The Big Chill Forum 2004


Fila Brazillia

They put Hull on the map and Brazil in their music. They’re down to earth Northern lads with an ear (and an eye) for the extraordinary. Since their first release 14 years ago they’ve produced some eight original albums with a plethora of stunning remixes to boot. Their music is irresistibly funky, whether aimed at the head or the feet (hence their erstwhile appeal for Big Chillers), while their uniquely daft sense of surreal humour has made them two of the best-loved men in dance music.

They’re Fila Brazillia – aka Steve Cobby and David McSherry – and the good people of the Big Chill Forum interviewed them, guided by your host The Legendary Jesse Belle.

The Legendary Jesse Belle asks:

You’ve been doing this for a rather long time. Do you ever get bored? What keeps it fresh?

Steve Cobby – Oh, serendipity and a refusal to repeat keep it interesting enough.

David McSherry – Having a laugh helps.

You had your first ever live gig at The Big Chill. Tell us what that was like. What place does The Big Chill hold in your hearts?

SC – The first Chills were amazing. 1500 at the Larmer Tree Gardens in ’99 witnessed our live debut. Considering 24,000 were on site this year I think some of the special atmosphere has gone. It’s still the best festival in Britain but then that’s not tough. The rest are appalling!

When you met, ‘dance music’ was just beginning to come into its own. How do you feel about the scene you were so much a fundamental part of creating?

SC – We’re flattered to be called influential but never really felt aligned to any one scene.

DMc – Like we’ve f**ked with it enough to not really be part of it anymore.

If you weren’t able to make music or hadn’t had the opportunities, what do you think you’d be doing now?

SC – I’d most probably be hunkered over a crack pipe.

DMc – Running a toad hostel. Maybe newts.

Two LPs in one year AND a compilation – what’s with the hyper activity during 2004?

SC – Well we’d wasted a lot of time with the live projects and wanted to catch up. We just happened to carry on working after the Phoebus came out in April. Also it’s easier to produce more material as we own a studio.

Dicks is the latest (rude name!), it’s also the 10th. Is there a significance?

SC – It’s French for 10.

What’s the secret of ‘the funk’?

SC – Illegitami non carborundum.

DMc – If you don’t know by now…

Boomclick asks: have you ever felt a Brazillian?

SC – No but I’ve felt a bra silly, ah!

DMc – Yes, last night.

For Funks Sake asks: Hey there Brazillia boyz… hope all’s gravy. What’s rockin’/chillin’ you guys musically at the minute?

SC – I’m currently immersing myself in a Can DVD and lots of classic 70s pop!

DMc – Momma Gravy’s ‘Adios’ on Different Drummer and The Cure’s Boys Don’t Cry.

Sofa asks: Hello there! Are you guys going on tour at all soon and will you come anywhere near Southampton?

SC – No and no I’m afraid. Touring is a young mans game. One offs may occur but I can’t seeing us doing a seaside special in Southampton in the near future.

Adam Priest asks: A lot of the tracks that you guys create have unusual or just downright confusing titles. Where do you get the inspiration for them, and can you explain one (of your choice) for us?

SC – A lot of it’s just wordplay. There is some rhyme or reason to occasional track names, Her Majesty’s ‘Hokey Cokey’ is what a repeat offender does yo-yoing in and out of prison… ‘Septentrion’ is an old word for the North, ‘Heil Mikey’ is a dig at Disney, ‘Nutty Slack’ is what my Grandad called the embers and clinker left after an open fire. But generally if something makes us laugh or just feels right we use it. ‘Hell’s Rarebit’ is demon seed on toast.

Joebo asks: Why, oh why – ‘Dicks’???????!

SC – If you mean why the name see above. If you mean why did we record and release it, that’s for the public to decide and they don’t seem to be in a hurry to ignore us.

Tiger Perry asks: What’s a Dicksillian?

SC – A creature with 1,000,000 knobs.

DMc – A banjo playing half-wit?

Myles asks: Do either of you own a Fila Brasiliero?

SC – We’re not allowed. We actually got the name off the radio as it’s ban was being proposed in the Commons.

Mojo asks: What’s it like to be a top northern bloke?

