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Barry Harris & Chris Cox Presents: Thunderpuss

NAJM Dance Culture
The name Thunderpuss is synonymous with the packed dance floor at peak hour. Their trademark synth stabs are more recognizable than most dance music vocals. With 20 number one Billboard Dance Chart hits to their credit, there is no end in sight for this dynamic duo. Barry and Chris recently took a few moments to speak with NAJM from their studio where they are producing Sonique’s new album.
 

 

NAJM:  It's been two years since we last interviewed you guys. You've now had 20 number one Billboard Dance chart hits, a slew of top name artists that you've worked. Has all this success changed your life? If so how?
BARRY H:  That’s a question that if you asked three years ago with Whitney then now you know (laughs). We’ve had nice steady employment for a few years, and the luxury of being given some really great artists and great songs. We’re working with some big names and it’s been somewhat consistent, and we’ve moved from one to three studios to accommodate the work.
dot_clear.gif (43 bytes) CHRIS C:  Getting less sleep – more stress, it’s not fun anymore (laughs). It just seems like we’ve stayed busy – it’s gotten more hectic. Just when you think, okay, we’re going to work up to this point and then everything is going to be smooth sailing, everything gets more chaotic.
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An Alternate Career in Porn?

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NAJM:  If you weren't creating music, and never choose a musical career path, what would you guys be doing with your lives?
CHRIS C:  About 60 pounds ago, I would have said porno, (laughs). I’d want to be doing something in TV, movies, maybe comedy. I don’t know just what, but something like that.
NAJM:  Something in the entertainment industry?
CHRIS C:  I think so; I’ve always been like a total whore for that.
NAJM:  How about you Barry?
BARRY H:  It never has been anything but music for me.

NAJM:  Your latest creation is the "Barry Harris & Chris Cox Presents: Thunderpuss" compilation album on Tommy Boy Records. How did that project come about?

BARRY H:  Victor Lee and I talked about doing a Thunderpuss album two or three years ago when Thunderpuss first blew up, way back in the Amber days, actually. It took us that long to find the time and pursue it. Even this took a long time to get together. There are so many big names, lots of red tape. Even though we had working relationships with all of those people there is still a lot of corporate red tape, so it took time to get the paperwork filtered through. Everything just kept changing and evolving as your doing it.
NAJM:  How did you decide what tracks to include, and why did you include some non-Thunderpuss productions since there seems to be a huge library of tracks available to you?
BARRY H:  Since we wear so many different hats here in the studio and DJing, the original concept was that we wanted it to be called, “DJ’s & Diva’s.”  That was the working title. I don’t consider other remixers to be competition, that’s not the word I use. I consider them colleagues. I thought it would be great to put a compilation together with Chris’ stuff, my stuff, a couple of Thunderpuss things, and some other tracks from other remixers and DJ’s.
CHRIS C:  But even before that, I pitched that idea to Tommy Boy. I was in Victor’s office one day and said, “hey, why don’t you do this, here’s a name and a concept for you”.  There are already lots of series like, Hex Presents, Victor [Calderone] Presents, and so on, why don’t you guys to an album like that?  Victor [Lee] was like, why don’t you guys do that album?”

Chris

BARRY H:  It was very easy to find a full album of material in America. Then it started to evolve and change as the licensing came through. Madonna came on board, Enrique’s Hero, eventually it just kind of changed, so we decided to change the title and the whole concept to “Barry Harris & Chris Cox Presents: Thunderpuss”. I think the next time we do an album; I would like to keep it all our stuff. I’d like to keep it at that original concept. We have a huge body of work, so why not make some of it available?
NAJM:  You've been doing a lot more original productions and DJing since we last interviewed you. Is this a trend that you hope to continue?
BARRY H:  You’ve got to do more than one thing or you’ll go crazy.
CHRIS C:  We have so many different outlets.  Do something different for a change – It’s like, yeah I wanted a record on Nervous, and other different labels. Yeah, I want to do a UK thing, change it up now and then. Otherwise it’s like a 9 to 5 job and you get bored.
NAJM:  What projects are you currently working on?
  CHRIS C:  We’re producing for Sonique’s next album, and we’re producing for Amber’s new album as well. There are some other mixes.  
BARRY H:  Anastasia’s “Carved in Stone”.
  CHRIS C:  I guess that’s safe to say. Shakira’s coming out any day now. Enrique is just coming out. Charlotte Church isn’t probably not coming out.  
BARRY H:  No, definitely not coming out.
CHRIS C:  That’s about it.
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Hooking Up with Cher & Madonna

