Altern 8 - Why we should be the 2013 Christmas Number 1

In less than five days’ time, the 2013 Christmas Number 1 race will officially underway. We chat to one of this year’s contenders, Altern 8 about why their track Activ 8 should be this year’s festive chart topper.

In less than five days’ time, the 2013 Christmas Number 1 race will officially get underway. We chat to one of this year’s contenders, Altern 8 about why their track Activ 8 should be this year’s festive chart topper.

This Sunday (December 15) the 2013 Christmas Number 1 race will begin. Every year, hundreds of hopefuls battle it out to be crowned Number 1 in what traditionally is the biggest sales week for singles of the year.

There’s singles from reality TV show contestants (including the annual X Factor winner), social media campaigns against said reality TV show contestants, novelty releases and charity tracks, all competing with the Top 40 stars of the day for the ultimate chart honour.

One such fan-led Christmas Number 1 campaign which has caught the media’s attention is the one to get Activ 8, by ‘90s rave group Altern 8, to Number 1 this Christmas. Originally released in 1991, the track became the masked duo’s first Top 10 hit. It was kept off the top spot by Michael Jackson’s Black Or White and Vic Reeves and The Wonderstuff’s Dizzy.

Can it go all the way this time? We caught up with one half of Altern 8 to find out…

Who are you?

“I’m Mark Archer, one half of ‘90s rave group Altern 8, DJ, producer and a dad to three brilliant kids.”

What’s your track called, and what’s it about / how did it come about?

“The track is called Activ 8, and it was originally released in 1991. It was a massive hit at raves up and down the country. It also reached Number 3 on the Official Singles Chart.”

Why should YOU be this year’s Christmas Number 1?

“There have been other anti-X Factor campaigns, but they've always come from other big artists - international selling rock bands, with years of big major labels backing them. This is a fan-led campaign featuring a track from two blokes wearing gas masks who wrote one album of rave tunes back in the 1990s. It's independent all the up way to the label - none of these sales end up lining the pockets of Simon Cowell and his ilk.”

What’s your battle plan?

“Other Christmas Number 1 campaigns ask their supporters to buy multiple copies of the same track over and over. We've worked with a bunch of artists, new and old skool, to come up with EIGHT (fitting number!) new remixes, so people can support the campaign but they actually get something new with it.

“There’s no dirty tactics, no big PR companies, just straight up ravers spreading the word amongst themselves. It's been completely organic, which would make a victory in the charts all the more special.”

Who’s your biggest competitor do you think in this year’s Christmas Number 1 race?

“Probably Orbital. Their Christmas Chime re-release is excellent and a lot of our supporters will probably grab that, too. But it's not a bad rivalry. Imagine a Christmas Top 10 with two old skool tunes from the early ‘90s? It would wake up the powers that be and show them that rave is very much alive and kicking!”

Why is the Christmas Number 1 so important to us Brits?

“It's become a tradition, for years it would either be a novelty track or some sugary ballad (probably by Cliff Richard) but in recent years, X Factor and Rage Against The Machine have added a new facet to it. Everyone loves a chart battle - it's just good fun!”

What’s your favourite Christmas tune of all-time and why?

“It's actually an album not a single track, it's The Gunter Kallmann Choir's Christmas Sing-In. I put it on every year through December, it's just not Christmas without it!”

What do you recall about when it charted first time round? What was chart success like back then? Do you feel like 2013 is the year to finally take Activ-8 all the way to Number 1?!

“I remember getting the midweek chart position and being told it was going to be a new entry at number 12. I just stood there in shock not knowing what to do. Should I phone someone or go down town?

“It was all a bit mad. We were just making tunes that we liked and hoped they'd do well at raves and because of the sheer amount of people buying them, they were catapulted into the charts. Getting a Number 1 in 1991 would have been amazing, but with Michael Jackson and the Vic Reeves track in the charts at the same time, there was just no way it was going to happen. Fingers crossed it happens this time round, but no matter what chart position we get, I'm massively flattered by the sheer support we've had for the track. It’s more than I could have wished for when we made it!”

When does the Official 2013 Christmas Number 1 race start?

Whoever you’re backing in this year’s race, make sure you buy it between 00.01am on Sunday, December 15 and midnight on Saturday, December 21 for sales to count towards this year’s Official Christmas Singles Chart.

The Official Christmas Singles Chart Top 40 will be counted down on BBC Radio 1’s Official Chart Show with Scott Mills and Jameela Jamil between 4 and 7pm on Sunday, December 22, with the full Top 100 posted on at 7pm.

Related artists

Join the conversation by joining the Official Charts community and dropping comment.

Already registered?

Log in

No account?