BeirutNightLife.com brings you an exclusive interview with Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz, AKA the New World Punx executed by RAGMAG Magazine. The DJ Duo was interviewed by RAGMAG Magazine before their long-awaited concert brought to you by Poliakov Vodka on August 17th, 2013 at BIEL.
More info about the concert: http://beirutnightlife.com/events/calendar/world-punx-beirut-markus-schulz-ferry-corsten/
Ferry, you come from a small country with a disproportionate amount of EDM artists, particularly trance DJs. How do you explain this phenomenon that seems to be specific to the Netherlands? Do you feel you’re a sort of ambassador for the Dutch when you bring your music to the world?
I definitely agree that for such a small place we produce a lot of great DJs. What started with a majority of trance DJs, now grew into a world music power of all genres. I always like to think that we as a country have been strongly influenced by the countries around us who all have a very unique sound (Germany, UK, Scandinavia, Belgium/France). We just picked the best of all and blended it into what is now known as the Dutch sound. I must say that it gives me a certain pride to bring Dutch music across the world, yes.
Ferry, what is the most rewarding part of your collaboration with Markus Schulz, and why do you think you make a great duo?
We both have a long history with music and that is a great thing to have. It’s a great well of inspiration. When producing in the studio we just have that chemistry and we often feed of each other’s input and ideas. The same goes for when we play together on stage. Markus could drop one track and because of that I would come with another great idea. We also both love to play extended sets and take the night wherever it wants to be taken. Besides all that, Markus and I have known each other for at least 10 years, so we are good friends on a personal level as well. We just have a lot of fun doing what we love most. And ultimately, that’s what this whole scene is all about.
Markus, while you hail from Germany, you decided to relocate to Miami and are now a fixture in the US EDM scene. How do you stay close to home and loved ones when traveling on tour, and what do you find helps when feeling homesick?
I actually have an apartment in Berlin. Around five or six years ago I decided to go for it because of the European festival season, and it meant that I wouldn’t have to fly to Miami and back (and this was before you could even fly direct to the likes of London and Amsterdam), so it saved a lot of time on planes and reduced the jetlag. Any time I have tour dates on successive weekends in Europe, I stay in Berlin. And of course being there makes things easier to connect with my German family.
Markus, what is the most rewarding part of your collaboration with Ferry Corsten, and why do you think you make a great duo?
The easiest word to describe it is fun. That’s the entire ethos of the New World Punx concept. Ferry and I always had been friendly when meeting on the road, and we bonded closer after our families spent a week together at a villa in Ibiza for the closing party stretch a couple of years ago. Then during Amsterdam Dance Event I had the opportunity to visit him in Rotterdam and spend time in the studio, which ended up yielding our remake of Loops & Tings. It was the chemistry in the studio that made us think that we complimented each other well stylistically, and this escalated further when the likes of Godskitchen and Insomniac started booking us together to co-headline shows, which we approached with an off-the-cuff, back-to-back concept. The really big breakthrough was through the Club Glow event at Echostage in Washington, DC last year, when we played for seven hours. That was the moment where we thought that we were really onto something and there was a feverish demand from the fans for us to play collectively. And if we were ever in doubt that it was worth doing, the night at Madison Square Garden in New York City generated enough memories to last a lifetime for me.
How has the response on the road been so far to New World Punx? What can Beirut expect when you take to the stage?
FERRY The response has been big and amazing. After we played at Madison Square Garden, the amount of requests for NWP got out of control. That’s why we are now planning an extended tour. NWP is all about energy and drive. Beirut can definitely expect lots of that and will be treated with a darker, tougher more driving side of trance…
MARKUS Well, for me personally it’s a really big gig because it will be my first performance in Beirut since October 2010, when I was touring my Do You Dream album. Every single week for the past 18 months when I am answering the fans’ questions on Twitter during Global DJ Broadcast there is guaranteed to be someone asking about the possibility of a Lebanese gig, so I’m very happy and excited to be finally coming back. The great thing about the show in Beirut is that we’ll get to play a lot longer than the standard festival set, so it allows each of us to bring our own signature tracks to the table as well as the NWP stuff. We have a follow-up to Romper finished so we’ll be able to play that for sure, and a few surprise bootleg remixes. The most recent one you guys would have heard was of the old Mauro Picotto & Riccardo Ferri tune New Time, New Place; which is awesome for me because it was a big signature track of mine, back when I was a weekly resident at Space in Miami.
One recent phenomenon is the “supergroup” of DJs, with New World Punx and Swedish House Mafia leading the way. Do you see this as a new business model for the future? If you could team up two of your EDM idols for a global tour, who would they be?
FERRY I’m not sure if this will be the business model of the future but it’s definitely a thing that the fans love to see. To see and feel the passion for the music that Markus and I have, always radiates and results in an amazing vibe. See it as one and one is three. It hard for me to come up with a third person but I would love to have one of the techno boys on board.
MARKUS If we are allowed to choose anyone living or dead, my dream combo would be going together with Larry Levan and Danny Tenaglia. Those two were among my biggest inspirations for what I am today. I wasn’t old enough to experience Larry’s Paradise Garage nights, but the stories I heard and read about them were legendary. And Danny really opened my eyes towards being able to play a multi-genre set. One of the most iconic moments I have lived in my life was at Space in Miami during Winter Music Conference 2001. I was on the dancefloor – Carl Cox standing to my left and John Digweed standing to my right, and Danny was performing one of his trademark marathon sets. Now everybody knew him as a house guy, yet from out of nowhere he dropped PPK’s Resurrection. That moment made me feel that I could take my own sound at the time (where I started off doing house productions and remixes) and adding trance melodies on top. In terms of the supergroups, to be honest I think they can perfectly co-exist with the individual DJs. One of the most important things to emphasise is that despite all the work that Ferry and I do as New World Punx, we are still going to have our own respective careers. I’ll still be continuing with Global DJ Broadcast, running Coldharbour and making my own albums and compilations.
As Beirut continues to affirm itself as the epicentre of the Middle Eastern EDM scene, we’re seeing major new developments such as the opening of new mega-clubs and the inaugural edition of Creamfields this coming September. You both come from countries with established and world-renowned EDM scenes. Do you think it’s possible that Beirut, and Lebanon in general, could become a musical tourism destination like Ibiza or Miami?
FERRY I absolutely think that Lebanon can become that. It has the weather, the venues, the beaches, the food, drinks and right party mentality. I think it’s only a matter of time before the world starts to realize that Lebanon has way more to offer than what the news tells them.
MARKUS There is definitely potential for it to become a big spot. The most important thing is that there has to be the demand from the fans. If promoters know that they can put on a show and sell it out then they will always come back again.
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