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Saturday 01st, November 2003
Markus Schulz Interview

During the Amsterdam Dance Event, that was being organised in the Dutch capital from thursday 30 october till saturday 1 november, loads of artists came down to do business, have fun and perform. One of them was Markus Schulz from Miami. Working in the music industry since forever, the star of Markus is rising rapidly at the moment as his remixes of Jewel are highly on demand. Furthermore his new collaboration track Elevation - Clear Blue is played by almost every big trance DJ. This has resulted in the fact that Armin invited him for a DJ set for an A State Of Trance XXL episode. Trance.nu catched up with Markus in Amsterdam to ask him what's all going on at the moment. After some problems with a wheellock that Markus got from the friendly police and a street artist stalking us with extremely long and annoying performance (ok, it's Amsterdam) we found a nice place on the Rembrandtplein for an interview. The same morning he just recorded his set for ASOT XXL

Trance.nu: Hey Markus, how was your A State Of Trance experience?
Markus: It was big fun. We just spend a couple of hours in the studio with Armin. We laughed alot in the studio. He's cool to hang around with.

Trance.nu: Did you record the mix in once?
Markus: Yep, I did it all in one time.

Trance.nu: Are there any surprises in the set? Unreleased stuff, fresh remixes?
Markus: Yeah absolutely! I just remixed the new Ocean Lab track called Sattelite and I included that one in the set. Last night I played it live in the Mazzo (T.nu: club in Amsterdam) and the crowd went absolutely wild. The promotor from Anjunabeats had a big smile when he saw that. You can also expect Solarmyth - Peace Process (Markus Schulz Remix). That's kind a catchy remix. And more ofcourse....

Trance.nu: So you are here for the Amsterdam Dance Event. Enjoying yourself so far?
Markus: Yes, I am. I didn't do very much. I performed last night and today recorded that set for ASOT. For the rest i'm looking around here in Amsterdam, meet some people, eat some falafel *laughs*. We arrived last tuesday in Frankfurt from Miami, and first I went to my grandfather in my birthplace for a visit and then to Amsterdam. So it's all very relaxed.

Trance.nu: How would you define the style you play? Not everyone has heard you live yet...
Markus: I play progressive, but want it to have melody. And I play uplifting tracks, but I want them to be dark. Some progressive is too boring for me, I need some melody. And some trance is just too uplifting. So I want it a little darker. And bring those two together in a mix.

Trance.nu: You were born in Germany right?
Markus: Yes, I was born in Eschweger.

Trance.nu: How did you end up in Miami then?
Markus: I bounced around a bit and when I was thirteen I moved to the USA. From New York - Boston - Arizona -> I came in Miami. When we lived in Arizona, I wanted go and live at the east coast. My wife told me that she wanted it to be warm over there. So when u combine east coast and warm: you'll end up in Miami.

Trance.nu: So how's the scene in Miami?
Markus: Yeah you really have to work hard to get the people going. It's a challenge. Miami is a different scene then any other in the world. If you can make it there, you can probably make it anywhere. The atmosphere is laidback, there are load of moviestars. Its about being seen. But if u can make the people party over there, then you're pretty good

Trance.nu: Last night the Top 100 DJ list was announced. U were (surprisingly) not in the list. Do you think it's because you are from the USA, you are too far away from the "scene"?
Markus: Could be. I'm always a bit mild-mannered about myself. I don't hype myself in any way, but I let the music do the talking. This is actually the first year that people are learning about me. So maybey I can make it to next year's list.

Trance.nu: Weren't you a little bit disappointed then?
Markus: Well, maybey a little. Me, Gabriel & Dresden and also Armin are improving our sounds I think. We are pushing a new style. This year I have been working quite hard for that, spending sometimes 8 till 10 hours in the studio. It takes work, study and patience to do that. But I wasn't in the list.

Trance.nu: U also do a weekly radioshow, Global DJ Broadcast. Can u tell us exactly what it is?
Markus: Yeah that started at the Miami Winter Music Conference 2002. I put together a radioshow with co-operation of all the top DJ's. And the response was massvive! So we decided to continue the show. Every week two big guest DJ's spin a set and I do a 2 hour show.

Trance.nu: You have been producing now for many many years. How did it all start?
Markus: I was playing music since I remember. On a certain moment I figured out how music worked and I wanted to create my own tracks and play them. I never used an engineer or someone else who helped me. I did it all solo. It took many years to learn.

Trance.nu: And what age did you start with it then?
Markus: I was 15 years old at the time. I lived in Arizona back then, and there wasn't really a "set sound" on which I could reflect myself. So I was just experimenting and looking for my style. I also moved to London to search a style that fitted to me. And now I found it.

Trance.nu: You have been remixing heavily lately!! Including two Jewel tracks. Do you know her personally? And will the Coldharbour remix of Jewel - Stand be released?
Markus: No, I don't know Jewel personally. It was the recordlabel, Atlantic Records, that let us came together. And the Coldharbour remix will be released on Atlantic Records. The releasedate is still a mystery for me tough. *laughs* Altough promo's are floating around in the USA. It's quite funny, people keep asking me to play it.

Trance.nu: Were you surprised it worked that well?
Markus: I create music for music fans, I don't create a track just for the dancefloor. If it works on the dancefloor it's a plus, but it's not my main target. But this mix works very well on the dancefloor, good response.

