Hey you speak German? Cool! Hello too!
No, who said that??
No! (laughing) Well, I started 27 years ago and there were no such electronic music as what we listen today. There were pre-electronic music genres such as New Wave, and synthesized kind of music.
So I played such Top-40 Songs, not just Top-40 from random bands.
Well at the mid 80s I started to get more and more interested in the new kind of electronic music, which would later be known and called under the name "Techno". I started more and more collecting vinyls
- at that time there were no CDJs, no digital format of music, we only had vinyls and I started collecting the so-called first generation of "Techno vinyls" and progressively I started more and more,
longer and longer to play these kinds of music.
In 1991 the electronic dance scene started booming in Germany and I got gig bookings specifically needing techno genre so from that moment on I decided to focus myself on techno. I started practically from zero, once again.
No, I represent myself. Timo Maas. I see myself as an international person - a citizen of the world, not only German.
Frankly speaking, the German DJs are the ones who represent Germany much more than the others, apart from the footballers maybe and Michael Schumacher before he retired from the F1, but then the question comes back to myself, whether I would or would not represent Germany in my mind.
I still live in the outskirts of Hanover in a traditional German farmhouse, and I call Germany home, but I've been everywhere during my almost 3-decade long career, and I spend most of my time away from Germany, I see and learn new cultures from around the world everyday, for example this is my first time in Indonesia and tomorrow I will be somewhere else, so this makes me think that afterall I'm rather an international person, not just a German. I'm a citizen of the world with German origins.
It's a bit boring, to be honest.
Most good German DJs don't even play often in Germany anymore, because they all now think it's time they made a name outside the boundaries of our own country, and also the question of fees. We earn a lot more when we play outside Germany.
It's kinda sad but it's the fact, I think Germany needs to invent something new in the scene so it wouldn't stay that dead and boring.
Even though in my two most favorite cities: KŲln and Hamburg, I consider them nice, pretty, good for sightseeing and staying for awhile, but the nightlife scene is so boring.
Ulm, Essen, Bodensee, those are the cities I still consider to have a good clubbing activity.
Oh, I hate Berlin!
Well to start, Berlin is so full.
Whenever I go there I can't relax because I always bump to someone I know from the scene, whether producers or DJs or club owners, and then I always have to make appointments or promise them to come look at their place or hear their mixtape...
Some people could see it as a good way of networking but I feel very uncomfortable with all those things.
I live for my music, I live by my music, and I have to be on stage almost everyday so maybe I don't like being in Berlin and meet all those people because I need to take a pace off the humdrums of nightlife once in a while. Also, I find it very uninspiring to have to check out others' music and performances. The rest of time I'm off the gigs, I prefer being home or being somewhere quiet.
Secondly I just don't like the city!
It's a place I could never ever live in. Berlin is not my cup of tea.
You see, I have a long career behind me, 30 year long career full with good memories and I can't just pick out one of them out of the blue, because those moments all mean a lot for me. Twilo times,
Miami WMC, touring the world doing gigs in the most exotic places, they are all important memories.
So, I would say I have too many good moments and I can't just pick one.
Well this is something bitter but I have to say sooner or later we have to accept it as the way it is.
Personally, I have never downloaded any illegal, pirated music in my life. I always buy my music, whether in the format of CDs, vintage vinyls, or MP3, but I have never, and will not ever, download without giving my contribution.
But in the other hand, this is me! I'm only one person among millions of others.
And maybe most people don't have enough money to buy their contents legally so this is understandable, and as long as internet shall live, people will always find a way to get music for free, no matter what it takes!
And in the other, other hand, I would give an advice to everyone to start thinking of other ways to get money because yes, there are a lot more ways you can make your income.
Do a movie soundtrack, get booked everywhere in the world, do yourself a name and a fame and you can earn your bucks anywhere else but by selling CDs.
No, not at all! I don't give a damn about them because if you see, most of the Top 20 DJs are Dutch, good marketers of their own images and music.
Personally, there is a great difference between the GOOD DJs and the MOST SUCCESFUL DJs.
Getting back to your question a few minutes ago, I was referring to the best German DJs, not the most succesful ones.
Being succesful doesn't mean you make quality music.
Look at how TiŽsto has become. Look at Armin van Buuren. They, most of all, know how to create an image, but for quality music and performance I don't want to say anything further. For me, technically, Paul van Dyk is still the best.
But out of the first 20 DJs in DJmag Top 100, only very, very few deserve to be there.
Fake mail accounts to vote, strategies to get instant fame.
They tend to forget that being number XX in the DJmag Top 100 doesn't guarantee a lifetime of successes. Being there doesn't guarantee your music quality improves, either. So I don't care about those kind of numberings. I do good for myself, I'm happy with my music, people enjoy my performances, and that's what counts most for me.
Get creative! Today the rivalry is so cruel, the DJing scene needs you to be not only smart, but creative, innovative, and stay with your own personality, your own genre.
I have 30 years of love for music, 30 years of musical culture, and that's what not people can acquire in an instant.
So, don't think about getting big income first, do yourself some good by plunging yourself more into your music, and learn, learn, learn everyday!