TheMusic.FM sat down last night with Thomas Gold, one of the DJs who is part of the supporting cast of tonight’s second and final Cosmic Opera debut in New York.
Dan Price: Tell me about Cosmic Opera. We are all so curious to experience this event. Do you have a DJ set planned, per se, and how much input did you and the other artists have in terms of how the event works?
Thomas Gold: Actually I did not have that much impact on planning. But as you said, itâ€™s going to be a special show. Itâ€™s not just DJs playing one after the other — itâ€™s more like they combine the classic stuff and the artistic stuff with the music. My part is to do an intro. Thatâ€™s a transition between the artistic performance before my set and I will take over the music from the girl or the dancer. Thatâ€™s my part. After my set I will pass it on to Axwell who comes on after me.
I prepared a special intro track, which starts with classical orchestral instruments; like strings, and violins and woods. It turns into one of my own tracks, I donâ€™t want to say which one — youâ€™ll have to see. I am very excited too; I never heard this track in this way. Itâ€™s funny because I tried to translate one of the lead melodies of the track into a classic melody and you will recognize it. Same goes for the end of my set, I prepared a special track that is unreleased and ends with some orchestra drums.
The whole thing should be a journey. Thatâ€™s what we talked about when we were planning the event. It will take the audience through a journey through the night by combining these styles.
Read more of the interview after the jump
You seem to be constantly on the road, I saw recently you were in Asia and Australia, how do you handle producing and podcasts while traveling?
I have my laptop with me all the time. Itâ€™s my studio. Because I have everything in there what I need. I switched from my studio at home to my laptop. So I have everything with me whenever I travel, wherever I go. I was actually working on the laptop on the plane today. I did some edits for tomorrow. I am working for new stuff and new ideas. When I am traveling and have some days free. I book a studio for myself. When I was in Australia, in Sydney, I had three days of studio. Last time in New York I booked a studio for two days. Iâ€™ll stay there for 10-12 hours and plug my laptop in and use the monitor speakers. You are just by yourself and nothing disturbs you. I need that from time to time. Being on a laptop is cool but sometimes you need to really hear it.
And what is your favorite piece of equipment, whether it be production or live DJ gear.
Definitely my logic sequencer program, my software with all my plug-ins. I couldnâ€™t live without that. Itâ€™s the best.
When you actually get time to go to your studio and make a track do you have an idea in mind or do you also start with nothing and let the idea flow and have an â€śelectro-jam sessionâ€ť and see what happens?
Itâ€™s a bit of both. For example today, on the plane I was relaxing and I had a melody in my head. I switched on my laptop and put that melody into my laptop and I worked for one and a half hours just to put some ideas around this melody and a whole new track starts like that. Sometimes as you said I just play around and jam a little bit. Iâ€™ll come up with a new sound I find in my library or Iâ€™ll come up with a new bass line or rhythmic pattern. Everything is possible; itâ€™s just like going with the flow. I donâ€™t just sit there and think of how I can do a new track, it just happens.
Youâ€™ve been putting out productions for years and clearly have an ear for music. But there is not a whole lot of information on you. Could you please tell me a little about your life growing up? How did you get your start? Did you have a musical upbringing, and how did you get into EDM, and then production?
I started when I was seven years old. I started to play the keyboard. I just wanted to do that. My parents paid for lessons. They said, â€śOkay, we are going to support you and whatever you want to do. Music-wise, we will support you.â€ť I remember when I was 15, I got into house and EDM music and I loved it. I was a big fan from the beginning. And it became my dream to produce this stuff once I have this equipment. So I bought my first synthesizer and this very old fucked up drum machine (laughs). And this very cheap gear, just so I could get into it. I had a DX-11 a Yamaha Digital synthesizer. It was really crap (laughs again) but for me it was okay and it was affordable.
I just bought my first stuff and got my first sequencer. I just taught myself as much as I could. I think me making music or trying to make music I was able to develop my DJ skills as well. Both went simultaneously. It took a while for me to understand the music and to create my own sound. But I grew up with this kind of music and at a certain point I decided I want to do this forever.
What is your feeling on the current state of EDM. Itâ€™s bigger than ever with artists being nominated for Grammys, songs in all sorts of commercials, movies and it seems there is a new festival every week. Do you think itâ€™s all positive or are there some drawbacks from the sudden popularity of the genre?
For me itâ€™s very positive. These guys like David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia, have opened the door for bigger audiences. And even people like Skrillex have massive influence on the music and to the music. I am more than happy that we now have a broader audience and much more interest and people are freaking out when you play, especially in the states. This is so good for us DJs.
There is nothing better than when you play a set in a club and people are having fun. Itâ€™s not like people just standing around and dancing [does a bit of a shuffle to demonstrate] and having a drink. They love this music and this is one of the reasons I am doing it. To have fun with the people. There is nothing better than that. Itâ€™s going commercial of course; there are some points, where you will say this is not house music or progressive anymore. It may lose a bit of the roots and someday it might be too much. But right now I think itâ€™s pretty cool. Itâ€™s pretty good.
What type of advice would you give to aspiring DJs and producers who are just starting out?
Be patient. Sometimes it just needs time. Donâ€™t lose faith. Try to be yourself. Donâ€™t copy others. I get so many promos and demos from young talented producers. The sound is great but there is no idea. The idea is a copy of this track and that track. If you get five copies of an Avicii track the record labels wont be interested. If you have the Avicii track and another that is similar, donâ€™t play the 3 or 4 versions of that. You need to find your own style. It may take a while. But I think itâ€™s really worth digging into it and creating and finding your own signature sound.
Now for some quick ones.
Items you always have with you on tour? iPhone and Laptop. USB sticks.
Favorite Song to listen to on your iPod? At the moment I am not really listening to much on my iPod. I am trying to produce all the time. But I am still listening to the Adele album to the original tracks. Still such a big fan.
Favorite venue to play? Electric Daisy Carinval in Vegas, Pacha in New York, and Government in Toronto.
Best crowd? Government in Toronto. And Pacha New York — they were freaking out — it was overwhelming.
Dream artist to do a track with (living or dead)? Wow thatâ€™s a good question. It changes from time to time. I donâ€™t think I could name just one.
Finally, What can we look forward to seeing from you in the spring/summer?
Sing To Me [Gold's collaborative single with Axwell] is coming out in a few weeks. I am really excited now we are getting closer to all the releases and we have all the assets now and itâ€™s there and will be out in a couple of weeks. And then I will be releasing a remix I did. I canâ€™t tell you which one, because I am not allowed to. But I am so excited about it as well because itâ€™s a great artist and you might not except that from me.
Can you at least tell us the release date?
It should be around Miami music week. So end of March, beginning of April.
Thank you to Thomas Gold for chatting with us. We will be witnessing Cosmic Opera tonight and covering the event. Stay tuned to TheMusic.FM (@TheMusicDotFM) for photos and a detailed review. Also, check back in March for more info on Thomasâ€™ new tracks!