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Interview with DJ and producer Marc Simz. Marc Simz, was born in 1976 in Nijmegen (Holland), and his first contact with the world of vinyl, was at the tender age of 18. In his early years he mixed hardcore, now known as oldschool. While he was doing his thing, the love for music kept on growing. After his residency at the Emporium Festival, Reloaded Festival, Summer Festival Nijmegen, Matrixx at the Park, Marc Simz is a new rising star. He plays every month at one of the biggest clubs in the world, the Matrixx. Support for Marc Simz productions comes from Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Markus Schulz, Marco V, Mark Sherry, Mr. Sam and many more. Marc Simz has a wide collection of records to choose from, like progressive, trance, hard trance and techno. During his performance, he can surprise you with many different styles. For Marc Simz, trance is the right music to bring people together, and let them forget all the sorrow from the past years. With vocals and many different beats, he tries to put the audience in the right mood.
His latest release ‘Forbidden City’ stayed at the Beatport trance chart top 10 for many weeks now. So we had to meet for an interview with him, if only in a virtual way, and learn the backstage information about who really is Marc Simz? because his name will explode big time the coming months.
Dimitri: Let’s start with the latest developments. Once again, Armin van Buuren, a fellow Dutchman and trance DJ, is again at the top of the very influential DJ Mag Top 100 Dj’s list. What is your opinion about that, and do you believe that this development is good overall for the Dutch trance scene, to get more exposure globally?
Marc: First I would like to say that it's great that four times in a row; Armin is once again the number 1 DJ in the world. It's a great development for the Dutch DJ scene, but above all, it shows that trance music is still very alive around the world, which of course is fantastic!
Dimitri: It will be great to let us know the Dj’s or the composers that have influenced more your decision to get involved with dance music, and particularly trance music.
Marc: My first encounter with Trance music was in 1999, when I heard Tiësto playing at Innercity. His sound really affected me, and made me switch styles from Hardcore to Trance. It didn't take very long when I also discovered the great sound of other great artists, like Ferry Corsten & Armin van Buuren.
Dimitri: Can you choose for us your all time Top 5 favourite electronic dance music tracks? It can be any style that you like, and have been a favourite of yours.
Marc: My 5 Favourite tracks are:
1 Tiësto - Suburban train
2 Yahel - Voyage
3 Delirium - Silence (Tiësto's in search of sunrise mix)
4 Push - Strange World
5 William Orbit - Barber's Adagio for strings (Ferry Corsten remix)
Dimitri: You started, like many other Dj’s in Holland, with hardcore. What is your opinion about this style, and the way that evolved through the years? Are you going to produce any hardcore, or hard dance tracks?
Marc: Hardcore is pretty much the only harder dance style I can actually appreciate, also because it's the music style where it all began for me. Hardcore used to be filled with recognizable "themes". There were lots & lots of exceptionally great tracks with great melodies, etc. Nowadays one track just sounds like the other one. But I stay with trance, no hardcore or hard dance for me these days!
Dimitri: Do you have any professional training as a dance music producer, or are you totally self taught? Do you believe formal training is essential, or does it kill, in a way, creativity and artistic freedom?
Marc: I think professional training has some level of importance, especially for people who are filled with inspiration, but are unable to convert it into actual music. Nevertheless I also think it kills musical freedom. As for myself, I learned every skill by myself, through experience.
Dimitri: Can you please give us a virtual tour of your current studio set up, and tell us if you have a favourite piece of software that you think is the best to make music with?
Marc: We've got a fairly small studio with some hardware modules(Roland Juno2, Access Virus C, Roland JP8080, Roland 303 Groovebox), a Computer of course, and lot's of software plugins. We use Cubase as a sequence platform. Our current favourite Software plugin is Lennar Digital Sylenth1, a great software synthesizer, which - with the proper tweaking - delivers a very cool sound!
Dimitri: From where do you get your inspiration from for your tracks, and at which part of the track you start first? For example, many producers invest a lot in making the break, and then building the rest of the track.
Marc: Like many other producers, I often start off with a theme, or break, and progress from there, but not always. My inspiration derives from many things, like, what my state of mind is, what the season is like, what happened during the day. Sometimes I'm somewhere downtown, or whatever, hearing a sound, and I think "hey, that might be a cool sound for a theme or effect or rhythm!"
Dimitri: You have released quality material on great independent record labels, like Neuroscience, or Smuth and then you moved on a series of fantastic tunes on ‘In Trance We Trust’. Can you give us your small comment about each label that you have worked with’ and your favourite track or remix till now’ and why for except Forbidden City, which is a separate question.
Marc: Yes, I have worked with multiple labels through the years. Every label has worked hard to get my tracks released. Black Hole recordings has always been a special label to me, because Tiësto once started it, and released lots of fantastic tracks through it. My own favourite release yet is "Maybe" on Neuroscience records, because it's got a punching drive and a classic, mind shifting theme! And also because it was produced within two days in some sort of natural flow!
Dimitri: You work with the producer Aerofoil. Who is that producer, and how did you met up? Are you going to carry on working together?
Marc: Aerofoil, also known as Nick van Mansum, has a long history as a producer. He's released great tunes by the name "Dynamic Sense", and "Project Massive". We met at a friend's birthday party, discussing music, and after some time, I asked him to work together on a versus project. We work on some versus projects, so new tracks coming up the future.