SC – Two beautiful young sons and an amazing partner. Our own studio and record label. A non corporate social scene amongst genuine mates. No gridlock, cheap mortgages, top seeds coming in from Amsterdam, Hull City slowly ascending the league. Love it thanks.

DMc – Great – all the reindeer piss you can drink.

Soyo asks: What is your “Desert island” piece of DJ/music making equipment that you simply could not be parted from? Or don’t they matter to you that much?

SC – An Apple Mac. Laptop or tower is fine.

DMc – An acoustic guitar with 3 strings on it. (A,G,B)

Sell the good points of HULL to the Southerners

SC – Cheap everything.

DMc – Already done it. All the To Let boards phone numbers start 020…

Samclick of Boomclick asks: Any chance of a support slot on your next tour?!

SC – We’re never touring again Sam, sorry.

DMc – Pretend to be us and you can headline.

MelvinPickles asks: Trite I know, but influences?


SC – Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance – Pirsig / Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas – HS Thompson / Generation X – Douglas Coupland.

DMc – Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut / The White Hotel – D.M.Thomas / Colin Wilson – The Hamlyn Guide To Amphibians And Reptiles.


SC – Magazine, Bill Nelson, Comsat Angels and Led Zeppelin.

DMc – Joy Division / New Order, Cabaret Voltaire.


SC – Koyaanasquatsi. Thunderbolt And Lightfoot. Electraglide In Blue. Play Misty For Me.

DMc – Don’t Look Now, Man Bites Dog, Life Of Brian.


SC – Panagy.[local dish of corned beef and potatoes]. Bacon and Avocado salad. Good fish.

DMc – Haddock, haddock, haddock.

Kimberly Clark asks: I went to Hull and back earlier this summer, it was not lovely. Do you know of any secret places that might change my opinion?

SC – Pave, the Welly and the Lamp are the only watering holes. Engineering students can marvel at one of the worlds longest single span suspension bridges. The Deep for all lovers of aquatic things is worth a couple of hours. The KC stadium to see either The Tigers play football or the Airlie Birds play rugby league. Good speedway team, the Vikings. Hull Truck is a nationally renowned theatre and usually has something decent on. City Hall and New Theatre less so. The third biggest port in England has 800 years of History since becoming Kingston-Upon-Hull (it used to be called Wawne). The parisee that settled and establised Paris came from Brough just down the river.
Here ends the Hull tourist info line.

DMc – The pond in my garden.

If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow where would you go and who would you go with?

SC – Private Island with family and friends.

DMc – I’m off to Moscow with Beige in a couple of weeks, that’ll do.

Adam James asks: Before I get to the questions I have to say that “A Touch Of Cloth” is one of my favourite albums of the last 10 years. It has soundtracked countless late nights and early mornings! What genre or style would you define your music as?

SC – Firstly. thank you for that Adam. We do our best to please. We’ve always avoided defining which genre we might be pushed into. That way we leave the canvas blank rather than feeling homogonised.

DMc – Yes, cheers for that. What about super-contrarisound?

Who is your favourite artist and/or biggest musical influence?

SC – Thousands of ’em. Biggest influence would be Led Zeppelin in the ’70s. They made me want to pick up a guitar.

DMc – Each other – how w*nk is that!?

Kris asks: In a tag-team mud wrestle between yourselves and Boards Of Canada, who would come out on top?

SC – F**k me you’re joking aren’t you? We’d piss it.

DMc – Then we’d kick Air in!

If you had a nekkid photo of a celebrity as your desktop image, who would it be?

SC – Lassie.

DMc – Davros.

Would you rather be a hammer or a nail? Discuss.

SC – I’d rather be a hammer hitting Paul Simons head.

DMc – A screw. The mightiest of fixings.

Have you ever turned your underwear inside out so that you could wear them for another day?

SC – Yes. And back to front for another two.

DMc – No. I don’t mind the layered effect.

If you had to make the choice between walking down the street looking like either Elton John or Tom Middleton, which would it be?

SC – Middleton. No one would recognise him.

DMc – John. Preferably in a high wind.

October 8th, 2004 by Susanna

This interview is copied from