Playlist mit Mixed Styles

Interview with Thomas Petersen

  • Hey Thomas! At first I would like to thank you for your willingness to lead an interview with TechnoBase.FM. Your native country Sweden seems to be a real forge for good music. World famous bands like ABBA, Roxette, Europe, or also renowned singers like Ana Johnsson come from this country. You as well are one of the world’s most successful Hardtrance-producers, although this genre might differ a little bit from the other artists mentioned. Is there any secret receipt which explains, why there are so many great names in Sweden? Are you proud of being part of this country?
Thanks! :) I’m very proud of being from Sweden, even though I am 50% German and Petersen is a German name :). One of the most famous Swedish producers is Max Martin who produced many hits for Britney Spears, E-Type,  Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry and we also have RedOne the producer of Lady Gaga. Not everyone knows that these two producers come from Sweden! I think the only secret receipt is that there are many talented producers here who have met the right people at the right time ;)
  • You live in a small town called Kungsbacka, near to the Danish border. On the one hand, people normally have a calm life in such surroundings, on the other hand you are internationally known for your productions and remixes and often in demand. Is this a huge difference or a perfect balancing?
It’s really great to live in a small town with calm surroundings when I am often in a very stressed mode. It keeps me balanced indeed.
  • Let us take a look on your career as a producer. How did your affection for Hardtrance arise and who is the person who supported you most? Did you know that you wanted to become a Hardtrance-producer from the beginning or have you tried to produce other electronic music styles, as well?
I have always loved the combination of beautiful melodies and a hard sound. This was especially important in Trance and Hardtrance during the 90’s until 2005 and I knew from the beginning that this is the style I want to produce. I have very good contact with many of the Hardtrance / Trance producers from the 90’s but many of them are no longer active in the scene but they have all supported me a lot. For example Mega ‘Lo Mania with whom I released one of my new singles “Without Your Love”, was one of the most respected producers during the 90’s and constantly requested as a remixer by Scooter, Dune, Mario Lopez etc…
  • You are well known for your singles and several remixes. The majority of the people who produce electronic music are deejays, as well. Personally speaking, I have never heard of an event, you took part in as a deejay. Is this my mistake, or is the producing-area your only great passion? :-)
I’m not really a DJ, so the producing-area is always my biggest passion ;) But I know lots of producers who are also no DJs. For example Ace Da Brain who has released Hardtrance since 1997 but never DJ’ed in any clubs.
  • A few days ago, your new single “Motion” released on Metrophonic Resistance under your new project “Zylone”. Explain us the difference between the Thomas Petersen- and the rougher Zylone-style.
I have done so much vocal, more commercial Hardtrance as Thomas Petersen and Soulcry, so I wanted to create also a new Hardtrance project that is less commercial with not so much vocals but still very melodic. The project Zylone was then created and the first single “Motion” was released last week on Metrophonic Resistance, the label from Accuface and Johannes Ripken (OverDrive Division). Remixes from DJ Sakin, Ray Burton & Titus and the Hardstyle artist 44 Desert Eagle, made it very quickly a favorite among Hardtrance lovers and you could also tell that on the sales chart of some download shops.
  • You often collaborate with number one artists like Brooklyn Bounce, Accuface, Empyre One or Mario Lopez. Especially the duo “Emypre One vs. Petersen” is really conspicuous in the dance music community. What makes the work with all those people special? Do you have a kind of “shared identity” with some of them?
I know that the main reason is that these artists actually love the Hardtrance sound from the past and there are not many left who still makes this style. You may think that for example Jan Wayne or Empyre One only like Hands Up, but they like Hardtrance very much too. That’s the “shared identity”. Empyre One is a great friend of mine, so sometimes we make remixes together and so far we have made Empyre One vs. Petersen Remixes for DJ Gollum – Fairytale Gone Bad (2007), DJ Fait – Hold On To Dream (2008), Brooklyn Bounce – Bring It back (2010).
  • You belong both to the most experienced Hardtrance-producers and remixers. Therefore, I can ask you a question whose answer most people could not know honestly: Is it easier to produce a single, where you can let your imagination run wild, or a remix, where you have to keep the original soundset audible? Do you prefer producing something totally new or interpreting existing tracks in another way?
Many “new” producers would say that it’s easier to make a remix, especially when they have the midi files, than making their own composed song. That’s why you can see so many that is only doing remixes and bootlegs and you hardly see any own singles from them. I like doing both, but I love producing own singles so I can decide everything myself.
  • Obviously, Hardtrance is your favourite music-style. What do you like most of it? Is it popular in Sweden and do deejays play it in clubs and discos, as well?
It’s melodic, emotional and hard, three concepts that are very important for me. It’s still being played in some underground, harder clubs in Sweden. It is a very specialised scene, which keeps the style alive, which is great. I am sure that it will get more mainstream recognition somewhen in the future again, like it always works in music and its genres.
  • You as a genre-expert must be able to answer this controversial question: Lots of our TechnoBase.FM-Deejays play “Hardtrance” by artists like DJ Fait or also you. Tracks which contain calm and driving passages as well as powerful, deep  basslines and high melodies. However, real Trance-Deejays interpret the term “Hardtrance” in another way and claim, that Hardtrance as you produce it would rather be comparable to HandsUp. What do you think?
I know that many calls my music for “Hands Up” because it has often lots of vocals and catchy melodies. But for me is for example DJ Fait totally HandsUp. My Hardtrance that I produce is very inspired by German, Swiss and Italian Hardtrance as it sounded in the past but I have many friends who sing professionally and they often ask to sing on my productions, so it becomes more commercial. With this vocal and melody focus, my productions are also suitable to HandsUp fans, but in the core it is Hardtrance music.
  • Which music do you listen in your spare-time, except of Hardtrance? Do you have favourite artists, you admire?
I listen to everything that is good ;) It can be Pop, Ballads, Metal. One artist that I admire very much is Eric Levi from ERA and I had the luck to have his lead singer featured on “Soulcry – A Life So Changed Part I & II” which incl. remixes by Empyre One, Talla 2XLC etc… Soulcry is the Trance project from me and the Dutch producer Alan Frijns aka. Lisaya.
  • Do you have any “secret passions” apart from producing? :-)
Going to the cinemas, collecting rare music, getting new experiences :-).
  • What can we expect from you in the future? Are there any plans for new collaborations?
Franca Morgano from the legendary German group Magic Affair sings on my latest Thomas Petersen single “Without Your Love” and I’m working on new singles at the moment, but no plans yet for any new collaboration.
  • Okay, at last, you have the possibility to address yourself to our huge community, that shares almost all electronic music styles, from HandsUp. If you ever intended to speak to almost 400.000 people - this is your chance! :)
Keep listening to great music and remember to buy the songs which you love to support your favourite artists! That also makes the artists happy! :-)

Thomas, thank you very much for your time and this great interview! Our whole team whishes you and your friends all the best for the future! Keep on producing such great tracks! We hope that we were able to support you and your songs!

Am 11.09.2005 um 17:22 Uhr von Basti

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