Of the huge number of dance acts appearing in recent years, few have sustained the longevity, credibility and quality that have been the hallmark of Basement Jaxx.

Mixing up Latin house, hip-hop, salsa and anything else you care to mention, Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton have always managed to sound fresh by keeping one foot firmly ahead of the competition.

With the release of their Singles album and DVD, we catch up with the boys to talk groupies, groping and gayness.

SSO

You’ve just announced some live dates for the summer. Is it going to be you on the stage with your heads down and ladies in the front row with their boobs out?

Felix

Hardly anyone ever gets their tits out, I’m afraid. They all tend to keep their clothes on.

Simon

We used to stay in the background but we’re more like a band now and try to get involved a bit more. I play guitar, we’ve got a drummer and there’s quite a few costume changes too.

SSO

Are you going to be wearing any costumes yourselves?

Felix

I’ll put something nice on but not a huge dress or anything.

Simon

The girls will dress up and maybe wear a cat suit or some PVC for Kish Kash.

SSO

You don’t fancy wearing a cat suit yourself?

Simon

I think The Darkness’s Justin Hawkins has got it covered already.

SSO

The reaction from the crowd at your gigs is always amazing. Has anyone ever tried to grab your crotch?

Felix

The barriers are always too far away for them to try it when you’re on stage. I’ve had it grabbed when I’ve dived in the audience though.

SSO

Did you tell them politely to get off or did you cop a feel yourself?

Felix

I didn’t push them away! But there’s not enough time to try it on with them and you may get the wrong body part or poke someone in the eye.

There’s legal problems. Our audiences are wicked. That’s what’s been better about doing these really big festivals. It’s amazing to see the whole place jumping.

SSO

Ever used your celebrity status to get laid?

Simon

I can see the angle of this piece now! Go on, ask me whether I’d screw Jordan or not.

SSO

Well, would you?

Simon

No way! I saw her a few years ago and she looked terrible.

Felix

Me neither. I don’t fancy her but I think she’s cool.

SSO

You recently played at Heaven [huge London gay club] in aid of the tsunami appeal. How was that?

Felix

It was great but with a slightly low attendance. You always have to be careful with charity gigs. People want to do something good but would rather pay £50 to go to some massive event than a small club night.

SSO

Do you reckon you’ve got a big gay following?

Simon

I’m not sure. A few of the gay guys I know love our show and its flamboyance.

Felix

We try to be artistic and imaginative but I think that appeals to everyone.

SSO

Ever indulged?

Felix

Never. My best friend is gay and I think I’ve lived my gayness through him.

SSO

You’ve started doing a monthly party at Jamm in south London. How come you’re still out there doing it? Is it for drug money?

Felix

No!

Simon

Felix took the initiative, but I’m joining in a bit more now.

It’s a good way to keep in touch with human beings and for a couple of years we didn’t do anything as we needed a break.

That’s all well and good, but it’s great to see the effect our music has on people.

SSO

What has been your wildest experience?

Felix

Being in Moscow. They’ve got these very sleazy mafia-run places packed with people with money dripping off them.

They are all wearing tight stonewashed jeans and big moustaches.

The girls are very attractive though and I love that Eastern European look.

Simon

Yeah, they look like they’re going to interrogate you! I don’t do drugs or anything any more -“ I can’t handle it.

SSO

Are those days over then?

Felix

I lived more to excess before Basement Jaxx but I couldn’t DJ when I was really out of it -“ I couldn’t see the records!

I can’t deal with that now. People who get fucked up the whole time are a bit of a pain in the arse.

Simon

A couple of years ago we were on the tour bus getting wasted every night. It really took it out of me and I’m a bit of a lightweight nowadays.

SSO

Ever jumped any of the artists you’ve collaborated with?

Felix

Like mugged? We should have mugged Janet Jackson -“ we’d have got loads of money out of her.

Oh, I know what you mean! Probably MeShell Ndegeocello from Right Here’s The Spot on our Kish Kash album.

Simon

You’d like to have jumped her? I’d like to see you try.

Felix

She’s a deep and beautiful woman.

SSO

Is your working relationship with each other like being married?

Simon

It is a bit, but there’s no touching. A friendly cuddle now and then maybe.

Felix

When you’re working together you can’t keep hugging as it becomes inappropriate. It is an intense relationship and we try to keep our separate space otherwise it’s not healthy.

Simon

We weren’t mates before Basement Jaxx and we got to know each other in the studio. If you were close before and you go into something like this, emotions can get the better of you.

SSO

Has it been an easy ride to become such massive stars?

Felix

It’s been really hard work. At the beginning, I was working in an office in the day and we’d meet up at night to do a mix. We were so tired but we just kept on. You need to have the passion.

SSO Anyone else you’d like to work with?

Felix

It’d be good to get Missy Elliott again, Chaka Khan, Busta Rhymes, the Queen, Prince Philip, Jeremy Paxman and Lulu on a track.

It’d be quite a bizarre range that wouldn’t normally be together. I’d love to have Prince Philip and Missy Elliott doing a little rap.

SSO

Your singles collection is out now and usually this means a band’s going to split up -¦

Simon

We’re going to flog the album and then retire! It’s definitely got connotations with break-ups, but it’s mainly for fans who come to see us at festivals but haven’t bought any of our stuff.

Now it’s Buy the album, motherfucker!

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