What was your first contact with music? Were there any early signs that itís going to be the center of your life?
D-Nox: Yes, there were signs. My father used to play bass and guitar in a band during the 70s. I was always surrounded by musicians. My father had a big record collection as well. All kinds of 70s rock and pop. I can say that music is my life.
You were born and grew up in East Germany. How did it affect your interest in music at the time? Do you think there are still some effects that you can recognize in who you are as a DJ and music man today?
D-Nox: I always used to listen to the radio from West Germany. We used to live near the border and therefore we were able to listen to the radio from the other side. I was always into pop music. I knew what the radio was playing and I loved it. I have recorded lots of tapes back than, which I later used when I start to play music at school parties. And this is actually how I found the interest in DJing.
Tell us about your personal ďgood old daysĒ as a DJ/dancer- when were they and why? What do you miss about them? What are you happy to have behind you?
D-Nox: My good old days are the early 90s, when I discovered this new music which was called techno. It was a fantastic time in my life. Things were so easy and just happening. We felt like being part of a revolution. I was more a dancer than a DJ back than. It was just after we have escaped from East Germany and for me it was not really clear what I wanted to do. I was still collecting music and I always had the dream to play only once in front of many people but then I was a raver.
I donít really miss that time because for me that time hasnít finished yet. Iím in the middle of all that. I live this life and I donít wanna finish with it any time soon. OK, I party less, but music is still the number one thing in my life.
You DJ A LOT- do you sometimes feel like you canít stand it anymore? What do you do when you have to play and you really canít hear another beat? Maybe share a story?
D-Nox: Yes I DJ a lot and Iím still loving it. Somehow Iím lucky and I get to play in many good events. This is also what I need to continue to do. Good gigs recharge my batteries. Sometimes after a bad gig I feel down and a bit depressed, these are the only moments when I start to think about it at all. I love the beat, the beat of the music, the beat of my life and of the nightlife. Feels like the longest DJ mix ever. Iím playing since 1992 and I live in a nonstop beatmix since than.
The only thing which sucks is the stress I suffer while traveling. I spend half of the year in hotels and airports. That takes most of my energy but Iím doing well in recovering from it. I take vacations in between. I take care of what I eat, drink and consume.
On what equipment did you DJ in your first gig? What do you use now?
D-Nox: As I said in the 80s I used to play my music from tapes. During the 90s I only used vinyls (and sometimes DAT). Nowadays I play with CDs. Itís the medium I get along with best. I donít trust computers and I find it too complicated to set everything up before the gig. CDs give me the freedom and space I need. As they say: ďNever change a working systemĒ
Do you think the medium affects the outcome? The way the DJs play? What is your take on laptop DJs? Is it just a way in for lazy ppl or an opening for a new way of DJing?
D-Nox: I donít care how music is played. The people on the floor donít give a shit about it. For me it is always pain in the ass to have a laptop DJ before or after me. I dislike it when somebody is trying to connect cables while I play and need the mixer. This is something that sometimes stresses me a lot while I play. But everybody should use what he wants. I just donít care about all these laptop DJs. The most of them that I have seen playing were either boring or fucked up the audience because of some technical problems with their computer or soundcard. Thatís why I wouldnít change the way I play because I trust it.
What about all that equipment coming out all the time- digital turntables, DJing softwares, super complicated CDJs with lots of knobs and buttons- is it really necessary? Does it make any difference?
D-Nox: I donít even look at it or spend time with it. I need 3 Pioneer 1000, a mixer and monitor speakers. Thatís it.
And a proper sound system.
Why do you think DJs have almost disappeared from trance parties and itís all about live acts? What does that do to parties?
D-Nox: Is it like that? I thought those fake lives acts have disappeared. I donít know since I donít spend too much time at trance parties.
In all dance music worlds it seems that good DJs drift toward producing, sometimes it feels to me this is because of financial reasons or in order to be able to advance- how do you feel about it? Why did you start to produce?
D-Nox: You are absolutely right. These days you canít be only a DJ. You gotta write music to get your name around. Releases mean promotion and if you are good maybe gigs. I started to write music only for that reason. I wanted to push my name and get around the world. I was tired of playing only in or around Germany. Something had to change and thatís what I did.
My first encounter that I remember with you was as a user in our forum around 5-6 years ago. You always preached for an open mind as the basis for parties and enjoying them. I liked that and I agree totally. Do you feel that you still manage to keep an open mind even after so many years of DJing? Isnít it becoming hard now that you are famous as a DJ and producer and people start expecting certain sounds from you? Do you challenge yourself on that front, try to get out of your own box?
D-Nox: Yes I still preach for that. I always did. When you listen to my DJ sets you will always hear me playing new tracks, sounds or styles every time. I just canít stick to the same formula for too long. You will hear me playing techno, and also house or more uplifting trancey things. I donít know why, but I always found a way how to work it out and combine all. Maybe it is a question of how I present the things and connect them while I play but I have never had big problems to do my thing. Most of the time my thing seams to be the thing of the crowd. Iím definitely looking after the crowd. Itís important for me that the party works.
I always try to educate and combine classics, this way I can show new things to the crowd.
It seems that the dance music world was taken over by storm by Beatport. Is Beatport a step towards open mindedness or against it?
D-Nox: Yes and no. Beatport has total control of the electronic download market. We all know the advantage of Beartport. Easy, user friendly and lots of music for a great price.
On the other hand, these days most of the DJs play the same music because everybody is shopping at beatport. I donít spend too much time in beatport. Well, I check what my label releases are doing . See how good my music sells. But shopping there I do maybe once a month. The music I play comes to me. Itís music I write with Beckers or from friends etc. etc.
Open air or club- what do you prefer if at all? Good and bad in both?
D-Nox: I love both but I prefer clubs. I need the full contact. I like to be close to the audience.
Is it only about dancing and fun or is there something more to partying and party culture?
D-Nox: Itís a mix of all. I prefer to play for people that really dig the music and get into a journey. I like to play for people that feel something when they listen to this music. Not sure. This would start a philosophy discussion here. I like it the way it is.
What makes a good DJ?
D-Nox: To play the right music at the right moment, to create a unity on the dancefloor, to be able to do a clean mix, to be able to entertain, to create an unforgettable moment, to be surprising, to be refreshing, and to make the crowd happy.
One important advice to beginners...
D-Nox: Never stop to believe in what you really want.
One important aspect of DJing that people tend to overlook...
D-Nox: Not everybody can be a DJ. Itís something you need to feel inside you. Itís not enough to mix and play good tracks. Itís a lifestyle and a life form. You either have it or not!!!
Your dream DJ set- where, when, with whom, how long?
D-Nox: It can be anywhere. I just need the right people and the right sound system and nobody that tells me when to stop.
Please give us one track, one producer and one DJ that made an impact on you in the last year and tell us why.
D-Nox: I always have a problem with names. I should name a few, though. Paul Ritch, Gabe, Okain, Rest Robot, Carl Craig (always again) and many many others
Any last messages, links or general wisdom to share?
D-Nox: See you at one of my next shows, just around your corner...