Less rules means happier people

I do like to carry messages through my music that portray love and harmony

It was really beautiful and quiet, actually the perfect environment to grew up as a child. I was constantly biking and hiking through the forest, hanging out at the see, playing soccer from the age of 8, building our own skate ramps and all that stuff. I am really happy that I didn’t grow up in a big city.

Close-up: Matthias Meyer has arrived on the world stage as one of electronic music’s most  exciting artists. From his breakthrough season in Ibiza, to producing two of 2017’s  most vital productions and being a hero of Watergate’s historic 15 Year Anniversary  celebrations, the talented artist has enjoyed an outstanding 12 months that looks  set to continue well into 2018 and beyond. Since 2012, Meyer has held a regular post at the iconic Watergate, where his sets have become the stuff of legends. Elsewhere, Meyer excelled with gigs at Oasis Festival, Circus in Liverpool, Egg  London, Australia’s Strawberry Fields festival, Stereo in Montreal and Cityfox in  NYC, where his set at the closing party of Brooklyn Mirage was streamed by  Mixmag. On 30 June he’ll be playing Knee Deep in Solar Morning alongside Hot Since 82 in Sofia.

- Matthias, originally, you are from a small town in northern Germany. What was it like growing up there?

- It was really beautiful and quiet, actually the perfect environment to grow up as a child. I was constantly biking and hiking through the forest, hanging out at the sea, playing soccer from the age of 8, building our own skate ramps and all that stuff. I am really happy that I didn’t grow up in a big city.

- What was your first contact with music and when did you realize you wish to produce music one day?

- As I grew up in a small village a little further from Lueneburg, we had no access to electronic music besides TV and Radio. It was around 1994 when electronic music first got really popular with that eurodance style. I watched the Mayday festival at home with chips and cola at 14 years old and saw Josh Wink and Marusha playing. That was the moment when I thought I also wanted to be a DJ.

- Was this related to electronic music straight away?

- As I mentioned before it started already with electronic music. Later on, I was also into 1990s hip hop and electronica and indie music, but electronic dance music was always there. From around 1999 onwards, I only listened to electronic.

- What is it about DJs that they become more and more popular?

- Well it depends, there are two types of DJ; the first who wants to follow the trends and after some time they move to do something else, for others I think it’s a way to express themselves creatively through music. It’s such a nice thing to do. And then they want to share it with the people. I think everyone wants to be a part of it.

- Many creatives move to a bigger city to get inspired. Did this work for you and how?

- Berlin is such a big hub of creatives, it’s almost hard to find the uncreative people there. I don’t know anyone who isn’t inspired when they come to Berlin. I was here a lot anyway, as I am a resident at Watergate. Since I moved here I have met many more people I know from around the world and we can meet and do projects together.

- Can you tell us more about the different vibes in the different cities. How do the European cities compare (or maybe do not compare)?

- Berlin is a very different city to other European cities. You can feel it as soon as you arrive. You can do many more things here and there are not so many restrictions. You can party for 24 hours or longer if you want. In other cities, you are lucky if you can party till 6am. Already this opens a lot of doors as we can play longer sets and be more musically creative. On top of this, people don’t get as drunk so fast as we have more time, there is less crime, no fighting and a generally more chilled vibe. Less rules creates happier people.

- When do you first feel the unique vibe when going to a new country or city?

- Usually the moment when you meet the promoter in the arrivals area at the airport you can feel the vibes. Or if it’s a driver, when you reach the inner city. Traveling and staying up all night to play in a club is exhausting.

- What is your secret of not getting tired of this routine and not becoming exhausted?

- Yes sometimes it’s pretty tough. You have to pick and choose the nights you want to party and stay longer. In the week I get enough rest and vitamins to re-charge. Once a year I also take a longer holiday in Bali or Thailand and rest. It’s definitely needed.

- Electronic music has changed since the days of Kraftwerk or the first Love Parade. What do you think is next and what are your personal sources for new ideas?

- Yes the music scene has changed a lot. I think the genres are always changing and moving. It seems to be a lot more than about just music. An important aspect now is focused on the social media presence and the face of the artist, as well as the music. Techno is the sound right now. I think it’s going more into a science fiction direction. More futuristic, effects and space like, with a little trance vibe. I am more into the grooves and percussions so I would always combine that trend into my style.

- How does a DJ of your scale decide where to play?

- It depends on the party, the vibes, which other DJs play there, the location, if it suits my music style and whether the right audience is coming. I always make sure I check out the previous parties the promoter has held and who has played there. Sometimes the location is really small but the vibe is electric and is better than a big party with people who don’t understand the music.

- What is the message you would like to give someone who is about to move to a big capital like Berlin in order to become a DJ?

- Even if you are the best DJ/producer in the world, you have to start somewhere. Sending mix demos to clubs is just not working anymore. You need to go out and meet lots of people.

- Electronic music is quite abstract. Do you think that it can also carry a political message and which?

- It can be difficult to send political messages through the music. There is always a fine line and in some countries this can close down a club or start problems. Although in contrast, I do like to carry other messages through my music that portray love and harmony and that bring the people together and I know that this can be a much stronger message.

- What are you looking forward to for the rest of the year?

- I am really excited for the second season of my Pacha Ibiza residency for Hot Since 82. Besides that, I play a few other shows in Ibiza. Ibiza is always really special because there is so much going on and you meet lots of people over there. Later in September and October I will play the first big USA tour with lots of gigs. Really excited about this one. Afterwards Asia and Australia. On the release front, I have something coming on Sol Selectas, a remix for Knee Deep In Sound and a follow up on Watergate Records with Ryan Davis. Look out for that.

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