Take two veteran superstar DJs, put them in one booth and watch the magic happen as they use their collective talents to blow your mind (and possibly an eardrum, if you’re foolish enough not to protect your hearing). Fresh off his Scream 2 bus tour in support of his latest album, Markus Schulz chatted about what he and Ferry Corsten will be bringing to the masses for the 2014 Electric Daisy Carnival as New World Punx.
How did your collaboration with Ferry Corsten come about?
The New World Punx started off as kind of a jam session between Ferry and I, [and then] it just blew up into a big production. For EDC, obviously, we’re going to bring the biggest production to our show that we’ve had. The best way to describe it is: Ferry and I are doing a jam session, but fast and furious, and with probably double the intensity of anything that you’ve heard from us.
Any hints as to what that production entails?
Well, we’re going to have some special guests appearing, and we’re going to debut a couple of very special songs. We’ve really been working hard on the EDC set since the end of 2013.
Would you say it’s similar to your music as solo artists?
It’s in the same vein as what Ferry and I do, because it’s Ferry and I—we don’t do anything we don’t normally do. However, the attitude is just different. One thing about these uplifting euphoric melodies is that they’re beautiful and everything, but with the New World Punx, it’s all about adding this rebellious attitude.
Are you rebelling against anything in particular? Perhaps the current EDM scene?
We’re not really rebelling against what’s going on, because I really love what’s going on—not a lot of the music is my taste, but the attitude and the newness of everything is fantastic, and I love that. What we are rebelling against is—I’ll say it: Trance is too serious sometimes. Too many love songs or too much rainbows and unicorns, you know? The whole New World Punx project, we keep the beauty and the melodic-trance integrity, but it’s a different attitude. It’s not like the snobby, elitist attitude that sometimes the trance scene can be guilty of.
Why are some of your contemporaries shying away from being referred to as trance producers?
The hardcore trance fans from the so-called “golden era” kind of aged out of the scene, and all they do is talk about how much better it was back in the day, in 1999. But trance is about melodies and being taken away by beautiful melodies. So just because it doesn’t come in the same jacket that the trance of 1999 came in doesn’t mean that it’s not trance and doesn’t mean that it’s inferior. Some of the most beautiful melodies in trance that I’ve ever heard are coming out now. Trance’s renaissance was in 1999, when it came onto the scene and stormed the charts. The whole world was like, “Oh my God! Trance!” Yeah, guess what? Right now is this generation’s 1999. I’ve been rebelling for the last few years against that whole kind of old-guard attitude. There are a lot of people who have contributed so much to bring our scene to where it is today; they should not be dismissed or forgotten about. Some of these people include Danny Tenaglia and [Paul] Oakenfold—these are guys who did so much for our scene.
How did your nickname “Unicorn Slayer” come about?
A fan tweeted, “If trance is rainbows and unicorns, then Markus Schulz is the unicorn slayer.” Meaning that I’m playing these melodies and everything, but it’s definitely not rainbows and unicorns. I re-tweeted it, and it caught fire and went viral within my fan base. I’ll be traveling around the world and see people with unicorn slayer shirts. I didn’t do anything to nudge it along, I just kind of embraced it. It’s the fans’ moniker; the fans have made it what it is today.
Should we dress like dead unicorns for our EDC costumes?
I’ve seen everything from cakes with unicorn heads on them to people dressed as unicorns to people with T-shirts that say “Slay me, I’m a unicorn”—all kinds of stuff!