Cosmic Gate Interview with Pinstripe Magazine
Internationally recognized, superstar trance DJs/producers COSMIC GATE are NIC and BOSSI. Based in Germany when not touring the world bringing their brand of uplifting, euphoric trance to hungry EDM (electronic dance music) fans, COSMIC GATE have enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top. On a relentless, 40+ date of North America in support of their fifth studio album, Wake Your Mind (Black Hole), COSMIC GATE took a moment out of their busy schedules to speak with PinstripeMag.com in this revealing interview.
PM: Most of the songs on your new artist album, Wake Your Mind (Black Hole), are collaborations with other vocalists. Was it hard to produce an album while collaborating with so many artists and what prompted you to do that?
COSMIC GATE: It was not hard at all on the one side, as we know most of our collaboration partners pretty well from many years on the road. The only actual problem was the time management, as all of us are on the road a lot and that’s why the final realization of the album took a few month longer as we all expected. But we hope it was worth the wait!
PM: What prompted you to rework Jurgen Vries’ “The Theme”?
COSMIC GATE: We used the original Jurgen Vries version for our classic DJ mix on Armin van Buuren’s ASOT 400 compilation. Afterwards, we still liked this track so much that we decided to build a new version that would fit the current sound of our own club gigs. After playing this mix for a while, a real kind of hype started and colleagues were requesting this mix from us. We thought, “Hey, let’s try and make it an official release! We sent our mix to Darren Tate, who is the guy behind Jurgen Vries, and he really liked it and gave us the permission to release it. That’s the complete story behind “The Theme.” In the end, it was a doubly good idea for us to agree on mixing Armin’s ASOT 400. Without this, “The Theme” never would have happened.
PM: How was your 2011? Did you have any funny or interesting moments? Do you guys have any special plans for 2012?
COSMIC GATE: Fortunately with all the traveling, we have a lot of funny moments around being on tour together, most somehow happening on flights or on the road. [laughs] We sometimes wish a camera would be around to keep the moment because telling is only half of the fun. [laughs] As for 2012, besides all of the ongoing touring we will do, you surely will see the release of some of the tracks from Wake Your Mind with new Ccub remixes as singles. On top of that, we will do some mix CDs, we’ll start our own podcast and radio shows finally, and there will be lot of things going on around us.
PM: Can you tell us more about your album’s title and what message you want your listeners to take away musically and conceptually?
COSMIC GATE: We had a lot of people writing us that they do not like trance or EDM too much, but that they love our album. This is what we love. Our album first is an electronic dance music album. It may be a trance album for others, but this shows that we have appeal for people from out of this scene also. We think it is always good to listen to different genres and that is where our influences are from. We hope it shows in the music we produce. With Wake Your Mind, we mean that we want people to be open-minded when it comes to music and to accept the things that maybe on the first hand are a bit different. In the end, richer is the music that possesses variety, a variety we were searching and hoping for inviting so many people to work with us on this album.
PM: What inspired the first single from Wake Your Mind, “Be Your Sound” featuring Emma Hewitt?
COSMIC GATE: Normally, the procedure is, we write the music first and the singers write the lyrics on top of this demo. “Be Your Sound” for the first time made us work a track that was written from Emma first, and we produced the music only afterwards. It was a great experience for us to work the other way around for the first time and we hope the result shows that both ways of working and songwriting can lead to great results.
PM: Emma Hewitt seems to be a rising star in the world of trance vocalists. Looking at other vocalists known for lending their vocals to EDM music – like JES, Jan Johnston, Sarah McLaughlin, Tori Amos, Nadia Ali, Fisher, Arena, etc. – how do you go about choosing and deciding on a vocalist to fit a particular track? What’s your process of selection?
COSMIC GATE: Music is a feeling, and so it is the same with choosing a singer to work with. Before producing Sign Of the Times back in 2009, we heard Emma for the first time and we both right away knew that she was someone we definitely could imagine fitting our music really well. The result with the track, “Not Enough Time,” in our eyes showed that we were right.
Since then, we knew we would work with Emma Hewitt again.
PM: You are both stylish guys, and as performers, you must be aware of how you appear onstage. Who are your favorite menswear designers (i.e. designers whose clothing you often wear, and it can include accessories designers like shoes, hats, eyewear, etc.)
COSMIC GATE: We are both big fans of D2 (pronounced “D Squared”) and Diesel. For eyewear, we like the classic Ray-Ban or Prada aviator sunglasses. We love the sneakers from Philippe Model, which are among our favorites! On top of that, we like to wear scarves, both as accessories but also to protect from the all existing air-conditioning. This is very important with all of the traveling we do.
PM: Which American actress or pop star do you find attractive? (i.e. We have a lot of readers who also read men’s magazines like MAXIM, GQ, MEN’S HEALTH, etc.)
PM: DJs are the new rock stars and are becoming more and more mainstream in popular American culture. People think of DJs as living a jet-setting life with lots of champagne, gorgeous women, first-class travel, earning loads of money and living a fabulous lifestyle. What is the biggest misconception of the “superstar DJ” lifestyle that you want readers to know?
COSMIC GATE: There is quite a lot of what you mentioned existing, for sure, but for every hour of fun, there are at least 20 hours of hard work! All the traveling, jet-lag, no time to eat properly, lack of sleep…all of that. On the one side, it’s a great life and lifestyle for sure, but we all work very hard for it. This is what a lot of people maybe do not realize or maybe simply cannot know just seeing the glamorous moments onstage with champagne and pretty girls around. Being a touring DJ, a performer, and producing your own music and releasing records and running a business….it’s a lot of hard work.
PM: Your plans for New Year’s Eve?
COSMIC GATE: We will play a big festival in Richmond, California. Lots of friends from the area will be joining us, and afterwards we will spend a week for some well-needed down-time!
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