New World Punx' Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten Are Seasoned, EDM Rebels
What do you get when you take two artists who have each spent more than two decades defining trance music worldwide through their own singles, albums, record labels and even radio shows? The Coldharbour Recordings label owner, Markus Schulz, and Ferry Corsten of the "Corsten's Countdown" radio show have created a new DJ moniker which personifies a blend of their distinct, well-seasoned sounds. Their live show is a test of endurance and creativity, playing back-to-back sets every night.
Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz
The duo made their debut this year at Madison Square Garden during Armin Van Buuren's "A State of Trance 600." They most recently embarked on a mini tour which makes it's way to the Hollywood Palladium tomorrow. We caught up with the New World Punx to find out how they've been inspired by one another and what the fans can expect during their LA debut.
OC Weekly (Alejandra Loera): It's been eight months since your first gig as New World Punx at Madison Square Garden. How has the momentum of playing and producing together influenced your individual careers?
Ferry Corsten: I can definitely see that a lot of the music we put out is influenced by one another. We both have very individual styles, but since we work so closely on things, it rubs off on our music and the way we DJ. Also the response on social media has been huge. There's all these mentions of Markus Schulz, Ferry Corsten and NWP now. That's what I've seen since march, especially since this tour.
Markus Schulz: I think over the last eight months it's been cool to see our own loyal fan bases merge together too. It's really amazing to see how our individual fans have come together united and embraced us.
Markus your current single "Remember This" and Ferry's "Many Ways" are holding down the No. 2 and 3 spots on Beatport's trance chart right now. Do you think this has a lot to do with your current tour together? Were the tracks influenced by it?
Schulz: When I was crafting "Remember This," one of the things I did have in my mind was that I wanted to be able to play it in a NWP set. I also wanted it to have its own identity. That's the balance we have on our own solo tracks. Plus we also have a NWP version we play and the response has been amazing.
Corsten: "Many Ways" caters to a bigger audience but we made a NWP version that we'll play out that will never be released. No matter what track we play, we make sure it fits right with our sets. I think its just a coincidence that they are in the top three right now, but it's great that is the case. The people who come to our shows are active music buyers and that's reflective in the charts.
Do you think the blending of genres that you two have with your distinct sounds is reflective of the current trends in dance music?
Corsten: Big room house stuff is all pretty dark and aggressive right now. That's where the majority of styles and genres are right now. Yet there is a huge movement that loves the purer melodic trance. We want to make it so that we both aren't eliminating our backgrounds too much. That's why we chose to go for a very dynamic, driving sound which caters to the trance fans with big melodies but instead of being fluffy and sweet it's really aggressive. It brings the two worlds together.
Schulz: The cool thing about Ferry and I is we are both DJs as well as producers. The big trend right now is a lot of those producers are having to learn how to DJ. When we play there's a lot of improvising, reading the crowd and mash-ups. That's the art of DJing. Trends come and go but being able to read the crowd and be a DJ are things that set us apart. You can put us in a dark club in Montreal or main stage at EDC and we are going to adapt to the room or arena that is radiating to us.
Corsten: The way this thing started was out of pure fun. After years of doing this, it gets stale and tired. Yet working with someone has been inspiring and in a way complimentary. It brings so much more excitement to us. We don't know every record we each play, but sometimes we surprise each other and get that "Oh My God" feeling again.
Schulz: That's what gives the energy in our sets. Ferry will play something and the crowd will go crazy and it challenges me to dig in and find something equally mind blowing. It's fun because in the end we are there as fans of the music too.