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Thunderpuss Loses 2000 to Y2K Bug?

NAJM Dance Culture
With a roster of "Who's Who" in the dance and pop music worlds, Thunderpuss have crafted some of the most successful and chart busting remixes and productions of all time. Chris Cox and Barry Harris are the phenomenon known as Thunderpuss!
Some of the biggest artists in the world have the Thunderpuss signature treatment and include; Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias, Donna Summer, Pet Shop Boys, Eurythmics, Jennifer Holliday, Billie Myres, Amber, Jocelyn Enriquez, Abigail, Sonique, and Gina G! Thunderpuss has been responsible for a total of six #1 hit remixes: Whitney Houston's "It's Not Right But It's Ok", "My Love Is Your Love", Amber's "Sexual (Li Da Di)" which spent 17 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Donna Summer's "Love Is The Healer", Pet Shop Boys' "New York City Boy", and the Eurythmics' "17 Again". There is no doubt that this talented duo have the midas touch. NAJM recently caught up with the Thunderpuss boys at their North Hollywood Studio.  


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NAJM: Barry, according to you at the WMC Awards Ceremony, you’re the Thunder and Chris is the Puss! Do you have defined working roles when it comes to a project?
CHRIS: Actually, no, we’re both versed in everything, so it really depends on the specific project as to who does what.
dot_clear.gif (43 bytes) BARRY: Yeah, we approach each and every project differently, so it depends on the artist and the project.
NAJM:  Who has the louder voice when it comes to disagreements in the studio?
BARRY: I probably do.
CHRIS:  But some arguments are not worth fighting about so we let it slide.
NAJM:  We see that you’re going by the name Thunderpuss; did you lose the 2000 to a Y2K bug?
BARRY:  That’s a good one! Can we use that? (laugh)
NAJM: As long as you mention us! (laugh)


BARRY: Yeah, that’s funny. Yes we are going by Thunderpuss now.
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2000 Lost to Y2K Bug?

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CHRIS: Until we think of something else that is! (laughs)
NAJM: How about Thunderpuss 2001?
BARRY: (laughs)
NAJM:  Since you’re both DJ’s as well as remixers, do you ever try out a remix in a club before you send it back to the label?
CHRIS: Yes, whenever we can. Things always sound differently in a club than they do in the studio, so we try to do that whenever possible.
NAJM:  Through your epic pop success, you’ve branded a Thunderpuss Sound that is both unique and distinguishable. Do labels have a preconceived notion of the mix they expect from you, or are you still free to explore ideas?
BARRY: Both.
CHRIS: I think that it worked for us more in the beginning. Now labels give us a project and tell us what they want. People come to us for our Thunderpuss sound, but we’re always looking for the next big sound.
BARRY:  Sometimes we go out of bounds and do our own thing entirely, regardless of what the label asked us for. And so far they have ended up liking it in the end.
NAJM: So you still go out on a limb from time to time?
CHRIS: Yeah.
NAJM: If you could remix or produce any artist from any era for just plain fun, who would it be and why?
CHRIS: Madonna’s early stuff, mid 1985. Prince’s early stuff. I’d really like to work with him.
NAJM: Whom do you look up to in the business? Who are your idols?
BARRY: Giorgio Moroder.
CHRIS: Shep Pettibone, Prince.
NAJM: You guys single handedly gave Whitney Houston back her career with your remixes of “It’s Not Right” and “My Love Is Your Love”. Did you ever think that your work would explode like it did?
BARRY: No. Just like no one expected Christine Aguilera’s career to explode like it did.
CHRIS: No, you never think that it will get as big as it did. We knew that when we remixed “It’s Not Right” it was a strong record. But to have the kind of popularity that it had, no we really had no idea.
NAJM: Sometimes don’t you just have that gut feeling that it’s going to be big?
BARRY: We feel that way about a lot of our remixes when we say it’s done. You have to.
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From Remixing to Producing..

