During Amsterdam Dance Event we had the opportunity to meet & interview Trance legend Markus Schulz so of course we grabbed that chance with both hands! Markus has been in the scene for so long that we were sure this was going to be a very special interview. Check it out below!
Hi Markus, it’s a pleasure to meet you! You’re actually the first artist we’ve been able to speak who’s been several times in the top 100 of the world according to DJ Mag Top 100, so that’s truly special. To begin the interview, what’s your current view about the poll?
Nice to meet you too! Well, it’s a special poll because it’s not about the industry’s voice but the voice of the fans. Unfortunately, now it’s manipulated and it’s something that I wish to get fixed because I believe in the fans you know. The voice of the fans is still in there but it’s not the loudest voice anymore. The most important thing is what comes out of the speakers and the rest takes care of itself.
You’ve travelled around the world during your career of course, can you name a couple of your best memories so far?
Well I have to name Tomorrowland of course, when I did my thirteen-hour open-to-close set. That was the longest set I’ve ever done. I remember it was harder coming down after that set then it was to get up for it. When I was done, I was lying down in my hotel room and I could still see lights flashing before my eyes. I got to throw in Ultra and EDC for sure. Especially EDC, the production is amazing. Whenever you are up on that stage you know you’ve got a great look. But I must mention Transmission Festival too.
Sounds like great experiences indeed! For Transmission Festival, you’ve done the anthem once again right?
Correct! I do the anthem every year for Transmission, which is something I take great pride in, because every year there’s a different concept. This year’s theme ‘The Lost Oracle’ which is a very spiritual one, even more spiritual than in the past years.
Interesting, we were wondering since you’ve already done so many tracks, gigs & collaborations, what’s actually still on your bucket list?
That’s a difficult question, but I can honestly say that 2 years ago I was able to cross something of my bucket list when I did a collaboration with Giorgio Moroder. Giorgio Moroder is a legend and a pioneer and being able to talk with him, let alone collaborate with him was truly amazing. That’s something I’ve been able to check off my bucket list.
We can imagine how special that is. So, do you have anything that you’d like to check off your bucket list in 2017?
Well I’m working on the Dakota project right now and my goal is to get it right. I want to do something to really push the needle forward. There’s a whole spiritual concept behind it that I don’t want to get wrong. It’s not supposed to be just a collection of songs but something really special with a story behind it. So, it’s on my list right now to get that right.
Alright, we’re curious! Let’s talk trends for a bit, these days there a so many big things happening in the musical world in several genres but especially in Trance transitions are taking place. Which trends do you foresee for 2017?
You’re right. You know what, I love the psy-trance stuff, the energy that it has right now. I do have to say that some of it is like the EDM right now, by which I mean that it all starts to sound the same. I hope that the psy-trance scene will start to develop and grow, but basically as is the same for every trend there’s something interesting to it. You can take an aspect from a new trend and apply it as inspiration for your music. So, I don’t mean that you should copy it but you should take interesting ideas and go from there. It should be developing and not stay the same like you have in EDM with the ‘Put your f*cking hands up’ trend. That’s not cool anymore at all, but unfortunately you still hear it.
Thanks for sharing your view on that. Last year you’ve made clear that cities inspire you with your city inspired album. What’s the main source of inspiration for your music actually?
My fans are the main source of my inspiration. When I was writing my album ‘Watch The World’, I was writing lyrics which connect with us as a community. The scene is what inspires me, which is the same for my current project ‘The Dakota Project’. The purpose is to connect the entire community, not literally but theme-wise.
Alright, it’s clear that open-to-close sets are meaning to you because you only do them on special occasions. How much time does it take to prepare one of those?
Well, when I did a 10-hour open-to-close set in Montreal, Canada, that took me 3 or 4 months of planning. For me open-to-close sets are about the art of DJ’ing. I started out back in the days as a resident DJ so I played for 8-9 hours a night. Basically, for me it’s going back to my roots and not going outside of my box but something that comes very natural to me. With that being said, if a promoter came to me and said: ‘’None of the DJ’s showed up, you’re the only one here, can you play for 8 hours without prep?’’ I could do it because I have a 500 GB hard-drive and as I said it comes very natural to me.
Okay, as an artist of a mayor seize who’s travelling all the time for shows and spend loads of time in the studio, how do you keep your pace?
I dedicated my life to this. I realized at a very young age that this was what I’m on this planet for and when you’re on the right path you just keep doing it. My family and my friends are really supportive and proud. If I don’t talk to them for a long time because I’m busy or on the road they will not get annoyed but they’ll be waiting for me at the airport when I get home to pick me up and to hug me. That’s really important and it gives you the motivation. I hear from talented artists that for example a girlfriend holds them back, that’s bad because you need people who understand that this is your life.
Good that you mention the case of young talented artists. What would be your number one advice be for one of those upcoming talents?
Don’t have a girlfriend that doesn’t let you produce haha. No, but seriously, you have to find your calling and do it with love, especially in trance music. We’re here in Amsterdam, the city of many famous artists like Van Gogh and Rembrandt, they never actually lived to witness the effect of their art. The best artists were the starving artists, so don’t do it for the money but do it for the art. Do you want to be number 1 or do you want to be a legend? Maybe you want to be number 1 and make a lot of money or do you to make put you’re fking hands up music or wear a mask or a helmet, but that’s not the same as becoming a legend.
Alright thanks very much for your time Markus!
Thanks for the interview!
Interviewer: Alexander Bouten