Friday 17th, October 2008
: The biggest interview with Ferry Corsten you will find these days! All the latest info from the pioneer of trance..
We arrive in a pitchblack Ahoy in Rotterdam, where Ferry Corsten will entertain thousands of fans in a few weeks time. In the middle of the area we find two comfortable couches where we can sit and get started with the interview. In this surreal setting we started to ask about the album right away…
The album has a special title. We read about that Twice In A Blue Moon is some sort of rose. Why did you decide to choose this as an album title?
It’s a really nice story. I was looking at a program about roses, and one rose was called Twice In A Blue Moon. I know that “once in a blue moon” is a saying about something that just seldom happens. I was working on the album when my wife got pregnant and it’s once in a blue moon when you find a real love. My daughter was born during the period I was working on the album and therefore I found the title Twice In A Blue Moon a nice title. It’s very personal story altogether.
We listened to the album and were very impressed. The album sounds warmer and more emotional than the more electronic focused L.E.F. Were you tired of the electro sound?
Electro was a sidestep for me after producing trance for so many years. It was to show my experimental side, but also a protest against trance during that period. Everything sounded the same back then. But I have always been an electro fan, especially the electro from the eighties and beginning of the nineties. But electro has gone way over the top now again.
Right now I think the trance music is developing very well, with good new sounds from guys like Wippenberg, Duderstadt, Stoneface & Terminal. Those German guys are making great stuff. I am really back to the melodies right now.
The first single is Radio Crash. The audience is reacting like madness on this record. You also tested this record on the dancefloors. Have you ever changed a record after testing it on a dancefloor?
Yes, the track Made Of Love. Initially I played this tune as an instrumental and I noticed this tune just needed a vocal, also because the melody is very strong. I met Betsie in New York and the rest is history.
With Radio Crash I was just playing around in the studio with some of the sounds and then the kick came and then the beat came and so on. I titled it Radio Crash as a nice reference to the track Video Crash from Lil Louie, which also has that banging sound. Alltogether the tune is really about the massive main riff though, which starts in the breakdown.
Radio Crash is now released, can we expect any remixes?
We just released a Muzikjunki remix, but I do expect some more remixes.
Will you remix some of your tracks from the TIABM album?
Made of Love will be one of the singles. I tested it a couple of times on the dancefloor and you see the real tranceheads with their arms in the air enjoying this record. As said before, this track evolved from an instrumental mix (138 bpm). But I will surely make some other remixes as well, for example the track Gabriella’s Sky. I might do something like a Ferry Fix for that..
Track number 3, We Belong, is based on an old Italo Dance record. What’s the title of the old track? And are you a fan of ITalo Dance yourself?
Yeah it’s Fun Fun – Happy Station. When I grew up in the eighties this was a pretty popular music genre. When you check the original track, there’s a really cool sound with a scratch made by a synthesizer. The tune also has a very nice melody. This tune is a fun reference to LEF, the previous album.
Maria Nayler delivers the vocals for the track. I vocoded her vocals with a cool effect. Her voice is usually a tad fragile, but now she sounds raw and electronic on the album, but with a nice feminine touch.
Gabriella’s Sky is a track inspired by the birth of your daughter. What can you tell us about it?
Yeah I was working on that track, but I had not titled it yet. I wanted to make a really beautiful record for my daughter that would be born during that period. We used her name for the title of the track, it was just perfect.
The title track of the album is an old fashioned uplifting trancer. Why did you choose this track as the title tune?
I made this record quite a time ago. It’s usual to name albums based on a vocal record. But this track really shows where my interest is at the moment, and that’s a track like Twice In A Blue Moon. It’s a beautiful record with a great melody and I think this track is fitting as a title track.
Shanti has a pretty Eastern/Indian feel. How did you come up with the vocal?
It’s a preset from a synthesizer, but not many people have this set as far as I know. It’s a pretty weird synthetic voice which sounds like a shaman. So that’s how it started, just listening to some presets of your synth and you build a track around it. Shanti was initially a way faster and harder track, but I softened it a little at the end a made a nice riff around it, which starts in the second part.
