Interview mit Sven Väth
by Shannon Petrick
translated from German by Clark Crossley
Sven Väth is a techno pioneer.
As founder of Cocoon Booking in Frankfurt, Germany, Sven Väth has come a long way since he began DJing twenty years ago. Sven recently released Fire (available on Virgin) which was co-produced by Anthony Rother and Alter Ego (Roman Flügel and Jörn Elling). The album is a striking mix of techno, electro and vocals, crafted into nine tracks of club-friendly music.
Lunar: Fire comes across as a softer, more vocal sound than your fans are used to hearing. Is there a reason for this?
Sven Väth: I wouldn't say it's softer but yes, there are more vocals. I wanted to experiment with a more vocal sound, even using my own voice (on some tracks).
Lunar: You've been DJing and producing for many years now. Since Fire is your fifth album, how would you describe your success?
Sven Väth: Well, it's been fun! Twenty years of DJing, traveling around the world, and playing in cities like Hong Kong, Montreal, New York. It's really been fun. Plus, working with Alter Ego and Anthony Rother for six months on the Fire album was a great experience.
Lunar: Do you think techno is different now compared to a few years ago?
Sven Väth: Yes, it's more diverse than it used to be. I mean, today we have minimal techno, 80's/electro styles and the Adam Beyer/Marco Corola sound. Also, we have what I would call real techno a la Johannes Heil. It really has become a wider, more diverse genre of music than it used to be.
Lunar: It's widely known that you love to travel. Is this reflected in your music?
Sven Väth: Yes, I do try to incorporate various experiences and moments into my music. For example, when I was in Asia, it was great to be able to experience the different atmosphere. So yes, it does influence my music.
Lunar: You are also famous for your extended sets, playing up to thirty hours at a time. How do you prepare for such long sessions?
Sven Väth: I'll take about 230-240 records with me [laughs]! Actually, it really is a lot of fun playing longer sets because I have more control over the evening and the atmosphere. I'll generally start out with some minimal house and progress through the set with techno and some electro.
Lunar: Do you prepare your sets differently when you're playing in the U.S. compared to Europe?
Sven Väth: No, really there isn't any difference. I just played in Chicago on Thursday, Montreal on Friday, followed by New York on Saturday. I just played my sound.
Lunar: You mean, you played all those cities in the U.S. with the same sound you play in Germany?
Sven Väth: Yes, that's right. I mean, I had such a good time in Montreal at Club Sona, with people like Tiga from Gigolo Records. It was such a nice club and the vibe was terrific. I really enjoyed it.
Lunar: Are there any producers you'd love to work with?
Sven Väth: I'd like to work with Ritchie Hawtin in the future. Actually, we're good friends. We're meeting tonight in New York. I also really enjoy working with Alter Ego, and we'll be working on a few projects again in the future.
Lunar: Can we expect a Sven Väth/Ritchie Hawtin collaboration any time in the future?
Sven Väth: Maybe, but nothing is concrete yet.
Lunar: If you had to choose between DJing and producing, which would it be?
Sven Väth: I'd have to say DJing. I mean, I've been DJing for twenty years, nearly every weekend. For me, it's more fun than being held back, working on various projects in the studio. Although I enjoy producing, I really like to travel and to play in front of the crowd.
Lunar: What are your plans for the future?
Sven Väth: First, I'll finish up my world tour and that takes me up to the end of June. Then I'll be getting ready for The Sound Of The 3rd Season in Ibiza at the Cocoon club. At the end of the year, I'll be working on an ambient album. Next year, we'll see. I've been working on the idea of doing a music festival.
Lunar: Do you have any plans to visit the South East anytime soon?
Sven Väth: Yes, I'll be playing in Miami in May but I can't give out any details yet.
Lunar: Will the crowd be treated to an eight-hour marathon set?
Sven Väth: At least! [laughs]
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