Goldie Thinks Thom Yorke Is an Alien, Probably
The jungle pioneer talks urination, school pranks and the New World Order.
Goldie at the VIP launch of Song Stories: Bowie, a series of events organised by Sonos to celebrate the launch of the Sonos One.
Goldie seems to have lived a thousand lives. Graffiti artist one day, pioneering jungle producer the next, onto Bond films, Bowie collaborations, MBEs and guest spots on TV shows from Celebrity Big Brother to Mastermind. Not counting Shane McGowan and his solitary gold tooth, Goldie's also the only national treasure with a mouth permanently full of gold.
At an event to celebrate the launch of the Sonos One, the electronics company's first voice-activated speaker, I spoke to Goldie – Clifford Joseph Price MBE, to the taxman – about toilet habits, schoolboy memories and the many conspiracy theories he believes in.
VICE: When was the last time you said no to something relating to your career?
Goldie: Pretty much every fuckin' day! I’ve always said no. I said no to Madonna and that second album. I just didn’t want to go to LA! That’s my biggest "no". Everyone always thinks I’m kicking myself, like, "Why didn’t you do it, you’d be financially set for life." But I’m glad I never did that. When you say "no", it just means you’re setting up for a better "yes" at the end. That’s all I’ve ever said. You have to do it on your terms.
Would you like to experience death, if it could be guaranteed that you’d be brought back to life?
I’ve pretty much experienced death, in various mind-altering ways. I'll say two words: South America. You can guess the rest of it. Death’s overrated, by the way.
When do you dislike yourself the most?
When I become overly critical about my arrangements. I just try to think, 'What version of me’s eluding me?' There’s 11 adults and one child in my head – I’ve got to learn to listen to the child a lot of the time. The adults in my head argue a lot. I hate when I’m not doing anything – I’ve gotta be active all the time. If I miss yoga, I fuckin' hate myself, sometimes. If the studio’s closed, or I go and do a gig somewhere and there’s no fuckin' studio there, I really fuckin' dislike that – I should’ve pre-planned it! I dislike myself when I’m not on a mat. It levels me out.
When do you think you were in your sexual prime?
Well, my missus is very happy right now…
Do you pee in the shower?
Oh, I piss in the shower all the time. Definitely. It’s going down the drain, love – chill. Well, I actually piss in the jungle a lot – off my balcony, just piss straight into the jungle. How plumbing works in Thailand, it’s all going down the same pipes into a hole in the ground, so it’s fine.
What’s the closest you’ve ever come to having a stalker?
Oh, fuck – I’ve had many stalkers. I’ve had a few. It’s when you get a stage seven or eight stalker that you’ve gotta be careful. They come and watch you play and just stand in front of you while you’re playing, it’s the weirdest shit.
One that was really bad. I had one at the [iconic east London club] Blue Note, believe it or not. His dad was a famous artist who presented me with a canvas, which I think was worth a lot of fuckin' money. He gave me this painting, which was about 5ft x 5ft, and they presented it me at the Blue Note when the Blue Note was really big in the 90s, and then they started coming every week. One time I was on the dance floor, and this guy said to me, "This girl’s sniffing your fucking head!" We had to get her removed. Her purse was found in my record box from where she’d thrown it in there.
Drum-and-bass really attracts the worst stalkers in the world. Ed Sheeran level of stalkers. I’m not talking Primark stalkers – this is some serious fuckin' Knightsbridge stalker stuff. Very calculated.
If you were a wrestler, what song would you come into the ring to?
If I was a fuckin' wrestler, let’s face it, I’d be fuckin' Mick McManus. I’d probably come in there with "New Pollution" by Beck. 'Av that. Big fist on my arm and a cigarette in my mouth. Bounce in the ring, 'av that.
Would you rather change one day from your past or see one day from your future?
No. I have a poster in my window – it’s a card that this Shamanic healer gave [me]. It says: "I’ve learnt so much from the mistakes in my life that I’m thinking of making a few more." So I wouldn’t actually change anything. The future’s all preordained. It doesn’t matter which way you look at it – it’s all gonna happen.
If you could live in any other time period, what would you pick?
Oh god, yeah – I’d be sitting with Hendrix, just doing a load of drugs, basically. I think that period – the 60s, Hendrix – that’s where I wanna be at, really. I’ll carry his guitar around.
Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?
I believe in loads of conspiracy theories, yeah.
What’s your number one?
New World Order. Definitely. [Bilderberg] and all that. Definitely.
Have you looked into it a lot?
I kinda went through it in the 90s, and came back out of it with a new sensibility: there’s nothing you can do when you’ve already decided the answers of the world on some really banging drugs at 6 o'clock in the morning, but nothing’s changed when you wake up. So yeah, it didn’t really matter. I think the New World Order is what it is – I think the world is run by a handful of really powerful people, yeah. Definitely. And also, Thom Yorke’s a fucking alien.
What memory from school stands out stronger than any other?
Last season of school, before we left, we used to do this thing called "handyman". We decided that, for the final rebellion of the school year, what we would do was we’d take as many screws out of the school as we could. So the fuckin' school was falling apart. Literally, it was like: who can get the headmaster’s sign? Doors were falling off the hinges, literally. We had a handyman lesson where we were berated by the teachers, saying, "Someone’s taking fuckin’ screws, and you guys have to put them back." So the very same screws we’d taken out, we’d have to put them back in in a handyman lesson. But yeah, the school was literally falling apart – chairs, tables… If you had a flathead screwdriver at school, you could really win. I’ve got a few headmaster’s signs, here and there.
What would you want to be your last meal, if you could pick?
My last meal would be bacon and eggs from a place called Gunnison's Farm. With some butter in it. Nice bit of bread. Lovely, that’s me. Bacon, eggs and one fuckin' mushroom. 'Av that.
Sonos' first European concept store is open in London’s Seven Dials.