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Tuesday 05th, December 2006
Jay Frog

Based in Hamburg, Jay Frog can regularly be found playing in his native Germany alongside the likes of Marc van Linden and Scot Project. He has a career that has involved working with some the great and good of trance, Talla, Kai Tracid and FlutlichtÖ as well as a certain controversial and commercially successful live German dance group. This year sees him make a return to solo production work with a storming mix of the Blank & Jones single Sound Of Machines turning the mediocre original into a full-on, energetic tech-trancer. In the first of a series of interviews and articles highlighting the German trance scene, top P.R. lady J goes in on behalf of trance.nu to give us an insider view of the scene and to find out find out what Jay Frogís plans are for the future and to shed some light on what heís been doing in the past.

J: Hi Jay, first Iíd like to thank you for taking some time out of your hectic DJing and production schedule to talk to us.

Jay Frog: Thank you for asking me.

J: So if you donít mind Jay Iíll throw you in at the deep end first... I guess the first thing everyone will want to know is why someone who worked with Talla and so on decided to join Scooter?

Jay Frog: I can say that it was an interesting period of time for me, we had a lot of fun on stage, and in foreign countries, and we didnít take ourselves too seriously, it was more like being in some kind of a punk band.

J: Thatís interesting the idea of Scooter as a techno punk act.

Jay Frog: We were doing what we liked and we still loved making good trance stuff.

J: Like Tranceatlantic and the Ratty material?

Jay Frog: Yes and we always loved artists such as Above & Beyond, Smith & Pledger, Ferry Corsten and Armin Van Buuren.

J: You said about Scooter being a lot of fun... but did you feel it was a conflict moving in a more commercial direction from your contemporaries like Kai [Tracid]?

Jay Frog: No. I think anybody would love to spread his music to the biggest crowd as possible. We are artists, you know, every artist wants some applause. Maybe needs some applause. You canít say that an artist changes from the time he gets success or a bigger fan base or whatever. And referring to the band, we always tried to show that we still were musicians and techno freaks on our B-sides or on the albums.

J: This is a comment that frequently comes up. That people even though they donít like to admit it have a lot of respect for Scooter as producers, and especially their less main stream mixes. Many a DJ has happily been banging out Sunrise by Ratty, and then been totally shocked to discovered Scooter were behind itÖ

Jay Frog: Yes! Thatís true, and even the credible magazine Raveline here in Germany called a real Scooter release "trance tune of the month" after they heard the white labelÖ I think they almost fired the reviewer after they realized that it was a Scooter! (laughs)

J: Which maybe highlights some of the hypocritical nature and snobbishness of the industry that they will reject a good tune just because of the artist behind it?

Jay Frog: Yes... and after all, the Scooter guys are behind Kontor and they signed Tiesto and ATB for the German market.

J: That takes us to a question, maybe slightly out of field, that people find the conflict of artists credibility wise signed onto Kontor hard to handle sometime.

Jay Frog: Well, Kontor earned awards for being the best or letís say most successful dance label in Germany, they do a good job and so overseas artists want to be released on that label and as you know with good success.

J: You left Scooter in August to focus 100% on being a solo artist and on your DJing. Would you like to share your reasons with us?

Jay Frog: YesÖ I felt that the time was right and it was time to move on and it was the way forward for my career.

J: In the past you worked with artists of the caliber of Talla who still speaks highly off you... do you see that as the sort of person you would like to see yourself working with again in the future?

Jay Frog: I would love to. Talla is a great guy and one of my favourite trance DJs in Germany (besides Martin Roth, Tillmann Uhrmacher or Paul van Dyk of course). I released my first track on one of Tallaīs labels (Suck me Plasma) so I have some kind of retro and old friend feelings for him. We met for a great dinner when he was in Hamburg last time.

J: I understand that one of the trance clubs in London chose you to be the man behind their promotional mix cds?

Jay Frog: Oh yes, that was a great compliment for me because I knew that the UK was some kind of the capital of trance and it seemed like they have good taste in music.

J: So we've talked about whatís happened in the past, now obviously we need to talk about the present and then your ambitions for the future.... the Blank and Jones - Sound Of Machines remix was a great break and restart for your solo career...

Jay Frog: Nice you like it! Well Iím working on my own single release at the moment. Itís not easy to restart as a soloist but Iíve been used to it before so I look forward to being back in top form with my own production work. I have my own small studio at home and work there nearly every day, besides the DJ gigs. Iím working with several styles and ideas from house to trance at the moment, and donít laugh... while driving to a gig I did a hard style tune on my laptop. So there will be a lot of Jay Frog stuff soon!

J: Well that goes above and beyond with dedication! We hope you werenít driving the car yourself at the time, weíd hate to loose a musical talent!

Jay Frog: No, donít worry about that!

J: Everyone has a dream of where they see themselves in a years time, whatís yours?

Jay Frog: Well to release a good single and I want to do some new projects with other artists from different styles. In addition I want to rave around the world as a DJ, a request from Russia came in yesterday and Iím working on Japan, UK and USA and Namibia, South Africa as well and hopefully Australia, Canada and New Zealand - all good appreciative trance and hard dance audiences.

J: What sort of styles do you see yourself breaking into? Obviously electro is totally hot at the moment... or do you feel as a lot of industry insiders do that itís a fad that will burn out?

Jay Frog: Well as a DJ I play a lot of house/electro at the moment but still totally into hard trance and trance. So Iíll continue do both.

J: do you not feel sometimes that creates a conflict of interest or accusations of bandwagon jumping? Like when Nick Sentience starting playing breaksÖ or even when you find artists like Bossi (Cosmic Gate) remixing Hands up for Detroit?

Jay Frog: Well I think house had been very popular since the 90s in Germany... more perhaps in the underground or in small insider clubs or bars. But I liked it - I produced one of the absolute house music queens in Germany "Miss Thunderpussy". So.. I donít feel it just like Iím doing something new now. Maybe new in a... lets say... improved way.

J: Well we are certainly looking forward to hearing your new house and trance productions especially on the strength of your earlier work... and look forward to a new fresh twist and thanks for your time!

Jay Frog: Iíve enjoyed it!

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