Markus Schulz Interview:
Dayanna Guerrero: Today we have the privilege of getting to sit down and talk with Miami native, trance titan and the Unicorn Slayer himself: Mr. Markus Schulz!
So Markus, you and the Coldharbour Cohorts are coming off Coldharbour night, which was described as “More fun than you should be allowed to have on a Monday”. What was it like getting together and partying with not only the DJs on the lineup but many other trance family DJ party crashers?
Markus Schulz: Wow. It was definitely one of the highlights for me from the last few winter music conferences. You know, thing is that these guys that I signed to Coldharbour – Mr. Pit, KhoMha, Grube & Hovsepian those are guys who I really believe in. They are incredible and it was actually KhoMha’s first time ever playing the in United States and it was my first time ever hearing him live, like main set and he’s going to be a star.
I was so blown away that I wound up going in the middle of the dance floor and just dancing for like an hour in the middle of his set. It was crazy because everybody was like wanting to get pictures and I’m like “Not now, are you kidding me? Not now, he’s killing it and I want to just be out here”. We’re still talking about the party as well at the office. It was an amazing party and I’m so proud of them, you don’t even know. I’m so proud of them because they just did an amazing job, even Arny, who played after Mr. Pit he was just amazing and it was like spot on you know? And the thing is it’s like the Coldharbour sound, the sound I’m kind of like pushing, it’s definitely deeper and darker and it’s a little more tougher and it’s no love songs you know what I mean? And that love song trance that kind of gets a too much after a while. So it was an amazing night of unicorn slaying trance and no love songs.
Dayanna Guerrero & Markus Schulz: (laughs)
Dayanna Guerrero: You’ve had great success so far in your career. If you were to retire tomorrow, would you be satisfied with the legacy you’d leave behind or are there still accomplishments you need to complete before leaving the scene happy?
Markus Schulz: You know what, that’s a tricky question because that is my life, this is who I am, I’ve been doing this since I was tiny. I don’t think I can ever retire of leave the scene. That being said, absolutely, there are many more things that I want to accomplish. One of the things is kind of giving guys like KhoMha and Mr. Pit, making their dreams come true because they’re talented. I mean, KhoMha, I think he’s going to be a big star and for me it’s like, it’s time for me to help other guys. I think the last five, six, seven years I’ve been focusing on my own career and building my own career and all of that so I think this year I’ve turned a chapter and now I’m going to give everything that I have learned and all of the help that I can give to some artist and help them.
Dayanna Guerrero: Kind of mentor them?
Markus Schulz: Yeah. Mentor them and help them achieve their dreams. The thing is that KhoMha, he’s from Colombia, you know and I found him out of Colombia and he’s never been out, this is his first time.
Dayanna Guerrero: I’m glad he got his visa issues resolved.
Markus Schulz: The thing is we started on the visa, in October-November, both Mr. Pit and KhoMha the same day and we literally one week before Music Conference they finally sorted everything for the visa. Because apparently getting a visa for somebody from Colombia is a little more difficult.
Dayanna Guerrero: A mission and a half!
Markus Schulz: Oh my God, are you kidding me? You have no idea. Colombia is a more difficult country. A lot more difficult that Romania which is where Adrian is from.
Dayanna Guerrero: They say behind every great man, there’s an even greater woman, and in this case her name is Heather Schulz. Now without fear of sleeping on the Coldharbour Couch, tell us, where would you and your career be without her?
Markus Schulz: I have to be careful with this because it’s everybody. There’s an entire team of people that I can’t be without and she is kind of like the direct line of communication and she knows my vision and she is able to take my vision and all of my thoughts and everything and delegate to and amazing team of people. I can’t do it without my team.
The thing is this, when I first started it was me and I would go carry my records to my gigs and if I needed any help it would be having one of my buddies go to the bar to go get me a drink. As you grow, somebody helps me with a little few more things, and then more things and the next thing you know here it is, where I’m at now and I’ve got a whole office of people. I’m with Armada who has an office of like 50 people and I’ve got a booking agency of 10 people and then next thing you know you realize you have like over 150 people that are like working on your behalf and it turns into just like “how did I get here”. At the end of the day all I want to do is go to the clubs, or go to the festivals. I just want to go play music. To me that’s the most important thing, just go and play music.
