With nine amazingly well-crafted albums under his belt, epic club hits like “9PM (Till I Come)”, “Don’t Stop”, “Let U Go” and his latest release “Face to Face”, Andre Tanneberger, most commonly known as ATB, continues to leave his mark as one of the most influential trance artists in the industry. Ascendance Radio caught up with the legend himself to talk about his latest album “Contact”, the dance music industry, and so much more.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): We are here with the artist whose name is synonymous with dance music since its conception and whose music we play across all of our channels with at least 19 songs and remixes on our Elevation channel alone, ATB! When releasing an album, most artists take the approach of releasing singles from the album for months leading up to the release of the album. You did the opposite. You released your 9th studio album “Contact” back on January 24th and proceeded to release the first single “Face To Face” right after. Why take this approach?
ATB: You know, we always do it like this. The single is always released at the same time with the album. I can’t tell you what the idea is about it. Because I think for me, an album is the most important thing and so the single is representing the album. I think we were a couple of weeks earlier, so there’s not a big sense behind it.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Oh, okay. That’s good. So nine studio albums, your first being in 1998. What has releasing 9 albums taught you over the years about the album creation process?
ATB: You know, it changed over the years, so it’s always such a long thing. When you start to do an album, it’s creating ID’s, who are the people you want to work with, then you are in a studio. There are so many faces of creating the things that I can’t even tell you how it’s process is. And most of the time it’s different, you know because I’m on the road and then I think I’m finished with the album and then I think I’m not, because I don’t like all the songs and so, it’s so different. And it’s not rocket science but I can tell there’s no process, it’s always the same. It’s always different from album to album.
So that it’s hard to explain and it’s good that it’s hard to explain because that makes it for me, it’s not always the same, so that makes it more interesting to me.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Awesome. If “Discogs” is correct, you’ve been producing music since 1994 under a variety of aliases since 1994 but it wasn’t until you took on the moniker ATB in 1998 that you exploded, releasing probably one of the most played dance songs in the history of the genre, “9PM (Till I Come)”. Was the success of “9PM” the proof you needed that you finally found not only your sound but one fans were drawn to?
ATB: Well it’s kind of an accident. I always had this project named ATB, but I just used it for remixes. Then I made “9PM”, and I suddenly I realized that this was something special. And I always used, ATB, that’s my name. Because it’s just the initials under Andre Tanneberger. I thought that it was kind of special thing so, it worked to have this ATB thing on it, and so that was it. It’s just I needed a good song for it, and I thought “9PM” was a good song and then I proceeded with it.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): It’s safe to say you’re one of the few artists who continues to make new music with artists you’ve worked with in the past. The list includes York, Tif Lacey & Jansoon. In particular with these 3 artists, was the popularity of the previous tracks you made with them a factor in why you keep working together?
ATB: You know, I’m starting to work on my next album in the middle of this year, and I can’t tell you really what’s the next people I’m working with. That’s one of the things of the processes from an album. I don’t know what will happen. Sometimes I do it very different. I don’t know what will be in the future. I like to work with these people but I’d also like to develop, to try new things, and that could happen on the next album.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): There are fans who go to your shows to go out and have a good time and then there are fans who go to your shows and know all your songs and sing them back to you word for word full of emotion and love. In all of your touring, can you name a specific event or location where you find the biggest percentage of ATB die-hards?
ATB: I never have any competitions; where is the most, what is the best place and all these things. I’m always happy when people know my stuff, when I’m playing a song people sing along to that. I’m not counting the people, you know? Every night is kind of a challenge and I had a lot of good places where I played but I can’t tell you where the most people have been into my music. I don’t know.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): With your nearly 2 decades in this industry, you’ve seen it go through many transformations. Where do you think dance music is today and is it a good place?
ATB: Dance music, especially in the U.S., is kind of an explosion. Explosion isn’t always a good thing. That’s how I mean it. It’s too fast and too many people want you to be successful.
It’s kind of a pressure right now because everybody is doing this music, not because they love the music, it’s because of getting famous, doing big promotions, getting money out of it, being a DJ, all these success things. I don’t like this part of the music. Of course I like it that electronic music is growing again, but I don’t like the way it’s going to, you know?
It’s not about music anymore, it’s about who’s doing the biggest promotion, who’s doing the craziest shows, whatever. And I don’t like this part about it. I don’t think too much about it because I still love the things I do and I don’t look to the left or the right too much.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Where do you think the line is between being an artist and being a business person?
ATB: You know, I’m never a business person. Of course sometimes I have my people doing the businesses for me. I’m concentrating on the music. I have my ID’s; I’m more creative. I’m not into the business. I don’t need to be in the business.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): So what else do you have planned in the next few months?
ATB: A lot of traveling. I’m coming to the U.S. for another U.S. tour in two weeks. It’s a lot of traveling and I have a longer vacation in the summer because I need it. I was on the road too much, and then I started a new album. That’s my plan and maybe we have another mixed album as well.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): All right, well thank you so much.
ATB: You’re welcome.
Buy ATB’s latest album “Contact” today.