A big surprise for us was the beautiful ambient track Visions Of Blue. Did you compose this yourself?
Yes, i made it myself. I always want to make some chill music, like Freefalling with LEF. I didn’t make it in one take, but I regularly checked how it sounded and kept working on it.
Yeah it also sounds really spacy with the effects.
Yeah there is also a lot of reverb in the track, which gives it a lot of depth.
As an artist, when you release an album, you get good and negative feedback. How do you cope with these comments? Which one do you take seriously?
I take criticism serious from people that know what they are talking about. But I learned one golden rule as an artist: you can’t please everybody. I know that with the positive response on the album, there will also be a lot of negative response. So I know what’s coming
We saw on Facebook that you just finished the album since a few weeks. Did you feel a lot of pressure to finish the album with the upcoming Full On Ferry party coming up?
Yeah, the party is an excellent chance to present your album. We planned it all very well, but due to the birth of my daughter the whole schedule changed a bit. So I had to work hard to finish it, but the base of the album was done. The final months were used for tweaking and finetuning of the sounds.
The album has a stylish cover with the F on it. Just like the cover of the new single Radio Crash. Is this the new visual style for Ferry Corsten releases?
We have created the F logo as a recognizable logo for Ferry Corsten. We have communicated it during party’s (for instance Trance Energy), but we never used it for covers of releases. Because the album is warmer and more polished then L.E.F., we thought this would be a good cover for the album.
Do you update your status on Facebook yourself?
Well due to all the travelling, performances, the radioshow and everything else, I don’t have much time to check everything. The people at my office keep me up-to-date and I post on my forum etc. from time to time myself.. But to manage everything, Facebook, Hyves, Myspace, the Ferry Corsten website, I don’t have the time to handle it all.
Do you check Trance.nu sometimes?
Yes, i check the forum on my website alot, but i am also a regular visitor on Trance.nu.
The DJ Mag voting is here again. Is a high position important for you?
Its nice to have a good position on the list, also for the marketing possibilities as an artist. In Europe and the USA they don’t advertise their party’s with DJ Mag toplist positions. But in other country’s where party’s are sponsored by, for example, local beer brands, they want the biggest DJ for their party and they use the list for that as a reference.
But I am quite long enough in the business now so I don’t think it would be disastrous if my position would be a little lower.
Its funny though that you were the first one to bring the Dutch trance sound to the UK and the rest of the world, but that Armin and Tiesto were voted number 1 in the DJ Mag list.
Ferry: Yeah, but it’s also about the marketing. They really wanted to become the number 1 in the DJ list and I’m also proud that these guys made it in such a harsh market as the dance industry, that’s cool. To reach the number 1 in the DJ Mag poll was never my prime ambition. I made some choices different to what my fans may have expected, for example the change from my Gouryella and System F sound to a different, more electronic sound. But I felt that I needed to do this to keep myself happy in the studio.
Full On Ferry
Full on Ferry is the party that will take place November 1st in Ahoy Rotterdam, The Netherlands. It will be even more spectacular, what can we expect?
Last year was amazing, with the flying DJ booth. This year we will make the visuals even better. Also I’m really happy with the line-up, including trance heroes Lange and Solarstone, as well as trickmaster Eddie Halliwell and Sander van Doorn with his specific sounds.. and Sidney Samson and Marcus Schossow.
Will we hear alot of classics again?
I really don’t know, last year it was something that came spontaneously. Last year, due to wintertime, we had an our extra and therefore it gave me the opportunity to spin some of these classix for the hardcore fans. This year, I don’t know…
You perform with alot of other DJ’s. Do you have a record selection or arrangements before you start during that night?
Ofcourse we have to keep our sounds together during such a set. There are two theories about back2back. You can complement each other or you can battle each other. I’m not the battle kind of guy. They can make their own choices for records ofcourse, but it has to fit in the set.
Besides that, they are my guests, so I want to give them something special. You will see that in the show elements as well.
