Superstar DJ...here we go. Timo Maas has already made a name for himself over the past twelve months remixing the likes of Madonna, Fatboy Slim and bigging up the indie fraternity with a Placebo remix. In March the debut Timo Maas album "Loud" hits the shop with an eclectic blend of funk, rock, driving beats and bootie shaking and features collaborations with Kelis and Finley Quaye as well as the amusingly titled MC Chickaboo. Read on for more info.
Q: You kick the year of with the "To Get Down" single. Again its a case of Timo Maas blurring the lines between rock and dance music.
A: We just tried to add to the usual Timo recipe of that dry sounding beat and some guitars on it. It just shows that dance music must not always have a gated string or a high pitched vocal or whatever. It shows that it is actually possible for you to do other things in an electronic studio. I love things that are a little bit more in your face and guitars as long as its not to heavy or to fast I really like as well.
I'm quite happy that people can accept that we don't just copy ourselves...but we actually look forward as well. When people hear the album and actually know what the singles are going to be it will be all the more exciting.
Q: You do seem to be one of the few DJs / Dance musicians that can crossover from the dance heads to the more traditional indie-rock crowds.
A: More and more people are getting interested and that's great. Our intentions was to produce an album which is not actually a dance album but is more a showreel of what's possible in the studio with us (myself and Martin) in the studio. At the end of the day I think what we have on there can cross some borders definitely.
With the DJ sets you basically never know what you're getting but you get funk. I never play the same set and the singles surprised a lot of people and they expected something else for the album....but still no one can tell me what they expected.
Q: The album "Loud" features collaborations with Kelis and Finley Quaye. How was it bringing different artists into the melting pot?
A: We actually tried not to jump on the train of the success of someone else. We tried to take the vibe of our music and take someone we really like and support and create something that is new because its two totally different genres. You mention Kelis and Finley and and I think it works particularly well with both of them. We actually had one day with each of them and I'm very pleased that in such a short term of what we've done actually.
There were a couple of people we really wanted to work with but it just didn't happen. But i'm not going to sit here and dis anyone. We realised that a big name in the dance business isn't worth a penny outside the dance business...but I hope that we can open a few more doors with the album.
Q: Remix wise you've mixed everyone from Fatboy Slim to Madonna. It must be a tremendous honour to be even considered by these people?
A: It is indeed. Especially the Madonna thing I was really scared when I heard about it. I don't want to rate it too much though because it was already last year. We don't really want to remix too much because we realize that all these ideas we invest in the remixes could actually be invested in our own stuff.
We've done a couple of new mixes for Garbage and Roger Sanchez over the next couple of months so its going forward and not backwards.
Q: Madonna likes to work with the innovators in dance music. Is there a possibility that Madonna could call you in to produce part of her next album?
A: Madonna is kind of a trend barometer and she's got a great team of head-hunters around her who are looking for the who's hot and who's not list.
Q: Looking at the set-up you obviously separate Timo Maas the artist from Timo Maas the DJ.
A: Sure. I am the DJ definitely and the producer / artist / remixer / all the studio work is a collaboration between myself and my partner Martin. I'm really happy that I've got someone in the background who is so talented and such a genius on all types of music.
We know exactly what part we play in the team and so many factors cam together to the place we are now. We don't actually have a contract between us - everything between us we do because we trust each other and were friends. Its quite unusual when you're so successful and so much money is in the game that you don't have a written contract.
Q: In 2002 are you going to try and take the album out on the road in a live setting?
A: We are already thinking about how to present the whole stuff on the road. The main thing were going to do is go a little bit away from the usual club gigs and go more to the alternative and rock locations... and try to attract another crowd as well. A lot of people who are not usually into dance music can really get into the Timo Maas sound and realize how diverse a DJ can be and also how entertaining it can be.
The UK tour starts in March, Germany in May and June i'm completely on tour in the States. There's such a market out there for me at the moment and so many club bookings are being pencilled in...its great!!!
"To Get Down" is out Feb 11th
"Loud" is out 4th March
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