Fatboy Slim on the sober life: “I feel young and off my head when DJing”

After the run of shows he’s just had, times are most certainly good for Fatboy Slim. You can head over to Be-At.TV to see the barefoot DJ’s colossal set in the Dance Arena at Exit Festival over the weekend, which commanded a sprawling crowd of thousands inside the walls of Serbia’s Petrovaradin fortress. His recent itinerary also included Wavefront Festival in Chicago, Pete Tong’s Le Grande Bazaar residency at Ibiza’s lavish Ushuaïa Beach Hotel and the final day of Bilbao BBK Live in Spain.

So how does he keep up that intensity? In a recent interview with Mixmag for its 30th anniversary issue, the man behind the anthems Norman Cook reflected on his reinvention as a teetotaler. Instead of slowing his roll, the sober lifestyle has helped him accelerate.

“I’d have predicted, when I changed my life around, that it’d go the other way – but apparently not,” he told Mixmag. “I feel young and off my head when DJing in front of people who are young and off their head. That gives me my kicks, my elixir of life. But I tend not to hang around drunk people, and I go to bed straight after a gig. I like drunk people waving at me from over there, I don’t like them banging on in my ear. That’s when I feel a bit angsty about it.”

Given the man’s line of work, though, he admits the party lifestyle is always in his line of sight. “My crew are quite respectful, not breathing fumes in my face, but I’m not holier than thou about it,” he went on. “Eats Everything accosted me at Pete Tong’s pool party in Miami, started really chewing my ear while I was DJing – but he was so enthusiastic he reminded me of myself in Miami ten years ago.

“My job involves propagating hedonism, escapism, euphoria and sexual freedom; all those things can involve some kind of stimulant and I’m very aware of that. I’ve lived that for the best years of my life, so I’m aware that’s an enormous part of it. But I, personally, got too old to do that any more.”

In Mixmag’s story, Cook addresses the evolution of Fatboy Slim from a creator of Top 20 hits to a name now more known for DJing. This month, though, Fatboy Slim made a production comeback alongside Riva Starr with the cheeky club weapon, Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat. Check it out below, plus Fatboy’s set from the Mixmag 30th birthday party in London, which allowed him to stretch his acid-house muscle in a more intimate space.