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Jon Langford aka The Knuckleheadz & K-Series Interview

3rd December 2007 - interview copyright of Frenzy

Jon Langford is a bit of a production genius under his many guises including The Knuckleheadz, K-Series, Masif DJs, Mr Bishi, and Flash Headz. Frenzy caught up with him prior to him playing the free party in January with Cally Gage and he told us all about the old Manor and Madisons days. Makes for quite an interesting read!

1. Hi Jon, we like to open up our interviews with a brief rundown of our headliner. So with that in mind, could you tell us your current location, and what’s in your CD player at the moment?

I’m based back in Bournemouth after some time in London… my iPod is absolutely loaded with stuff… Sasha, Sub-Focus, 4 Hero, Public Enemy, Killers & Mark Ronson.. I also recently put together an MP3 of over 4 hours of classic house spanning 1990 – 1996 which I takes me back to the old days!

Jon Langford aka Knuckleheadz and many more
Jon Langford aka Knuckleheadz and many more

2. You’re from Bournemouth which is traditionally known as a haven for old people. On the flipside of this, Bournemouth has always had a good reputation for underground clubnights, and also production talent. I’m thinking your good self, Tinrib, Paul King, Organ Donors… what it is about the town that seems to inspire this creativity?

Hahaha.. I dunno… The sea air perhaps?! We’ve always had a very vibrant dance scene going back to Remix, Madisons, The Venue, The Academy and Opera House, The Manor, The Showbar... then dance nights like Heritage, Wild Turkey & Legacy. I guess that must have inspired kids to get into the studio and make music.

3. You’ve played at some legendary clubs down the years, and on a local scale none come more legendary than The Manor at Matchams and also Madisons Nightclub in Bournemouth. Do you have any abiding memories from those clubs or any crazy tales you might care to share?

I have so many memories from all the places I’ve played at. Actually The Venue with Succusso, Animal House, Heritage and Obsession plus The Manor hold my fondest memories.

I was lucky enough to be resident at The Venue for nine years and The Manor for five The last night at The Manor was unbelievable, people screaming, crying, not wanting to leave. It was a place that people came to in order to enjoy the music. The fact that they had to travel half an hour out of town didn’t bother them one bit.

I have sooo many tales... none of them repeatable!

Jon Langford hiding underneath Bournemouth's Wessex Way
Jon Langford hiding underneath Bournemouth's Wessex Way

4. Speaking of Madisons, over the last ten years there has been talk that it will re-open one day. You’re a man who’s probably got a better idea than most so can you tell us why exactly it did shut, was it because of the floor, and will it ever open its doors again do you think

My understanding was that it was an issue with the floor. Unfortunately as they were located above Miss Selfridges it was rumoured that if the work was to be carried out Miss Selfridges wanted compensation for the time they were closed whilst they repaired it - making it financially not viable. However, if I won the Lottery I’d get the work done!

5. There are many aliases you produce under including Knuckleheadz, K-Series, Mr Bishi, Neon Lights, Masif DJs, Volts Wagen, and of course Vicki Pollard. I don’t think I’ve forgotten any, but please correct me if I have! Could you give us the low-down on what each alias is all about including any partnerships involved?

Blimey… is it that many??? LOL! OK, here goes;

  • Knuckleheadz is UK hard house which I started with Warren Clarke and is now a solo project
  • K-Series is for the hard trance, using the 'K' from Knuckleheadz and is a solo project
  • Mr Bishi is Steve Hill and I for when we do bouncy hard house
  • Masif DJs is an organisation of producers including Steve Hill, myself, Dark By Design, Phil York and
  • Technikal for hard trance and hard house releases
  • Neon Lights is hard trance covers with Steve Hill
  • Volts Wagen is for bouncy bootlegs with Steve Hill
  • Vicki Pollard, ha ha ha, me and Paul Chambers having a laugh!
  • Flashheadz is FLASH harry and knuckleHEADZ, which is me and Paul making happy music

It’s a simple philosophy. I like making dance music stuff but I can’t release loads of tunes all at the same time under just my name or one guise... so I put them out under different guises, with a guise for different genres - so it doesn’t get too confusing!

6. Hard house fans will know that you first came to prominence with the release “House Rocca” on Tripoli Trax back in 1997 which was produced with your production partner Warren Clarke. How did you guys get into production and end up making this track?

Warren used to MC at The Academy (now The Opera House) for a night called Wild Turkey. I came along to DJ one night and we got chatting. He then joined me at The Venue on Thursday nights and that’s how we became good mates and started making tunes.

House Rocca on Triploi Trax
House Rocca on Triploi Trax

7. You’ve DJ’ed all over the world so we’re guessing that you’ve probably seen and experienced some down right craziness on your travels so would love to hear what your most memorable or just strange experiences have been whilst on the road?

Playing in Hong Kong to 10,000 people stands out as does playing in Syndey for New Years Eve which was another corker. In Hong Kong the promoter took Warren and me to a Chinese Restaurant where we had to eat chickens' Feet! There’s not a lot of meat on one of them I can tell you!

8. Heaven forbid… but let’s just pretend for one sick moment that your house is burning down… what are the three items that you would save apart from yourself of course?

Assuming my girlfriend got out OK it would be my G5 PowerMac, my server with all my 12 inches recorded on it!, and my XBOX360!

9. A question we’ve not asked for a while is who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met, or would like to meet? Charlotte Birch knows Jeremy Kyle, Chris C after-partied at Elton John’s gaff, Ed Real’s missus hangs around with James Blunt… you get the general idea. The more obscure the better really!

I went to dinner with Judge Jules whilst on Tour in Adelaide, not overly impressive I know! My girlfriend though was in Batman Returns with Sharon Stone and also in the Christmas Special of The Office!!

Up close and personal with Langford
Up close and personal with Langford

10. This is the plug question where we ask what the future holds for Jon Langford and your many guises? Is there any forthcoming news that you might want to tell the Bournemouth clubbing community about?

Technikal and I have just finished two tracks and one has gone to Steve Hill’s Masif label under the Masif DJs' guise. The other has gone to Tidy as part of my EP, which will also feature the first Knuckleheadz track in several years!

I did a remix for Rob Tissera on his track “Waiting 4” which is a remix of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers track “By The Way” that Dave Pearce has been playing on Radio One.

You can next catch Jon playing for Frenzy at our Free Hard House Party in January with Cally Gage from Frantic. Check out latest hard dance events for full details.