Interview with Marco V

by Anna Denejkina

Marco V, The Master-Mind

Written for Future Entertainment [on line]

Originally published on August 11, 2011

His musical presence was first felt in 1998, and now, over a decade later, Dutch-born producer and DJ, Marco V, is known as one the leading minds within the electronic music scene all over the world.

Accredited as the master-mind behind the fusion and creation of the tech-trance sound, and yet, through all of his success, Marco keeps to a character that is humble as he explains his thoughts on the grandeur of his music and reputation.

“It is something that people stick on you,” he said, “and it’s great to get credit for that, but for me at that point I was just doing what I really wanted to do.”

“I was creating something differently, I really liked techno at that time, and I really liked trance, so that’s something I combined, it worked for me and I really enjoyed it.”

Returning to the Australian shores later this year as part of the annual Godskitchen event, where Marco will be sharing the stage with the likes of Richard Durand, John Askew and Ben Gold, he expressed his excitement for the forthcoming visit, retuning to an audience, which he described as incredible.

“The audience in Australia is just fantastic!” he exclaimed. “You know, you get so much great reaction from the crowd when you’re playing your tracks. So that’s the biggest difference, from even Europe. I’m really excited to be back,” explained Marco, “you know I did Godskitchen once before… and I really enjoyed that. I was with Richard Durand last week in Taiwan and really enjoyed his set, so I’m looking forward to being back with him as well for this tour.”

A man without any pre-performance rituals – only checking that all of his technical specs and equipment is at hand prior to going on stage – Marco’s love for his music and touring was continually growing flagrant in his expression and explanation of what persists to push him, and why he loves what he does – overtly, the fans’ reaction to his music.

“My favourite part is the reaction I get from the crowd when I play out my own tunes, that’s the best part, always…” Marco stated with enthusiasm, “it [gives] you such a feeling, it’s hard to describe it, you know? Making music in the studio, and then playing it for the audience, and then you get a great response, it’s just the best feeling I can get as a DJ.”

2009 saw the release of two pioneering albums from Marco V, entitled ‘Propaganda’, part I and II, which came coupled with a graphic novel from London-based digital illustrator, Vee Ladwa.

“Somebody knew somebody, who knew somebody who knew Ladwa,” laughed Marco when speaking about how the idea of this collaboration came to light. “Yeah, we wanted to do something more, it was just a fun thing, the whole comic thing in the CD. It was something different, and I like it.” And even through his innovative and forward thinking mind, Marco let Ladwa be inspired by his music in creating the aesthetic of the graphic novel, rather than giving own ideas and input. “It’s a creative thing,” he explained, “so I didn’t, and I didn’t even want to be involved – that is his baby – and he had to make it the way he likes it to be.”

Marco V is known as one of the most versatile and altering musicians in his field, so it came as no surprise when in 2010 he decided to push the boundaries once more, with the creation of The Art Of, a new multimedia concept, encompassing more DJ’s and everything of the night becoming a way of art.

“Yeah, again I wanted to do something more,” said Marco, “Before I had my ‘In Charge’ parties, I was playing all by myself the whole night long, but now I want to do something more and something different. It’s more ‘hands in the air’, happiness stuff that I’m doing with The Art Of, while my ‘In Charge’ stuff is a bit deeper and harder, so that’s why we put a new name on it as well.”

Throwing the first TAO party in New York last year, this event could be something that his Australian fans may expect to see in the future!

“Never say never!” He continued to speak after soft laughter, “at the moment there are no plans, but there could be. There is a good possibility that we’re gonna do a big tour with that, but for the moment there are no plans.”

Recently collaborating with Dutch indie-pop outfit Moke, Marco V is consistently composing new music, with new releases set to come in the next few weeks.

“Yeah! There’s a lot of new music coming out,” he said, “I did a new collaboration with a big Dutch band called the Moke, and the great vocalist [Felix Maginn] who did the vocals on the new song, ‘Be There In The Morning’, and that’s coming out in a few weeks. But I also did a lot of new pop tunes, that are coming out in the next couple of weeks – and remixes, I remixed for a lot of people.”

Holding a preference to working with vocalists rather than instrumentalists, Marco V expressed his happiness with the result of the recent collaboration with Moke, mentioning that at times it is difficult, and quite forced, to put an anthemic club sound over a band track.

“[Felix] has an amazing vocal and I like the work he did,” he continued. “He did the song with his guitar, and then we built this whole club anthem around it. Most of the time, it doesn’t work to give a club beat to a band, and then they have to put lyrics on it, it doesn’t really flow, [but] now it was more like a pop song and then we built the club song around it.”

Marco’s music comes through as organic in its composition, approaching him not only in the studio, but in day-to-day environments; plane, bed, “or wherever I am,” he said. Marco continues, “… they also come in the studio in a natural way. But the melodies that jump in my head are also coming naturally, because suddenly you have a melody and think “oh! I can do something with that.” But it also approaches in the studio – you’re working on a beat and think “wow, this could be a cool melody, or a cool vocal” or whatever.

Marco’s relationship with his fans is a very important connection for him, as they are not only the ones that make it possible for him to do what he is doing, but are also there to give a gauge on his new music, something that he likes to test out prior to an official release, he describes it as a “different way of producing”, but one that works.

“Yeah that’s the thing, nowadays when I create music I test it out [before] the audience. You know, you make something, you play on the weekend and you make some changes here and there. So basically nowadays it’s more a process between me and the crowd, you know, if they don’t react the way I want it I change it.”

“So it’s a different way of producing, that’s how it works now, but it’s a good way because when I put a song out I know it works for the crowd because I test it out so many times,” Marco expressed.

Having toured Australia prior to this year’s Godskitchen tour, Marco still has plans to see more of the country and its nature in between shows. “I think I’ve seen a lot in Australia, but we’re gonna spend a few days in Sydney,” he said, “so I think I’m gonna rent a car and do some driving there, go to the Blue Mountains, I’ve been there before but it’s nice to see them again and see what else is going on.”

And with regard to those critical of the trance and techno genre, Marco had only this to say, “What can I say to people that are dumb?” he laughed, “There is no music easy to make, you know, even children’s songs are difficult to make, to make the right ones. It’s easy to say that something is easy.”

“I think everyone should do what they really like to do most,” he continued with guidance for up-and-coming musicians, “too many people want to make it as a DJ or a producer… you can look up to some other [musicians] but don’t copy them. We already have Carl Cox, Swedish House Mafia, and if you wanna be like them, it’s much harder to get success than create something for yourself, you know, and that’s what I think more people should do.”