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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 21 August 1971Braintree, Essex, England, UK
Birth NameLiam Paris Howlett

Mini Bio (1)

The man behind the music of the Prodigy, Liam Howlett, was born on August 21, 1971 in Essex, England. Ever since his childhood, Liam had an undying devotion for music. His father forced him to take piano classes but his interest was grabbed by other musical styles. He particularly liked the Ska movement, and "Ska's Greatest Hits" was the first album he'd ever owned. While the majority of his fellow youth were out playing sports, he remained in his house to record programs off the radio and later create his own remixes with a pause button and a burgeoning musical talent. "When I was 14 years old," recalls Liam, "I used to record things off the radio and do mixes with the pause button on my cassette recorder. I was charmed with that one. I never liked sports. Doing mixes was what I always wanted to do". When Liam entered high school he became involved in the Hip Hop movement - the graffiti, the clothes, and the break dancing. His remixes influenced his style. He developed a liking to the rap music of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and he watched the 1984 movie Beat Street (1984), a film dedicated to break dancing. A friend demonstrated a remix to him in his bedroom, and Liam has since been hooked. He got his first job in order to save money up for two record players. He was practicing several hours every night and at some point in time, he joined a local Hip-Hop group called "Cut 2 Kill". They already had one DJ, but they were impressed with his talent and gave him his first opportunity to play publicly in clubs like the YMCA. Since he had a degree in graphic design, Liam began work in designing emblems for the band. After obtaining his degree, he got a job during the day in an independent magazine based in London called Metropolitan and continued DJ'ing at night. After seeing several of the band's performances, Liam's boss at Metropolitan was duly impressed. He eventually gave them the proposal of being their manager, and would give them four thousand pounds to record an album. After recordings were finished, however, there was not enough money to release the album. Most major record companies thought that their album was a fruitless endeavour and turned their backs on it. In spite of these problems, though, the group edited his only two works before separating: "Jus' Coolin'" and "Listen To The Basstone". They had very little success afterwards, and with the constant problems that Liam was confronted with in the night clubs he usually attended eventually drove him away from the hip hop scene in 1988. Soon after, his love of music was invigorated when he began attending a club called "The Barn", a popular hangout specializing in the block rocking beats of the "rave" scene. Mr. C was the "The Barn"'s resident DJ, but within a mere two months, Liam started to take part in celebratory parties and got a DJ'ing job at the club. One night, two young dancers, Keith Flint and Leeroy Thornhill, were dancing in the club while Liam had been DJ'ing. When he had finished, Keith approached Liam and asked him to record a few remixes of his favorite songs. Liam agreed and recorded a session, adding four tracks he had mixed himself to the B-side. He wrote "The Prodigy" on the cassette, which was the name of the synthesizer that Liam had used: "Moog Prodigy". When Keith and Leeroy listened to the cassette they were impressed by the quality of all four songs. The next time they visited "The Barn", Keith asked Liam if he would be interested in forming a group. There he would play his music, and Leeroy and Keith would dance to his songs. Liam accepted the offer and together, with another dancer named Sharky, they formed what is widely considered to be the best electronic group of all time: "The Prodigy". The group's first concert was in 1990, in the mythical Labyrinth, in Dalston's City. It was at this time that Liam realized that they needed an MC - Master of Ceremony - for the performances. His search led him to Keety Palmer, known as Maxim Reality, an MC born in Peterborough, who was subsequently hired by the group. In 1990, Liam received an offer from a record company, XL-Recordings, to sign a contract and produce his own songs. He withheld the news from the rest of his bandmates, however, until he was sure that everything would work out. When it eventually did, Sharky decided to leave the group because she didn't like the idea of transforming it into a commercial enterprise. 1991 was the year when the group's first single was released. "What Evil Lurks" became a classic within the rave scene and a very popular vinyl between collectors. Afterwards, they released several more singles, including such hits as "Charly", "Everybody In The Place", "Fire" and "Jericho". Their first album titled "Experience" was released the same year. It was critically acclaimed and was considered to be the best `dance' album of the year. In 1995, The Prodigy had released their 2nd album titled "Music for the Jilted Generation" which had a `grunge' feel to it. In 1997, "The Fat of the Land", the Prodigy's long-awaited follow-up to "Music for the Jilted Generation", debuted at #1 in 22 countries including United States. People were blown away by the sound The Prodigy had to deliver. "The Fat of the Land" was touted as the album that would bring electronica/techno to a wide American audience. After a 6 year break. Liam now has returned to the spotlight with "Baby's Got A Temper", the new "Prodigy" single. It's a completely different song from their previous work, and is a track that presents a more aggressive face of "The Prodigy". In summer of 2004, the fourth highly anticipated album of the British band, entitled "Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned", will hopefully be unleashed upon the world.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: DENOX <denoxhasyou@hotmail.com>

Spouse (1)

Natalie Appleton (6 June 2002 - present) (1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

Enjoys a lot of distortion in the songs he works on. Rarely are the tracks clean, they have a dirty, raw-edge that his fans enjoy. He has a strong hold on the use of distortion. An example is "The Fat of the Land".

