Quickfire: A few minutes with Timo Maas

Marcus Barnes

timo maas 300x225 Quickfire: A few minutes with Timo MaasTimo Maas is a busy man with a hectic tour schedule and a new album to promote so, of course, he’s pretty pushed for time at the moment. However, I managed to grab a few minutes with him for a quickfire interview.

Firstly, can you explain to me a little bit about your new album and whether it has an underlying theme… or something that binds all the tracks together?

Well, Santos and I have tried to create a studio album that follows my open-minded intention to create electronic music without boundaries, but full of emotions. I would say it pretty much sums up where I stand as a recording artist right now

What are the key differences between your latest album and your previous ones?

The main difference is eight years in time. Loads of things have happened to the market, and even myself, in that time. I would think it has that particular “Timo Maas sound”, (whatever that really is) but is possibly closer to myself than ever.

How has your sound evolved on this new LP?

For the last few years I have been working quite intensely with Sante Pucello (Santos) as my production partner. The album is the result of our work together. I am very happy with all the detailed work, the programming and also the emotion/intention on it. It’s another step.

What does Lifer say about Timo Maas, the producer, in 2013?

I have been playing music out for 30 years now and producing for nearly 20. I have spent the majority of my life with music and I have no plans to stop. I am simply a Lifer!

Are there any albums in your own collection that inspired Lifer?

For sure. I listen to a lot music every day, and not just electronic. The combination of all is part of the inspiration.

How long did it take to put it all together? Was it a relatively easy process or did you have any difficult moments?

It took about two and a half years. Sometimes it was pretty easy, sometimes it was a bit rougher but I think that’s quite normal when you try to express feelings in your music.

There are several collaborations on the album would you mind talking me through how each one came together and why you chose to work with each person?

James Lavelle: I met James a while ago, but have been a fan of his UNKLE project for many years. When we met, we realised that it would be a great idea to try something together, which we did!

Mikill Pane: I was getting tips from some London friends to watch out for Mikill, which I did. After listening to “Return of Mr Pane”, I tried to contact him and connect. I’m glad he is on board, his stuff is super cool and he’s a very talented and funny geezer.

Katie Cruel: A few years back, Santos and I remixed her former band “We Fell To Earth”, so when she came to me last year to ask for a remix for her recent music we tried to get her on board for the album project. I love her voice, it’s outstandingly great and emotional!

How much importance do you place on the role of vocals within your music?

It depends. We are not just writing tracks, we write songs too – and a proper song should have proper vocals on top too.

What lessons have you learned through making Lifer?

Nothing is impossible!

Do you have any particular favourite tracks from the album?

Not really, I love them all and it totally depends on my mood.

This year you celebrate a decade as resident at DC10 in Ibiza, how important has this residency been to your DJ career?

It has been extremely important really! It’s been the melting pot for the new trends for many years…I am very glad to be part of it!

What is it about the club that makes it so special?

The pure dedication to quality music and partying!

Can you remember your first experience of DC10? What was it like?

My old friend Loco Dice pulled me into it in 2001, saying, I had to experience it, which I did, in full effect. I had some really magic moments in there, as a DJ-guest but also as a music and party lover.

Likewise, can you tell me about your first trip to Ibiza?

That was in 2000, I went there to play at a Gatecrasher event, then I stayed in the PIKES Hotel, ran into Alex P, got drunk and partied like crazy, had a great gig and left next day pretty much brainwashed. The only thing I was missing was sleep. I knew I had to go back there A.S.A.P!

Your label has gone from strength to strength, can you explain the ethos behind it and what we can expect from the label for the rest of the year?

Santos and I are going to start to release again very soon. The first one will be two original Songs by Katie Cruel with very strong Santos and Timo Maas Remixes. Next one is Wolfgang Haffner (a Jazz musician from germany) with remixes by myself, Ricardo Villalobos, Nightmares On Wax and Acid Mondays. We will keep it fresh and interesting!

Having been involved in DJing and making music for such a long time, what is it that keeps you motivated to carry on?

Purely my love for music!

You’ve said that DJing is a very important aspect of your life/career – what do you enjoy most about it?

I guess it’s the direct feedback from the people.

What goes through your mind when you’re DJing and watching a crowd lose themselves to the music you’re playing?

I get goosebumps and try to peak it up even more – in my own way though!

Do you keep up to date on what’s happening in your hometown? What’s the scene like there nowadays?

As I live on the countryside, lets forget about that. It’s a great scene for musicians (small though) but not much going on electronically.

Looking forward, beyond the album, what else do you have planned?

Looking forward to a busy summer travelling and playing. There’s a whole bunch of new tracks and remixes coming out in the next months, watch out!

What more is left for you to achieve in music? What are your current dreams and ambitions?

Music and the sense for it is constantly changing, so there’s plenty to do in the future for my partners and I.

Lifer is released on Rockets & Ponies this week

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