by Shannon Petrick
photos by Sabrina Sexton Weil
Timo Maas is one of the most important producers in dance music today, and certainly he must be in a close race with Paul Van Dyk as the most valued export from Germany. Not only is he brillant in the studio and as a DJ, he's also very friendly and down-to-earth. I caught up with Timo at his hotel in downtown Atlanta just hours before he made his debut in Atlanta.
Lunar: Okay, so I know you were born in Germany? Where about?
Timo: Well, when I say Kofedenport, you don't know where that is. It's in west Germany.
Lunar: But it's in the countryside?
Timo: It's really in the country...
Lunar: Is it near a city?
Timo: Well, it's nearby Cologne. I mean, the Americans know where Germany is but they don't know Kofedenport.
Lunar: So what kind of music were you surrounded by while you were growing up? Did your parents surround you with music?
Timo: Well, my brother, basically...well, let me put it another way, I wasn't into music until six, seven, eight [years old]. My brother bought music like Pink Floyd...he was two and a half years older so he bought all the records. He bought everything which was big at that time.
Lunar: So your brother influenced your music taste the most?
Timo: A little bit yeah...a little bit in the early years.
Lunar: Were you musically inclined when you were little? Did you play musical instruments or anything?
Timo: I wanted to play drums, basically, but it was too loud and my mum wouldn't allow that. I just learned guitar...guitar since I was twelve because she allowed it...and then turntables.
Lunar: Did you want to be in a rock band?
Timo: Well, I wanted to be a drummer, basically, but no one ever asked me if I played an instrument...no one.
Lunar: I notice that a lot of people that tend to be good at DJing played other instruments when they were younger.
Timo: Yeah, I always dreamed about playing an instrument but...well, in my youth, my mum didn't allow that because I was too loud and after that, I was too lazy. I concentrated more on playing records. Well, it's kind of an instrument as well.
Lunar: How did dance music first make its way into your life?
Timo: Well, I grew up with the whole thing. I mean...basically, I was kind of into the whole eighties music and the eighties world. With the dance music, I think it was the most important time for it with all the good bands that came out, from Duran Duran to...
Lunar: Depeche Mode...
Timo: Yeah, everything, yeah. I grew up with the whole thing so I'm really very much into that type of music.
Lunar: When did you realize that that's what you wanted to do with your life...to be a producer and a DJ? I'm sure they came at different times....
Timo: Well, at the age of twelve, I said...we had these little books in school that you could write anything in or color in or write your favorite things in and for my dream job...at the age of twelve, I wrote that I wanted to DJ or cook. So now I'm a DJ, and I love cooking!
Lunar: So you fulfilled your dreams from age twelve!
Timo: Well, I always said until this point, "DJing professionally is not the way to go because there's no future in it." But yeah, there is a future now! But the whole way that I did it is not the normal way, so I saw everything from the point-of-view of a normal person and normally, it's not normal...flying all over the world and doing your hobby professionally it's not normal!
Lunar: You're lucky!
Timo: Yeah, it's fantastic! I'm thinking a lot at the moment, "It can't be real!" I mean, the whole thing...it's all good, you know what I mean? It's all good! At the moment, I've got a good name as a famous DJ, a famous producer, as a party-animal sometimes! And it can't be real...you know, I'm a little bit at a distance from it sometimes. I try to keep my feet on the ground.
Lunar: Did your parents support you in the fact that you wanted to be a DJ?
Timo: Not really, no. No, I haven't had any support...so, I really wanted to do my hobby at the time: playing records and playing at some parties on the weekend and collecting records. I started collecting records at the age of ten and my mum said, "Don't spend...." Well, I don't really come from a rich family; I come from a really poor family and she said, "Don't spend all your money on records." But I spent everything on records so when my grandfather gave me 20 marks, I spent it in two seconds and bought records.
Lunar: So what do they think about you now?
Timo: Well, everyone said I was stupid, especially when I quit my regular job. So that's why I split up with my family except for my mum and my brother.
