He is known around the world as Fatboy Slim. And here we go, simple and casual, Norman Cook is standing in front of us ready to answer our shortlist of questions. It was a brief conversation, but you can feel the vibe, the mood, and values in life, filled with a self-created sense.
MT: You say that you have two personalities. If you must choose between Norman Cook and Fatboy Slim, which one would you keep?
NC: I think Norman Cook is more of a sustainable entity. Fatboy Slim is a fantasy character, and, I think maybe at times in my life I did remain Fatboy Slim rather than going out to be Norman Cook, but they were dangerous times and probably not the best. So yeah Norman, I choose Norman.
MT: In your exhibition, three passions came together – the Smiley, art and Vhils. The Smiley is a symbol of disarming stupidity. Never particularly smart, but gets things done. What is your relationship with the Smiley?
NC: I keep bumping into it, from buying punk-rock records, when I was a kid, to growing up during the 70s when everyone was wearing Smiley t-shirts. It just keeps reoccurring in my life. I don’t know, it just sums me up, easily, you know, it’s never particularly fashionable, and it’s never out of fashion. It sums up my attitude to life, which is a bit stupid, don’t take it too seriously. I think positive stupidity is will take you a long way.
MT: You are a restauranteur. What top three things identifies a perfect restaurant for you?
NC: The perfect restaurant… Inventiveness with food, but, substance over style… I don’t know something that feels like an adventure. It is someplace where you go at night that the staff, or, the location, or the food just takes you out of your normal comfort zone.
MT: You said your biggest musical influences are The Clash and Grandmaster Flash. Who has the most significant impact of your mindset?
NC: My mindset? Whoa, interesting question! Probably Harvey Ball, the creator of the Smiley. I had contact with his family; he was a very kind and wise man. He didn’t copyright the Smiley; he just liked the fact that it was there and made enough money out of it to be comfortable, so he didn’t want to charge people to use it. He was just a very wise, cool man, so, he will be mine, yeah.
MT: You said, “party is a therapy”. What are you healing people from?
NC: Anything, whatever you’ve got! Bring it to me, bring me your boredom, bring me your shit job, bring me your marriage breakup, bring me, you know, you’re not confident about your own body… Anything! It can solve all of those. Obviously, if you’ve got straight trousers, it will give you flares. I mean, it’s not permanent, it only last, two hours, you go home, you still have a fulltime job, but for two hours, just for two hours, you can switch all that off.