I wrote this on Markus Schulz’ forum in reply to his reaction to critical reception of his new artist album ‘Scream’. His original post can be found here: http://www.markusschulz.com/forums/showthread.php?1547-Markus-Schulz-Scream-Coming-August-31-2012/page12
First of all I take my hat off to you for coming here and replying to our criticism. That really shows character and makes you stand out among your colleagues, who comfortably hide behind their hired Facebook marketing employees. At least you have the balls to interact. Much much appreciated.
Nevertheless I am saddened deeply by your replies.
First off I'm actually insulted by you categorizing us as "forum people". Yes people who actually still visit forums and take the time to write stuff there and read others comments are small in numbers nowadays compared to the lazy masses on the social media who only consume pre-fabricated marking bla and add zero themselves except maybe “MaRkUsSsS wHeN aRe YoU cOmmmInG 2 mY cOuNtYYYY???!!!!” below every post. And we “forum people” probably are not the current 15 year olds either. Heck 99% of those don't even know what a forum is. But that doesn't excuse the current industry trend to put us away as an insignificant bunch of frustrated old people who complain about everything that is different from 2004 and doesn't resemble what they used to love in the past. What we are are people who have loved you music all our lives and are probably the last ones standing of those who made it possible for you to become a DJ and a producer. We were the ones buying your first albums, singles and compilations when you were still small potatoes. We were the ones screaming our heads off at your gigs. We were the ones who fell in love with your music and your sets when you were still making them from them heart, from what you truly believe in, from who you really are. Uninfluenced by popularity poll ratings, drugged up managers and promoters or sales figures.
What you are now saying basically is that you have to compromise yourself under the commercial pressure of the pop dance explosion. That you now produce new “radio friendly” vocal tracks to please the networks, that you adjust your GDJB programming to avoid being kicked of the air and that you compromise your live sets because money hungry promoters bow to the pressure of crowds that only consist of 15 year old nitwits who get bored if they don’t get their fabricated built in SHM style pitch bend climax every 3 minutes. And that is a big big shame.
Why? Let me tell you man. You cannot stay on top of the food chain forever. Noone can. Yes you can prolonge your career by compromising into every new trend and the next, the way guys like Tiesto and Armin are doing, but like them you will become a total caricature of yourself. Because what you have to do to stay up there goes more and more against everything you really are inside. And even if you keep on compromising, at some point people WILL spit you out because you are like us. Too old. Not cool anymore. You will end up the Rubens Barichello of dance music and get dumped in a back alley through the backdoor without so much as an appreciative farewell party.
Obviously you are not the first to come to this point in your career. How do you think people like Sasha or Nick Warren or John Digweed felt at the end of the 90’s acid rush in the UK? When all of a sudden new guys like Ferry Corsten and Paul van Dyk stormed the scene with their new and more energetic interpretation of trance music? It’s the exact same thing. But what they did is keep their dignity. They accepted that a new thing had arrived and that the new thing was more popular with the crowds. But they NEVER COMPROMISED. They kept on doing music the way their hearts told them to do music. For the people who appreciate that style. Maybe less in numbers from there on, but loyal as a dog. Because they are connected through the same musical values.
And guess what? All of them are still around, touring the globe and playing in clubs to crowds adoring them for what they do. Without any compromise. They don’t give a flying fuck if radio stations wanna play their radio shows or not. They don’t need to release radio tracks with cheap nameless singers who can’t sing fuck live (you should go and see an Armin Only show if you have a chance, it’s hilarious). They don’t have to star in cheezy videos for those tracks. They don’t have to do gigs for hostile crowds holding up phones all night long and giving you the finger for not giving them instant climax tracks or childish heart signs every 10 seconds. They don’t care. Because they are completely independent and they do what they love. And the people who come to see them and buy their new stuff love it from A to Z. And they always have. That Markus, is where real gratification lies. Not in trying to be the hero of the 15 year olds. They will spit you out the moment the new fad comes on stage and forget you ever existed.
Unfortunately your career seems to have been taken over completely by power and fame hungry managers and promoters who are only interested in being the biggest and making the most money. Who force release schedules upon you. Who force you to make radio friendly vocal crap. Tracks that you should be ashamed off. Who force you to adjust your radio show format. Who force you to headline festivals. And force you to play this constantly further derailing aggressive shit music that every producer and his dog is now making and has diverted so far off from your own original Markus Schulz sound.
You know what? Fuck them. You don’t need that shit. Do you really feel a need to compete or even compare yourself with Dash Berlin? The Milli Vanilli of trance? A completely fake act fabricated by Armada marketing and a bunch of studio engineers? Come on man, you are so much better than that. You are one of the few remaining originals. One of the few who actually knows how to DJ, how to produce a track with a unique and distinctive sound and how to compile a legendary compilation.
Remember that DJ gigs and festivals are not what will eventually be your musical legacy. They are here for a second and are gone the next. Vaporized into total silence. Witnessed by what on a global scale is only a handful of people. What really forms your musical legacy are your own productions and your compilations. And to some lesser extent your radio sets too. Those are heard time and again by a thousand fold of people compared to the numbers at your gigs. And locked into eternity in peoples homes, cars and mobile players.
Compromise those and you compromise the essence of yourself as an artist. If you don’t untie yourself from this commercial madness you will eventually end up in the trash bin with all the other pop stars.