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Paul Oakenfold On Playing Stonehenge: "I Think There Are No Boundaries With Music"

Paul Oakenfold

Photo: Sergi Alexander/Getty Images

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Paul Oakenfold On Playing Stonehenge: "I Think There Are No Boundaries With Music"

Last year he did a set on Mt. Everest, now the GRAMMY-nominated DJ will be the first-ever to play at Stonehenge. Oakenfold tells the Recording Academy why it's important for him to bring his music to such iconic, unexpected places

GRAMMYs/Sep 11, 2018 - 12:10 am

The GRAMMY-nominated producer/DJ Paul Oakenfold has been in the game for several decades now and has brought his sound to crowds of dancing fans at massive festivals and legendary clubs around the world. Yet, what is "expected" for a headlining DJ is clearly not enough to satisfy Oakenfold, as he has DJed at Mt. Everest Base Camp, the Great Wall of China, an ancient rainforest in Argentina, and now, later this week, Stonehenge. In an exclusive interview, he tells the Recording Academy why it is important for him to step outside of the box and bring his music to unexpected cultural sites.

"I think there are no boundaries with music and shedding light on these great sites around the world can only help/support local culture," he said.

"Through electronic music, I've always been about trying to push the boundaries. We can take the music out of the traditional set up, it doesn't just have to live in nightclubs," Oakenfold explains in the trailer for Soundtrek: Everest, the documentary shot during his set on Everest in April 2017, "The Highest Party on Earth." Yet, it is more than just a party in a super unique place. He also used the event to raise money for those in need, in this case for survivors of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. It is important to him to give back through his music, and to bring that music to new and unexpected places, exposing people to important cultural sites around the world.

Oakenfold worked with the English Heritage charity to make his dream of bringing his music to Stonehenge and being the first DJ to play there a reality. The collaboration is a perfect matchup, as the organization works to preserve historic sites across the U.K. – all the proceeds from the event will go back to them. He told the Recording Academy that they will indeed be working together to bring more events in unexpected spots, set to Oakenfold's transcendental tunes. Read on to learn more about why he chose sunset at Stonehenge for his next legendary set, including why "It’s much more than just electronic music."

You’ve played The Great Wall, Mt. Everest, and so many other amazing places – why Stonehenge?

 I’ve been very fortunate to play some very unique shows. We have partnered up with the English Heritage to do shows at some of the most iconic landmarks in Britain over the next few years to bring attention to the next generation and highlight why these venues are so important.

When is the first time you ever saw or went to Stonehenge?

I’ve been to Stonehenge many times in my life. It’s a unique and wonderful place. It’s over 4,000 years old!

How long did it take to put this show together?

It took over two years to put this show together working alongside Alon Shulman and the great team at the English Heritage.

Do you think your sets song selection will be influenced by the vibe of the site?

In terms of the set, it will really represent a cross section of all kinds of music. I think it’s really important because it will be a live DJ set to the sunset. It’s much more than just electronic music.

What are some other World Wonder sites you would love to play? Machu Picchu in Peru, The Great Pyramid of Gizain Egypt, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Others?

I’ve been fortunate enough to play some amazing shows. I did a “Party At the End of the World," which was in a 1,000 year old rainforest in a town called Ushuaia. It’s the nearest point to Antarctica. Of course many years ago, I also played on The Great Wall of China. I think there are no boundaries with music and shedding light on these great sites around the world can only help/support local culture.

While this special event is limited to a very lucky group of 50 people, Oakenfold will be releasing a special Live At Stonehenge album to share the tracks with the rest of the world, just as he did after his Everest adventure.

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Photos: WireImage.com

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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