Few come as big as this, Thomas Schumacher.
He’s a living legend in the techno scene. He’s been a constant figure in the genre since the 90s and has constantly updated and grown both as a producer and DJ, keeping up with the times and remained a consistent force to be reckoned with.
He’s been hitting it hard recently, in the last 12 months alone he’s unleashed a string of club smashers including ‘Golden Hour’, ‘The Fuzz’ and his huge remix of the Cherry Moon Trax classic ‘The House of House’. Away from the studio he’s been extremely busy with the European festival season and recently got back from a tour in Colombia.
He’s returning to EGG LDN this September for another roadblock party. He’ll be headlining the main room on Friday 6th, and has big support from Rebuke and Fango. Ahead of his appearance at the Kings Cross club we’ve got a quick chat with him.
What’s got you motivated right now?
Music. What else? I’m so grateful that getting to go to my studio to make music still lights me up first thought every morning.
How’s your summer been treating you so far?
It’s been amazing. Holidays with my family. Festival season in Europe is always a wild ride. It’s also the time of year where I get to meet up with my friends who are also DJ’s because the events we play are big enough to book a bunch of us on the same night. I had an incredible tour in Colombia at the end of July. Life is good.
Buzzing to catch you at EGG LDN, looking forward to being back in London?
I love being in London. It is always a highlight of my year. The city feels really diverse and inclusive and the EGG punters are always vibing high, really up for it.
In terms of producing, you have been going in so hard recently, the massive Apollo II EP, Golden Hour, The House of House remix, even thrown in a Calvin Harris remix... I could go on and on - you must be living in that studio!?
Yes, that’s a good assessment. Lucky for me, my studio partner Caitlin is also my life partner and our studio has a room where our daughter can hang out too. We even have a shower here so, it’s a pretty good set up!
How do you keep the creative juices flowing in there?
We just fucking love Techno. We love making music together. We love hanging out together and making music together. Creativity flows when your life is in flow.
On your massive remix of House of House, what compelled you to remix such a classic?
I came up playing the original in 1994, by which time it was already a classic. Since last year I have been producing more and more music with acid and rave sounds, so I was looking through my record collection for flashbacks and inspiration. As soon as I found the original 12” of House of House I knew I would start playing it in my sets. I did and people went nuts. There were a few things I wanted to change about the original to make it fit more seamlessly into my set and I thought, well if I’m going to do that I may as well see if I can license it and release a remix. I decided to wait to release it until just before the summer season started this year, I knew it would be huge and it is.
An artist you’ve worked a fair bit with is Victor Ruiz - what is it about Ruiz and his music style that you like? Can we expect more collaborative magic from you both soon?
What I love about working with Victor is the energy between the both of us - its this perfect collaboration where we finish each other's musical sentences and just have a lot of fun every time we collaborate. There are always plans in the working with Victor and I. With both of us touring as much as we do, it’s all about timing.
Despite you’re recent success you’ve been in the game for decades. What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned over all these years?
Gratitude and consistency. Gratitude for every inspiration and every opportunity to do what I love. Consistency in that and high caliber output both in the studio and on the road.
What has been the biggest change in the industry that you’ve seen, how has this changed things, have you had to adapt the way you work?
As you can imagine, over the 20 plus years that I have been doing this, so much has changed. One of the changes that I am so blown away by is how huge and professional our industry has become and how many more people are going out and dancing and living to Techno around the world. What was a very small niche has become a very big deal, never more so than right now.
If you had you time over, is there anything that you would do differently?
Is that a trick a question?
You’ve got a huge discography filled with massive tunes, what would be a few of your personal highlights?
'Elektrochemie - Pleasure Seeker' was one of the most ground breaking records I have ever been a part of. The way Caitlin, Stephan and I combined vocals and songwriting with underground Techno had never been done before. I still love this track although it doesn’t fit into my sets right now… time for a remix? More recently it would be Stella. It was such a magical process recording this track and so emotional. I knew it was the most special thing I had created in a long time so I decided to name it after my daughter. I was very happy when it went to #1 on Beatport. More than anything I love how it has touched people. I don’t know how many people know the story behind this track, they just connect really deeply with it every time I play it.
When did you first come across electronic music and what were your initial thoughts on the music?
Depeche Mode in 1983. I saw them live in 1986 and it set the tone for the rest of my life.
What are you most in love with right now?
My family, including our dog, Pebble.
If you weren’t in the music, what job do you see yourself doing?
What would you do to change the world?
Give every human being what they need to live well. Anyone who has ambition can go out and create more - more wealth, more art, more furniture, whatever - but no one would suffer a lack of basic human rights.
If you could fill a swimming pool with anything, what would that be?
What’s your ethos?
Take 100% responsibility for every aspect of my life. It feels daunting as a concept when you first come across it but once you get into it, it’s such a relief and super empowering.
Thomas Schumacher plays at EGG LDN on Septmber 6th with Rebuke and Fango - Tickets
online - Facebook - SoundCloud