Ferry Corsten needs no introduction; the man practically created the melodic sounds now known as trance music. Almost twenty years after he introduced us to the build ups and crashes of melodies, Ferry continues to explore the rhythmic harmonies of trance, allowing it to create a story through his latest album, Blueprint.
I caught up with Ferry at EDC Las Vegas right before he was about to take the stage and play amongst thousands of fans from around the world. Even though we did chat with Ferry earlier this year (you can read Meagen's piece here), he did get a bit more candid in regards to his take on the current state of trance (no pun intended) and how fan reception has been since his album release.
Q: You're about to perform at EDC Las Vegas for the hundred millionth time, tell me, do you still get nervous?
A: Haha. Yeah, I've played many EDC's and there's always excitement, but it's not the nerves anymore. The nerves have traded places with excitement.
Q: Any special guests with you tonight?
A: Yeah, actually. I'll be bringing out Haliene and she's going to be doing three songs live.
Q: You also just released a new album, Blueprint. Are you focusing on that for your set?
A: Yes I am. With a new album out, you really have something to present and there's a few tracks that I am including tonight. You don't have much time when you are playing at a festival, but I really hope I'm able to tell the story of Blueprint in the hour or so I have.
Q: What stands out the most out of your latest album, Blueprint?
A: The fact that the emotion of the music is backed up by a real story. Everyone always says, “I'm doing an album and it tells a story. Well, this album ACTUALLY tells a story.”
Q: You released the album with a narrative and then again without. Why?
A: That was always the plan. I knew that when I released an album with spoken word it wasn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. But that's the way I wanted to present the album, that is how I meant it. After a few weeks, we released it again for people who may not want to listen to the narrative. I knew that people would be like, “I'm not too sure about the narrative.” but I've also seen people who said on social media, “man, I can't listen to the album without it.”
Q: Now that you mention social media, how connected are you online and with your online fanbase?
A: Fairly connected. I don't like to have social media dominate my life even though it does create a fanbase.
Q: I'm asking because there's been a lot of debate online recently about what is considered ‘Trance' music. You've been at the forefront of trance since the beginning, what's your take on it?
A: Well, on a personal level, I feel that trance is the sound that was big from 1999 until about 2004. I feel like I'm partly to blame for this because I started to experiment with a little bit of electro and gave it a little bit of a grittier sound.
But, what I really think that trance is—it's not a sound, it's a feeling. I could listen to some techno DJ playing 122 BPM and then there's this amazing melody coming out of it and that could be trance. I could also listen to Aly & Fila at 140 BPM and I could get the same feeling. Where I did see it go wrong was when the big EDM Big Room bubble spilled over into trance. I had to stand up and say, this isn't trance anymore.
But, what I really think that trance is—it's not a sound, it's a feeling. I could listen to some techno DJ playing 122 BPM and then there's this amazing melody coming out of it and that could be trance. I could also listen to Aly & Fila at 140 BPM and I could get the same feeling.
Where I did see it go wrong was when the big EDM Big Room bubble spilled over into trance. I had to stand up and say, this isn't trance anymore.
Q: So it does affect you and the way you produce your music?
A: Yeah, of course it does. I'm very passionate about that sound.
You can stream and download Ferry Corsten's latest album, Blueprint, here.