Lunar: So you don't really talk to your other family members?
Timo: Well, they're kind of back now because they saw my place two weeks ago. My cousin called me about a week ago, after nine years for the first time, and said, "Oh we're so proud about everything...it's so cool!"
Lunar: Oh, so now they're calling you!
Timo: Yeah, I said, "Oh, you're calling me now after nine years. That's so interesting." They kicked my ass...the whole time they kicked my ass. But whatever, they're coming back now but I'm okay with that.
Lunar: Had you already started collecting records when you started DJing?
Timo: Yeah, I mean, first I was a record collector and after that I started DJing. I bought my first record at the age of ten and my performance in front of an audience, which was just a couple of friends, at the age of thirteen.
Lunar: How many records do you have now?
Timo: Something between 25,000 and 30,000...I have no idea! Too much!
Lunar: Well, maybe you should have a record sale?
Timo: Never! [laughs] The best single library you can have is a record collection. And now I'm successful and some people see me as falling next year because it can't be normal that someone is growing so immensely in such a short time. I want to kick their ass, basically, so I want to have the old records and new records to fall back on. There are hundreds of ideas I have that I pull from my record collection.
Lunar: Wow, that's great. Do you remember when dance music started playing on the radio in Germany?
Timo: Dance music, you mean...
Lunar: As in, I read in one interview with you, the interviewer asked you about Paul Van Dyk, and and you remembered how you were each on different sides of the Berlin Wall. And Paul heard music on the radio that he wanted to buy and he couldn't...because all the record stores were on the other side of the Wall.
Timo: Wow. I can't really remember when I heard it on the radio the first time. I'd been already in the club scene, first as a guest and then later as a DJ, since I was allowed to go to a club, so I can't really say when I heard the music the first time on the radio. I'd been already every weekend out at the clubs.
Lunar: What is the age to get into clubs in Germany?
Timo: It's sixteen until midnight and eighteen if you want to go later. But I knew all the people already, and I usually went with my older brother so everything was cool. So at the age of fourteen, I'd been in clubs. I was fascinated by everything in the clubs: the music, the sound system...everything. I used to run my own mobile discotheque as well.
Timo: Yeah, I played at the age of fifteen for my first time in front of crowd of 600 to 800 people.
Timo: Oh, any venues. We set up our sound systems and everything. Yeah, I'm old-school...kind of! [laughs]
Lunar: When you were younger and you started getting into the whole scene and music, what clubs did you go to?
Timo: Well, the real, cool underground clubs didn't really exist so most times, I went to the commercial clubs. What means commercial? The big clubs with the big sound systems...the ones everyone was going to. I mean, I started going to more underground clubs around '89, '90. They first opened their doors in Hanover, Handel and places like that. It was really magical back then. I mean, I'm a guy from the countryside so I walk into the club with old-fashioned clothes...I thought I was really up-to-date but I wasn't.
Lunar: Everyone was dressed really crazy.
Timo: Yeah, everyone was dressed in leather...kissing-around or fucking-around or whatever! Some strange clubs...
Lunar: And here you are from the country!
Timo: Yeah! I came in with my jacket on and sweatshirt on and T-shirt under that, and half an hour later I was there naked, dancing. I was like, "Alright!" It was my first experience and I was so impressed of that. I mean, the music was so...I'd been already into techno music and the early stuff of deep house and house music...but that was so groundbreaking. Especially, the first time it was groundbreaking. It changed my life.
Lunar: What records where you buying at that time?
Timo: Everything. Everything I could get my hands on. The whole techno thing or techno-house thing started around '85 with Future and I had all these records. And a lot more. Surely, pop music...everything. I'd been a really, really big fan of Frankie Goes to Hollywood. So every Frankie Goes to Hollywood release that came out, I had.
Lunar: Wow. There are people that would kill for that.
Timo: Well, just the Frankie records...just that much. Such lovely, lovely, illegal mixes. Really good!
Lunar: Did any one person inspire you to DJ?
