You been in the game a while now and we have been following your career very closely. While your music to us is best described as melodic but some say progressive house, some say trance. How do you define your music and what is the best way for you to explain how the 2 genre’s differ between progressive house and trance?
Nowadays I would say I’m more of a trance producer than progressive house, although it’s still very layered and structured like progressive music. I still love some of the housier tracks but the current big room sound, with the exception of a few artists like Tom Staar, Kryder, Sander van Doorn and a few others, doesn’t interested my so I thought it was time to switch to the genre which got me into electronic music in the first place.
I guess the biggest difference to me between progressive house and trance are the drums. Progressive house (or what I would call progressive house at least) has always had a lot more focus on drum structures and basslines, as well as more layered and intricate melodies or chord structures. While with trance the sole focus is on the melodies / chords, while the drum structures and basslines are usually a distant 2nd
Where do you see progressive house going on the next 5 years? The sound is on the rise again not that it ever went anywhere I think with the fall of EDM slowly we are seeing the house vibes come back to main stage festivals globally and we are excited ?
I remember being at WMC in 2013 and telling everyone that the big room EDM sound was dying… how wrong was I! But you are right, it is starting to fall. People are bored, they want something fresh. I can see a lot of tech vibes coming back into progressive house. Tech house and techno especially is blowing up with all those kids that used to be SHM fans a couple of years ago, and I think you’ll see a lot more techy grooves combining with wonderful melodies over the 12 months. But 5 years? Who knows! Haha. Things change so much in electronic music, I don’t think anyone knows what’ll be big in 5 years 🙂
In the past 12 months where have you noticed substantial growth on the industry in places that up until them were unheard of having a clubbing industry? What do you think is the major part in why that zone lays proof to its birth?
I don’t think there’s many places that haven’t been discovered now, although Sri Lanka has been absolutely booming in the past couple of years. It’s kept its underground integrity throughout. There’s a lot of scenes that have changed hugely in the past 12 months though. India is changing from a hugely commercial scene to a great underground techno and deep house vibe, USA is also switching to more techy vibes. In the UK, there’s a wonderful resurgence for trance. There’s so many great trance events around the British Isles and I can see that spilling over to Europe too.
How long have you been global resident with Godskitchen and why do you think such a powerful worldly brand decided on your good self to represent them in such a huge way? How do you see the Godskitchen events differ from each country?
The funny thing about my residency was the first night I played for them was in the 3rd room one NYE. I played a 6 hour set from 12-6am, one of my favourite sets ever. I played my encore record just after 6am, and one of the speakers set on fire! Apparently I had cranked the system up and up and up throughout my set and it just blew. I remember thinking that was the end of my chance at Godskitchen, but the following week the director called me and offered me a weekly residency! That was back in 2004, and from then on I built a loyal relationship with the brand, which I think was mutually respected. The shows obviously differ in some ways, whether it be line up or type of venues, but one thing which will always stay the same is the quality of the shows both in music and production terms.
We noticed you have recently signed releases to labels such as Paul Van Dyk’s Vandit recordings and Mark Sherry’s Outburst signiture. How do you decide which label you send each release to before signing? Do you look at the other artists signed in recent times to those labels? Look at how they are charting or depends on the collaboration?
With Vandit, Paul has been a wonderful supporter of my music, especially since I pushed my sound towards a more trance vibe. I sent him my first proper foray into trance which was ‘Lucir’ and he signed it straight away. Since then I just decided to stick with Vandit as I have built a great relationship with the guys there and love what they are doing. With Outburst, I wanted to try my hand at making some tech trance, as I’ve always had a soft spot for techno. That sound doesn’t really fit with Vandit, and I love how forward thinking Mark Sherry is with Outburst, so it seemed right to send those kind of records to him. There’s another 2 coming out on Outburst this year.
Is there any standard terms you can share with us when signing records to labels and any exclusive elements you are currently committed to or can tell us more about the day to day procedure of being involved with such labels as a third party?
Well, long gone are the days of advances on records, that’s for sure! Standard terms are usually 50% equal split on net sales between the artist and label. A lot of labels try to tie artists in for 3 tracks, but I always have that option written out of my deal simply for freedom. It’s great being involved with someone like Vandit, as they’ve got a really good, professional label system in place. There’s a lot of exposure, a lot of radio support and press surrounding the releases which is important for any artist really.
Any plans or existing label of your own? If so can you tell us about the other artists your working with?
I have my own label, UltraViolet. I launched it at the end of 2013, and I currently run it with my label partner Aneesh Gera. We’ve had some great releases out, which ‘Fiji’ and ‘Cafe Del Mar’ both going Beatport top 5 in the trance chart. We’ve got further releases lined up from Funkagenda, Shadow Of Two, Russell G and some of my own material too.
Whats your current top 5 your playing and why do see these 5 releases as the standouts in your current sets?
Paul Thomas & Shadow Of Two ‘Dynamo’ on Outburst
Jose Amnesia ‘The Eternal’ (Paul Thomas remix) on Vandit
Solis & Sean Truby ‘Armadillo’ on Intrinsic
Genix ‘Muto’ on Armind
Dan Thompson ‘Mutiny’ on Coldharbour
I’m going for all these based on crowd reaction 🙂
What’s the 3 things non DJ related you cant travel without and why?
My laptop, as well as work I love to keep in touch with everyone at home, touring can be a solitary place!
A kids toy which my son gave to me. I promised him it would travel everywhere with me
The XE currency app on my phone so I know I’m not going to get stung when buying stuff in different countries!
Your coming to Bali this week to spread the good Godskitchen word at Starks House right in the centre of party district Bali.. What would you like to tell your fans who are coming to see you? And for those that not had the pleasure of sharing the Paul Thomas experience on the dancefloor what can they expect??
I love playing in Bali, I always bring a really fun set. If you are coming, expect special edits of every track that I play, because I’m going to create something special especially for this show!H