Felix da Housecat Interview

Felix da Housecat Interview

by Chrissi Mark
03.20.2008

 

On the heels of his album release last fall, the outspoken Felix da Housecat gets frisky from Rome as we talk to him about his mixed compilation on Global Underground, his new album and his plans for this year’s Winter Music Conference.

In a somewhat unexpected move, Felix Stallings brought his Chicago house roots to Milan and the latest Global Undergound compilation. “Global Underground has balls because they’re educated, they know where I come from,” he says. “They know that I was this Afro-head in the dark who lived dis shit with William Orbit on Gorilla Records. I was doing the dirtiest underground techno even before minimal hit.”

Seven years after the runaway success of Kittenz and Thee Glitz, Stallings calls his last album, Virgo Blaktro & the Movie Disco, a return to his roots. And his WMC plans? Tequila may be the way to his heart, but we find out that it takes a little more to get to his head.

Clubplanet: When they approached you to do Global Underground were you surprised?

Felix da Housecat: No! I’m not commercial, girl! Why would you ask me that?

CP: Just because you’re different from their usual set.

Felix da Housecat: I know that. I think they just wanted to roll with something different, not stick with the same format. They want to throw in a curveball and see what happens.

CP: And it is a curveball.

Felix da Housecat:  I read some posts that have been like, why did you get Felix da Housecat? He’s mainstream. And I’m laughing. I’ve been doing this since ’84.

CP: How did you approach the project?

Felix da Housecat:  As soon as they said we want you to do a compilation I was like, I’m going to do one CD old-school disco mixed up with new-school electro. And then I’m going to do a dirty Chicago tracky, minimal, techno, bang-that-shit CD. I handed them one mix that was an hour and seven minutes, and they’re not used to that. You can’t like tell the fucking artist to redo the painting. It is what it is.

CP: We haven’t been able to hear it yet, but we expect it to sound different from past GU releases. How do you think it compares?

Felix da Housecat:  GU had Sasha and Sasha rocked that shit. Bushwacka did their last one in Brazil, so they rocked it out. They’re really good. They’re the best in compilations.  I think this is going to be the dirtiest shit they put out, by far: one CD is called F*ck Rave and one CD is called F*ck Rock. The F*ck Rock CD is all minimal, techno, dirty electro, jack-tracky shit. And the F*ck Rave is more like old school Italio-disco, old school electro, mixed up with the new school and then fades out to industrial sh*t. I just feel the ignorant kids need to be educated, because techno is not Underworld. Techno is fucking Warren Atkins, Cybotron. Even Dubfire from Deep Dish—he flipped the script. He used to play very progressive, now this motherfucker is going dirty. Everybody’s going jack. Jack is back man.

CP: Your album just dropped in October, tell us a little about it.

Felix da Housecat:  Virgo Blaktro is my take on Black electronic disco from the ’70s and ’80s, going back to my Prince roots, Nile Rogers, Bernard Edwards, Giorgio Moroder, John Carpenter. I wanted to go more in the groove. Some people get it, some people don’t.

CP: Is it a very different sound for you?

Felix da Housecat:  It sounds like me, but it’s a different take of me. A lot of people wanted to hear Kitten and Thee Glitz Part II, or Devin Dazzle, or Maddkatt Courtship. I never do what people want to hear; I just do my thing. Then if they with it, cool. If not, go buy a Justice record.

CP: So, out there in the clubs, what vibes and trends are you seeing?

Felix da Housecat:  Italy used to be all vocal house, now these kids want to hear hard-ass electro, techno, tracky minimal shit. It’s crazy. The Italians have taken over Ibiza. They go down and check out Sven Väth. Everybody’s going jack tracky. Dark, but not evil dark; I’m just talking strobe lights, dark lights and kick drums just banging down your spine, going up through your ears and getting goosebumps type of shit.

CP: You’ve been in Europe for GU and the album tour?

Felix da Housecat: Seriously, I’ve been on the road since 2001. The longest break I’ve had is maybe three weeks. I’m like Depeche Mode, they “Just Can’t Get Enough.”   

CP: If you’re on the road the whole time when do you make music?

Felix da Housecat: If I get four days off, I find a studio in that city. There’s a studio in Frankfort where I work, and when I’m in London, I work with this group called Motor, and in Switzerland, I work with Dave the Hustler in his studio, and in Barcelona, I work at the studio Movie Disco. I have studios set up in Europe with my friends. And I mix my stuff in Atlanta, where I just moved and hooked up with [producer] Dallas Austin.

CP: How do you like Atlanta? What do you think of the club scene there?

Felix da Housecat: I love Atlanta. I love the vibe—I love everything. It is the ‘strip club capital of the world,’ but I don’t love it just because of that. The people love electronic music there—it’s kind of new to them.

CP: And what are your plans for Winter Music Conference?

Felix: I’m playing Mynt—their parties are so sexy and off the chain. I’ll never forget the first time I played for them: Puffy rolled through the back door, I was off of my head and they had never heard anything more twisted out. They’re used to bottle service, but I brought the fucking mezcal tequila service up in there. They were the only club that had the balls to bring me in. Then as soon as I start playing there, everybody was like, ‘we want Felix for the bottle service.’

CP: Where else are you playing in Miami?

Felix da Housecat: I’m playing Mokaï also. The guy that used to own Mynt, Nicola [Siervo], left and opened up Mokaï. And I’m like, man, I don’t want to piss off Mynt, how about I play Mynt and I do Mokaï? So I played Mokaï last year. I was nervous because that was even more exclusive, but as soon as I got that tequila in my veins it was over.

CP: Anything besides Mynt and Mokaï?

Felix da Housecat: Erick [Morillo] asked me to play the Subliminal party. He’s doing it at Cameo this year and then after-hours at Space. I used to play the Shore Club every year, but everybody wants to switch up in ’08, so the people who were at Shore Club opened up a room with Lenny Kravitz in the Delano, [the Florida Room].

CP: That sounds pretty cool, we’ve been hearing about Lenny Kravitz getting involved.

Felix da Housecat: Yeah, he’s involved because of DJ Rook, his little cousin. So I’m going

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