Timo: I've had a couple of teachers. People that have seen that this is what I want to do and have helped me. But as far as people inspiring me, no, not really.
Lunar: So there hasn't been just one person that has totally inspired you....
Timo: No, I've never had one person who I've said, "I want to be like him." I've always wanted to be...how can I say this? I wanted to do my own thing.
I've had problems, always, in the big commercial clubs as well. I've been very successful over there [Europe]. I played, '88/'89, for 2,500-3,000 people every Friday and Saturday and they loved it. It was absolutely perfect, but I've always had problems with the promoters. They said, "Please don't play techno." Well, at first they said "please" and then they just said, "DON'T play techno. It's rubbish. It's just a trend for one season. The people want to hear Simple Minds and Dire Straits and play that shit." So that was the main reason why I split up with the big commercial clubs.
Lunar: They wouldn't let you be creative?
Timo: Well, I did that and they kicked me out. I did that already. From the beginning on I wanted to be creative. I wanted to create something that is just, "Timo." And yeah, they kicked me out but I was okay with that.
Lunar: I bet they're depressed now!
Timo: Some of them, yeah. I used to be a resident in a small, gay club in Hanover on Fridays which are the "mixed days"...so mostly gays but girls as well. Really, really cool club. I played there for more than seven years. I asked for $150 more a night at the beginning of last year and they refused that. For seven years, I played for $250 a night...long sets five to seven hour sets over there.
And that was the exact club where I had this groundbreaking night that changed my music understanding, basically. And they said, "No, there are plenty of other cheaper DJs out there that will play for $100 a night." And I said, "Hey guys, I'm not any cheap DJ. I'm on a mission, what's going on? I do something special." But when I left the club, the club was going down. It went under eventually.
Lunar: What was the name of that club?
Timo: The Man's Factory!
Lunar: The Man's Factory? It sounds like a gay club!
Timo: [laughs] Oh, it was so gay! You wouldn't believe!
Lunar: Yeah, we have one here in Atlanta called Backstreet.
Timo: That's funny! I'm so glad we're talking about this!
Lunar: When you first started playing in clubs, what and where were the first clubs that you played and how did that progress into playing in other countries?
Timo: Well, I split up with the commercial shit in 1990/1991, somewhere around that time. I said, "I'm not going to do music anymore." And for three or four months, I didn't do any music, I didn't do any appearances. I worked as a barman [bartender] on the weekend because I needed people, I always need people around me. It's too boring for me just to go out and be entertained by other people. I'm more kind of...when I want...an entertainer. I need to entertain other people, I need to see a reaction. So I did basically a job as a barman, for a couple of months. I was thinking about the whole thing but still collecting techno records.
And then one night a guy came by and asked, "Want to do a special night at my club?" It was not really a successful club but he wanted to do just a techno night on Easter Sunday night. I think this was '92. The club was absolutely rammed to capacity. The capacity was 300 people and we had 600 to 800 people in there. Absolutely underground. And I played really hard stuff and the people absolutely loved it! So I started again [playing music] and then my career was just the thing that I loved doing playing music. And I started again, playing at a really small club. Driving 100 kilometers to the club, playing a 3 or 4 hour set, driving back, working the next day at my regular job. My first release was big in Switzerland and the people recognized my name from the record and were like, "Yeah, we'll give this guy a chance" to play in Switzerland. And then England. I had my first residence in England.
Lunar: Where was that at?
Timo: At the Lakota in Bristol.
Lunar: Bristol...it's kind of big right now but I bet it was really big back then.
Timo: Yeah, I mean, Bristol has a really, really cool and creative music scene. From all the...yeah well, the smoking scene...I love the Bristol-style dark drum n bass. I was a little bit influenced by that. I met a couple of really interesting people like the Massive Attack guys and things like that. And the promoter from the Lakota club, Leon Alexander, he's now my manager...he's from Hope Recordings. So the whole thing started from them booking me at the Lakota club.