The party lasts for at least 9.00 hours. How do you prepare for such a set? Are you nervous?
Well a nine hour timelap is pretty long. Everything has to go right and also the other DJ’s have to feel comfortable. But the most nerves were last year, because that was the first time. Most of the tracks on the album will be played along with some special tracks with show elements. Those tunes form the pillars for the rest of the night.
Will the party be broadcasted on radio?
No, there will be no broadcast of the event. Maybey next year
Will there be a DVD release of the party?
Yes there will be a DVD release, but different than the previous one. It will be more a Road To Full On Ferry DVD. For 6 months long a camera crew has followed me during my tours. The registration of that will lead up to the highlight, Full On Ferry.
Recently your remix of U2 – New Year’s Day was finally officially released. Does it feel that you finally get the credit for the remix due to the official release?
Not really, I am really happy that it was finally released though. Bono phoned me back in the time that he really loved the remix. But the whole remix project back then was cancelled, because of political reasons. And then, when it gets released eight years later on an official U2 album on request from U2 themselves.. that feels good.
The violin edit of System F – Out Of The Blue, can we expect a release?
I don’t know yet, Out Of The Blue is 10 years old next year, so who knows… I get a lot of good response on the track. I made it because Avex Japan translated Gouryella and System F tracks to classic compositions. I thought it would be nice to take a part of that classic piece to Out Of The Blue.
Do you have many unreleased tracks that are in your safe? We remember a track called 4×4 – Midsummer Rain, from the Infinite Euphoria mixalbum. Will this be unreleased forever?
Correct, I initally made that track for the Right Of Way album, but somehow it didn’t make it. The only time I used Midsummer Rain was for that Euphoria album. Maybey it will be released in a remix.
Will there be any other Ferry Corsten remixes out in the near future?
I just made a remix of the new single of The Killers, called Human. I will be playing it during Full On Ferry.
Any artists you would like to collaborate with?
Seal and Bono are high on my list to co-operate with.
Flashover Recordings has three sublabels, all representing their own styles. Is it difficult nowadays to find good music for these labels?
We are not releasing alot of music every week, we try to focus on quality. We try not to release tracks that just sound reasonable. But not every track fits on Flashover Recordings, so we have sublabels to release those specific tracks. A good example is Georgia – Ode To 99. It’s a track that would not fit in Flashover, but it was excellent for the sublabel Levara (Latin for levitate)
We heard that Flashover Recordings bought the old System F, Ferry Corsten and Gouryella tracks from Purple Eye. What are the plans for these tunes?
We will make some new remixes of System F and Gouryella tracks in the future. Also I can make special edits of older Ferry Corsten tracks, so it’s really fun.
There will be a Ferry Corsten worldtour to promote the album. Got any countries that you will visit?
The official World tour will start in January next year. Tourdates will follow shortly and can be found on my website www.ferrycorsten.com
How was the experience to play back2back with Tiesto on Dance Valley?
Yeah it was really nice to perform with him. I met Tiesto in San Francisco were we both were spinning just three weeks before Dance Valley. Tiesto had to spin right after me, but after 40 minutes in his set there was a power failure, so nothing worked anymore. They couldn’t get it fixed and 15.000 people had to go home. During an afterparty there I asked him for a drink and if he wanted to spin together. And we decided to continue it during Dance Valley where we played the classics, cause we thought the audience would wanted it.
What’s the most memorable that you can tell us from touring in 2008?
When I was in Argentina, I played in the trance stage of the South American Music Conference. The Argentinian crowd is just fantastic. When I played Beautiful I saw a big part of the middle crowd started to sit. They sometimes do that in clubs to show how much they like that track and then they start jumping again when the beats start again,. When you see 5000 people sitting it’s just an amazing sight. Then I see an eight meter wide banner which shows: Everything is beautiful, Argentina will follow you forever. This really touched me a lot. A great moment that I will cherish forever.
Special thanks to the Dance Therapy and UDC crew for their help and hosting. Also thanks to Arne for recording this interview with his high tech phone