Recently we found ourselves backstage at the Avalon in Hollywood to spend some time with Markus Schulz. Schulz was very forthcoming with his answers and I liked his goal to take great dance shows to smaller cities across the country, outside of Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York and Miami. No wonder, he was voted #1 Dj in America in 2012 beating out the likes of Steve Aoki and Skrillex.
Last Saturday, I spend the evening at the Avalon in Hollywood to see Paul van Dyk. The German-born artist was our very first FOX 11Dj story we did a little more than a year ago. I'm not sure if it is the venue of not, but the Avalon continues to provide what I consider the best venue in LA - for big name EDM artist. Markus Schulz was certainly no exception.
Schulz, was just finishing up his 'SCREAM' tour in Los Angeles, the end of the line, and it had been a blast. So, here's the final entry to this blog on his WEBSITE, written from the Scream Bus Tour finale at Avalon Hollywood. It all went like this:
Saturday, May 11
12 Noon: "If I sleep until 8 p.m., even better. Someone can get the laptop for sound check, but otherwise, I'm to be left alone." So begins a weekend of everyone being segregated to hotel rooms in Hollywood, our busses still parked outside of Avalon for who-knows-why, other than to store my moving boxes that are en route to Miami.
8 P.M.: Sound check. Markus is giddier than ever. It's the happiest I've seen him on the tour, and that says a lot, because he is almost always smiling. He tweets that this is the most "outrageous production in any L.A. club ever," but all I see is a massive wall of LEDs – three or four stories tall. Impressive, sure…
We sit on the bus for a few moments afterward, visiting with 2009 America's Best DJ winner, Z-Trip (also from Arizona), and I think, "All my friends are really cool."
9:45 P.M.: A press conference is held at a nearby restaurant. The legendary radio jock Swedish Eagle is one of the attendees. I sit back and snack on a cheese plate, while actual journalists do work. Markus announces Scream 2 and its accompanying tour in the Fall. Uh-oh….
11:30 P.M.: KhoMha is in the middle of his set in front of a thousand people…or two. I find the schedule for the night, and am exhausted just reading it. They're playing until 8 A.M.? No wonder Markus wanted to sleep all day. I, on the other hand, got no nap. He can have his tour back.
12:30 A.M.: The club is absolute madness, including our VIP area, and I am scared. I escape to the back of the club where there is some breathing room. It isn't long before I'm approached by a dude practicing one of my biggest pet peeves. (Boys, don't walk up to a girl and just blurt out, "What's your name?" Introduce yourself like a gentleman.) I run to find another safe place, pushing past a stream of people coming into the club, and am stunned to find a life-sized unicorn. I continue to our merch booth, and wish I could be back behind it for once.
1 A.M.: Markus' intro drives me back to the main floor, and I'm in total awe. During sound check, I hadn't noticed that we also brought in LEDs for the ceiling, or that there were even more wrapped around the back balcony. They are strobing brighter than the sun. I turn around to find the head of DC3 behind me, smiling at his work, and give him a high-five.
Go-go dancers painted white like unicorns—complete with slash wounds that are bleeding rainbows—throw blow-up unicorns and light-up swords into the crowd. Markus gets on the mic a few moments into his set and says, "I feel like I'm at home!"
Sunday, May 12:
7 P.M.: Sound check. The life-sized unicorn that greets everyone at the front doors is covered with a sheet. The horn is missing. You can't have a unicorn around when you're promoting this "unicorn slayer" thing and not expect someone to slay it, Markus. "Yeah, but that's MINE to slay!"
We take a group photo with 28 people involved in the tour. "Shouldn't Sarah be in the middle, since it's her tour?" Yes, I should—and doing a headstand! (Well, whatever, they got back at me. Everyone looks lovely in the final photo, while I'm looking away and making a hideous face.)
8 P.M.: End-of-tour dinner. Toasts ensue, congratulating Markus on the success of the tour. It's a proud, yet somber time. I love so many of these people, but I don't really want to talk to any of them now. It's a form of detachment, I guess, to protect my feelings in the end. At the same time, I want to have short cuddle sessions with all of them, and I can't help but think of one of my favorite movies, the Madonna: Truth or Dare documentary.
I had never understood the intimacy she had with her crew, so much that she said goodbye to them while they were in her bed. All of these weeks spent in close quarters with people working toward a passionate goal will produce that kind of familiarity. Not in a sexual way; like, in a platonic, slumber-party way.
11 P.M.: Once again, I check the schedule. It only lists Markus as going until 4 A.M., but then reads, "What curfew?" I am scared again, but the crowd has a more chill vibe than last night (younger and less intensely serious), so I feel more energetic. My friends from Phoenix are sending #ScreamBusTour tweets, so that I can read them on the projection screens on the side walls.
Downstairs, I discover all of the blow-up unicorns stuffed into plastic bags, and can't handle their giant, innocent eyes. I rescue one like the dork that I am.
