Markus Schulz is a legend, to say the least. The DJ producer has been making music for over 20 years with unique sounds mixed from progressive, house, and trance. Schulz has played everywhere from small club venues to the largest music festivals the world has ever seen. Kansas City was fortunate to have Markus Schulz stop by for a visit, where he headlined the show last Friday June 5th with resident DJ Eric Coomes opening up at Moscaic Night Club, which is located in the Power & Light district downtown.
We were fortunate to be able to sit down with him for a few minutes before he hit the decks and ask some questions.
Did you ever imagine yourself being anything other than a DJ?
Not sure about being a DJ, but music ever since I was young has been my passion. I was into sports when I was really young.. any young kid wants to be a professional athlete.. but when reality hits that you don’t have that killer instinct, then my other passion kicked in and that was music. From there, it led me to DJing. The first time I was behind the decks, I was like “Oh my god, this is right here is what I’ve been put on this earth for!” I just felt at peace.
What genres and artists influenced you early on in your career?
Early on, I was DJing in the top 40 clubs and then in gay clubs because I got so sick and tired of the top 40 clubs. When I was coming up and learning my way, my friends who were also DJs were playing underground music and they would tell me stores about Larry Levan who was a DJ at the Paradise Garage. They would tell me stories about how Larry was and in my mind I imagined and drew this picture of Larry Levan and that is what was my inspiration. I never met him or heard him play, but the stories I heard about him are what inspired me. I drew my own set in my head about what it must be like to hear him and that was my goal… to be able to do things that he did.
We are looking forward to your next city series tracks. What other cities can look forward to getting a track dedicated to them?
London is the next one and I’ll play that one tonight. It’s going really well. The funny thing is it’s just like, the idea is, I just want to make tracks that destroy the floor and rock the place and kind of really cater it to the certain clubs that I’m playing at or the venues. For example, Indio is not a typical Markus Schulz track, but it was for Coachella. At the same time, now when I play Indio, people go absolutely crazy. Bine Facut is the same thing. Bine Facut is a track that I made for my show in Romania in Bucharest. At first everyone was like oh… but now every time I play it, people go crazy. The idea is, individually these songs are like just tracks… but when you put them in the context of a set.. and I think that’s what the art of DJing is. The track, the way that I program it, the way it just kind of evolves into that riff, it works. It’s like all these tracks are like some of my biggest tracks in my set.
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What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever asked for on your rider?
Gummy bears. It was funny because my rider was always low key… and then I started touring with Ferry and Ferry has gummy bears on his rider. I’d go into the dressing room and there was always gummy bears and I was like “oh my god, why didn’t I think of that?” So now, there are gummy bears on my rider.
Have you ever heard a track and thought, “Man, I wish I had come up with that!”
All the time. All the time. You know, that’s the biggest compliment… when you hear a track and you think, “Oh, I wish I had come up with that.” For example, Ferry’s new track “Reborn”. It was like that.. when I first heard it.. I was like everything we like.. our whole New World Punx philosophy.. it’s all there.. “damn, I wish I would have thought of that stuff.” That’s what inspiration is. You hear it.. you might be down, like oh, I got nothing, I’m empty and then all of the sudden you hear a song and you are like oh my god, and everything starts up again.
What cities do you look forward to going back to? What’s your favorite?
It differs. Some cities go through cycles of change. I’ve always looked forward to going down to South America. I’ve always looked forward to going up to Toronto, Montreal, NYC, LA… in Europe, London obviously. There’s a lot of cities that are fun like that. The one thing that I’ve kind of.. it’s a new era for me kind of… because now I’ve gone to these cities many times. Now I’m starting to explore the cities, take extra days and stay there. Asia was always like this enigma for me. I always went to Asia and I never got to do much in Asia because I was always so jet lagged. It’s a 12 hour time difference, you get there and you’re just like sleep walking through your sets. For the last few times, for the last year we’ve gone to Asia we’ve gone on a whole Asian trip for two weeks. It takes a week, you get accustomed to the time, and all of the sudden you start exploring around Asia and now it’s like I’m really fond of just… not necessarily the clubs, but the food… oh my gosh, the food. India is another example. India has always been a country where it’s like get in and get out. We went to India on the last tour, and when Ferry and I went in December we spent some extra days there… had the food and I think that’s kind of where I’m at now.
Yeah! I think we saw on your Snapchat that you went to see some sites.
Exactly! We went to see the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China.. I’m really starting to enjoy going to these cities and spending time there. Like I said, when you first start doing this, the idea is get in and get out because you don’t know the promoters, you don’t know anything… you don’t want to spend a week or a few days at a place not knowing anybody. Now, it’s like we’ve been going to these countries many times and so we go for a few days and visit.
(You can follow Markus’ adventures on snapchat, username markuschulz)
When all the partying stops, how do you chill out and relax?
I love sports. For example, last night I watched the NBA finals. That was fun to watch, then the finals ended and it was like alright, let’s jump in the shower, let’s get ready to go to Sutra. I do little things like that. I like to ride my bike, play baseball, just active things. I love doing that kind of stuff.