Trivia (24)

Is in the band The Prodigy.
He loves Japanese culture , including bonsai trees and the philosophy behind them.
He has a cat named Charly...after the group's song "Charly."
His very first record was Ska's Greatest Hits, containing tracks from The Selector and The Specials.
He loves making mixes - at the age of 14, he mixed songs recorded from the radio using the pause button on his cassette player. ("Mixing tunes together was just what I always wanted to do." - Liam)
He is a Playstation fan, he admitted to playing Tomb Raider (that's why Fat of the Land was delayed by so long).
He is a visual type that is, most of the tracks he writes are inspired by images and atmospheres, which he'd like the listener to experience.
He used to study graphic design at school, and his workplaces (before forming the Prodigy) included: a London magazine called Metropolitan and a T-shirt printing factory. Also, he used to work at a construction site, just to save enough money for his first turntable.
His favorite record label is Skint (the home of Fatboy Slim).
When he's snowboarding he likes to perfect on stunts.
He is an avid fan of horror films. Many of his tracks contain samples from films such as Poltergeist III (1988) (Crazy Man) and The Shining (1980) (The Heat The Energy). He has a strange collection of horror films in his house, a big sword that hangs from a ceiling, and even a 3' (90 cm.) green rat standing up in his sitting room!
What success means to him: the success of an album for him is when he shuts the studio door. He doesn't care that much about album sales - actually he wants to sell albums, but he doesn't want his records to be bought by everyone, like Oasis do.
His favorite albums of the 90s are "Mezzanine" by Massive Attack for chilling out ("I just love the feel of it - I don't even think it's dark."), and "Nevermind" by Nirvana for rock.
He has been known to use soundclips from various films, TV shows, other songs, etc. to further the entertainment-value and intensity of his songs.
He is very aware of his audience when creating the music, constantly trying to craft his songs for the highest effect for his listeners, whether it be making them feel happy, sad, or wanting to get up and scream from the building energy.
His beats are not simply beats, but akin to "a brick exploding in your face", if you will. Multi-layered, thick, and exploding in powerful energy.
Has a son, Ace, with Natalie Appleton born in 2004.
Lives in Dunmow, Essex, United Kingdom.
Stepfather of Rachel Appleton.
Preparing for a big international tour in 2006 as well as recording a 5th studio album. [December 2005]
Currently in the studio completing a fourth album. [January 2004]
Starting Monday, March 20th The Prodigy kick off their 5 city tour in the North America and Canada. Cities include, in chronological tour date order; Chicago, Toronto (Canada), New York City, Washington, D.C., and Miami. [March 2006]
Officialy finished with the fourth studio album 'Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned' [May 2004]

Personal Quotes (10)

I'm fascinated with aggressive music on a street level. We draw from all corners of rock 'n' roll history, hip hop, dance, punk, whatever, and spit it out as the Prodigy sound. The live element allows us to take it one step further, to really connect with the crowd and bring out a darker side to the band. It will always remain important to me to create something raw and unpolished.
I was 15. I basically just did it for myself in my bedroom and I spent like a year just learning the techniques, going to mixing competitions watching people, listening to stuff and just picking it up. And then I think I entered a couple of mixing competitions. I entered a mixing competition on a London radio station and entered a mix under one name and two weeks later I thought no, it has these bad points, I'm gonna do another one. So I entered another mix under another name and I came first and third with both those mixes. It just took off from there. But I never thought Yeah, I want to be in this big band!
America is exciting to us because they haven't got all the baggage that the UK has. My main concern is the preoccupation with scenes, and the interest in the 'electronic music scene' - what the hell's that? We'll go over there and rock it on our own, we don't need to rely on a scene to survive. We have far more flexibility than other electronic bands as well - some dance bands are too purist and won't go on rock bills, but as far as we're concerned that's too myopic and limiting. We've got no doubts that when things kick off, we can deliver the performance and the music and the goods, that's our side of the bargain.
As far as the rock 'n' roll format in dance music goes, I don't think it's been done before with such full-on attitude. The idea behind that was because no-one else hade done it. Everything was right at the time for us to do that.
I go in and out of the studio in sporadic periods, I don't go in there for hours on end. I'm looking for that initial vibe, be it from a beat, a sound, a loop, whatever. Nothing is planned, nothing is deliberate.
It's important not to get too locked into one way of thinking, some kind of routine or format. That's what happened to me with the first album, "Experience". I got locked into certain sound within that rave scene, specific types of songs, and as a result it is quite a one dimensional record. I don't want to do that again.
We'd been away for a year and we needed to come back with a big impact, but just another dance track would not have broken any new ground. As far as I am concerned 'Firestarter' set a whole new level for English music, that's my honest opinion. When people heard that track it was a major turning point. It was so experimental, crossing the barriers between punk and dance. Keith re-invented himself and it was a great introduction to him. It was convincing but not just because it was No.1. The track sounds like it means business, the way Keith delivers the vocals, the music has such attitude. It was a landmark.
When you first break into the music scene, everyone is so naive. I was only nineteen when I started happening with 'Charly' and I was so into the rave scene - apart from hip hop, I was blind to everything else.
[on NME magazine] "These questions are reliant on my memory and unfortunately that part of my brain doesn't exist. We like the NME 'cos they've always been supportive, but if they diss us we'll set fire to them."
[on the meaning of the song "Breathe"] When we did the song, it was about confrontation between Maxim and Keith. There was no deep meaning. It was like, you want to taste me, come over here and taste me. And then Maxim was like, breathe me, breathe me... It was just more of a confrontational thing between them two. When they do it on stage, that comes across really obviously. I'm not gonna sit here and try and think of some deep meaning because it just hasn't got one. Firestarter has but Breathe hasn't. It's basically like a full-on, almost punk dance track. It's kind of got the energy of our other tracks but it's also got the edge of Firestarter in a way. When you see it live, it's really confrontational between them two. We just wanted to get that on record and it just captured that live part of the show, you know?

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