Markus Schulz doesn’t show any sign of ever slowing down. With Buenos Aires ’13 just released this week and Scream II coming out early next year, the Coldharbour founder couldn’t be any happier. We had a chance to talk to Markus this past weekend while he was in Gainesville, Florida, just a few hours from his home in Miami. Markus chatted about his experience on the Groove Cruise, what it’s like working with Ferry Corsten, and his awesome fans.
Congratulations on the release of Buenos Aires ’13. How does it feel?
It feels really cool because we worked on that compilation for quite a while, so it’s cool that it’s finally out. I think that every year it gets a little bit more challenging because you want to do something different. The bar gets raised every year, and you want to try to top the last edition. We took a long time on this one. It came out a little later in the year than it usually does, but the response has been very positive and I’m really happy.
You also released your remix of ‘Venom One’ last week. What was your inspiration for this track?
With ‘Venom One’, I think it’s just the song and that amazing riff. That’s what really inspired me. I remember when I first heard the original demo with that riff I thought, “This sounds massive.” So, I think I wanted to put my twist to it, you know my little dirty baseline. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’ve been playing it out in all of my sets for the last month, closed out the Ibiza season with that track. It was one of the biggest tracks over the past couple of months for me in Ibiza.
Tell me about your experience on the Groove Cruise.
That was my first time on the Groove Cruise, and it was fantastic. I mean the whole ship was all just clubbers. So, just to be around everybody, have dinner with everybody, have breakfast with everybody you know, it was really intimate. There were more than 2,000 people, and it was such a cool community. Everyone was hanging out by the pool. I got to meet so many really cool people and really get a chance to talk to them and spend some time with them. I thought that was really, really awesome. I’m really excited to be doing the one that’s happening in January in Miami [Holy Ship!!!].
You recently held the title for DJ Times America’s Best DJ, along with holding numerous other titles. What motivates you to continue striving for even higher goals and to be a leader in the electronic dance music community?
I think it’s just the fans that keep me going you know. Even when you’re a little tired, or a little burnt out, or a little fatigued or whatever, you just go out and you see the fans and you see the smiles on their face and that’s what really just perks you up. Especially when you get out there and you see the smiles and they start jumping up and down and are into it. It energizes you, and it keeps you trying to make each and every set the best that it can be. I always say it doesn’t matter if there are 50,000 people out there or 50 people out there. I want it to be the best set that they’ve ever heard in their lives.
New World Punx, how is it working with Ferry Corsten?
It’s a lot of fun. That’s what the project was founded on, just us having fun. We both have done so much in our careers and sometimes we want to do something fun and that’s what we did. The response from the crowds has been fantastic. I think what really put it over the top was when we were in the studio working on a track together and that’s how it kind of began. Then we did a gig together in Godskitchen in Birmingham and the promoter just left it up to us to figure out the set times. So we had an idea that each would play for an hour, but we wound up playing the whole night back to back and the crowd was going crazy. It was just really fantastic, and promoters started contacting us to book it. That’s when we were like, “Wow.” We needed to create a project name for this. There’s so much demand for it. When they come to see a New World Punx show, they’re going to get a specific thing. So, we wanted to make sure they understood when it’s New World Punx and when it’s just Markus and Ferry. It’s a lot of fun. We’re jumping around in the DJ booth having a great time along with the fans.
In what ways would you say you’re both similar and in what ways different?
In what way are we similar? We’re very much like music nerds. Our philosophy in music, with the mixing and everything, is very similar. So he’ll play a track and I’ll look at what key it’s in and mix out of that. Then he’ll look at what I’m playing and kind of strategically figure out what would work with this. In that way we’re very much alike, but at the same time the way we’re different I think is that I like a lot of techno influenced tracks and he likes a lot of more electro influenced. So it’s kind of cool how the foundation of it all is the melody. So we’re weaving in and out of these melodies and with all these different kind of grooves, and I think it works really, really well.
Now with Coldharbour Recordings, what makes it special?
Coldharbour has always had its own sound. It was always the voice of the progressive/trance sound. I think that we’ve always stayed true to that. We might release a track like ‘Venom One’ which might be a little more uplifting but at the same time it fits that Coldharbour soul. I think that’s what makes it different than any other label, the soul. I know that many people say they look at the logo and get a certain feeling. They get that feeling. I think that’s what it is, the soul.
You have so much on your plate, how do you recharge?
You know this is what I do. I never think about needing to recharge or anything like that. This is what I’ve been put on this planet for. When I’m up on the stage or in the DJ booth is when I feel the most happy. I think that’s where I recharge.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2013?
Well I’m finishing up Scream II right now. I’m really happy with how it’s coming along. I still want to do a few more. I still have an idea for a few more tracks. We’re trying to finish it up. I was hoping to put it out this fall, but I still have a couple things I want to do. Around Christmas time is not a good time to release an album because things get lost around Christmas. We’re going to try to finish it up as quickly as possible and then release it at the very beginning of next year.
Now here you are in Gainesville, a few hours from home. I have to ask, are you a Gator fan?
Well you know [laughs], I’ll say the politically correct answer and that is that I’m a Florida fan, the state of Florida. I always root for USF against whoever they’re playing. I’ll root for Florida State against whoever they’re playing. I just want whoever is in Florida to win, but when they’re playing each other, that’s when I might put on the shirt of the team that I pull for [throws up the U]. I didn’t want to mention anything, but hey we get to brag this year. We’ve had a down decade really. University of Miami hasn’t been very good for about a decade, though they had a few seasons where they were okay. We’re really hoping that this year can be a special year, and I think we’re off to a good start.
On that note, anything you’d like to say to your fans?
You know what, I’m really happy. I got a lot of messages from people who are coming here to Gainesville from all over Florida. I’m really happy that my fans are so loyal and follow me around like this. At the same time, there are a lot of people from here that messaged me that are going to go to tomorrow night in Tampa. I think that the fans are the greatest. They travel along with you, and it makes everything fun.
Be sure to check out Markus’ latest episode of Global DJ Broadcast where he previews many of the tracks from Buenos Aires ’13 along with tracks from previous editions. Grab your copy of Buenos Aires ’13 here.