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NAJM: Besides remixing, you also produce. With productions of Gina G, Jocelyn Enriquez, Sonique, and Abigail coming out, do you approach producing differently from remixing?
CHRIS: You have to. Remixes are different because we have existing material to work with, while producing is something entirely new from the ground up.
BARRY:  With remixes, we try to do things that will appeal to the masses while still keeping it in Clubland.
NAJM:  We here at NAJM are starting a musical movement that we are calling “Melodic House” where the focus of dance music shifts back to the songwriting, melodies and the artists who perform them. What is your take on this?
BARRY: When audiences are ready for it, it will happen.
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Thunderpuss on "Melodic House"

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BARRY:  A lot of DJ’s now are playing mostly tracks with one or two vocals over the course of an evening. When those nights are not as successful anymore, things will shift back to the vocal and melody driven tracks and you’ll have successful nights with those kinds of records.
NAJM: We often hear people asking why DJ’s don’t play memorable music?
CHRIS: The most successful dance records are the ones with memorable hooks, and that’s one thing we always strive for in a production.
NAJM: Chris, what do your DJ sets consist of?
CHRIS: Mostly anthematic party tracks, top of the night type of records.
NAJM: What about you Barry?
BARRY:  Same, but I also like hard and progressive tracks too, not Trancy, probably more Tribally.
NAJM: Do audiences expect you to play your own stuff?
CHRIS: No, not the audiences, but the Club Promoters and Head DJ’s do expect that sometimes. We always try to play something new that we’ve recently worked on and not released yet.
NAJM: Our core concept here at NAJM is No Attitude Just Music. You guys are very friendly and extremely approachable, how do you keep your attitudes in check after the level of success you’ve had?
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No Attitude Just Thunderpuss!

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BARRY:  It’s our up bringing.
CHRIS:  We were raised to be very polite and nice to people. We get along very well together, that’s why we work so well together.
BARRY:  We don’t hang around people with attitudes. It seems as though the people with the highest level of successes are the nicest and most approachable people. People with little success are the one’s with the biggest attitudes, and no one wants to work with them because of that.
CHRIS: Take Giorgio Moroder, who’s had an enormous level of success in this business, he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
BARRY: And that’s why he’s been so successful. People like and want to work with him.
NAJM: You recently opened Thunderpuss Studios in North Hollywood. Can you tell us a bit about that?
BARRY: Well it’s not a large commercial studio. It’s really just our private studio where we can do our work.
CHRIS:  We used to have a room at Interhit Records where we did all of our work. When Interhit took a breather, we had to move into our own new space.
NAJM: What is the core technology of your studio? Did you change anything when you moved?
BARRY: When we moved, it was more or less just moving our current equipment.
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In The Studio...

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CHRIS: We are MAC based. We use Digital Performer along with samplers, and keyboards.
NAJM: Do you guys use Pro Tools?
CHRIS: We have used Pro Tools in other studios, but we primarily use Digital Performer because it has really good midi implementation.
NAJM: I read somewhere that one of your main keyboards is the Nord Lead. Are you going to continue to use that or are you going to move to other sound generators.
CHRIS: I still love that keyboard. It’s really great.
BARRY: I’m really getting into Waldorf lately.
NAJM: What projects are you currently working on?
CHRIS: We just finished Ultra Nate’s “Desire” remix.
BARRY: Another project we recently completed was Celine Dion’s “I Want You To Need Me”. That’s coming out very soon.
NAJM: I saw on your discography that you recently produced a track for Gina G. I’m a big fan of hers, can you tell me about that?
CHRIS:  It’s a track called “Stuck On You” and it’s on her forthcoming album to be released later this year. We hope it might be the lead single.
NAJM: What’s next for Thunderpuss?
CHRIS: (Laughs) that’s a good question. We don’t plan more than a month ahead. We’re going to take some very needed time off.
BARRY: We’ve been working non-stop for last six months, so we’re going to take a breather.
NAJM: Will you be heading to the Billboard Dance Music Summit in New York in July?
CHRIS: Yeah, we’ll be there. It’s going to take place on my Birthday.
NAJM: We here at NAJM wish you all the best on your rocket to success. Enjoy your much deserved break, and well catch up with you again in New York!
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Chris Cox  

  Barry Harris

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Want To Know More? Check out Thunderpuss Online!

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Check out NAJM's WMC Photo Gallery with Thunderpuss!


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