Behind the Beat Interview: Ferry Corsten
I thought that once I finished school I would never have to deal with that sinking feeling of losing unsaved work ever again. There’s nothing quite like your hard drive failing completely, trapping any files you need and really very little you can do about it, like trying to fix a broken window with your bare hands. Except instead of a thesis paper, it’s an interview with one of my favorite producers in the scene.
Make backups of your files, folks. Even if you don’t think you need them. I’m thankful I have friends who are good with computers.
So here it is. My interview with Ferry Corsten from well over a month ago.
ONLY THE BEAT: Ferry, thank you so much for joining us tonight.
FERRY CORSTEN: Thank you!
OTB: So the first we want to get into is the new Gouryella. It’s been how long since you released the last track?
FC: It was about 13 years ago. The last Grouyella that came out was “Ligaya”.
OTB: So why now?
FC: Why now? It’s something I actually have been sitting with for quite a few years…not just now. I’ve always wanted to reinvent that project, but over time. The whole idea about Gouryella…it’s like a holy grail, you know? It’s very hard live to the expectation basically. The longer I waited, the more the expectation became. If I do make a Gouryella, it will have to be all that and top it all and live up to this amazing image.
So every time I’d think “this trance melody is great…but it’s not Gouryella.” And that’s happened over and over and over again. And now with this one…I really feel like “Yes! This is it. This has that feeling, the structure…the whole track.” Everything about it just screamed Gouryella.
OTB: And the reception’s been great, too. What is it, five weeks at number one on Corsten’s Countdown?
FC: Six, actually! It’s been four weeks on the trance top five on Beatport, on the main charts it made it into the top ten. For a trance track that’s unheard of. But trance charts aside, I’m just really happy that people are open and receptive to this particular sound. It’s very different from the trance sound of today. And it’s really great to see that people are open to that big, warm, epic sound again.
UPDATE: As of 09-14-2015, “Anahera” has spent 12 weeks straights as the number one track on Corsten’s Countdown.
OTB: Do you think that means we can expect more Gouryella in the future?
FC: Probably the next time you hear a new Gouryella will be in a year, year and a half…so don’t get your hopes up!(laughs) I take it very, very, very seriously. It’s not just gonna be like “oh yeah, I’ll release another trance track under Gouryella…” Therefore, there won’t be any remixes of Gouryella because the way I made it, it’s original version…that is Gouryella.
But on the other hand, as Ferry Corsten, I released a trance CD, Hello World EP Part II. It’s very trancey and definitely the sound that I am heading back to.
OTB: On that idea, when you sit down and you do Gouryella or Ferry Corsten or any of the other aliases you might go by, do you think in your head “okay, I’m going to make a Ferry Corsten track and that’s something I’m going to focus on right now,” or do you just start working on something and let the sound direct itself?
FC: I guess that’s the beauty of being a producer of music. You are producing your own music and you never know what’s going to happen. I can sit in the studio and be ready to make the next Ferry Corsten single and then all of a sudden halfway through the track, something happens in the production process that will shift everything up into something different that I won’t release under my own name.
OTB: Do you ever finish a track and think, “Well…I can’t release that under Ferry Corsten…I’ll just make up another alias right now!”?
FC: Oh yeah. That happens all the time. There’s music out there that people don’t even know that it’s me behind.
OTB: Really! Any hints you can give?
FC: No! (laughs)
OTB: That’s gotta be kind of nice actually. That’s not something people will probably ever know.
FC: Yeah, I get to keep myself inspired. I could sit in the studio and make a trance track every day, but it doesn’t inspire me after so many sittings. After a while I just need to do something else. Or I’ll sit down to make a trance track or an electro track and half way through it’ll shift and I’ll think, “wow, this is amazing!” But I’ll never be able to release it under my own name…so it just goes into something else.
OTB: What would you say is the track that surprised you the most that way?
FC: Well, that actually would be a track that I did release under my own name, “Rock Your Body Rock.” It’s very electro…nothing trance about it. But it was such a revolutionary track in my own production process that I had to end up releasing it as myself.
OTB: So Hello World part III…any release date in the future set up?
FC: We’re looking at November. There’s a few sketches in the works right now, but nothing is done so far.
OTB: Any theme you’re working with?
FC: It’ll definitely be more melodic, trancey…more vocal, especially compared to part II, which was more club bangers basically.
OTB: So on a completely separte note, you just did Coachella this year. This was your first festival that wasn’t a dance festival?
OTB: What would you say is the biggest difference between the vibe, the crowd, and all that?
FC: I think that the crowd at Coachella over the last couple of years has turned into a dance crowd that might just want to check out the other stages. At the same time you get a lot of people that aren’t necessarily fans of EDM that are just curious. With that in mind, it lets us play a little wider variety than just to a dance crowd. It was cool. It’s an amazing festival.
OTB: And then, outside of Hello World part III is there anything you have planned?
FC: Right now, that’s really all I have…and possibly the new Gouryella. (laughs) I have some things that are lying around, but right now it’s all Hello World.
OTB: And it’s quite bit in the future, but are you think about Corsten’s Countdown 500 at all? Is that going to be a big show?
FC: You know, although I number my shows, I decided not to go with the big number show. I think there’s too many shows that do that. I didn’t want to be next one. Corsten’s Countdown is just one hour of fun. You take it or you leave it,but as you progress it’s nice just to have the numbering as a reference. “Oh yeah, I heard this track in a such and such countdown” and then you can go and look it up and enjoy it again.
OTB: I love it. All right Ferry, thank you so much for taking the time to sit with us tonight.
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