From the first second, we [Leon Alexander] were really close friends. The whole Timo Maas thing grew up over the last four or five years in England over Lakota and Lakota Records...they turned into Hope Recordings. It was a bit boring for me over in Germany so I tried to do something special, something nobody else was doing. And it was really hard for me, the last couple of years. Really hard. So the people said, "Hey, you don't play what the people want to hear" and I said, "Well, you don't have to play hits to entertain people." I've had so many discussions...so I concentrated my whole thing more to England than to Germany. It all pays back.
Lunar: That's so admirable. I know a lot of DJs who are trying to get big and they just play hits even though it's not what they want to play.
Timo: I never played hits. I've tried...I've played really strange stuff in the commercial clubs and people loved it!
Lunar: So you didn't sell yourself out and now it's paying off.
Timo: I always...twelve, thirteen, fourteen years ago...I did exactly the same thing as well as the sound I've played. I played "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen, for example. And when I hear that now, this is techno...this is techno in the very early years. It's very funky, it's kind of techno, I think. I love it. I love the sound of the Sugarhill Gang...old-school, very old-school.
Lunar: You've sort of answered this question already but your sound was as different and creative back then as it is today. So were the crowds generally receptive to that sound? It had to be so different from the mainstream stuff they were listening to.
Timo: I mean, 2,500-3,000 people every weeked...yeah, they were receptive to it. Just a couple of countryside assholes didn't like it. They needed their Simple Minds and German rock shit and I said from the beginning, "I don't play that shit." And so they kicked me out of the club. They said, "The drinkers bring in the money and you have to play music for the drinkers." And I said, "You can take your finger and put it in your ass!" It was hard at these times. I had my weekend job, I had my regular job and I always worked in those times, seven days a week. But I did that back because I loved it. And well, here I am in Atlanta!
Lunar: Back then, the club nights that you played at weren't really labeled "raves," right?
Timo: No, the whole rave thing started in Germany in '92. I think the first May Day party was in '92 or so. That's the major rave party in Germany. I played my first rave in November of '92.
Lunar: How's it different playing raves than it is playing clubs there?
Timo: Much more people and much more people up for the same thing [at raves]. The people came, for the first time, just for the music, not to get pissed [drunk]. It was unbelievable, really. Unbelievable.
Lunar: Was the May Day party the first rave you played at?
Timo: No, just smaller parties before that. When you're really successful and when you're really cool and when everything is absolutely positive for you then MAYBE, you're booked to May Day.
Lunar: You've played it though?
Timo: Yeah, I did a live performance in '98. And I played there this year too.
Lunar: That must be amazing.
Timo: It's absolutely fantastic. It's still fantastic. 25,000 people in one room, freaking out.
Lunar: I'm sure people will be freaking out tonight too [for his performance at the Riviera]. But the Riviera is a small club.
Timo: Good! I like clubs. I don't like playing raves anymore, you don't have too much time: an hour, two hours, or so. What you have is DJs just playing records for 45 minutes, and that's the thing I really don't like about playing raves. I want to create atmospheres, I want to play around with the people...I fuck their heads, basically. Let them feel and know my understanding of music...my understanding of making them feel a bit weird in the head. It's the reason why I'm here: to fuck your head. Some people want to do it but I do it. I will show you!
Lunar: Yes, I'm sure you will.
Timo: Definitely. I'll show you what's going on.
Lunar: When you began producing, what sort of sound were you making and what sort of sound were you aiming for?
Timo: I took my first steps in producing, very early, around '88/'89 when I was mixing, and I took some James Brown samples from a keyboard sampler to that and it sounded good. And it was the first time I really tried to give a record another kick, another style, which I see as the first step into remixing. And then [my] first record...it was absolutely rubbish. The worst, worst record I've ever heard.
Lunar: What was it called?
Timo: "The Final Excess" featuring Timo Maas.
Lunar: And I'm sure we can't hear it anymore.