1 A.M.: Markus takes the stage once again. Bright lights, confetti, cryo, unicorn girls, toys, etc., all ensue once again. The difference is that tonight it is being filmed for MTV's "Clublife" (be on the lookout starting later this week). Markus greets the viewers, saying, "All you're watching right now is me having fun with all of my friends!"
3:30 A.M.: Markus and KhoMha are dishing out a mean hour-long tag team set, and our tour manager is finally broken. Dead asleep on his "prodo" desk, he may or may not be cuddling with a blow-up unicorn.
Monday, May 13:
9 A.M.: We're off to Miami. In the car on the way to the airport, Markus is already making a to-do list for the Fall tour, despite having gotten zero sleep. He doesn't quit!
2 P.M.: All I want to do is sleep, having only gotten a couple hours between the final show and having to go to the airport. I would kill to have my on-bus sleeping problems in comparison to this. I would rather be in my bunk now, in a veritable hotel room on wheels… no TSA yelling at us, no indecent feeling of being stripped of privacy, no flight delays, no 12-freaking-dollar turkey sandwiches, nor having to wake up a stranger so that I can go use the restroom…
Introduction to Markus Schulz: Over the last 10 years Markus Schulz has crafted the individual musical identities of progressive, trance & house into his own unique fusion sound. The combined influence of his headlining DJ sets; Armada and Coldharbour label releases and highly prominent Global DJ Broadcast radio show have placed him at the forefront of the US EDM revolution. This success has been reflected in weekly sets spun in front of tens of thousands, a GDJB listenership up in the millions and critically acclaimed albums, including ‘Do You Dream?' and most recently ‘Scream'. In 2008 Schulz broke into the # 10 of DJ Mag's Top 100 chart and has maintained a successive run of high-ranking positions ever since. He holds the 2012-2013 DJ Times magazine reader-voted title of America's Best DJ. Playing over 150 gigs every year, he has become the busiest international DJ playing out of the United States.
Markus Schulz – The DJ: Through his natural audience interaction, flawless harmonic mixing, intuitive tune selection and now famous open-till-close sets, he has wowed crowds in every major metropolis. Schulz's DJ career has run largely parallel to that of his productions. In the early noughties, having concentrated on the hinterland between trance & progressive, he began to reach audiences further and further afield. His career received a significant boost when, in 2004, he signed with heavyweight DJ agency, David Lewis Productions (also home to Armin van Buuren). Now a regular fixture at the world's biggest & most famous clubs, arenas and festivals, he lays down his inimitable trance-progressive vision on a weekly basis. In Europe, he's smashed Transmission, Nature One, Dance Valley, Electronic Family, Sunrise and Tomorrowland; worked tent-pegs loose at Creamfields; gridlocked Global Gatherings and played open-till-close sets at Space, Miami, Avalon, LA and Amnesia, Ibiza. Stateside the colossal Electric Daisy, Nocturnal, and Ultra Festivals have all felt Schulz pressure and yet further afield still he's engineered floor uproar across South East Asia and Australia. Schulz polled 4 consecutive years inside DJ Mag's world's top 10, is regularly ranked in the FTB, Trance Addict and Trance Podium charts as trance's 2nd biggest spinner and won Best American DJ at the 2008 IDMAs.
How It Began: Born in Eschwege, central Germany, Markus emigrated to the United States. Age 13, his dance music awakening came during the grip of the country's then-nascent breakdance scene. His early production and DJ career roughly tracked that of the second Stateside House explosion and he caught his first production break in 1993 when he remixed Sagat's ‘Why Is It? (F** Dat)' for FFrr. Markus' freshman production release followed in 1994 with the 6-track ‘Plastik Trax EP Vol 1'. Throughout the mid to late Nineties he continued to accrue acclaim with a range of releases on numerous luminary U.S. labels. In 1998 he recorded ‘You Won't See Me Cry' for Plastik Records (his first label), which was picked up by the UK's Eve Records and became his first non-domestic release.
Schulz Charitable Work:
Schulz is also involved in the Pioneer DJ Art Mix connects global DJ's and Urban artists to raise money for the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. "Pioneer DJ Art Mix," a unique fund raising program involving legendary DJs, famed street artists, and newly added this year, today's most sought-after consumer brands, to create one-of-a-kind works-of-art utilizing Pioneer's renowned industry standard CDJ-2000nexus digital music player as the canvas.
Working directly with the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk, Pioneer will hold a one-day public exhibition for the art pieces on Thursday, October 10, at The Bank on 401 South Main Street in Los Angeles. The event is followed by a special month-long online auction for the collection with the benefits going to the VH1 Save The Music® Foundation to restore music education programs in public schools.
On September 21, Markus Schulz will be landing in San Bernardino to perform at Nocturnal Wonderland (San Manuel Amphitheater & Grounds). Check out the official trailer & New Music Mix Below. Of course, coming this Fall from Markus 'Scream II'. We look forward to it!.
FINALLY: Great write-up on our Work here at FOX 11 Dj just released by LA Weekly:
"Local Meteorologist Pablo Pereira is a Huge EDM Fan" CLICK HERE