Dayanna Guerrero: Recently you and Ferry Corsten left Godskitchen Birmingham in shambles after a massive 5 and half hour back to back set, although that wasn’t how it was originally planned. For those who don’t know, what did you and Ferry going back to back actually mean and why was the schedule thrown out the window?
Markus Schulz: Well you know we planned this back to back thing. He has his management and I have mine, and they were like yeah okay we approve this, we approve that and one of the things that we’ve learned is that when management gets involved they screw everything up. They turn DJ’s against each other, it becomes ego when management gets involved and I think what happened was that we planned and okay let’s play make it even. Markus plays opening, Ferry plays close, Markus plays an hour and a half set , they’ll do an hour and a half together and then they’ll split the rest of the time so it’s even. Everybody is happy, it’s neutral its fair, management whatever and then when we got into the booth and it was just Ferry and I and it was like you know what?
When we started doing the back to back, it brought back all those memories of why we got into the scene, like screw everything else just leave us alone and let two DJ’s or let two producers, let’s just have fun. Because I think, like I said management screws everything up and the fact that Ferry and I were able to do this night and once we got started we were having so much fun, we were high five-ing each other, we’re laughing we had so much fun. We crumbled up the piece of paper with the schedule and just kept going. Screw it. Afterwards we were like wow! We were hugging and like that was amazing, let’s do it again. Ferry came to my studio and we worked in the studio this week as well here in Miami and it was the same thing, we were dancing around the studio, we were high five-ing, laughing and it was like that’s why we got into this scene. We didn’t get into the scene to have people arguing on our behalf and all of that. We got into the scene because we love what we do and that party specifically was a representation. You know what, it was the best time. I mean on the plane to the gig we popped some champagne and the party started there, we were laughing, having a great time and that’s what you get when you let artists be themselves. Unfortunately, like I said, nowadays when you start getting more and more people involved that’s when they screw things up.
Dayanna Guerrero: Now, we’re friends with Amber McSpadden, a long time and devoted member of the Schulz Army..
Markus Schulz: Amber, really?
Dayanna Guerrero: and for years she’s been telling us how surreal it is to attend your sets. And while we didn’t think she was lying, we couldn’t fathom how an experience could be this amazing. After getting to take pictures at your Birthday Bash at Space last month, we were telling OUR friends, listeners, and anyone who will listen that they have to go see you live. It’s easy to see that this type of word of mouth over the years has helped build your ever growing loyal fan base. For those who enjoy your music but have yet to see you live, in your words, what kind of experience can they expect to have?
Markus Schulz: Well first of all, what’s so amazing about what I do is people like Amber. People like Amber are so supportive and I love them for it because they come to see me at important gigs like my birthday party at Space, like my album release party in Los Angeles. You know they come out and support those and it’s so reassuring to play one of the most important gigs of the year or even of your life and look out and see familiar faces smiling. It just kind of makes you go like “Okay I’m fine, it’s me just playing for Amber” or “It’s just me playing for my friends”. So what there’s 10,000 other people there but it’s just us having a good time. I think that’s what people can expect when they come to see me. Yeah sometimes I may be nervous when I go out there but when I see familiar faces I feel at home and it’s like I’m playing just for you and I don’t care if there’s 25, 50 people there. Those 50 people, I’m going to give them the best set they’ve ever heard and that’s the way that I feel. To me, I love this scene, I love the music and that’s what I got into it for.
Dayanna Guerrero: Thank you for everything that you do Markus. You truly are in a league of your own and we can’t wait for the adventures you and Coldharbour Recordings have in store for us in the future!
Markus Schulz: Great. Thank you guys.
Be sure to also buy your copy of Markus Schulz’s latest album Los Angeles ’12.