Jon Gooch, the creator of drum and bass legend Spor has his feet firmly in the world of house music in 2012. 'Love Is All I Got' is the perfect end of Summer anthem that came about after a few late nights on tour with Crystal Fighters, resulting in the first single from Feed Me's debut album set for release in early 2013 via the mighty Mau5trap. Zane Lowe quickly made it his 'Hottest Record In The World Right Now' and within hours the video was clocking up thousands on YouTube. A future classic is born.
Jon welcome to DMCWORLD Magazine ahead of the stunning 'Love Is All I Got' smash with Crystal Fighters. Before we get to that, let's rewind. You first got into music via your parents and their collection of classic and Prog Rock vinyl. In your own words, you weren't allowed to listen to anything else, no MTV, nothing. Looking back, do you think this was a blessing in disguise as it opened to your ears to a complete range of music and instruments?
"Yes I'm grateful for how this shaped my approach music, and also what I expected from it when I listened. I think this in combination with playing instruments was probably the best foundation I could've been given. Not to romanticise too much; but having to look after the records and the turntable, and the occasion of it in general also gave it a kind of special feeling I'm not sure you get from digital media."
You played in the school orchestra - did you fall in love with instruments back then, most kids usually run a mile from it?
I think it was hard for my tutors and parents to keep me interested. I guess I've always been quite attentive and focused though, and as much as I wanted to stop sometimes I kept it up for the majority of my school life. I enjoy playing instruments a lot more now though, I couldn't do without it. There's a load of public pianos dotted around London stations and such and it's great to play them or stop and watch someone else do something incredible with them."
Your dance music story began back at school, collecting samples and getting into graffiti. Who were the artists/producers/DJs that twisted your head dance music's way back then?
"Prodigy, Oizo, Hive, Dillinja, Ram Trilogy, Bad Company, Aphex, Squarepusher, Mu-ziq, also the Kid A album. There's a lot more but I was absorbing so much, there just seemed so much new material to find and enjoy constantly once I opened up to it."
As a prolific artist under the Spor name, the sound was predominately Drum & Bass, is the reason you have moved on with the Feed Me sound is because that form of music can be a little restrictive - especially for someone with so many tempos, chords and melodies swirling around their head?
"Absolutely. People fixate on the aggressive material I made under Spor, and the sound design - but for me it had already long been about the surround melody and taking it beyond just this. When I DJed I never did straight D&B only sets; even in the very beginning. I'd always start or finish on other tempos, or slow down in the middle, 6 years ago or more. There's a self-destructive online presence for D&B also, people get very attached, and I've watched these audiences hold back some of my peers careers, to my eyes, for fear of reprisals for 'abandoning' their sound. The artists I've always respected most are leaders though, and making bold and dramatic moves and changes ensures forward progress and keeps creativity flowing. Spor I grew into, but as Feed Me I've built a world around me and I love interacting and adding to it."
Interesting to see your Facebook comments about the new DJ100 poll. Glad you agree with 99% of the world that this concoction of shit isn't really what is representative of what is happening out there…?
"Your words not mine there Dan...but yeah I'm not sure how relevant or trustworthy it is at all. That people will come out and vote that I'm good at something is an honour - I didn't start Feed Me to be a DJ though, as much as I love DJing and playing people my music, I'm here to write and create, and so I see it more as a multimedia art project."
You appeared on Zane Lowe's show talking about the new tune, an interview that you told your fans you would be turning into a hippie for the segment...
"I'd recently put up an acoustic guitar cover of Fink also. Actually singing/songwriting is also something I'd like to push forward with more. One step at a time though."
The track came about after meeting the Crystal Fighters on the Parklife festival tour in Australia and after a few nights out together you decided to get into the studio together. What was it about this multi national, Basque influenced 5 piece ensemble that made you think you were going to make some cool music together with?
"Being able to communicate and having skills the other does not - you become more than the sum of your parts in these situations. People often tweet saying they'd like me to make a track with this or that peer, but what's the point? Both parties have to bring something unique to the situation. I loved working with them, hopefully we can go in on something again at some point."
