We got to meet the incredibly talented DJ and producer Thomas Gold, a big name in the EDM world.
Thomas Gold has had a very impressive career. This comes as no surprise since all of his achievements are the result of his killer skills, hard work and passion for music. This German born, nominee for best EDM artist, creative and successful guy has gotten the chance to form relationships and partnerships with some of the most renowned names in the industry such as Axwell, Swedish House of Mafia, Hardwell, Borgeous, MAKJ among others. Not only has he produced incredible tracks and worked with the best in the business, but he has also gotten to play in the most recognized festivals and clubs in the world, such as Ultra Music Festival, Coachella, Electric Daisy Carnival, Tomorrowland, and EDC. He is known for breaking the boundaries of EDM music, something that until this day he keeps challenging, especially now with his new album that will be coming out on February!
Here is a little scoop into DJ Gold’s career, passion and upcoming tracks, album and tour!
Tell me about your new single and expected album.
We just put out the first single from the album “Saint and Sinners” (that was out like 5 weeks ago) and the album is scheduled for February now. That’s because I have so many singles I want to put out before, leading up to the album. We need more time, and it’s actually a good thing. The next single is called “Magic” and it’s coming up in September. It’s really interesting, funny and exciting for me because it’s at 105 BPM, which is totally different from anything I’ve done before. I’ve always been between 126 to 128 BPM, now I’m coming out with a down-tempo track. For me it sets the pace for the whole album. I am going in new ways with my production style and with my sound a little bit. I am still doing some old school Thomas Gold stuff but a big part of it is totally different, that’s the exciting part for me! I have had so many ideas in my heart and in my head which I have wanted to put out but couldn’t because I was limited in that progressive house tempo rate, which was cool but at a certain point I felt like I wanted to do something different. There are many possibilities to create a track and genres you can use and sounds, then I came up with the idea of doing an album, which is a great opportunity to present different things to people. Now I can tell a full story. I think the slowest one is at 90 BPM and it goes to 128 BPM, it’s the full range. For me as a producer it’s super cool because I’m not limited to anything right now. Most of the tracks are vocals, so I just have a vocal, or a little bit of a musical idea and then I can shape the track and tweak it according to my ideas. We don’t have to follow a certain genre, I don’t have to make it sound like 126 or 128 BMP, I don’t have to follow the structure (intro, break, drop, another break, another drop) I can just go with the flow and that’s amazing for me, from the musical approach, it’s super cool. For me, it’s going to be exciting too to see the reaction of my fans and people but at the end it really reflects my vision of music and my production style at the moment. There are influences from future bass, to trap, to dubstep, to vintage house, old school house, everything is in there. It’s the full range of everything. “Saints and Sinners” is kind of like a transition track, it’s still the same tempo as what I’ve done before but “Magic”, the new track is different.
Did you collaborate with anyone in this new album?
Not with any big artists, I just had a lot of super talented vocalists, singers and songwriters. For example back in January I was in LA for 17 days and I had 9 or 10 vocal writing sessions with different people each day. It was so amazing and inspiring because everybody has a different view on the music and everybody has a different approach, it made me change my thinking about different things as well. It was super cool, I kept doing this so I’m putting on vocal writing sessions or songwriting sessions as much as possible. Basically, 60-70% of the album tracks are based on these writing sessions. I was really happy to do that.
When did you start working on the album?
I came up with the idea in October and my team and I decided to go for it in November. I must say they did a great job on getting me in touch with songwriters and vocalists, to get me demos of tracks and a big pile of ideas. I think I could’ve done another album because there was so much material to choose from. When they set up the vocal writing sessions they gave me so many options, they introduced me to what the artists were doing like some reference tracks so I could say “ok, this fits for that idea”. But at the end there was anything and everything from dance people to indie, to pop, it was really amazing. We started working on the music for the album in January and we have 10 tracks now that are definitely going on the album and 5-6 more options, so I’m going for like 12 to 14 tracks. I am constantly working on these tracks and tweaking them. For example, I just finalized the next single, so I had priority on that but now that it’s done I have a couple of weeks where I can just dive into my ideas and see what track I’m working on and then I am going to prioritize again on the next single. It’s a very nice process and flow for me, very creative. I’m collecting ideas from anywhere right now, even on the radio, club or when I play a track and I hear “Hey, that sounds like maybe something I could incorporate into my track.” I am constantly evolving the album, so none of the tracks (apart from the singles) is finalized. I stretch it out until the very last day I can do it before the final EP master.
Your music is different than from what you hear in Berlin, since you grew up there, what made you want to produce the music you do now instead of what is common in Berlin?
When I was younger I was inspired by Roger Sanchez and then of course when the Swedish Mafia came out, it was the progressive house, that was kinda my thing but I also had a couple of tracks out of Tool Room , I don’t know if you know them but they were like techy tracks and Mark Knight actually picked them for the label so that was my little excursion into the tech-house thing. I might go back for 1 or 2 tracks in the album to that. Actually I’ve always been like oppressive house, old school house guy with influences with minimal and a little bit of tribal and big room. Berlin is totally different you know, it’s techno and they keep it as it is. They don’t want to change it. Actually none of the big room, progressive house guys ever play there. Maybe if there’s a festival but that’s not even in Berlin, it’s like 2 hours away from Berlin. They are kind of protective in Berlin, they want to keep it as it is, but I love to be there. I love going out. When I have the chance to go out and hang out with friends, I like to go to Watergate (my favorite), Panorama Bar [located at Berghain club] is one of my favorites too. I only know a few of them because I moved there 6 years ago and since then I haven’t had many opportunities to go out. I follow the scene a bit but there are so many DJ names I don’t even know. It’s interesting because Berlin is totally different than any other city. There is no city like Berlin when it comes to music, and also how people think and live, it’s very liberal, very open (sometimes too open).