Timo: I'm really sure. I have one copy and would never play it again to anybody in this world. Never. But whatever, I did the record and it was a big hit in Scotland. I sold 3,000 records or so and I wasn't really happy with that because I hated it. It was hard trance, basically. Hard trance with cheesy piano lines. Then a good thing started with a record I did with Gary D. with a German name and that opened up the English and Swiss markets for me. That was good because they [Switzerland] still do the biggest raves. Fantastic, huge things with 40,000 people. Big parades...really, every weekend there are huge raves in Switzerland. Anyway, that was my ticket to fly over to Switzerland, play for the people and have them remember my name.
Lunar: Who are some of the producers that you've worked with?
Timo: Gary D. and from my third or fourth record on, Martin, who is still my producer and who I think, for me, is the best dance producer in the world. He's fantastic.
Lunar: What happened with the first producer, Gary D.? Did you have a falling-out?
Timo: Well, I fucked his ex-girlfriend and he found out about it.
Lunar: I would call that a falling-out!
Timo: Well, you know, sometimes you have moments in life...But I mean, it was worth it. It was good sex.
Lunar: Well, that's a good thing! Um, you said your first record wasn't very good but did you produce it with anyone?
Timo: I had a producer, he was very successful at that time, under the moniker, Mega-Romania. He did some records on No Respect Records and he produced the record, but if you ever get a chance to hear this record, you'll see that he's more in it for the commercial aspects; just the breakdown...and hard, acid-lines.
Lunar: So the producer you're working with now is Andy?
Timo: Andy? No, just Martin.
Lunar: What happened to Andy?
Timo: Well, it's a thing between us but it's all good. We're not fighting. In the future, he may work with us...he may do some mixing or something like that. But the atmosphere is much better between me and Martin, we are very, very close. It's much more than friends, we are like brothers. We produce, as well, on the phone. I'm traveling so much and our phone bill is unbelievable because when I'm on tour, I have musical ideas and I'll call him in a second and let him know what's going on. So sometimes we do arrangements for songs via phone.
Lunar: How do you get inspiration? Or do ideas just pop up in your head?
Timo: I just keep my eyes and ears open. When I travel throughout the world or because I'm just alive, ideas just happen. It's a wonder that it still happens, I'm so busy. But as soon as it happens, I call Martin.
Lunar: Do you ever fear that the ideas will stop coming to you?
Timo: Well, I don't know. I mean, some days of the year you have times where you're more creative and some times when you have no ideas. But this is the good thing about the team so when one person isn't really creative at the moment, hopefully, the other person is more creative. We built up as well, in Hanover, a whole complex that's all studios. So we have several studios with all different kinds of music from hip-hop to pop music to everything. So when you're not having a creative moment, you just go next door and listen to some hip-hop or whatever...scratch around a little bit.
Lunar: Do you scratch?
Timo: [laughs] Yeah, a little bit. To impress you and girls, maybe?
Lunar: What are some of the monikers that you've working under?
Timo: Digital City, Eterna Basement, Kinetic Atom, Orinoko, a couple of different monikers.
Lunar: So, you've experienced a lot of success lately. How does this make you feel?
Timo: It's maybe good that I'm not living over here [America] so I just see a little bit. I think it's good that I only see a little because I have no idea just how big it really is. I don't take myself too seriously. I just do my thing.
Lunar: You don't get a big head about it.
Timo: I take it easy. I do it because I love it. You have to love it when you have the schedule I have, with all the traveling. I came in today and tomorrow I go to the next city an so on, so you have to love it.
Lunar: Where are you playing next?
Lunar: Kansas? That's really out there.
Timo: Yeah, but I have a couple of friends out there so everything's set up when I get there. When I arrive there, a limo will be waiting with a German-speaking guy...everyhting is already sorted. When I come to the hotel, there's a guy...I have problems with my back...and there's a guy that's a chiropractor already waiting there to work on my back.
Lunar: So you're getting pampered!
Timo: Pampered? Hmmmmm...I think I know what you mean.
Lunar: Do you think there was one track that launched your success?
Timo: Well, a couple. The "Azzido da Bass."
Lunar: Yeah, I wasn't going to ask you about that. I heard you hated talking about it.
