Neelix just arrived in Brazil again. We had a chat about excessive travelling, the scene of the South American hotspot, about influences and recent trends in Progressive Trance.
You just spent a considerable amount of time in an aeroplane…. business as usual for you. Isn’t all the travelling quite exhausting?
Indeed, all the travelling can be very exhausting. One of the most difficult things is that I have only very little time left between the weekends to live my normal life. Often I arrive back home on Tuesday and immediately have to prepare for the next gig on Friday. That means there is practically no time for producing music, although producing music is what I love to do so much. I think this is a rather new phenomenon: Back in the days producers barely left the studio, bands and artists travelled around the world but only 3 months per year. Today you just have to do everything, you have to be both the artist on stage and the producer, your tour just goes on and on forever. I’m really grateful to have the opportunity for living this life, but in the future I really want to take a month off every now and then.
Is there actually time left for hobbies and a private life in your situation?
Well, there’s almost no time for hobbies. A great thing we just got going is that Hannes and Claudia from SpinTwist will organize snowboard trips for the entire label family. However, it’s really hard to have a nice hobby if you travel that much. Next Monday I’ll meet my booking manager Vitor here in Brazil, we want to go skating. I still love doing it, no matter where I am. My actual hobby at the moment is physics, especially all the quantum electrodynamics thing is really exciting. I love listening to lectures and audio books on this subject while travelling, I read the “New Scientist” and I like watching documentaries. I have a lot of good friends here in Brazil, so I think a great part of my private life is happening at this place. I take my girlfriend with me whenever it is possible which is a great thing, as well. We have good friends and staying at their houses is just so much better than any hotel. Also there is a handful of good old friends who are never pissed off, even if I don’t make contact for months. It’s very special moments when I eventually meet my homies, when we just hang out, shoot down some zombies or have a great time at a comic con!
Your music studio went completely mobile, I guess?
It’s not that easy to produce music on the road, but I got a really good laptop and some really nice headphones. I try as hard as possible to produce new music while being on tour. Of course it’s a pain in the ass sometimes not to have a proper studio to work at. On the other hand I might work on the beach which isn’t bad at all. I just use my laptop and headphones. I think the vibe of the beach transcribes into my music and that is pretty sweet. One day I produced a track at the airport and during the flight. It’s called ‚Cabin Pressure‘ and I think you can clearly hear the airport influence!
Did the party hotspot Brazil influence your style?
Frankly, not at all. I always used to create this kind of sound. The trend is definitely going the “dry & simple” direction, and this is what works best on a Brazilian dance floor. I figured out that music has to represent the character of an artist, there has to be some kind of coherent message. The dance floor is very important, but the afterhour in the living room is very important as well – these are the places where you listen to some beautiful music.
Would you say that there is a Progressive Trance boom in Brazil at the moment?
The Progressive Trance boom is almost over, I think. The development is now taking different directions. Brazilians just love being captivated, no matter which style of music is played. This is the place where I stretched out my arms towards the sky for the first time, the place where I jumped around during a gig for the first time – quite a big deal for me, and all the guys who were behind me on stage knew I never acted like this before. That was exactly one year ago. Some guys climb onto the tables on the stage or even do a stage dive. I don’t really have the courage to do this kind of stuff, so I got myself a huge ball and printed my glasses onto it. It’s really huge, but super light. It’s an amazing moment when I throw it into the audience and it starts bouncing upon the crowd! That’s my personal show. If you want to be successful in Brazil you have to go the extra mile.
Please complete this sentence: For me the biggest difference between the European and the Brazilian Progressive Trance scene is that…
…we camp at open air parties, the Brazilians usually don’t.
Which is your favourite track from another artist at the moment?
The live version of Stevie Wonder’s ‚Superstition‘.
And which title are you working on at the moment?
Unfortunately none. I’m just hanging around here in my hotel in Recife, just started watching a documentary about the standard model of quantum physics.