Ferry Corsten at Electric Zoo 2013
Photo by Flashover Recordings
Before his set at Electric Zoo on Randall’s Island in NYC on Friday, August 30, I had a quick chat with Ferry Corsten about his Dutch roots and the miniature model village of Madurodam in the Netherlands, which we both visited during our childhoods.
These days, Ferry has a prodigious career as a remix artist and DJ who plays all over the world in venues which regularly fill with with tens of thousands of his devoted fans. He has ranked in the top 25% of DJ Magazine’s annual Top 100 DJ Poll over the past several years (#7 in 2009) and was high on the must-see list for the Zoo’s rowdy animal population.
You’ve been on the Electric Zoo roster for four out of its 5 years – what keeps you coming back?
New York. It’s a great festival in New York. In New York – not close to New York. The energy is great. The melting pot of people that you get here from New Yorkers to everybody from the States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America. It’s a really cool festival to be part of.
Are there any other festivals in the US that you frequent?
I’m at the EDC Festivals. I’m at Ultra.
Should we look forward to any surprises in your set tonight? Any new material?
Yeah there’s some new stuff that I’ve only tested last week in Ibiza in a club, so it’s brand new. It’s the first time at a festival, so I can’t wait to see the big response.
How do you feel your sound has evolved since your early releases like Looking Forward and Out of the Blue?
It’s become a bit more sophisticated in the sense of production. Back in those days, I think it was just a bit more crude.
You didn’t have enough at your fingertips…?
Yeah. I didn’t have the knowledge. I didn’t have the material, the equipment to really make it sound smoother. But also, I think technology itself. What was around then, you cannot really compare it to what is there now. But also, sound-wise, I think back in those days was way more pure. “Out of the Blue” would definitely be a more pure trance record. Right now, we just get the influences from techno, electro house and just put everything together with a big melody on top.
Do you like how other genres in the electronic music world affect your sound?
Yeah! I love it because, in the end, it is what moves you and not the name tag. Sometimes I could take the most amazing melody out of trance and this amazing groove that’s in a house record. You put the two together, and you get a whole new sort of track. That’s why I love combining those things. Just to open up new avenues, basically.
You have had great success working with the likes of Tiesto and Armin van Buuren, both of who are scheduled to headline EZ this weekend. Do you have any other collaborations in the works?
Yeah a collaboration I just started to take very serious with Markus Schulz. We were making music together, we were playing together as individual artists, but then the fans on Twitter started saying, “Hey, you guys should just start touring with this back-to-back thing that you are doing, so we decided to put it all together in a new approach.
New World Punx…
Yeah – exactly. So that’s a big focus for both of us, and hopefully we will announce the dates for our November tour in the States.
How do you feel about CDJ players and laptops replacing turntables?
It’s technology. You cannot resist technology. It makes my life a lot easier. I don’t think I see myself playing with a laptop anytime soon, but I love what Pioneer is doing now with the USB sticks. I still play my music traditionally…in a traditional way, but you benefit from the technology. The new stuff.
The official Ferry Corsten app is a great way for your fans to access your interactive chart show, “Corsten’s Countdown” as well as photo, video, and upcoming tour dates. What can you tell us about the app?
The app is an extra bonus. I want to make it easier for dedicated fans to say, “I want to know what Ferry is up to and get booth messages. If we have a free download or anything that I want to make sure that people get, if they have that app, all they have to do is [makes hand motion as if pressing a button on a phone], and they know. And they don’t have to search on the internet endlessly to get it. So, it’s easy. It’s straight to the point.
Can we expect any “FULL ON” tours in the near future?
There are definitely days that we are looking into right now. They aren’t confirmed yet. I’m doing a big tour at the end of November with Stereosonic in Australia. It’s going to be a FULL ON arena. Yeah, that’s going to be fun.
Are there any secrets you would like to let your fans in on, and what can we expect from you in 2014 or end of 2013?
Ah, secrets. Not really. I’m a pretty open book. What’s coming up is “Once Upon A Night, Volume 4” – my compilation. The next edition is coming up. I’m constantly in the studio, so there’s a bunch of new tracks coming up soon. And, obviously, the New World Punx thing that will be announced soon.