Timo: Yes, I'm a bit bored talking about it but why not? I just heard today that it now reached the top charts in Germany. Yeah, this one is definitely one of the most important things I've done. That and the combination of the Bush releases last year and Toshiba on Hope Recordings. A lot of remixes, especially "Azzido da Bass," but a lot of good remixes. Some of them really good, and one that was really amazing which was the "Azzido da Bass." So I think the combination of everything made my career.
Lunar: This kind of relates to a question I asked earlier but it's your take on it. Given that your music is so different from anything out there now, are you ever surprised that so many people like it?
Timo: Yeah, I've had problems in the early years when I was producing with Martin, I've had problems, always, when we finished a track, it didn't really sound like anything else. I've had problems with that. It was from the beginning on something unique. I saw it in a bad way. I said, "Oh, we have to sound like this, we have to sound like that. We can't sell any records!" We were not able to make the normal, commercial shit everyone else was making. But it all paid back. Everyone loves it because it's different. We are not commercial. Commercially successful, yes. But we are not producing for the charts. We're producing for the dance world, basically.
Lunar: And for the people that really love the music.
Timo: Exactly. And now we have more respect than a lot of other DJs or producers. You ask really good questions!
Lunar: Really? I did some research on you. Like, I knew not to mention the "Doomsday" [Azzido da Bass] remix.
Timo: So how do you see the whole thing?
Ah! So now he's turning the tables on me! (Excuse the pun.)
Lunar: I see what you're doing as great because I really get bored with a lot of the music I hear now. I mean, I don't want to downplay anyone but there's a west coast DJ who plays hard trance and it's just so boring! Everytime I hear him, he plays the same thing. But people love him and I just don't get it. This is the only music that I've really ever loved, the only music that can make me cry and be happy at the same time. So when someone puts all their heart and soul into a track or their set, like you or Sasha or John or Leon Alexander, it really is a relief from all the shit that you hear played in clubs. I love Cass and Slide, I love Way Out West, I love your stuff so when something comes out, it's rare.
Timo: And this is the basis. I still don't try to sound like all those tracks. I tried that one time and it was rubbish. I'm not able to do that, I'm not able to produce that commercial shit that comes out. It's real...this real, what we do. We don't do it because we want the big money. We do have really good money at the moment but we still do what we love. We also found some potential partners that we want to produce some tracks with...so the tracks should be quite surprising for people.
Lunar: Yes, I love Music for the Maases.
Timo: Thank you! Everyone seems to be talking about the Madonna remix. It's already done in my head and it's the next thing....
Lunar: Is it already done? Is it just the remix or are you producing for her too?
Timo: Producing would be great. But the first step is the remix so we did it already.
Lunar: Is it a song from her last album or is it a new one?
Timo: It's a new one, it's "Don't Tell Me." It's a brand new one that's just out.
Lunar: The mainstream dance world has been listening to Sasha and Digweed, or really, they've become very popular over the last two or three years. Their music is very high quality and so is yours. Do you think people have gravitated towards your music because they're ready for a change from Sasha and John but they still desire the same quality in their music?
Timo: Well, the music just reflects who I am. I'm a really nice guy so the music is really groovy and funky but just a little bit evil sometimes. I think it's because of this little bit of evilness that maybe the people like it. They may not realize they do but just when a really dirty bassline kicks in, the people freak out. It's because there's this bit of evilness in all of us that I think the people really like my music.
And the sound...I think our records sound better than most of the sounds on the market because we have really brilliant sound engineers. I think it's a really important thing because the music we produce, we don't produce for the charts, we produce for the clubs. In the clubs, a record has to have a really perfect bassline. So yeah, maybe that's one reason. Another reason is I don't have another reason. It's just successfull, I can't tell you why...people just love it!
Lunar: It's quality.
