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Underworld prepares to rock HARD this weekend

August 7, 2009 |  8:00 am


Karl Hyde of Underworld likes to talk — a lot.

“I see interviews as a fun part of the process,” he chuckles over the phone from England as Underworld prepares for a string of shows in America, including a headlining slot at this year’s edition of the HARD Summer festival at the Forum on Saturday night.

Indeed, spend a few moments talking with Hyde, and he will pontificate on various topics including “Doot Doot” -- the lone “hit” single from Freur, the ‘80s outfit he was in with fellow Underworld member Rick Smith -- and the unique way Underworld chooses which songs to play before a show.

“Rick and I get together with the crew," he says. "We have all of the song titles on individual laminated cards, which we deal out on the table. Rick turns to the crew, well, mostly to Haydn Cruickshank, our lighting guy, and asks what he wants to hear that night. And that’s where we start. The rest is up to the crowd.”

Hyde gets candid when asked about 1996, when Underworld’s song “Born Slippy” was famously used in the Danny Boyle film “Trainspotting” and went on to become a worldwide dance-floor smash.

“I was drunk most of the time and pretty miserable,” admits Hyde, a recovering alcoholic. “I remember that we fought not to re-release the record, since we’d already put it out as a B-side to another single. But then 100 DJs in the U.K. all signed a petition for us to put it back out. At that point, we couldn’t say no.

"It was kind of weird, because a lot of doors were opened for us through that song,” Hyde adds. “Suddenly, we were headlining rock festivals and going on after Korn. I remember the first time I heard ‘Born Slippy’ on morning radio, and I had to turn it off. It was weird to have our underground music become part of pop culture like that. But being part of Danny’s amazing film is something we’ll always be really proud of.”

Read more of our interview with Karl Hyde here.

--Scott T. Sterling

Credit: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images