"People tell me they idolise me, want to be like me, but I tell them, 'trust me, you don't want my life.' I've been a very tortured soul"
"When someone does that, I think of that as being what XL does or has always done anyway. We’re outside of the system, able to put music out without anyone interfering with it"
"I spent more time at the library than anyone my age when I was a kid"
"You try to do the best with what you've got and ignore everything else. That's why horses get blinders in horse racing: You look at the horse next to you, and you lose a step. Beats succeeded because, as music lovers, we knew oscilloscopes don't buy headphones - people do"
"There’s a tremendous power in using the least amount of information to get a point across"
"Humor - it helps to make the vibe better - it loosens up the vibrations"
"I hate having to read the manual"
"There aren’t enough people who care about the future. They are too busy worrying about today and what they can grab now"
"Once you free your mind about a concept of music and harmony being correct, you can do whatever you want"
"Up until that point in hip-hop, people had been using samples very sparsely and minimally. If anything, they would use one sample in a song and take a drum loop and that would be the foundation. But what we were doing was making entire songs out of samples taken from various different sources"
"Excellence isn't an act, it's a habit"
"In the nineties it was still the lunatics running the asylum, and there was a lot of money so you could do crazy things. In those days [drum ’n’ bass producer] Photek could get a £150,000 deal with Virgin. I got a Jean-Michel Basquiat artwork as part of my major label deal"
"He's not one for mediocre experiences "
"Time is a mind construct. It's not real"
"Art is something that opens up and enhances your emotions and that's what I like to think i'm doing"
"Don’t let your ambition, your hunger, your eagerness lead you down a foolish path. Don’t be eager to be in a crowd, your talent is your talent, what’s yours is gonna be yours, I think that’s the biggest glitch with the young mind is the desire to be accepted, the desire for the opportunity. Just work hard at your craft, the best is gonna come. The cream is gonna rise to the top, seriously."
"I don't have any formal musical training"
"Ain't nothin' but a party!"
"I was never really good at anything except for the ability to learn"
"I did drop out of school."
"The guy was a genius"
"If you're not doing something different, you're not doing anything"
"I was a manic and eccentric kid. In my head I was very busy, so I must have seemed weird"
"Take your time, dig it man"
"We had to redefine our musical culture. Not only our musical culture, however: at the end of the sixties all German artists had the same problems. Writers, directors, painters … all of them had to invent a new language"
"To me, rock music was never meant to be safe. I think there needs to be an element of intrigue, mystery, subversiveness. Your parents should hate it"
"Every show should aim to change theatre"