Timo: Kind of, yeah. When you're in the position that you always have to talk about yourself. I can't even tell you...it's weird. We just don't think too much, we just do the music and then after we do the music, we have to talk about it. I don't want to discuss too much because it's just music. But now it's my role to discuss it! It was weird, I was in a sushi restaurant yesterday and these Asian kids came up to me and said, "Oh, you're Timo Maas! Can I have an autograph and some photos?!"
Lunar: Oh my god, I bet that was strange.
Timo: Yeah, it was so weird because I'm in Atlanta and not some place where I think someone would recognize me like Liverpool or London.
Lunar: What's in your CD player?
Timo: Eminem, Wyclef Jean, some new trance we produced.
Lunar: So you like Eminem?
Timo: Yes, the album is fantastic.
Lunar: The Marshall Mathers album?
Timo: Yeah. Surely, everyone is talking about that it's the most successful rap album ever but there's a reason why. Because everyone blames him because he's talking about women in a bad way, the disabled, everyone...he's fucking up everyone. But it's just the mirror of everyone. Everyone is thinking [what he's saying], at least. I really think that the nicest guys...the ones that say, "Oh, this and that is not good for you," all have Eminem in their CD player but they'd never show it to anyone. I mean, just how everything is produced, I see it from the production side, is ingenius. It's absolutely great. It's the best album I've heard in the past couple of years. And I don't like hip-hop, by the way! Not this American, I'm-so-cool, homey style.
Lunar: Some American rap is really terrible. Have you ever heard "The Thong Song"?
Timo: Ugh! It's all rubbish. I mean, Eminem is real. And he just shows people their real side, as well.
Lunar: When you're remixing classics like "Flash" by Green Velvet, how do you go about keeping the original sound? Is it a really delicate process? You don't want to mess it up!
Timo: Well, not really. I mean, at the moment, I can really decide what we want to remix. I've gotten offers for unbelievable money and on the other hand, unbelievable artists as well. Even the Backstreet Boys. But most of them, I refuse. We only do remixes when we get inspired by the original ones. I mean, "Flash" was definitely one of the groundbreaking tracks of the nineties. I played it to death when it came out. It was a big thing for us to do the mix. We always try to keep the original atmosphere of the track but put the whole thing into the Timo Maas direction with the typical, percussive, evil, dirty shit.
Lunar: So...you're not going to do the Backstreet Boys?
Timo: [smiles] I refused that! I just don't like it.
Lunar: What, no Britney Spears remixes or anything?
Timo: Well, my management is refusing a lot of things that have been offered to me just because it's rubbish. The next thing that I'm definitely going to do is Fatboy Slim, the "Star 69," the second track on his album. And we've got some really nice bits and pieces for next year. I just remixed Placebo, which I think, next to the "Azzido da Bass," is the best remix we've ever done. But I will play that tonight!
Lunar: Good! Do you like playing in Europe or America better?
Timo: Well, I love playing in all countries except for Germany. I'm a bit bored with Germany. I did play in Germany last week and they were absolutely great...really great response, really excited faces. After the set, [people said,] "I've never heard this before!" Because everyone's playing the stupid trance music in Germany or stupid handbag house stuff or the two-step or whatever. But not the mix between techno, trance, breaks or whatever. Something in the middle...no one's playing that stuff. It's so boring. But England's great and so is America. Australia's fantastic. Everywhere in the world is great. Well, maybe it will change because my name is growing in Mexico and Germany so we'll see for the next year. The next year, I've got a couple a couple of really exciting gigs. So we'll see.
Lunar: So what do you do other than DJing or producing? What do you do to relax?
Timo: Fucking my girlfriend, basically. No, I love cooking and collecting wines. I really love to cook for my friends when I'm at home on a Sunday. I love the Asian stuff: Chinese, Japanese, Thai...and Indian. And real German food as well. And they all love it so it can't be that bad! Relaxing, smoking, playing Playstation 2 and enjoying myself!
Lunar: One more question! Are you playing anywhere for New Year's Eve?
Timo: Yes, Gatecrasher and Cream. And after that, I'm going on vacation! I've done 240 gigs this year so I deserve a vacation!
This interview took place in November 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Music for the Maases
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