“I once spent 30 minutes talking about mobile phones to Michael Stipe whilst tripping on Absinthe.”


Under the name Beyond the Wizards Sleeve, Erol Alkan and Richard Norris delivered their first remix in 2006. Ten years later they’ve just released their debut album, ‘The Soft Bounce’ – a lush band record that takes in sultry French cinema, psych and 60s sunshine pop. Here, the private Alkan completes our Getting To Know You questionnaire.

The best piece of advice you’ve been given
“If you believe in something enough, it’ll eventually happen, so never give up.”

Your favourite word

Your pet-hate

If you could only eat one food forever, it would be…

The worst job you’ve had
I’ve taken pride in every job I’ve had.

The film you can quote the most of
Spinal Tap.

Favourite place in the world
It would be home, London. After that, Los Angeles. As a Brit I’m easily swayed by the food and weather.

Your style icon
Never had one.

The one song you wished you’d written
Too many to list. That’s a tough question.

The most famous person you’ve met
I once spent 30 minutes talking about mobile phones to Michael Stipe whilst tripping on Absinthe. I somehow ended up sitting between him and Courtney Love. Think it was around 1999. He was really pleasant.

The thing you’d rescue from a burning building
The hard drives with around 200 unfinished projects on them

The worst date you’ve been on
It would have been an eternity ago, but nothing springs to mind as terrible.

Your guilty pleasure

Your first big extravagance
A Roland Jupiter synthesizer that I bought around a decade ago and haven’t used as much as I’d have liked to have.

The characteristic you most like about yourself
I feel I’m honest.

Your hidden talent
I can cook.

Your favourite item of clothing
Right now it’s a red and black T-shirt I was bought for my birthday.

Your biggest disappointment
It would need to be something I had some form of control in, as it’s a waste of time to be disappointed in others and their actions. There’re a few but sometimes they help you get the best out of yourself in the future.

The celebrity that pisses you off the most even though you’ve never met them
I rarely watch TV.

Your biggest fear

The best book in the world
Impossible to answer.

People’s biggest misconception about you
I’m not too sure what people think of me, so it’s tough to answer.

Who would play you in a film of your life?
Vincent Cassell or Tahar Rahim.

What is success to you?

What talent do you wish you had?
Paul McCartney’s gift of songwriting.

How would you choose to die?
Not to in front of anybody who cares about me.

What is the most overrated thing in the world?

What would you change about your physical appearance?
Being so tall brings a few physical problems so I’d just focus on those.

What’s your biggest turn-off?
A lack of humour.

What would you tell your 15-year-old self?
Nothing. It could influence me to avoid mistakes that needed to be made.

Your best piece of advice for others
Don’t be afraid of failure. Keep trying. Never give up.

Getting To Know You with Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, Beth Orton, John Grant and John Cale.