Willkommen zurück, Thomas Gold! The German DJ producer has been busy since his visit to Vegas, including gigging with the boys from Swedish House Mafia (he’s something of a honorary member at this point) and snagging the sweet giant home-page spot on Beatport with his latest original “Sing2Me,” among a slew of remixes and collaborations. Gold fills us in on some studio secrets before taking the booth with what he promises to be “energetic, uplifting house” at XS on April 15.
Your collaboration on “Alive” with Dirty South is in heavy rotation in Las Vegas. How did the partnership come about?
Dirty South, he invited me to play with him at a couple of events last year. He started sending over an idea, and I worked on an idea and sent it back to him, and he loved it. So the next step was we met up in Dirty South’s studio in Los Angeles and spent four days and nights there, and had a lot of fun.
With the ease of the Internet, is it still important to meet face to face in a studio?
Yeah, I think it’s better because you are by yourself in the studio all the time. I think the flow of energy is much better and easier if you are together, so you can put together your signature sounds very quickly, and you can really create the one, new combination sound. I prefer that kind of work.
Also doing well is your version of Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain.” Any feedback from her?
I never heard personally from her. When I finished the remix, her management told us, “OK, we have to wait until she has a listen.” It took like a week because she was touring, and then they came back, “OK, she personally approved the track, and she seemed to like it.” That was OK for me; it was really great to have her own approval.
You’ve got a free bootleg up on your Facebook page right now of “Turbulence” versus “Mutfakta” versus “Flashback.” Many times, bootlegs are just an a capella track over a different beat. So what’s your approach?
Whenever I get new stuff, I try to mash things together because I love to play around with tracks. So rather than just putting a vocal on top of a track—which I do as well if I don’t have too much time—I love to create something new with existing tracks, just to mash everything up. And I very often add my own production stuff like build-ups or effects or breakdowns, or I rearrange the tracks a lot. I just want to have some special stuff for my sets.
What was it like to play Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas last year?
It was one of my most amazing experiences, because I’ve never played on such a huge stage before such a big, big crowd. I stayed there all night to watch the others play as well. It’s really overwhelming to see everybody dancing and raving; it’s so cool.
Will you spin there this year?
Yeah, I’m playing this year again, and I can’t wait for the day to come!
You’ve also teamed up with Size Matters and SHM. What do you think about their new vodka commercial? Would you ever promote a product?
I haven’t seen the final commercial, but it looked very interesting, and, yeah, I would do it as well. Vodka is part of the clubbing scene and, I mean, why not be a part of that stuff if it’s in a nice and easy—or maybe in a funny and cool—way?
If you had to pick one product to endorse, what would you pick?
[Laughing] Maybe Coca-Cola, because I drink Coca-Cola all the time.
Dance music has been huge in your native Europe for decades, but what’s your view on its recent explosion in the States?
It’s huge what’s happening right now in the States. The fan base is increasing so much, and people are getting crazy about the music. What I like at the moment is people are really open to anything, to any kind of genre. Now everything is possible, even in your sets you can start very tech-y and end up very commercial and people still love it—in a certain range of course and you should not lose your style, but that’s what I like is that people are really open to experience and to explore this kind of music.
In Europe or some other countries it’s already very there and not that much interest for new stuff anymore. I would say, like, keep your eyes and especially your ears open to anything and let’s go that way for the rest of the world. I hope it will be like that in Europe one day and in the Eastern countries as well because I think it’s a good think at the moment. Even for us producers it’s cool because we can mix up elements and put ideas, which we might have not done years ago because we were thinking, “Oh, this won’t fit or this.”
Too trance-y, too house-y, this crowd or that won’t like it?
Exactly, yeah. People used to think in genres when you talked to them about what they like. Now it’s like more about if it sounds good in a club, if it’s a banger, if it catches your ear, if the vibe is good it’s cool and that’s a good thing and just keep it as it is now.
What’s it like being a part of the Swedish House Mafia camp? Are there any secret handshakes?
No, not really. I think the guys pick people when they like their style and Axwell—he always told me he loves my stuff so much and that’s of course why I’m now with Axtone [Records]. And Steve Angello, he loved my stuff and he signed my track to his label. I think it was through the music, and of course you meet the guys and you become closer. Actually, there’s no secret behind it I think—not from my side.