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Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs interview

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Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs


It's been a busy year for Orlando Higginbottom aka Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.

After catching the attention of Radio 1 DJs Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw, he's quickly made a name for himself with his headspinning dancefloor anthems and unique stage performance which, naturally, involves a dinosaur costume.

With his new single 'Tapes & Money' currently doing the rounds and his debut album on the horizon, we met up with him to get ourselves better acquainted.

You've had a busy 12 months; how are you feeling right at this moment?
"It's never really felt stagnant. I think I had a point after the first record, the first EP I did, where I wondered if I should carry on but then I thought, 'F**k it!' Ever since then it's just been steady. I guess, even though it's been steady it does reach a point where it becomes extra hectic, but because it's never suddenly gone through the roof I've always been able to deal with it so it's never been shocking."

One of the most commercial things that has happened was being featured on Lady GaGa's remix album. Were you expecting that?
"I didn't really understand whose radar I was on at that point. I don't know why that happened but I'm happy that it happened. It was a weird thing to be a part of because it was never really released properly. I'm not really sure what the point of it was. I don't know whether it gives GaGa any more credibility, it definitely didn't make her any more money or anything like that. F**k knows! Maybe it put her in some blogs again. It was a fun thing to do, being part of that f**king gigantic project that she is."

You remixed 'Marry The Night'. Were you happy with the finished result?
"It's definitely not the best remix I've done. People responded well to it but, I don't know really, it wasn't a particularly great track to remix to be honest with you.

You weren't a fan of the original?
"No, I thought it wasn't a great song, I thought it was kind of empty of anything. There was no moment, no chord; no line of that made me like the song or hooked me to it. To be honest with you, when I was doing it, it wasn't something that was a big deal for me - it was such a weird thing to be doing. I'm just in my studio at home, remixing the biggest artist in the world, what are you supposed to think about it?"

Would you agree with the description that you're a popular underground artist at the moment?
"I think that if you listen to my music, if you're a fan of the music, you're either going to be someone who's into pop music or underground. There aren't that many people, unless they work in music, who are kind of aware of both worlds so much, d'you know what I mean? I did my UK tour last month and I really got to see people who bought my music and it was so diverse, and I'm not just saying that."

What is your typical crowd like then?
"There were 14-year-olds and then there were like 45-year-olds there. There were people who wanted to mosh, people who wanted to sing along, people who really wanted to listen - like geeky, like gear people, producer types. It made for quite different shows in all of the different cities."

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs


Your new single came out last week...
"It's weird, it's more exciting the first time I play it or post it up online and see what people's reaction is to it. There's a real problem with the music industry in the way radio, press, record labels join up on these kinds of things."

Does that mean that this is a major label trying to position you more as a mainstream chart act, and they're trying to build up potential sales?
"I don't know if it would be to build up potential sales. I certainly think that the kind of artist that I am isn't standard major label artist - that's fairly blatant. The way to work it, and the way it's been working so far, has not been in a major label way, it's been very, 'you pay for me playing shows, people liking it, and getting into it'. Selling a record is not my priority. I know that I'm very lucky to have this job but it's not why I'm doing this."

Is the album all done and dusted then?
"It's being mastered at the moment. It's been very nearly finished for a long time. Last year was incredibly difficult because I was touring so much and I can't write on the road, I find it really difficult. Even coming back from a weekend away it'll take me a day to get back in the mindset of writing music. I much prefer just writing for a month on end rather than going in and out. Anyway, I ended up with a finished record."

What does it sound like?
"It's an album you can listen to start to finish and in my head it's probably my best work from the last year and a half it has taken to make. All I know is it's shown me what I want to do with my next record which is really important. I'll leave you to decide."

Some of your music sounds very pop whereas other times it's harder to pin down. Have you ever been tempted to put out an easy radio hit?
"I can admit with a kind of mixture of shame and pride that with this album I often had radio at the back of my mind. Naturally because I'd been shown some interest it was something I pursued. It's a funny place to put yourself because you start affecting the music.

When can we expect to hear it?
"It's announced next week, it's June-ish. It's really exciting but also terrifying."

TEED's new single 'Tapes & Money' is out now. His debut album, Trouble follows on June 11.

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