As Electric Daisy Carnival gets closer and closer, my interview series continues with NERVO, Felix Cartal and ATB. Each of them have made an impact in the electronic dance music scene as they each continue to grow and become internationally recognized.
A21: What made you want to transition from songwriting to spinning?
Liz Nervo: We always had a strong love for electronic music and especially house music so it was a natural progression into DJing.
A21: Has music always been a part of your lives or was there a different direction each of you would’ve taken?
Liz Nervo: Music was always there. We feel super lucky to have turned it into a career!
A21: Describe your sound to someone who has never heard it.
Liz Nervo: Bold and free.
A21: You’ve already collaborated with and toured with some major artists, is there someone you would really like to work with that you haven’t yet?
Liz Nervo: I would love to do something with Basement Jaxx. M83 would be great to collab with too. Oh, and then of course there’s always Eric Prydz – we would love to have a few hours in the studio with his genius!
A21: Do you feel as women it is harder to be taken seriously in the “DJ” world?
Liz Nervo: We try not to let gender effect what we do. Maybe being a girl works against us sometimes but I’m sure it also works for us at other times.
A21: I feel your tracks deliver a message behind them whether it is inspiration in love or reminding people they are the same no matter who they are, is that the goal behind your music?
Liz Nervo: Writing lyrics can be very personal – almost like a therapy session sometimes. ‘We’re All No One’ definitely came at a time when we were both feeling quite humbled. It’s the greatest thing of all when people connect with our songs so if our songs connect then we’re super happy.
A21: What can your fans expect to see from you at the Electric Daisy Carnival?
Liz Nervo: We’ll be playing a lot of our own material mixed in with the hottest records that we love at that moment.
A21: What has been your most memorable experience so far?
Liz Nervo: There have been so many amazing moments recently! The gigs in America and across Europe have been a real high. We’re seeing a lot more fans at our gigs and many people seem to know our songs – even the ones we haven’t released yet! It’s incredible to see people singing the words to your song.
A21: Where do you plan on seeing yourselves 5 years from now?
Liz Nervo: Making more music of course
A21: What got you into the electronic music?
Felix Cartal: Growing up I was into punk bands a lot. Once I heard the dance artist remix to a lot of those bands, I started to see it crossing over. It got me open to thinking what the benefits were from one type sound. I wanted to try to make it reflect the type of music I listened to growing up and move towards electronic.
A21: What was your very first gig?
Felix Cartal: My first gig ever was at this venue called Richard’s on Richards in Vancouver. It was this amazing venue that was tore down recently. It was booked really spur of the moment. I had really been djing less than month. I booked it, and it was really amazing.
A21: What do you think you would be doing if you didn’t get into music?
Felix Cartal: I was in school for an English Language degree so I’d probably just be finishing that up. I don’t know, I didn’t really have an obvious job I was working towards. Music had always been a passion on the side for me.
A21: Describe your sound as if someone has never heard it.
Felix Cartal: I think now it would be described as aggressive, energetic, memorable and catchy.
A21: How do you feel you have progressed in your own way from your first album to your second?
Felix Cartal: It’s always easy to make your first album because no one is really listening as much. It wasn’t thought out as a whole. I tried a lot of ideas and I was really proud of what I had done. The second record is more concise and melody and simpler. I tried to strip everything down, make sounds and rooted it around a central idea so it would stick in your head.
A21: Do you think adding vocals to a track makes it more mainstream verses have just the beats?
Felix Cartal: I think adding vocals adds another section of the song someone can relate to. I think a lot of people relate to lyrics and that’s the benefits of having vocals. For me, I really like working with vocals right now because I hadn’t the fortunate to work with it in the past. I have the chance to work with a lot of people that I wanted to.
A21: Is there anyone in particular you would really like to work with right now.
Felix Cartal: I really want to work with Light.
A21: Where is your favorite spot to perform, may it be a city or a specific venue?
Felix Cartal: I really like playing in El Paso, TX. They are one of the craziest crowds in North America. As for venues, any venue I haven’t played at before is always really exciting.
A21: What’s your favorite thing to in Vegas?
Felix Cartal: I just lay by the pool because I’m not a big gambler.
A21: Since you have also perform at various festivals, what do you feel stands out at EDC? What can your fans expect from you this year?
Felix Cartal: I feel it sums up the whole dance scene really well. I think it’s really cool to have a festival that big with only DJs. I have some new visuals I’ve been bringing on tour, added a pretty cool video and an awesome design. My album just came out so I’ll be playing a lot of songs off the new album.
See Felix Cartal live in Vegas:
Sat 6/9 Las Vegas, NV Electric Daisy Carnival @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Sat 6/16 Las Vegas, NV Hard Rock Hotel
Sat 8/4 Las Vegas, NV Hard Rock Hotel
A21: What does ATB stand for?
ATB: The artist name ATB comes from my real name Andre Tanneberger.
A21: How did you get involved into music and producing?
ATB: Well, when I was young I started to learn guitar and to write my first own tracks. But as time drew on just to play guitar was more and more boring. I’ve searched for a possibility to write a whole track by my own and to combine more musical elements as just a guitar in my tracks. I found the solution in synthesizers and so everything began.
A21: What was your very first gig?
ATB: I was about 20 or 21 years old and I performed as a live act at the Kulturbahnhof, Wattenscheid-Bochum. My music style at that time was something like Hardtechno and that evening I played for no more than around sixty people, but I will never forget that evening!
A21: Did you ever inspire to do something other than music?
ATB: Beneath my music I really like to make photos. I have some professional cameras and like to record the impressions of my tours photographically. So if I won’t be a musician may I would be a photographer?
A21: How would you describe your style to someone who has never heard it?
ATB: I like to surprise the people and don’t want to be pigeonhole in a specific musical category. But if I have to summarize my sound I would say it’s electronic dancemusic with a lot of melodies, beats and emotions!
A21: What can your fans expect on “Sunset Beach DJ Session 2” coming out soon?
ATB: Well the main thing music is doing is to create emotions and feelings. For me it was very important that when I listen to the sets on the compilation and close my eyes I can feel and visualize myself to be at a wonderful beach, being part of a great beach party. I think every track on the compilation provides the perfect soundtrack to such beautiful moments, and I hope the people will feel the same way when they listen to it.
A21: Is there anyone you would love to work with that you haven’t already?
ATB: This kind of dream already came true with Jean-Michel Jarre. He was, and still is one of my biggest inspirations over the years. I got the opportunity to remix his track “Vintage” in 2005. This was one of the greatest experiences of my whole life and also was extremely fulfilling for me. As a musician of electronic music, to get the chance to remix a track of Jean-Michel Jarre is a great honor.
A21: You have performed at various spots in Vegas, what do you do in Vegas when you aren’t performing?
ATB: Well, the ambiance and atmosphere of Vegas makes it nearly impossible to relax. The city is pulsating day and night. There’s no other city like this on this planet with such a high quality of entertainment. I really like to become infected by Vegas and have to admit that I already played the one or other Blackjack game at Vegas.
A21: What was your experience like at EDC 2011 and what do you have planned for this year?
ATB: EDC is always something special. Last years Las Vegas premiere was amazing as the review video shows. There are emotions no words can describe and of course I want to link to this massive celebration. Furthermore I just finished my new single, which will be released with my new compilation “Sunset Beach DJ Session 2” mid of June. So EDC Las Vegas is the perfect chance to check this new single.