You can thank uber producer Mark Ronson for this recent British invasion of pop staples Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse. As the turntablist on some of their most popular radio hits, Ronson hopes his good fortune will translate into solo success for his own album Version. MF goes in with the famed producer to find out his creation process and what’s on the horizon.
Men’s Fitness: What inspired the new album, Version?
Mark Ronson: It started because my friend was putting together compilation covers of different people doing Radiohead songs and he asked me if I wanted to do a Radiohead song, so I said yes… and was fucking around with it for about a week, trying to figure out where to take it. I figured out the chords and broke it down to the basics of the song, rebuilding the song over this beat that I had. Then I tried the horns… and that’s the blueprint for the record, taking my favorite songs and reconstructing them.
Who would be in your music super group?
On Drums: Jon Bono, On Bass: James Jamison, On Vocals: Stevie Wonder and Guitar: Steve Crocker and Robby Robison, and Rakim thrown in as well.
What was the last song you wished were yours?
A song by a group called The Bee’s from England, the song is called “Listening Man.” It’s just amazing and it’s incredibly soulful and it sounds like an old record by the band. It’s fucking awesome, it sounds like weird mix between The Band and Bob Marley & The Wailers.
People don’t usually think of DJ’s as uber healthy, but you’re pretty fit…
I think just running around to tell you the truth, I haven’t been in the gym for a couple of years. I used to see pictures of Slash when I was a kid, and wondered how he looked so ripped up all the time. Then from being on tour and rehearsals for the past month or so. If your playing guitar for two hours a day running around a stage, you look like you take muscle shakes and shit.
When I got back off the road and after two weeks of not playing I slipped back in my regular physique. But now I am suddenly excited to get back on the road and get cut up.
Your sister Samantha Ronson is a “super” DJ these days, any sibling rivalry?
No not at all. I do remember a long time ago when she was putting out an album it was around the time my first record came out. I was like, ‘You shouldn’t use your name, it’s going to become like a joke.’ It was just a silly immature thing. But we're really close, and she’s amazing now. And when I got see her in LA at these clubs, she’s definitely doing a better job than me on the turntables.
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