Interview with Juno Reactor's Ben Watkins.

Interview with Juno Reactor's Ben Watkins.

Formed as an art project in 1990 Juno Reactor have been pushing the musical boundaries of ‘genius’, since their first single release ‘Laughing Gas’ in 1993, a pioneering Goa trance track that has stood its test of time, still sounding fresh as it did back then!

Juno Reactors wide spectrum of musical genres have provided an epicentre of creativity that has so far seen the release of 8 albums, with their 9th a compilation of remixes of their 8th album, ‘The Golden Sun of the Great East’, aptly named ‘The Golden Sun….Remixed’, due for release on the 15th June 2015 on Metropolis Records.

The music of Juno Reactors Ben Watkins and the many collaborations attained during its history has throbbed many dance floors around the World and pulsated onto the big screens of cinema and film; notably Mortal Kombat , Once Upon a Time in Mexico, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions to name a few.

If the name of Ben Watkins and Juno Reactor are new to you, I urge you to discover the music and re-watch the films for a greater understanding of what Juno Reactor is all about, pushing musical boundaries to the very edge of your consciousness!

So on that note, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Juno Reactors, Ben Watkins to the Psylicious interview table to find out much more!

Ben it’s a pleasure to have you here and thank you for taking some time out to answer some questions. How has 2015 been for you so far?

Since playing at Burning man 2014 on Oakenfold’s stage it has been very busy…not that it is related :) touring with the Band and DJing I am finding it harder to get into the studio, so i am really looking forward to recording now, anything even if it doesn’t work, I want to be in my space..

Juno Reactor has an immense history of creativity, what was the initial reason behind its birth so to speak and how would you describe the bigger picture of what Juno Reactor is all about?

I was fed up with being committed to a partner or a band, where ego’s flair up and you are stuck in a bad marriage, so Juno Reactor was always about collaborations with people I admired or wanted to steal their knowledge :) or both… once their brains are drained I have a exit button, or they push it themselves. It was set up as an art project for underground instillation works, and it just grew naturally from there.

Juno has come to represent many things, and mainly thanks to the people who I have been lucky enough to find dotted around the globe.

Ben did you ever think that Juno Reactor would evolve to where you are at now, how have you kept the consistency going and what advice could you give to the younger musicians of today?

I feel frustrated I can’t take it further sometimes, mainly down to finance, I would love to be doing bigger shows with massive budgets for cutting edge lighting Tech and PA system to blow your head off.

I love playing with my current band, and how to keep it fresh for me has been to try new things as much as I can with the brain I was given.

My advice for younger musicians might not be good for them, as I would say try to be original, and don't be afraid to be different, as once you are a sheep in this modern world you might get further.

Juno Reactor-London Bridge

The sound of Juno Reactor takes the listener too many musical boundaries, how would you describe the overall sound that makes up Juno Reactor?

I make film in my head when I write, so they always have a story to me, and tend to come out cinematic, there are many things I don't know, and that is part of my journey to discover them.

Juno Reactor started as a Goa trance project. Musically how would you compare the Goa/Psy scene now to when you first started?

I think the old one was great fun, and the new one also, Psy is changing for the good, with great producers emerging everywhere… so good things are coming and that I am really pleased about.

As well as releasing albums and singles, your music has pulsated onto the big screens and into many well known films. How did this come about and which film has been your personal favourite?

I have always been invited by the Directors to write, by chance or fate I don't know, I know I love scoring films, and my favourite was for so many reasons the Matrix films… Wachowski’s were amazing to work for, as were pretty much everyone I came into contact on those films… next fav was Brave Story as I got to strangle an orchestra, and not much tops that.

Juno Reactor 'The Golden Sun _ Remixed’

With 8 albums already released your 9th album is a compilation of your 8th that boasts some very well worked remixes of tracks from, ‘The Golden Sun of the Great East’. What was the idea behind this forth coming album aptly named ‘The Golden Sun…Remixed’?

I have never conceptualised a remix album, I cant think when the idea came to me, but more than likely one of those extremely long sessions on the toilet playing iPhone games.

Remixing an album like this combines a fresh approach, how did you select the respected artists to remix the album?

I met most of them on the road through DJing, and loving their sets. GMS was in Mexico as was Bliss, Ritmo in Sweden… etc

Having listened to the album to review it, it has to be said that the selected remixers have done a brilliant job injection their own skill into your album. No doubt you will have your favourites in there. If I had to select three mine would be the remixes by Extrawelt, GMS and Cylon. What are your three and why?

GMS Zombie for sure… so bouncy and fun to dance to.

Bliss - Guillotine - as he turned the guitars up to 12 and blew me away!

Modus - Shine - as it is trippy as hell

So with ‘The Golden Sun…Remixed’ about to be released, what other plans are in the pipeline for Juno Reactor this year and what is install in the future?

Working on a UK film called “The Dark Channel”, working with Ace Ventura has been fun with the new Ingonyama track for his album. I want to write a track with Grouch, maybe finish off a tune called Yakuza for a Japanese film if they don't get bored of waiting… Scuba diving somewhere please… in Oz would be great :)

Ben it has been great to talk to you thanks so much for your time. Before we finish up here are there any words of wisdom and inspiration you would like to add?

 A zombie just sucked my brain, so… maybe next time :)

Read the Album Review here.

Listen / Buy at Beatport.

Visit the Juno Reactor Website here.

Visit the Juno Reactor Facebook page here.

Images courtesy of Ben Watkins. Interview feature by Psylicious. Not to be reproduced without permission.

© 2005-21 All rights reserved. All copyrights and trademarks acknowledged. All music promotional mixes feature as part of live sets to showcase Artist/DJ talent and any enquires should be directed to the mix owner/producer. Psylicious & will not be held responsible and is not liable.


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