Interview: Thomas Gold On New Music, Tour, Studio Balance And More
Normally when you think of Germany and electronic music, the first association that come to mind are dark techno clubs scattered around Berlin. That is still the driving force behind the Germans, but there are those who can comfortably occupy a main stage slot just as well as one of his underground countrymen can DJ a dark club until the early the sun rises. Here we find Thomas Gold on that main stage, but recently headlining his several thousand person event at Governors Island and then also able to take it a bit groovier as he did after hours at Pacha later that night.
The event was kicked off by New Jersey producer, DJ Sevag who has become a local favorite of Thomas Gold. He gave way to singer, turned DJ and performer Bright Lights who turned things up to 10 with her heavy track selection, jumping around on stage and singing the vocals to her tracks live. Moguai then took command, leveling things out with deeper tones, before getting more anthemic with his tunes. The main event, Thomas Gold then took over the decks for a mix of tracks of his own and others over two hours with peaks and valleys in his set. The final hour was helmed by Dutch melody master DubVision to a slowly dwindling crowd.
We had the chance to chat with with Thomas Gold before his set about finding the right work balance between touring and being at home producing and the struggle he has faced over the past couple years trying to find that, his upcoming music, that features collabs with Deniz Koyu and Lush & Simon and much more.
Music Times: How has your summer been?
Thomas Gold: Summer's been really good. I've been traveling a lot. I played Ibiza a couple of times, I just got back from Creamfields last night. I did Greece and a lot of America dates. I've been to Vegas a few times and I just played Miami last weekend.
MT: What is it about Governors Island that you keep coming back to?
TG: It's just one of these places you just want to go, because it's one of the most beautiful spots you can have. You have the skyline over Manhattan in the back, the weather, we've been super lucky all the times it's been super nice. The crowd is crazy, and you have a real party crowd coming here. Yeah it's my fourth year in a row now and it has always been amazing and crazy. For me it's a no brainer to do this show. When they ask me I'm always up for it.
MT: How did you pick the lineup?
TG: I always think about putting together something interesting, giving the people like an interesting line up so this time for example we have Bright Lights doing a set. Normally people know her for her vocals, but she's also doing live shows. For example she's really big in Asia, she's selling out shows there and she's such a nice person so I asked her do you want to perform live at my show. She said 'Yeah I would love to do that' and she sent me the kind of stuff she'd like to play. I responded this is amazing just do it and you can hear right now she's doing her stuff live. I think this is something that people don't get to see often, her performing a DJ set.
My German buddy Moguai is here, we are close friends so we talked about the plans for the summer and then we came up with the idea to do Governors. He was into the idea immediately and we playing back to back at the afterhours together at Pacha. I like his style because he is going from EDM to smoother stuff and now he just had his track "Portland" out which is a super cool deep house track and I love what he is doing and so I think this is going to be interesting as well. I'm excited to hear his set, I've never heard him playing a full set before. He's going to go from the deeper stuff to the energetic stuff and he's building up throughout the set.
Then we have DubVision playing. I've always been a fan of what they are doing, I've always been playing their tracks so we asked them if they would like to come. They're here now and they're going to play the afterhours as well.
We have Sevag playing as well. He's got kind of a buddy already. He's playing all the time when I'm in New York. I always invite him because he's a good guy and I think he deserves a little bit more of attention so whenever I'm here I try to get him and he really knows how to work the crowd even when it's an early set. He has a lot of fans here and he's always so grateful when I invite him and he's a nice person. I think it's a good combination of people tonight and I hope people will like it too.
MT: How do you balance touring and producing?
TG: Yeah actually it's not very easy, you have to find your way. I remember last year I was a little bit sad that I did a lot of touring which is cool but I didn't get enough lot of studio time to produce my tracks, so I had to change something. For example in January I didn't tour at all and in February I kept it like to two or three shows the whole month and I locked myself into my studio. I did a lot of production. I already have five tracks this year which is more than I have ever did in a year year so I just put out this record "Believe" and before that we had "Take Me Home" and my remix for Dash Berlin. We have another track coming out called "Souq," which is more of a groovy track. Then I have my collaboration with Deniz Koyu on Protocol in October.
MT: Is that the one that has been floating around since 2013?
TG: Yeah we have a new vocal now. It's new lyrics and everything is new and we're really happy with it. I'm going to play it tonight. Then I have another track with Lush and Simon coming up. It has a very trancy attitude. I think I'm going to play it at Pacha tonight. First time ever and I'm really excited about this one so this is coming out and then I'm working on a lot of vocal stuff right now and then I'm going back to the studio in September. So I think I found my balance now but it was kind of a process to really step back from the gigs a little bit, to do less shows and spend more time in the studio because that's what I really want to do, produce my music and then go out and play.
MT: Is the stuff you are working on now different than what you are releasing right now?
TG: Actually it's both, some stuff I'm working on right now is similar to what I'm releasing right now
MT: Because it could be like two to three years, between like the time that you start something and then it actually gets released.
TG: Not anymore. I mean it used to be like that but for example "Believe" took like six seven months and the track "Souq" took like three months to do it and now I really want to shorten the time because now-a-days you have to put out more stuff. It's kind of frustrating when you work so long on a track and then it finally comes out and it sounds to yourself so outdated because you heard it so many times. So I am trying to tweak my work process a little bit and focus more on one track, finish it or get it finished as much as possible then start the next one. But then on the other side I have so many ideas I want to work on so it's not easy to find a balance all the time.
MT: Have you gotten any more remix requests from big pop artists?
TG: Actually I'm working on a remix for a big pop artist right now but I can't tell you.
MT: Male or female?
TG: Female and then yeah another remix request I'm working on right now. It's an upcoming artists and she's getting a lot of hype right now. I can't say anymore, let's see where it goes. It's a very young artist. The track is interesting and the original is so different from what I'm doing right now. I'm actually trying to do something new as well give it a fresh approach with my Thomas Gold touch but I'm going in a little bit of a different direction. So I'm not sure if it's going to work out or not yet but yeah let's see.
MT: Are you done with the drumline or is that going to come back at some point?
TG: I can't really tell, you know I don't think they're done, I'm not done with them because I loved what they did and I'm still talking to my management and my people like 'hey we have to do it again because it's fun' and I think it's something special and it's something unique and I want to do it again. It's just a matter of time and organization and rehearsal and you have to get together 12 people -- the coach and the band and me. They have to write their drum music to my tracks and I have to tweak my tracks according to what they are doing with the drums. So it's kind of like a two month process going back and forth and I definitely want to do it but I just want to do it with a twist or in a fresh way. So I'm still thinking about it but it's not done at all.
MT: Have you seen anything cool from the go pro competition yet?
TG: I always check the raw footage because they give it to me. I have it on my laptop so I go through it briefly and I saw some really nice stuff. It's cool to see how these people film stuff and I mean everybody is so excited coming with me and they're just so grateful and it's just really nice. I'm happy to have done this.
MT: What else do you have coming up?
TG: No big tours until the end of the year, we might do a tour, we are actually talking about doing a tour for one of my next releases but I don't really know details yet because it's a lot of planning involved and I just want to focus on the music for right now. I have a lot of new tracks that I want to test play another track tonight.