug-in’s, the effect plug-in’s, and my favourite one would have to be the Ni-Spektral delay, the Native Instruments one, this baby here. This is like my favourite delay, ever invented by man. Or woman. Whoever invented it I bless them. I hope that answers your question. Any more?«

Participant: »How important is it to have a different name for each sound you do?«

Maurice Fulton: »I’m not concerned about the name, you mean the artist name?«

Participant: »Like an artist will have five different sounds under five names and I’d like to hear an artist come out and say: “Fuck you, I do lots of different stuff.”«

Maurice Fulton: »Well, I don’t know too many people who do that, that change their name every time they do a different production. I work with bands and I call themselves something different, but I’m still Maurice Fulton. Producer.«

RBMA: »But you still like use monikers, right?«

Maurice Fulton: »No, I have bands, they’re bands. Like most people think Cyclops is me, its not. It’s a band that I produce that the press just keep thinking that it’s me. That’s why I don’t really talk to the press much.«

RBMA: »You don’t like interviews, right?«

Maurice Fulton: »Not at all, not at all, I get sick of hearing who, what, where, when, why, how come? I’m sick of that.«

RBMA: »Then I have the cure for you. Thank you very much.«

click below to listen

MAURICE FULTON – Revenge Of The Orange

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