Utah Saints made their break through in the early 90's with some very energetic electro single releases, including Believe In Me that sampled Love Action (I Believe In Love). That consequently led to them remixing Tell Me When in late 1994 so it was only natural for me to contact them to learn more about their history with The Human League. Jez Willis was very kind to take time out and answer a few questions for this website.
Interview by Niels Kolling
little background. How did you become involved in the music business in
the first place?
Back in 1993 technology was limited compared to how it is now, so we chose that bit because we like the sentiment of the lyric, and also the vocal was very clear with only a couple of instruments playing.
Oakey has told in interviews that the band were at an all time low around
the time you released Believe In Me and that your flattering use of the
sample was one of the things that kept their mood up. Quite a compliment!?
Human League are electronic pioneers, who changed the
sound of popular music, that was a lovely thing for him to say!
you ever met anyone from the band?
You did 3 brilliant mixes of the song, a full remix, a dub version and a 7” version. I really like them all and the fact that, even if you only kept the vocal part from the original track, it didn’t “ruin” the song. How did you approach the track and what were your ambitions?
Thank you, that's a nice thing to say!
We try and keep the essence of a song when we remix, so we did try and keep it close in structure to the original.
Me When was the lead single from the album Octopus, which was a commercial
success, even if it was in some ways a quiet affair for a Human League
album. What did you think of the album and were there other tracks you
think you could’ve done justice with a remix?
I had to buy copies of the single when it came out, that was just easier than chasing the record company (and helped chart positions!).
You are both remixers and producers in your own right. Could you see
yourself producing the next Human League album that hopefully isn't to far
away from being released?
Out of the bands vast back catalogue, can you name your favourite Human League album, single and song?
I then followed the band, and I remember reading an interview with Phil, when he was asked about his hair on Top Of The Pops, and he said that if you have a haircut like that then people will remember the band.
So 10 years or so
later, there I was with my own haircut. It's on youtube somewhere!
done excellent remixes for a wide range of artist. And what strikes me is
that you’ve got a very distinctive sound. I can tell when it’s a Utah
Saints mix. Is that also how you see it??
We approach every one with a new palette of sounds, but if people think that we have our own sound, that's fantastic. It's what we are aiming for, just we think that our sounds are all over the place and our influences can change on a daily basis!
If you could pick any Human league song, which one would you like the
most to remix?
band has admitted not being great live in the 80s, but has evolved into an
amazing live band through the last 10 years and put on a really good show.
Have you experienced a Human League concert? And if you have, when was it
and what was your impression?
The Human League recently celebrated their 30th anniversary, which is quite an achievement. But actually Utah Saints is
more than halfway there yourself! How do you look on an electronic band
having such a long career and is it something you think Utah Saints can
We've learnt all we can do is work hard, everything else is down to other factors!
You can learn more about what Jez is up to with Utah Saints by checking this link:
And you hear Believe In Me here: