Zane: ‘I’ll end up living in the middle of nowhere and ploughing fields’

Last week Radio 1’s Student Tour came bounding into Lincoln and tore up the Tower Bar and Engine Shed. As well as 30 Seconds To Mars playing in the evening, Radio 1 star Zane Lowe treated the crowd to a DJ set as part of the show.

Zane has DJed at countless venues across the UK, but what was his favourite DJ show? “I’m not just saying this, but Engine Shed is always strong, I mean that’s really hard to beat,” he said.

“The crew here, Ian and Vix and everyone that puts the night together really look after everybody including the audience. The sound system’s brilliant, it’s hard to beat this place.

“This year my favourite DJ gig was probably supporting The Prodigy at Milton Keynes, at the Bowl, doing the main set before they came on was quite an honour and the crowd were fantastic so that was good.”

As well as being the figurehead for new music on Radio 1, Zane Lowe will always be known to some as the host of MTV2 show “Gonzo”. He recently left this position to focus on radio and handed the reigns over to T4 presenter Alexa Chung.

“I’d been doing Gonzo for nearly eight years, I think, I sort of lost count. It just felt like, when we were doing that show and having fun, that kind of music was really doing well.

“People were selling records and playing big shows, so we had a liberty to be able to have some fun around it. That sort of changed and pop music became a very powerful thing in the charts now, everyone that made that kind of music sort of regrouped and started forming new bands or make new albums or whatever.

“The era sort of came to an end, so for us to start talking about cheese and things when really I’d rather be asking bands what their mission statement is, what is it you want to achieve, getting back into the heart of music again. I just felt for me I’d done that on Gonzo and I’d done it right up to the point of complete saturation for me.”


Zane Lowe is one of Lincoln's most frequently visiting DJs. Photo: BBC Pictures

Over the eight years that Zane hosted the show, it hosted a huge number of stars including Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age. But who were his favourite band to interview?

“Josh Homme always is the funniest. He’s always the funniest guy, his sense of humour. You just walk away from his interviews with a list of one-liners that you can pass off as your own for at least six months.

“Any of that crew actually, any of that loose unit of friends like Dave Grohl or Jack Black or Josh, or any of those guys are genuinely really funny. I always really enjoy hanging out with Young Knives, they’re funny guys.

“The nature of that show was and hopefully with Alexa still is, that you can put bands in an environment where they can be a bit stupid and doesn’t have to be this really reverent one-on-one or one-on-band kind of interview.”

It’s hard to forget and sometimes admit that possibly the biggest thing in UK music at the minute is the X Factor. Zane reveals that he is in fact a fan of the talent show.

“I do actually watch the X-Factor, for lots of reasons, primarily because it’s a regular routine because it happens when I’m on the road doing my tour. It keeps me close to my friends being on the phone to them while it’s happening; it’s kind of a weird social connector between us.

“I’m like everyone else, I watch it because of the car crash of it. I get really mad at it because I feel like I’m being constantly duped. Everytime they give a comment about a bad performance I’m like ‘Oh! You knew that was gonna happen! You’re duping me!’.”

But what would Simon Cowell give Zane’s performance?

“He would just be like ‘You are kidding, right? You are kidding. You’re a radio DJ, right? Yep, stick to the day job. What is it? Louis? No? Four nos, goodbye!’.”

Currently being one of the biggest names on Radio 1 and in the UK music scene, Zane Lowe is on top of his game. But he admits he’s not sure of his plans when/if it all comes to a natural end.

“At this point in my life I can’t really imagine anything else, maybe as unorthodox as it sounds I’m buying a big plot of land in the middle of nowhere and learning how to live off the land and farm.

“I have a lot of admiration for farmers… maybe I’ll just end up going and living in the middle of nowhere and ploughing fields.

“It’s a weird thing of going the opposite of what I’ve been doing my whole life, living in cities, being at gigs, just constantly surrounded by this chaos. Somehow I can imagine, if I needed to and I hope this doesn’t happen, maybe it would be that.”

Make sure to catch Zane before he decides to become a farmer every Monday – Thursday from 7pm to 9pm.

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