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Monday 03rd, February 2003
Thomas Schumacher Interview

Thomas Schumacher is one of the best, if not the best, Techno DJ's of the world. His tunes are always present on every quality techno party, especially the ones that are considered real classics, such as "When I Rock" and "Schall". One of his other disguises is the name Elektrochemie LK, which will sound familiar into loads of clubbers' ears. Thomas was born in 13/04/1972, in Bremen, Germany. Some of his tunes are high on the playlists of many DJ's already many years, but we can t get enough of them. Examples include the tune "Ficken", released in 1996, and re-released in 2002 with some new versions, and "When I Rock", released in 1997. In 2000 another hit was re-released, "Schall", by Elektrochemie LK, on EastWest Records., reaching the Top of the Charts in Europe. Also in 2000 Thomas won some awards, such as the German Dance Award for National Vinyl Sales Hit of the Year and Best Video, directed by Jorg Offer, and won a Techno Award Austria for Best Vinyl production aswell. Finally in 2002 a great cd was released, called 'Best Of', includding all great productions Thomas has made, making all his fans very happy. We can definately speak about a God in the techno scene...

Q: Hello Thomas Schumacher! First of all I would like to say weīre very happy making this interview with one of the best techno DJ's of te world.We would like to know what you think about these successes. How old are you, where you were born, and whatīs your full name?

Thanks for the nice words about me! I am 30 years now, I was born in a city in the north of Germany called Bremen and thatīs where I am still living. It is beautiful here. My full name is Thomas Schumacher indeed.

Q: Your style of Techno is very heavy and hard. It's hard to just call it "Techno".. How do you call your own style of music ? Do you produce your music all by yourself? Or are there any secret co-producers involved in your tracks?

I am producing all my tracks on my own, unless itīs a co-production. So, I donīt have "secret" producer who works for me. I call my music Techno. I know that some people donīt like the word anymore because of so much commercial shit being labelled as Techno but I donīt care. I am producing Techno as Thomas Schumacher, thatīs it.

Q: Which aliases do you use for your productions? We know Elektrochemie LK has
something to do with you, but are there any other aliases? If so, which ?

I have 2 projects: Thomas Schumacher & Elektrochemie LK. I also released a
single last year under the moniker Kaori on a UK label called Disorient.

Q: Thomas, we all know that a few djs have serious ear damage, because of listening so much of loud music many hours per night. Especially your sound, wich is real heavy may cause some problems into some Djs ears. So we would
like to know how you feel after playing for a long time on a party?

I always make sure that I turn down the volume of the headphones and the monitor speaker when I am spinning. I am aware of the risks for the ears when DJing so I take care. I also have specially made earplugs that I wear in certain situations.

Q: Do you think the Techno music is growing ? There are many new djs playing the same heavy style that you play/produce. Can you talk a little bit about these new tallents, and if possible, mention some names ?

I am sure Techno is growing and progressing. You are right when you say that many DJs played almost the same style last year. The very heavy, hardhitting Techno. But at the same time I saw many other Djs started to play different
Techno, more funky and warm, because they did not like to sound like all the others. I am one of those. I like Techno with soul, not just banging and monotone.

Q: It might be difficult for you, being one of the best DJ's of the world, to answer this next question, but letīs try: who is the best Techno DJ of the World in your opinion ?

In the mid 90s Iīd say Laurent Garnier, then Jeff Mills. After that it was maybe Carl Cox for a while. Nowadays I am really not sure. I havenīt heard any of these guys for the last couple of years. The last ones that blew me
completely away where DJ Hell and Richie Hawtin. So, it must be them.

Q: Do you like other kind of music aswell ? Wich one ? Do you like Trance music in Particular ? Do you know some Trance Producers ?

I like almost all kinds of music. I am very much into Nothern Soul from the 60s and I also like Depeche Mode a lot. Trance? Whatīs that? I donīt know shit about this music.

Q: We always ask the Djs/Producers we interview if they are against Mp3. Before you answer this question, I want to let you know that some people
only discovered Thomas Schumacher for example when they downloaded your track When I Rock
So what's your opinion about Mp3?

I am not against it. It is a new technology that so many people love. Plus it gave millions of people the chance to listen to music again, because before they could not afford buying CDs or records. Downloading a whole album and selling CD copies to people is a different thing altogether that I donīt like. This is killing the music. Especially small labels like mine
suffer from this...

Q: Three new versions of Ficken were released recently. Can we expect some new versions of others successfull trakcs from you, such as Schall and When I Rock ?

No plans regarding that at this time, sorry.

Q: Whatīs your favourite own production ? And whatīs your latest
production/remix and whatīs gonna be the next one?

That changes very quickly. Most of the time I like most what I am working on. The next release will be Remixes of "The Fortunate Ones" on Superstition Records from Hamburg. After that a new ELK album plus 2-3 singles will be
released. That is going to be a huge thing and will keep me busy for the next couple of month. I will even stop spinning to be able to do the job right.

Q: Can you tell us about some projects that will you are working on this year?

I am afraid I canīt do that my friend...

Q: When did you have your first experience with eletronic music ? And why did you decide to make music ? Tell us a little bit about your experience, please.

The first electronic music I heard was probably Depeche Mode in 1983. The album was called "Construction Time Again" and the sound on it was so different from anything else I had heard before, it completely blew me away. It was again DM who made me buy my first instrument back 1986 after the played a concert here in Bremen. I just wanted to find out how they produced their cool sounds. Thatīs when I started to work to make some money to be able to buy a drum machine and an old synthesiser.

Q: Do you intend to make a big World Tour this year?

As I already said. Due to the promotion for the ELK album there a no DJ gigs scheduled for the time after march of 2003. But I might do a live tour with a band this summer.

Q: How do you feel that your own sound makes people crazy ? Do you intend this when

Of course Iīlike the idea of people getting mental when they hear my tunes in a club. But it is difficult to "plan" this when you are actually recording the music. Itīs like magic sometimes. You donīt know why but all of a sudden you realise you create something special, something that will last. And sometimes you donīt, haha.

Q: What you think about the following DJs/Producers: Guy Mcaffer, Marco
Bailey, Carl Cox, Dave The Drummer, Chris Liebing and Andreas Kremer?

I have mutual respect for almost all of my DJ and producer colleges. Carl certainly stands out because he was born to DJ. period.

Q: Thomas, thank you very much for this great interview. We hope you will keep producing all thesetechno gem's in the future.

Thanks for the support, I hope to catch up with you one day!

Note: Credits for this interview go to Guilherme Milani from Brazil, for making this interview available for http://www.trance.nu

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