SFG: Markus, its great to see ya, how is everything, and more importantly how is your eye?
Markus Schulz: It’s not healing quite as quickly as I was hoping, you know, it hasn’t kept me away from any of this weekend’s festivities.
SFG: It’s a massive month for you with your latest album Scream being released, how has it been received so far?
MS: Fantastic, we just did the album release special on my radio show yesterday and the feedback was fantastic! There are a lot of tracks on the album that people are surprised at, in a positive way. I am really happy with the album, especially the balance. There are 12 vocal tracks and 11 instrumentals. People that are into instrumentals have an entire album of instrumentals, and those that like vocals, there’s a whole album of vocals for them.
SFG: What were your personal highlights of making the album?
MS: I started the album a couple of years ago when I was working with different artists and writing. The cool highlights for me are some of the new artists that I discovered on this album. One of the first singers I worked with on this album was Adina Butar. Adina and I really clicked in the studio so we wound up doing three or four tracks but only two tracks made it on the album. She also has her hand in production as well, she has a good ear for it. She was chiming in and giving her opinion on some of the other tracks on the album and it was a lot of fun.
SFG: That’s quite different to have an artist to assist in production?
MS: It was great because she did have some great ideas. Working with artists like Khomha, Mr Pit, Ferry Corsten, Dennis Shepard, Wellenrausch was a lot of fun on this album.
SFG: We caught you at Global Gathering last year, and heard some of the new tracks. The crowd were loving it, how does that feel seeing the reaction from behind the decks?
MS: To be honest with you, I’m not up there enjoying the moment as much as I should, I am more analyzing what can I change to fix it. If I’m looking at the audience and feel that there is a dead spot, then I am analyzing why and what I can do to pick up this dead spot in the track, maybe I should be enjoying the moment a little bit more but the critical artist in me is up there analyzing.
SFG: Your almost at the end of your residency at Privilege, how has that gone this summer?
MS: Fantastic, I am part of the residency for A State of Trance night on Monday nights. To be honest with you, I think it’s fantastic for both Ibiza and the trance scene. Nobody really expected us to do what we have been doing, selling out the club week after week, 7000 strong. The whole island is kind of like looking at us going ‘what’s going on, how are they able to do this’. It’s really just put the spotlight on trance music again.
SFG: Like bringing it back?
MS: Well it never really went anywhere. It was out of the spotlight for a little bit, and it was really showing people that trance music is big and has a massive following and here we are, were still here.
SFG: Coming from a trance background myself, I noticed the decline in the popularity of trance, however over this past festival season, it seems to have picked itself back up?
MS: We are sitting here backstage and the music from the main stage sounds like trance to me. What was trance is now labeled as progressive house but those melodies are unmistakably trance.
SFG: You’re performing at Creamfield’s later on this evening, what’s been your festival highlight so far?
MS: Obviously in the United States, the Electric Daisy Carnival was fantastic. The ordeal that we had to deal with there, with the weather, there was high winds so they had to shut down the stages because the trusses were moving. So about an hour into my set they had to shut down all the stages. That made it quite memorable. Nature One this year was amazing for me, last year it was one of the best gigs of the year for me and this year it was even better!
SFG: You live in Miami now right, how does that differ where you have lived before in Europe?
MS: First of all Miami is nothing like the rest of the United States, it has much more of a South American feel, it’s a lot more ‘caliente’. As far as Europe vs the United States right now, I think the biggest difference is that in the United States, a lot of the scene is composed of the new generation of clubbers. You start to see that in Europe slowly, there is a youth movement starting up and over the last two years there has been a huge youth movement over in the United States and its made the scene very exciting. New ideas, new passion, new DJ’s and new artists are coming up. There is definitely a change and this new generation has brought his change on.
SFG: This new generation that you talk about, is the same generation that was coming up say around 12-15 years ago when trance really took off?
MS: That’s a great analogy. What I am seeing happening in the United States right now is kind of what happened in Europe in 1999. In 1999 it was definitely a youth movement in the UK and Europe and now that generation has now grown up and it’s time for a new generation to bring their new ideas into the scene and that’s what’s happening right now. A lot of the old school are elitist and snobby about it sometimes, and I think that for the new generation, if we can remind them that the scene was built on blood sweat and tears and passion and hand that down, then I think the scene will be very healthy moving forward.
SFG: In terms of newer DJ’s and producers coming up, where do you see yourself sitting in between the new and the old.
MS: My thing has always been to try and give a platform to the new up and coming artists. On all of my artist albums and mix compilations, I always try to find new artists to expose. To me that is more exciting than working with the established guys and pop stars. For me it’s really nothing new seeing this new change as I am constantly working with new up and coming people.
SFG: What’s next for Markus Schultz
MS: Well having just finished my artist album, I will be promoting that, very happy with the way it turned out, 12 vocal and 11 instrumental tracks, a little bit for everybody!
SFG: You will be touring the new album worldwide?
MS: The album release party is August 31st in Miami, and September 1st in New York City. Then we will start some select album tour dates. In the first quarter of 2013 we will do a massive tour with full production.
SFG: With London being the home of the Olympics, did you manage to catch any of it?
MS: Yeah of course, I watched every single game that the USA Men’s Basketball team played. I love basketball and to see that was a lot of fun. The gold medal game against Spain was really competitive and great to watch.
SFG: We have a SW4 Olympics event we are playing with the artists this year, Rock Paper Scissors, there are only 2 medals, a winners and losers, lets go!
WINNER: Markus Schultz
Markus won the SW4 Olympics Rock Paper Sisscors event as it went to a tie breaker and he pulled out the ‘Firecracker’ which totally took me by surprise!
SFG: Thanks for your time Markus, we look forward to your set!