In light of the forthcoming Gatecrasher: Return of The Lion tour in Australia and Indonesia, we sat down with veteran headliners Scott Bond & Mauro Picotto. Two of the longest serving Trance DJ’s in history were happy to discuss their history, their present selves and why every Trance enthusiast should attend the well established event.
TranceMag: G’day Gentlemen, how we doing today?
Mauro Picotto: I am well, thanks.
Scott Bond: I’m really well thank you and absolutely delighted to be back in Australia for the “Return of the Lion” tour. Time has really flown by, it has been 10 years since I last toured Australia!
TM: Tell us a bit about the Gatecrasher events so far this year?
MP: I played at Gatecrasher Sheffield new club and it was great like old days, I performed two sets, techno and past & present producers set.
SB: Gatecrasher has had an extremely busy year so far. We started off in February with Gatecrasher Laser Unity which showcased a wide assortment of trance such as progressive, uplifting, tech and psy variations synchronized to a beautiful, visual display of lasers. Then we had “Easter Sunday” which was held over the UK national bank holiday weekend with the Gatecrasher Rebooted Arena (Main room) broadcast live over Facebook. This was followed by “The Republic of Gatecrasher” in June which was a 10 year celebration in memory of the Republic nightclub in Sheffield which sadly burnt down. I went back to back with all the DJs on the night from early doors until the final tune, taking everybody who attended on a nostalgic, musical journey.
TM: It’s an iconic brand that epitomises Trance, and thus, retains its loyalty by followers. What does Gatecrasher mean to you?
MP: It means a lot as it was one of first parties in the UK that I performed at, and played long sets that were special. They helped build the UK dance scene in the late 90’s and they still exist now.
SB: Think of a club where people lived for the weekend. It’s all about the music, the unique friendships made, the freedom to dress how you wanted while leaving attitude at the door and to dance intensely past 6am. I suppose that the closest that you can get to understanding this special time is to listen to the music, watch some Gatecrasher videos on Facebook, YouTube etc and combine that with the film, “Human Traffic”. Also, you can check out the Gatecrasher TV Advert for Disco-Tech here:
“Theirs is no ordinary life, they have a secret. By day they look normal but by night things change. They hot up, they go a bit wild, they get lost in their dreams and their fantasies. It’s like being in a film and living out the soundtrack. It’s the music that does it, it’s the music.”
TM: You have both witnessed the birth, the evolution, and the present form of Trance, and its clubbing culture. What aspects have changed? And what has stayed the same?
MP: I think what has changed is music speed, now more of the classics get remixed and productions have good melodies again like the early 2000s. Trance is more cool again with a younger crowd.
SB: Undeniably trance has evolved. However, it’s not just trance, it’s music in general. We’re now catering for an online, mobile generation and as technology advances, music has become easily accessible and very disposable.
What we would perceive to be flavour of the month one minute can unfortunately soon be forgotten. Back in the days of vinyl, it was easy to champion the odd few exclusives and for a DJ set to really stand out and make that lasting impression.
Fast forward to present day and DJs have to work much so harder in order to differentiate themselves – production and promotion being two key elements.
TM: Mauro, in more recent years, you took some time off to spend with your family. Do you feel this break gave you a refreshing perspective on your music? How was it to spend time with your family?
MP: It is always special to spend time with my wife and kids, now they grow up and my son play football at nice level and daughter professional gymnastic its important to be with them during these moments.
TM: What is the key drive for you guys to remain active in the scene?
MP: If I am happy to perform and play to a nice crowd who like my music, I keep going.
SB: Fundamentally, it all comes down to having a love of what you do and that also means not being afraid to have a break once in a while. Whether it be a short break after many hours of listening to Trance music in a studio or perhaps even a career break to reflect. Many artists fear that by taking time out of their incredibly hectic schedule may potentially jeopardise their standing in the trance scene. However, the reality is that more often than not, these intensive periods of production and gigs can potentially lead to burnout and unfortunately just isn’t sustainable in the real world. This is far more common than we all know and having a break, allows them the opportunity to recharge, pick themselves back up and hopefully get reinspired.
TM: Are there any abstract genres you enjoy listening to, or gain inspiration from?
MP: I love all music not just electronic it depends where I am to what I listen.
SB: When I do get some free time, I prefer to unwind by listening to film scores and Classical.
TM: Speaking of inspiration Scott, which artists have had the greatest impact on your career?
SB: That’s always a difficult question as it changes all the time! The usual suspects such as Tiesto (in the early days), Armin, Oakenfold and Aly & Fila who have unquestionably inspired and directed the scene with their unique stance on trance.
However, the most common artists that I can relate to now are Producer DJs. Charlie Walker has unquestionably stood apart from all the rest. We first met about 5 years ago, when he came to one of my gigs. From then on, he started sending me some of his material and it then naturally progressed from there to a point where I was developing his work and he was collaborating on tracks with me. We’re both quite meticulous in our approach and I do like how we bounce ideas and feedback off of each other. The emphasis has always been on quality not quantity and this should hopefully reflect in the productions that we deliver.
I would also say James Dymond, Ahmed Romel and Hazem Beltagui are also inspirations with regard to my particular sound plus I like the fact that they are constantly striving to push boundaries and educate the scene.
TM: There’s no better duo to ask than yourselves. What does it take to be a memorable DJ?
MP: To always understand the crowd, connect to them and feel the moment like they do.
SB: I’m sure that you’ve asked this question many times! Passion, dedication and commitment. These were and still are the key drivers to make me work extremely hard. When I started out as a DJ, it wasn’t all about fame, girls and money. We were paid very little, if anything at all and we did it purely for the love of the music. This is the same reason why I still do it today.
TM: What can people expect from the Australian/Indonesian Gatecrasher tour?
MP: Lots of big productions from my new album, and classic tracks performed my way.
SB: Blistering trance from start to finish which will consist of brand new material from Charlie Walker and I as well as exclusives. I’m working on my set whilst I speak to you actually.
TM: Are there any current endeavours for Scott Bond?
SB: On the production front, I have a new release called “F3F” which is a collaboration with Alex M.O.R.P.H., Charlie Walker and I. There’s also a few more upcoming releases that Charlie and I have signed to WAO138?! Currently, we are in talks with some established names to work on several collaborations.
I’ll be playing in Ibiza this season for Connect as well as For Trance family , Out To Australia & Bali For a couple of weeks then back in the UK at Kinetic and of course . Gatecrasher Glasgow, Scotland. Also, in October, I will be curating Gatecrasher Classical at Sheffield City Hall. This will see the launch of a 50 piece orchestra and will reimagine a selection of some of the biggest trance favourites accompanied by a dazzling laser display. If that was not enough, we will also be celebrating Gatecrasher’s 24th Birthday. Just to add icing on the cake, we have now announced an additional date for Gatecrasher Classical.
TM: Thank you for joining us today gentlemen, we will see you at Return of the Lion!
Purchase your tickets here: http://www.gatecrasherau.com/
Gatecrasher artwork courtesy of Shannon Beveridge (UTE)