ATB Makes His India Debut
Trance superstar ATB to play at the Enchanted Valley Carnival next month
German producer Andre TanneÂberger, who takes the more accessiÂble stage name ATB, is a visionary in that he set up his own band and took it on the road this year, for an ATB in Concert series giving his audience across the U.S. a new EDM experience. No one can dismiss ATB as a laptop-toting button-pusher. Says ATB in an email interview, “I presented the concert a couÂple of times in Poland last year, but now, we just finished the ATB in Concert U.S. Live Tour. It was such an amazing experience with more than 30 people on the road for more than two weeks.” The artist, who produced, mixed and engineered his debut album Movin’ Melodies in 1998, is now ready with a new album, his ninth studio production until date. In this interview, ahead of his India debut at the Enchanted ValÂley Carnival in December, ATB tells us how he keeps his audiences hooked.
With Germany being the techno/dance capÂital of the world, how easy or difficult is it to break into the scene there?
Today, the Internet makes it very easy to get in contact with people and fans all over the world, so it doesn’t matter where you are or from. So the challenge is to be unique, different and to present the people personality.
It has been well over a decade since the reÂlease of your first album. How are you workÂing on keeping the new material different?
With every new album I have always two aims. On the one hand, I want to present the people something new, unknown, surprising. For example, I’m always searching for new and unknown voices to work with. Also, I always experiment with new sounds and styles as I did it, for example, with “What About Us” nearÂly five years ago.
My second aim is that every track has to have this special ATB touch and feeling. Even if the sound is always up to date and develÂops, it has to have the soul of ATB. This is not easy. For example, in the production phase of the new album I also finished tracks which won’t be released on it. I listened to the already finished tracks a couple of weeks and finally decided not to release them on the album. It’s good, modern club music, but it doesn’t have this special touch I want to have and need in my tracks.
Do you have any new material?
I just finished the production of my next album Contact, which will be released in JanÂuary next year. I’m really excited as I think it’s the best album I ever produced. Once again, I found very special and unique voices from all over the world like Boss & Swan (CanaÂdian electronica duo) or Stanfour (German rock band), who I will present on the album for the first time as well as well known voices like Jan LÃ¶echel (German pop rock singer) or JES (American DJ and vocalist). We just finÂished my ATB in Concert Live Tour where we presented a couple of tracks from the upcomÂing album for the first time with a band and the original singers. The feedback was amazÂing and we had a fantastic, unforgettable time with the whole team.. So I have a real good feelÂing with the album.
What is your songwriting and production process like?
Well, this is very different from track to track. Sometimes I start with a melody I have in my mind, sometimes with a beat or bassline. I often just sit in studio and exÂperiment a lot, playing around with sounds or searching for new voices on YouTube. So the production process is always a little bit different.
How do you come up with a setlist ”“ do you have a separate list for clubs and different sets for a festival?
No, to be honest I’ve got a digital record case with more than 250 tracks always with me on tour, even if I just need a sliver. I need that many tracks as I always build up my sets based on the views that people give me on site. As this feedback can be very different, I need that many tracks so that I’m sure that I will alÂways have the right track with me, even if it’s a club or a festival gig. So my sets can be differÂent, but they don’t have to be different. This deÂpends on the crowd.
Would you make music that isn’t dance music since you’re already experimenting with a live set?
I’m really open minded for any kind of music, but basically I’m into dance music. And to be honest the ATB in Concert Live Tour shows that it’s possible to present dance music live on stage with a band and singers, the way that it sounds like on CD. This is very important for me. I don’t want to present my tracks in a different way. I want to present them with the same sound and feeling they are on the album.
What are you listening to currently?
Radio. I often listen to radio as I’m realÂly open minded to all kind of music and like to be up to date on all kinds of music, not just electronic music.
You’ve been on the biggest stages in pretty much every corner of the world. Do you miss playing in smaller stages/clubs?
I really like and need both and always try to have a good mixture between both styles in my schedule. On the one hand, big festivals are great to celebrate with thousands of peoÂple together. It’s awesome to see so many peoÂple jumping together as soon as the beat starts after a break. This is an unbelievable feeling I don’t want to miss.
On the other hand, I really like the private and direct atmosphere of club gigs. I’m next to my fans and I’m always in direct contact with them during the set. It’s great to see all the happy faces, get their direct feedback to my music and being one of them. So this private atÂmosphere is something, I like a little bit more, but just a little bit. As I said I really need both.
Has India been on your map for a while now considering the rapidly growing EDM scene here?
India has always been on my map for elecÂtronic music, but to be honest, it was realÂly hard for us to find a reliable partner in India. We tried a couple of times to realize a show in India, but it always failed in orgaÂnization. For example, one time, the proÂmoter disappeared after we already arÂranged all details. But finally we found a good partner. I’m really looking forward to my first time in India.
This article appeared in the November issue of ROLLING STONE India.Â