Trance.nu: What's the story behind Markus Schulz presents Elevation - Clear Blue?
Markus: That track has been made by me and Elevation. Elevation is a 16 year old guy from Detroit and he is a genius. He always made clips, but he has not got the patience (yet) to finish the tracks. He send me a few clips of Clear Blue and I was like: Wow, I wanna do something with this. So out of the samples I made the track. But Elevation is a genius, he plays also organ in his church. I think he might be a star in the future.

Trance.nu: So what do you use for producing?
Markus: I use Protools all the way and a Macintosh. Sometimes I use Logic now and then, but I'm mainly focused on Protools now. The cool thing is that u use DSP chips that you have to plug into the computer. Those chips do all the work, so you can do as many stuff as you want, your system never slows down! You can play like 48 tracks at the same time if you want.

Trance.nu: You also mentioned you remixed the new Ocean Lab track. How was that? Can we expect an uplifting remix?
Markus: No, it's a dark remix and it's a full vocal mix. The lyrics are awesome and when I heard the track for the first time I was blown away. It's great and I focused mainly on the vocals and reconstructed a new and dark track around it.

Trance.nu: With so many well-received (re)mixes at the moment, can we expect something like a Markus Schulz album?
Markus: Hmmm, yes we have been discussing it here at the Amsterdam Dance Event. So the answer is yes, you can expect an artist album, a mix-album and a tour. But as I'm very busy, don't expect this to happen in just a few months. It will take some time.

Trance.nu: Any future plans, goals you would like to receive?
Markus: What I really want.... There's so much bad talk about trance nowadays. I wanna give the respect back to trance music and I want to achieve it through creating and playing intelligent music. I wanna open people's eyes and show them the other sorts and sides of trance. A good example is Gabriel & Dresden, they are pushing the sound forward as well. And Armin too. We realized that we are doing the same thing. There's a circle of people at the moment that's introducing new sounds.

Trance.nu: Your wife and your brother are DJ's too. What kinds of styles do they play?
Markus: My brother Nicky is searching for his style a little bit. He DJ's, because I do it as well. My wife Heather sometimes plays a set. We owned a recordstore some time ago with a DJ booth. She started to practice a that's how she started DJ'ing. She plays more girly music. Happy la-la girl stuff *laughs out loud* But she does a good job, because when she plays, alot of girls show up happy

Trance.nu: You got your own website with globaldjbroadcast.com.. Do you think the Internet is an important communication medium in exploring new tracks and gaining inspiration?
Markus: Yes, websites like Trance.nu, Tranceaddict, Globaldjbroadcast.com are very important for the scene. You can see the reactions on your productions and what's also important. When people go to a club and hear a track, they can find the title on these pages. I see it like a virtual dancefloor. If there's no talk or reaction from the sites or dancefloor when you play a track, it's probably not special/good enough.

Trance.nu: On the other hand, mp3's are flying over the internet with huge speed. Do you have a problem with that?
Markus: It's difficult. I think the artist should have the right to stop the exchancing of his tracks on the net. It could mess up the whole promotion strategy. You gotta be more carefull as an artist, be more protective. But I think there are more good sides then bad sides. We should work together with the fans to get this situation solved.

Trance.nu: What's the highlight of your career this far?
Markus: On a personal note, it was when I was DJ'ing in Arizona. It was my birthday and as a special surprise my, at the time, 5 year old son came up on stage, with two glowsticks. When he saw all these people dancing and having fun his eyes grew wide and you could see him think wow. I asked him to raise his hands with the glowsticks and he was having so much fun. At that moment I saw the same passion for music in his eyes as I have in my heart. Now he wants to go to the club with me all the time happy

Trance.nu Short Q&A's
Favourite track at the moment? It's a tie between Peter Martin - Perfect Wave and Luke Chable - Ride.
Favourite track ever? A track that I regularly still play sometimes is Cass vs Slide - Perception. The feeling I get when I play this and see people go wild is undescribable.
Favourite club? Club Space, cause it's a challenge and you gotta work to get them dancing.
Favourite producer? Gabriel & Dresden, mainly because of their success it made me feel more confident in what I was doing with my style. Besides that, they are close friends of mine, that helps as well.
Favourite DJ? My favourite DJ is in my head. I will explain that. I heard alot of stories about DJ Larry Levan, he was playing late seventies, early eighties in New York. And according to the stories I have heard about him, he was a pioneer of the sound. And in my mind I'm trying to create a vision of him as a DJ and what he did. So my favourite DJ is a DJ that I never even heard life. But those stories influenced me for the rest of my career.

Trance.nu: Any last message to the readers?
Markus: I think we all should keep positive in the electronic dance community. There's a widespread range of negativity at the moment and there's too much bashing on styles and DJ's you know. Keep in mind that not everybody likes the Mona Lisa. Some people think it's not special, other people will cry when they see it. Just be tolerant. There's alot of extremely passionate people out there in the music industry that work hard to create the music.

Trance.nu would like to thank Markus Schulz and his wife Heather for taking the time for this interview and the co-operation. In the october promo mix cd Markus gave me, you can find his remix of Jewel - Stand, other tracks like Planisphere - NYE, a new remix of Markus Schulz presents Elevation - Clear Blue, Peter Martin - Perfect Wave and Attention Deficit - What. These and more tracks are included in the mix. Be sure to tune in to ASOT XXL with Markus Schulz this Thursday on ID-T radio.

Related link: http://www.globaldjbroadcast.com

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