(I think I squealed a little too loudly about how much I loved Scott Bond’s tracks & remixes because I’m super honored to present my interview with the Trance General, Scott Bond.)
1. What motivated you to start a new label called RΞBOOTΞD? Any specific experiences or feelings? Or just one too many big room tracks?
RΞBOOTΞD is about a return to the true, authentic nature of Trance music. I coined the name RΞBOOTΞD as I believe that it can best be defined as the act of starting over and rediscovery with the ultimate goal to surpass all perceived benchmarks or expectations. To me, authentic Trance music is very often mistaken for edm, house, big room, electro etc. and I want people to understand and appreciate that a distinction does clearly exist. Our releases will be positioned at the forefront of dance music culture and set clear, defined targets of where Trance, as a genre is at now and where it wants to be
Starting up a record label was a central part of the plan, it’s a brand for a track, a remix, an album, an event and a record label – but also a direction that we can all choose to follow. We demand consistently high standards by showcasing original artist material and content with a priority on total quality above quantity. So, in other words, we don’t want to release 1000’s of sub-standard tracks and ideally look to sign whatever packs and erupts the dance-floor with only one prerequisite, it has to be proper Trance music!
2. For anyone who has never heard of Gatecrasher, can you describe what the scene was like, for someone that’s maybe only experienced “EDM” here in the states?
Think of a club where people lived for the weekend. It’s all about the music, the unique friendships made, the freedom to dress how you wanted while leaving attitude at the door and to dance intensely past 6am. I suppose that the closest that you can get to understanding this special time is to listen to the music, watch some Gatecrasher videos on YouTube and combine that with the film, “Human Traffic”. Also, you can check out the Gatecrasher TV Advert for Disco-Tech here:
“Theirs is no ordinary life, they have a secret. By day they look normal but by night things change. They hot up, they go a bit wild, they get lost in their dreams and their fantasies. It’s like being in a film and living out the soundtrack. It’s the music that does it, it’s the music.”
3. Any particularly crazy stories from the club that you’d like to share with the readers, to encapsulate what trance parties were all about?
The dress code at Gatecrasher was very often misinterpreted. We’d often encourage people to make an effort when they came to the club mentioning “smart clubwear” in our flyers. We regularly had large queues of people dressed up in a variety of different outfits and on one night there was a guy dressed in a full on gorilla suit. I really didn’t know why (it wasn’t fancy dress or Halloween!) and the door staff had told him that he could not come in dressed like that. He walked away and about 20 minutes later, he returned after having changed. He was about to pay at the entrance, when suddenly we saw that he still had the gorilla head under his arm! He was given free admission for trying so hard (with the gorilla head too!).
4. What do you think of the new Trance parties (A State of Trance, Future Sounds of Egypt, Group Therapy), and how do they compare to the Sheffield scene at the millennium?
I absolutely love the new Trance parties and the fact that there’s so many of them being featured all around the world just proves that Trance’s presence is getting stronger. You can’t really make a comparison between these events and Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield on the Millennium. Both were done at a completely different time and there wasn’t as much red tape back in those days (1999) which is partially why an underground vibe was able to thrive in the UK. We should also take into account technological innovation too.
5. Are the remix artists on your first couple of RΞBOOTΞD releases all old friends, or did you find some new talent that could capture the hard trance sound?
When you say hard trance, I think that you could be referring to pumping Trance or the Armin defined WAO138 (Hard Trance also exists in the UK but it’s an incredibly niche market). It’s a mixture of both old friends and up and coming talent. I have a tremendous amount of respect for each one of those artists featured on a RΞBOOTΞD release and carefully selected them based on their current style and some of their more recent material. I wanted to aim for a good spread of sub-genres such as uplifting and progressive Trance to give people choice and hopefully that has been achieved. We want to cater for a number of different styles within the Trance spectrum.
6. You’ve put out an Essential Mix annually for the length of a presidential administration in the USA, which one is your favorite?
I know that you’re not going to like this answer but they’re all my favourites. I would lock myself in a room and spend hours selecting the right tunes and how they would mix into each other. As I’m sure that you know, doing an Essential Mix for Radio 1 is a real honour for any DJ and it’s like global recognition for all your achievements wrapped up in a special 2 hour mix. Preparation was key and they literally take weeks to do, as do my RΞBOOTΞD mix series – I start with over 1000 tracks and whittle it down to around 30!
7. Who is one up & coming Trance producer that you’re really a huge fan of these days, that hasn’t really gotten the credit he or she deserves?
Just taking a look at some of my choice selections for remixers on RΞBOOTΞD should give you some ideas but for me, it would have to be my studio partner, Charlie Walker. He would attend my shows and then send me some of his tracks and the next time that I’d see him would be at another gig after having played one of his productions. It started to flow from there really and I ended up directing him with his tunes to the point where we ended up collaborating. We’ve worked on several productions and remixes together such as Obsidian Radio Feat. Jan Johnston and my most recent track with Marc Mitchell entitled “Airfoil”. One of the highlights of the year was the Armin championed “John Lennon – Imagine (REBOOTED Remix)” which was not only featured on ASOT but his set at Creamfields as well as being regularly featured on his Armin Only – Intense Tour. All I can say is expect to see more from Charlie and I as well as some original Charlie Walker productions on RΞBOOTΞD soon.
Buy this track: http://www.beatport.com/release/airfoil/1368790
8. Making it out to the USA at all to give us a live taste of the Gatecrasher sound?
I’m currently in talks to make it out to there and when I do, I will give you a live taste of the RΞBOOTΞD sound. You’ll always get a live taste of Gatecrasher from me as I was the driving force behind the brand’s strict Trance music policy and also compiled and mixed the award winning Gatecrasher album series. If you check out any of my mixes on Soundcloud, Mixcloud etc., they’re representative of the type of Trance that I play in a club and festival.
9. Any advice to the American party scene? Things we can learn from the UK club/festival experience?
Make the most out of your scene! As much as I hate to say it, back when the UK experienced a Trance revolution in 1999-2001 and there were weekly trance events (in some cities they’d even be daily!), we were completely spoilt for choice and really took it for granted – we’d be lucky to get one successful Trance gig a month now! Even though I do not support EDM, what I can say is that it is undoubtedly opening up the American market to many different styles of electronic dance music which can only be a positive thing. One of those genres is Trance so I’m very optimistic for the future.
10. If you couldn’t spin trance, would you hang up your headphones, or switch to another genre like house or techno?
That’s a good question! I’ll have to tell you the answer to that when I can’t spin Trance 😉