The past year has seen trance mainstays Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten sneakily plot what could be the collaboration of the century. What started as a laugh at a barbecue in Ibiza has grown into an epic reality and an unstoppable force, culminating in the duo's global debut under the moniker New World Punx this past Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
A modern day trance dream team, Schulz and Corsten draw elements from their own individual styles and blend them together with a fusion of energy and an unrivaled stage presence. Picking up momentum in venues and studios around the world, New World Punx arrived in New York eager to show the world what they were all about; and after a ground breaking performance at the World's Most Famous Arena, the 13,500 in attendance—and millions tuned in around the world—would be hard pressed to deny the duo's newfound magnitude.
We caught up with the guys before their set on Saturday, who were buzzing with excitement for the evening to come. They filled us in on the madness of Miami Music Week, the process with which New World Punx formed, and the leaps and bounds they've made in their individual careers. Check out our exclusive interview and be sure to keep an eye on what the New World has to offer—if last Saturday was any indication, we see big things.
Joonbug: Welcome to New York! How was your Miami Music Week?
Markus Schulz: Wow, it was mental. I think two weeks might be too much!
Ferry Corsten: Yeah it was crazy. I was flying in and out because I played other places around the States which was sort of a welcoming relief, but the shows in Miami were spot on.
Markus: The shows were all really great, they were amazing. But like I said, two weeks was really hectic. I mean I live in Miami so I was lucky, I slept in my own bed but you know you'd go down to South Beach around noon and you'd be there through dinner. I know for Amsterdam Dance Event that's a similar situation, but two weeks of ADE would be too much.
Ferry The difference with ADE is you can walk anywhere, but in Miami you have to jump in a cab. The whole day is very hectic, but good in the end.
You guys both had a lot of different types of gigs in Miami. Ferry you played Space's main room, and Markus you played a ten hour set on the Terrace. How was that?
Ferry: You put Markus in a club with the right environment and the guy can go for 24 hours.
Markus:Haha yeah, Space is a legendary venue, I think there are very few clubs left on this planet like Space. It just has one of those amazing vibes with its own atmosphere and its own environment. That's actually where we met many years ago, I was a resident there and Ferry was coming to play. The whole venue has a lot of history.
Joonbug:We got a sneak peak for tonight when we saw the two of you play together at Mansion. Was that the unofficial premiere of New World Punx?
Ferry:We've played together a few times actually with longer sets—the last big one was at Echostage. That was really cool, and it was there that we actually had the idea to put everything under one name. So basically we did the same thing at Mansion, but sometimes you just know you're debuting this new name and there's a bit of pressure. But once you get going you know it's all fine
Markus: It was definitely a great tune up for this weekend.
Joonbug: How do you go from prepping for a set like that to one at Madison Square Garden?
Markus: That was actually unprepared, we improv a lot.
Ferry: Yeah, it was funny, I came to the club a little later than he did cause I had to come from Ultra. We were in the green room and I asked Markus what our first track was going to be, and he said he didn't know!
Markus: We didn't know how we were gonna start. We knew what we wanted to do, we just didn't know how we were gonna get there. I think that was part of the fun though, to figure it out along the way.
Ferry: Tonight, however, is different. It's all choreographed and it's very short, it's only 90 minutes. We're used to doing 6-7 hours together, so with 90 minutes we bang everything out into one short set.
Joonbug: What about tonight's after party at Pacha? Do we get see that Mansion-esque late night vibe from NWP or will you be playing individually?
Markus: For Pacha we're gonna do individual sets. But at the same time I'll be hanging out, he'll be hanging out, and there will be plenty of vodka so who knows what's gonna happen!
Joonbug: As for your individual careers, Ferry, congratulations on reaching episode 300 of Corsten's Countdown. You're doing an 8 hour broadcast this summer to celebrate in Dublin, can you tell us a bit about that?
Ferry: Yeah, rather than going with what so many other radio shows do with a particular number, I decided to just skip that whole thing and do a bi-annual 8 hour live monster set. The last one I did here in New York in December was at Sirius XM studios. That was a countdown to New Year's Eve, and with this one I'll do a countdown to summer.
Joonbug: Why did you choose Dublin?
Ferry: It's one of those cities that's very European. I've done quite a few of these sets in other places over the years, so I felt it was cool to do something in a European city that no one expected. It's easy to say I'll do it in Ibiza or whatever, but the Irish crowd is mental, it's a real fun party.
Markus: It's like a football match, they chant the whole time.
Markus: It's been great, my whole idea was to just help these guys along. As a label you can only do so much to help an artist because they're not really exclusively signed to you. But to form an artist management group where I can really help them along, and maybe not necessarily release tracks on my label, but to guide them in the right direction—that was the idea. I mean look at KhoMha, he's playing like every 2 to 3 months here in New York City and he's playing some huge festivals coming up this year. He was this super talented guy from Columbia that just needed somebody to help him out. I'm very proud of the guys.
Joonbug: Well just one more question we have to ask. If you could take any celebrity to the Central Park Zoo, who would it be and what animal exhibit would you take them to?
Markus: Justin Bieber to the alligator exhibit. (laughs)
Ferry: I don't know how to follow that!
Markus: Beat you to it—done!