We caught up with Tim Garbutt from UK dance band Utah Saints after his recent gig at Barasti
Have you ever been to Utah? We did play there once in about 1996 and we had a stage invasion. It’s very different to Dubai; everyone should go there once in their lives. We often get emails from people in Utah with very weird requests.
Some have called you the first ‘rock star DJs’. Groove Armada are coming to Dubai next week: is there competition between you? No, I don’t believe in competition between DJs. I have massive respect for Groove Armada. They’ve been around for quite a long time, like ourselves. Rather than compete, people in dance music should stick together to keep the scene going. The industry is hard enough these days!
Do you ever wish it was still the ’90s? [Long, thoughtful pause] Not really, no. They were good times, but I think fashion goes round in cycles. A lot of music at the moment is coming back to the early rave thing. I think it’s a great time for dance music now, too.
Who was your favourite ’90s act? My personal favourite acts were probably Underworld, The Prodigy and Daft Punk. They were the most groundbreaking.
You had some crazy haircuts back then – any regrets? [Laughs] Let’s go back to fashion – fashion goes round in cycles. I could regret something now and then two years down the line it’s the coolest haircut about, so no, I never have any regrets.
You toured with Moby. Is he as clean-living as everyone thinks? I toured with Moby, Orbital and Aphex Twin round the States in ’93. I was the last person on the tour, so I ended up sharing a room with Moby and sitting next to him on flights. I started living like him, just because it was easy, really. I even went vegan. He was very clean-living then; I don’t know about now.
What’s the strangest music sample you’ve ever used? I once said in an interview in the States that we could sample Michael Jackson and cover it up so well no one would ever notice. That came out and my record company went crazy. We sample all sorts, but if I told you everyone would go through our records and we’d face all sorts of lawsuits.
What do you make of Dubai? It’s cool – I like it. To me the vibe is more like Miami than Ibiza. I’ve only been here a day – I’m working on the studio tan, as you can see.
What else are you working on? Last year we did a lot of remixes for other people, so at the moment we’re trying to get new material together to release this year.