What has stopped you from moving to the US?
I was thinking about it, but it doesn’t actually make sense for me. I just built a house in Germany so I don’t want to move out of there, I don’t want to rent it out to other people. If I would live here, I would go to NY or LA. Going to LA means I’d be away from Europe and it’s a long travel. I would have to be touring here all the time and sometimes I’m going back and forth between Asia, Europe and New York. For me travel wise, it makes sense to be in the middle. When it makes sense, I come here and I stay for longer. For example in March and April I had a big tour going on for 2 months, I was constantly traveling in the US so I relocated myself to LA. I had a house there and I just got on the plane on Friday, went to different places in the state Saturday, Sunday even Thursday. Then during the week I’d spend it in LA and could have vocals sessions, could work on my stuff or meet up other producers. I was there for 10 weeks, that was cool, but moving everything would be very complicated. I just built my studio in Berlin like 5 or 6 years ago and I cannot move that because it’s in the house and it has a bunch of equipment. It’s perfect for me and I love to go there in the morning when I get up. I am happy that I just have to head downstairs and I can do my stuff.
Going a few years back now, what made you want to remix “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele?
It’s amazing track! I got the request from my management, they told me “Hey they are looking for remixes and they requested you to do one.” It was kind of a challenge because the track is so big. I didn’t want to f— it up. It took me actually two months to finish the remix. I went through a couple of videos and Axwell helped me a little because at that time I was releasing on his label, so we were in constant touch and he gave me a couple of ideas on how to twist the track. I took different approaches and at the end that was the one. I was happy that she approved it herself. It took us a bunch of days to get her “yes” but at the end she did. I got a lot of support for the track as well from other DJs. The decision was easy and not easy because it’s amazing, you want to do a remix like that but on the other hand you have to live up to the expectation.
Was to be in the music business always your dream?
Yeah! I started playing keyboard when I was 7 years old. My mom took me to like a promotion show for an electronic organ product like Yamaha. She took me because I was interested in music and said “Ok let’s go”. I was 7 and I knew I wanted to do this. So we went, we bought the organ and I started keyboard lessons. When I was 15/16 I got my first synthesizer and drum machine so I started slowly and at that time I was super into house music and since then I have been constantly developing myself and evolving my skills. I have always been into music, couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I had a job at a marketing department for a consumer product company for a couple of years after my studies, it was ok but when I got home I spent most of the the night doing my music. There was one point when I had to decide either I go professional with the music or I’m never gonna make it, or I just drop it. I started then working as a freelancer for a small company, they gave me a lot of opportunities to work on music and that’s how I got started. I started doing my remixes and my first productions but yeah, I have always been into that.
How many instruments do you play?
Actually just keyboard. I can play a little bit of piano but it’s a different kind of playing with the hands. When you play organ you have at least two keyboards and a bass pedal you play with your foot. The dominant hand is your right hand, and the left hand is for chords. When you play piano, both hands have the same importance. It’s a different way of putting together sound, so you have to learn that as well.
You have gotten so many opportunities to perform in festivals, clubs, etc. What has been your one of the best experiences you’ve had?
I think EDC Las Vegas, playing there for the first time was f—-ing amazing! I played mainstage and the same night they had Avicii and Swedish House Mafia playing and I could stay behind the stage to watch all night. I knew all these guys so we were hanging out backstage, it was really nice. That was my first big festival and I had goosebumps all night long. It was amazing. Playing Tomorrowland for the first time was also really cool. There have been so many!
Is there any preference for you when playing in a festival or a club?
I actually like both. When you play a festival, there’s a huge crowd in front of you. I just played Hungary last weekend with like 9 or 10 thousand people in a tent, it was amazing. It’s a great energy but you are kind of far away from the people, you can’t even look into their faces. It’s a big amount of people in front of you and you can’t really see how they feel about the music. When you play in a club, let’s say 4, 5, 6 hundred people, they are right in front of you. You get an immediate response and you can see it, feel it. You can see their face and connect with them. The sound is also more intense because the clubs have walls so the impact of the sound is a little bit stronger, I really like that. I even like to play in super small clubs, if it’s a good crowd it can be super fun.
Since you have a new album coming up, is there a tour coming as well?
Yeah, the new track is coming at the end of September, that’s why I call the tour “Magic”. This starts I think in 10 days from now. I am going to Indonesia, then the US, then maybe back to Asia. It’s all September and October, I am really looking forward to that. I think I have one day scheduled for NY but we had to cancel it twice already because it’s an outdoor thing but canceled it because the weather was so bad. The next one is schedule for September or October as part of the tour. Hopefully I’ll come back at the end of October to do a proper club show.
Thank you Thomas for sitting out with us and making us drown in excitement for what’s to come! Check out his incredible music and be on the lookout for new tracks and the new album coming out in February.