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Prodigy Ready to Plug In Again

April 14, 2002

Why we still care: It's been five years since the Prodigy's "Fat of the Land" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, and no other electronic act has been able to duplicate that feat since. Two singles, the controversial "Smack My Bitch Up" and the dynamic "Firestarter," have kept the band alive in both the dance and mainstream scenes.

The return: After that long layoff, the Prodigy is planning its return to the United States, kicking into high gear with a headlining appearance at the Coachella Festival in Indio on April 28. "Coachella and the vibe of the festival seemed right for us," says leader Liam Howlett. "It's not just a rock festival or a dance thing. It has a real alternative feel." Coachella (and a preceding Las Vegas gig) will be followed by a new single, "Baby's Got a Temper," in July, and the long-awaited new album, "Always Outnumbered, Always Outgained," before the end of the year.

Sneak preview: Howlett promises that fans who trek to Coachella will be rewarded with a preview of several new songs, including the single. "Some of the songs are written in typical Prodigy style, just to rock live," Howlett says.

Where they've been: The temptation is, of course, to ask what Howlett and the rest of the Prodigy have been up to since getting off the road three years ago, but the question would be futile, he warns.

"If someone said, 'What have you been doing the last three years?' I couldn't tell you. The members of this band are so oblivious to any kind of time that it feels literally like we've just come off the tour of 'Fat of the Land.'"

How they fit in today: "I'm not really into much of this kind of metal stuff," Howlett says. "It's all nonsense really, but our nonsense makes more sense."

--Steve Baltin

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