You directed the video yourselves, a superhero love story concerning a frustrated artist, a beautiful girl and a cool costume! How important was making a themed video for this record - most artists in 2012 don't have the patience or creativity to do what you produced?
"Like I said it's a multimedia project to me, so the look and continuation is everything - I oversaw the creative direction but it was directed and storyboarded by Us - they're amazingly talented and London based. They straight away understood the look and feel I wanted, and connected really well with the track. I miss the occasion of older music videos; it's such a potentially rich area for enhancing and furthering a track. The benchmark is still Chris Cunningham to my mind. It's more difficult now with smaller budgets, but I've always approached Feed Me by never backing out of investing back into the vision if there's an opportunity."
The video hit the six figure mark moments after you unleashed it. Comments such as "this song makes me feel so good when I wake up in the morning" were posted alongside"Jon you are my favourite artist but this is way too girly." Thoughts on that?
"Putting thought into what people write in comment boxes on the internet is a quick route to an aneurysm. If I love what I'm doing and I know to myself that I believe in it that's all I care about. I should add I'm always amazed at the amount of thoughtful opinions and nice comments I get written on various platforms though, so if you're reading and that's you - thank you."
Who is your favourite superhero of all time and why?
Great answer. It may not be good for my image, but I really love…
"My friend's girlfriend."
Heh heh. The track is the first single from your debut album out early in 2013. Where are we at with the long player, all named and tracks ready to go?
"It's not finished just yet, and no."
The album is coming out through the mighty Mau5trap label. What is it about this label you love and feel happy at?
"They give me complete creative freedom. I've actually just taken over as CEO, which is a great excuse to buy ties on Ebay. We have 8-12 staff depending on how well I can count that day, although we rotor their work stations twice a week to keep things edgy so I'm unsure on names. The coffee is nice and there's almost always a free Macbook I can take home and no one notices for ages."
What has been your anthem of the summer?
"Prince - Purple Rain, although now we're moving into Autumn I've been singing After The Goldrush a lot..."
You have some huge UK dates up and coming including The Warehouse Project in Manchester, London's Electric Ballroom and The o2 Academy in Leeds. What have been some of the stand out shows from 2012...
"I did my first full North American bus tour with my Teeth show, Coachella, Counterpoint, Reading & Leeds festivals were all incredible. It's overwhelming when I track back through how much I've done, I'm extremely grateful. The Electric Ballroom show in Camden will be special to me as it's my first live show in my own city."
Tell us about the whole John Nolan Studios project? How far down the line are we...
"Bringing Feed Me to life is something I've wanted to do from the very beginning. It's progressing really well, I'm hoping to show people some updates in the next week or two. I think about it every 70 seconds or so. I did a bit of model making at Uni so it's something I have an extended interest in. The fabrication and problem solving is just as interesting to me as the final product; I'd recommend everyone to look up the John Nolan Studios show reel, the things they're able to do are incredible."
You brought us a most excellent Essential Mix in September on Radio 1. A mix that contained 29 Feed Me productions/mixes and unreleased tracks. How long did that mix take to put together and what were the tunes that you were really happy to get in there?
"I'm not sure how long exactly - obviously that's a lot of production time but I did the entire mix itself in one sitting in a hotel bar on the island of Jersey, morning to evening. I got totally lost in it, it's tough to structure your own music over such a long period of time but I really found it satisfying. I walked around on the beach afterwards and looked at far away things to get my eyes working again."
Outside of the dance beat, who are the artists you are listening to at the moment at home or in the car?
"I'm really looking forward to the Atoms for Peace album. I have the new Flying Lotus and Muse records here waiting to be listened to also."
You have played all around the world twice over, what country do you always love returning to and where gives you the best reception?
"I'm really looking forward to performing with my Teeth show on the Australian Future Music tour, with Prodigy and a lot of friends. There's something really community orientated about the way the Australian tour circuit works and it's a lot of fun."
And finally, it's your birthday. What five celebrities dead or alive do you invite for dinner and who plays at the after party. And why...
"No celebrities please, I'd rather bring some mates and go somewhere nice. Freddy Mercury can do the after party though."