'Marking His Territory!'
Markus Schulz has carved quite a name for himself. His internationally broadcasted radio show “Global DJ Broadcast” is unequivocally the most important outlet for the global music scene on American radio, and his hundreds of thousands of weekly listeners attest to that fact.
Collaborating with some of the biggest names in music such as Depeche Mode, Madonna, Everything But The Girl, Fat Boy Slim, Gabriel & Dresden presents Motorcycle, Oceanlab, and Miro have helped Markus gain substantial recognition thus far in his career. His productions have been released throughout the world on some of the most respected labels in the electronic dance music industry including Armada, Lost Language, Yoshitoshi, Global Underground, Renaissance and Bedrock just to name a few. These productions and his talent behind the turntables have earned him his global alliance of fans.
Now, with his debut artist album, 'Without You Near' set to be released on Ultra Records, prepare to hear and see Markus’ name everywhere you turn.
Chatting recently with Markus, I first wondered - and with most DJ sets being upbeat and poppy, his seem brooding, yet melodic - was this a purposeful move on your part? "I have always loved the darker side of dance music. Growing up I was into Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Smiths.etc. I think the music that I play all has a thread of darkness to it because that is who I am."
Why was your new album 'Without You Near' two years in the
making? "I am a perfectionist to a fault. I tinker with things in the studio until I run out of ideas. Each tune on the album was labored on for several months before I was completely happy with it. When all was said and done I included 13 tracks on the album. I actually made 20 tunes but only included the 13 I was most happy with."
Why name it that anyway?! "This is an artist album and I wanted a title that was different than your normal DJ cd. I want people to listen to this album in that context and not as a mix cd. For me the title "Without You Near" represents all the time that I spent away from my family and friends while in the studio or on the road."
Tell me more about the inclusion of both Anita (Kelsey) and
Carrie (Skipper) and why you didn't just opt for one over the other? "Anita and Carrie are both amazing vocalists that I enjoyed
working with. Carrie has more of a sweet Celtic sound in her voice, whereas Anita has a more breathy yet sultry sound in her voice. Both are amazing and a joy to work with. The thought never crossed my mind to choose to work with only one singer. I think having different voices on the tracks gives the album contrast and balance at the same time."
With a mass of productions and released albums to your name, do you
ever fear that people are remixing YOUR work behind your back ... and does
that bother you? "No, it doesn't bother me, I consider it an honor if someone likes a song of mine enough to invest part of their lives in the studio working on a remix. I have been sent many remixes of tunes of mine, and while some have not been very good, it does open my eyes to the many different interpretations of a song that are possible. I can get inspiration from what others do with my work and it gives me a fresh view on music."
Having made all these musical journey's, what's one of the most
important things that you learnt along the way? "You have to make music from your heart. I have seen many people go with what is popular at the moment and fail. Dance music fans especially can see when someone is not being real, and they do not respect that. Play the music that is true to your heart. Don't be afraid to be different, in the end you will build a fan base that can relate to you."
Having spent an infamous seven-year residency at The Works (Phoenix,
AZ), what musical risks did you take to ensure that you maintained that gig each year? "I played music that I enjoyed. Everything that I played somehow had to have interesting sounds and melodies to it. That was a time of discovery for not only me, but also all the people that went there. I played stuff like Leftfield, Orbital, and Way Out West. It was the first time any of those sounds were heard in a club in Arizona and it was a special time. People were not as jaded as they are today."
What cheesy '80s song would you love to remix if asked ... and
why?! "I love old classic rock from bands like Led Zep, Electric Light Orchestra, Steve Miller Band. I also love the old 80's alternative
dance sound like Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, and New Order. But if I could chose one song to remix, it would be 'Shine On You, Crazy Diamond' by Pink Floyd. The things that I would do to that song would make you blush!"
If there were just 3 words that described Markus Schulz, what would
they be? "Dark, Intense, Passionate."
Finally, I love Penguins ... do you?! "Penguins are very cool. I remember when I was a kid going to Sea World and seeing them in their habitat and thinking "Whoa, these guys look like they are having a pool cocktail party, standing around in their tuxedos, mingling and jumping in the water". But I think I am more of a seal person because they can sit around all day making weird musical sounds together and they can balance a ball on their nose too!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Markus Schulz's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: Markus collaborated in Los Angeles with Mark Lewis and Mike Burns, aka ...?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before November 7th with your answer and the subject title 'MARKUS SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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