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NAJM:  Chris, you recently co-produced "Love One Another" for Cher's new album Living Proof. How did you hook up with that project?

CHRIS C:  It was mainly through Rick Knowles, who was the writer of the song, which was originally recorded by Amber, and somehow Cher got a hold of it and liked it and wanted to record it. The project went to Rick who called me to ask if I’d like to work on it with him.
NAJM:  When we last interviewed you, you mentioned that you wanted to remix Madonna. Well that's happened. How did that all come about and what was the experience like?
CHRIS C:  You’re not actually working with the people. The experience was like anything else; we get the tapes and work on it. That’s the end. I don’t know if the experience was much different from anyone else we’ve done. For me personally I was like, “ok cool, there’s a goal off the checklist, what’s next?”
BARRY H:  As far as I’m concerned I loved working with Warner Brothers, they were great, but I’d never want work with Madonna again. Done.
NAJM:  Is that printable?
BARRY H:  I don’t care, please do. That’s the drama queen attitude.
NAJM:  You've had an amazing longevity in this "flavor of the week" business. How have you remained at the top of your game?

Barry

BARRY H:  By changing our flavors. We have different kinds of flavors, different influences, and different styles. I think that’s what it is.
CHRIS C:  Breaking it up, finding new inspirations – not doing the same thing over and over.
  BARRY H:  We get bored with our own stuff.  There’s definitely some sounds, some vibes that we’ve really stuck to a long time, but it felt right for the time, the time period and the artist or the song. But as times have changed and evolved. Gosh, we’ve been around forever too. We go back to the 80’s. We’re not making the 1988 records now. We just move with the times.  
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Thunderpuss Mix It Up Together!

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NAJM:  You’ve always done DJ dates, but seldom together – You’re doing some select dates together.  Tell me about that?
CHRIS C:  The dates are intended for the promo of the album, and we’ll still do our own things, but who knows, If it’s the right party. The two that we’ve done so far have turned out great and it was an enjoyable time. We’ll just see.
BARRY H:  We are also doing some gay pride events.
CHRIS C:  There are more events where we'll both be together coming up. Hopefully the room can hold that much drama! (laughs)
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Chris Cox  

  Barry Harris

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The Track listing:
1. Madonna - "Don't Tell Me" (T-Puss Remix)
2. We Are Family Foundation -"We Are Family" (T-puss)
3. Leann Rimes - "Can't Fight The Moonlight" (T-Puss)
4. Suzanne Palmer - "Hide U" (T-Puss Tribapella Mix)
5. Enrique Iglesias - "Hero" (T-puss Mix)
6. Thunderpuss feat Thea Austin - "First Class Freak"
7. Pet Shop Boys - "Break 4 Love" (Friburn & Urik Mix)
8. Kim English - "Everyday"
9. Barry Harris feat Pepper Mashay - "I Got My Pride" (Barry's orig mix)
10. Pusaka feat Thea Austin - "Worst Thing For Me"
11. Rosabel feat Jennifer Holliday - "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going"
12. Thunderpuss feat Latanza Waters - "Stand Up"
13. Kristine W - "Clubland" (Thunderpus Dub)
14. Barry Harris feat Pepper Mashay - "Dive In The Pool" (Wayne G's U.K. remix)
15. Britney Spears - "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know" (Thunderpuss remix)

Check out Thunderpuss Online!

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Check out NAJM's WMC Photo Gallery with Thunderpuss!

 

Check out NAJM's First Thunderpuss Interview!

 

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