Irish DJ Mark McCabe is set to perform his hit tune ‘Maniac 2000’ live at Electric Picnic next month.
The song spent a staggering 10 weeks at the top of the Irish charts when it was first released back in 2000, and then it went to number one again earlier this year when it was re-released for its 15th year anniversary.
Now, after the year it has had, Mark is ready to perform it live again.
“It seems like the time is right. It’s been a good year for it. It’s back on people’s radar, and you can’t go wrong with Electric Picnic. Plus, we’re kind of in the midst of a 90’s revival. If there was ever a time to go out and do it again, and for the sake of nostalgia, now is the right time,” Mark said to VIP.
Being the director of music and sound at RTE 2FM, Mark knows exactly what tunes people want to hear most, and at the moment it appears to be all the old 90’s dance classics!
“A few years back, it was all about the 80’s and I think now it’s just a time when people are looking back and reflecting on the 90’s. It was a really good time: it was the birth of dance music. The early 90’s was when dance music really came into popular culture, and it has remained so ever since. 70% of the music we play on 2FM is probably dance music. People just love to go back to the old time classics,” he said.
His song just so happens to be one of those constantly requested hits. But back in 2000 when Mark recorded the song in the Cricket Club in Clontarf, he had no idea it would turn out to be as big as it did.
“We were just a bunch of kids messing around. We got approached to release it and we thought, well this might do top 20 if we’re lucky. It went in at number 2 on the first week, and then number one. It kept Madonna, Backstreet Boys, Westlife and Ronan Keating off the number one spot. It even stopped Westlife getting seven consecutive number one’s in Ireland,” Mark admitted.
He continued, “It was a time when the charts were much different to how they are now, and record companies really invested in artists like that, so for us to be a group of kids with this dodgy video and an even dodgier tune and we were preventing that corporate record industry from achieving what they thought they rightly should achieve, it was great. It was like David versus Goliath to a certain extent.”
The song became the fourth best-selling single in Irish history – not bad for a ‘bunch of kids messing around’, but Mark doesn’t think it’s likely that many tracks would have the same rate of success if they were to be released today.
“I think we managed to get there just as the record industry was changing. It has dramatically changed over the last few years, and I think it’s harder to penetrate with a tune these days. You can put a video up on Youtube and share it out digitally. It can do serious numbers, but it may only be around for a few days to a week. I think the days of tunes with that kind of longevity, have gone. People don’t consume music in the same way. I don’t think it will ever happen again. I think it’s one of the last tunes to ever achieve that,” he said.
Bearing that in mind, has the DJ any plans to wow us with another track anytime soon? Well… maybe!
“With the job that I have now, being able to programme music into a radio station and influence the listening habits of people, I feel like I’m really in line with what’s going on. I know what’s working and not working. I’m in a good position, but I don’t know. If this gig goes well, then maybe because I’ve always kept my finger in that pie to a certain extent,” he admitted.
Mark went on to say, “I own my own studio and have recorded and produced tracks for other bands for years. I guess if the timing is right, I might, I’ll see how this goes.”
If you’re heading along to Electric Picnic, Mark can be found at the Electric Ireland’s Power Party, and don’t fret festival goers, he’s not planning to change ‘Maniac 2000’ up too much for his performance: “I’m going to stick to the original. I think I’d disappoint people if I went off and came back with something new. I think people liked the version that exists. It was captured in one night and that one night has gone on and become the record that everyone knows today.”
The festival will be taking place in Co. Laois on 5th September.