One of my goals within my journalism career is to bring the fans closer to the artists. Kicking off my monthly artist spotlight is the Scottish Tech Trance legend, Mark Sherry. I had the wonderful opportunity to ask one of my most favorite DJ/Producers a hand full of questions and I am here to share them with you. Before we jump into the interview let me give you a little background on Mark Sherry.
Mark is known for his high quality hard hitting Tech Trance production and his intense live sets. He has played all over the world, from Stereosonic in Australia to Dreamstate in the U.S.A. Just recently he closed out the “Who’s Afraid of 138” stage for the “A State of Trance” festival, which is the biggest indoor festival. Wherever Mr. Sherry goes you can count on him to bring the highest possible energy.
Mark Sherry has releases on just about every major Trance labels, with quite a few of his tracks hitting #1 on the charts. In late 2014 he launched his own label “Outburst Records”, which focuses on Tech Trance. Later on, he created the Techno label “Techburst”. Both labels have garnered massive respect from fans for having high-quality releases.
Every Friday you can catch Mark Sherry’s radio show “Outburst Radio Show” on Afterhours.FM. Where he shows off the latest and greatest in Tech Trance and Techno. Just recently he celebrated his 500th episode and had multiple DJs from his labels play guest mixes. Mr. Sherry also played his annual three-hour classic Tech Trance set during the 500th broadcast.
Now that you have an idea who Mark Sherry is, let’s get into the interview!
Q: With trance music making a resurgence around the globe. What is your opinion on the recent news of some DJ / Producers coming back to the genre?
A: I think it’s acceptable and understandable that some of the really talented trance producers want to make their way back to their original sound, they’re allowed to come back. We all make mistakes right? Haha. On the other hand, there are quite a few trance producers that are genre-hoppers and money-grabbers, that have moved so far away from the trance sound that launched their careers in the first place, that they’ll never be respected by trance fans ever again. They’ve gone way too far over to the ‘EDM’ dark side.
Q: Follow up to the first question, who would you like to see come back to trance?
A: Well I’m very happy to say that Marco V is smashing out tech-trance again and also Richard Durand. They are releasing on Outburst too which is really cool. Look out for more from these tech legends! One of my biggest inspirations is Sander Van Doorn so it’s good to see him doing some trance again under his ‘P.haze’ guise this year. Would be great to hear Mauro Picotto doing some trance again so I’ll keep pestering him on that haha.
Q: What is a normal day for you when you aren’t on tour?
A: Record label work, emails, studio work, gym time, relaxing with my fiancée – that’s a typical day for me. I try and keep my weekdays as normal as possible within the usual ‘office hours’. This keeps me focused, productive, creative and most of all..SANE!
Q: Looking back on your career and all the different cities you’ve been, which crowd has been your most favorite?
A: In the early part of my career Australia was the ‘be all and end all’ when it came to gigs and crowds, it was unbeatable. More recently, around 2008 I experienced Argentina for the first time and it completely blew me away..and still is to this day! The crowds are unbelievably passionate, crazy, noisy and loyal. I should say though that the trance scene in Australia is thriving again now, so it’s definitely back in my top 3 places to play!
Q: Which production of yours was the most challenging for you and why?
A: Hmmm that’s a tough one to be honest. Some tracks have come together in a matter of hours and some have taken weeks & weeks. I hit a serious bit of ‘writer’s block’ when it came to remixing Will Atkinson’s ‘Atkinsane’ for some weird reason. There was no explanation as to why this happened, it was all very random – but I fought through it and in the end I was very happy with the final result. I was ready for smashing shit up at one point though, total studio rage haha.
Q: In your eyes what do you think was your best production and can you elaborate why?
A: Another tough question! I think possibly ‘The Pillars of Creation’, ‘How Can I’ (with Clare Stagg) and also my remix of ‘The Evil I.D.’ more recently. I’m very proud of these tracks and I still get a huge buzz out of them anytime I play them. In the early days it would have to be ‘Operation Blade’ that I produced with the rest of the guys in Public Domain, just because of its sheer craziness and the way it all blew up. It was a game-changer in my career at the time and even though I’m totally sick of the track it’s still fun to watch it completely wreck a dance floor haha.
Q: What year were you introduced to trance music and do you remember which track it was that caught your attention?
A: There wasn’t a defining year to be honest, but all of the classic trance tracks from the mid-nineties like ‘Cygnus X ‘The Orange Theme’, Jones & Stephenson ‘The First Rebirth’ and Energy 52 ‘Cafe Del Mar’ are all serious contenders for being responsible and getting me into trance from a young age. I got into dance music around 1990 though, thanks to artists and DJ’s like The Prodigy, N-Joi, Carl Cox, Pete Tong, Hardfloor etc etc.
Q: If you could change one thing about the Trance community, what would it be and why?
A: I’d love to see the trance community being a bit more open-minded when it comes to music, especially when a trance producer that they follow wants to experiment in the studio and try out some new sounds. Less time spent on keyboard-warrior bashing and more time spent on supporting their favourite artists when they try new sounds would be a great thing. I’m very lucky in that respect though, my followers are really supportive, especially since I seem to be one of the few producers these days that release trance that ranges from everything in between 128-140bpm.
Q: How do you go about picking Artist for your labels Outburst and Techburst? Is there anyone in particular that you would like to see have a release on your label?
A: It’s all down to the originality and caliber of the music that I get sent. It has to be well produced and have something unique or a bit different at least. I’m very very fussy, but I feel very lucky to have built up such a good team of Outburst residents and relative ‘noobies’ on the roster. I run a very tight ship when it comes to quality control, so even if the artist doesn’t nail the demo first time, as long as they’re willing to let me guide them and help them with some suggestions on how to improve their skills, then a lot of it is down to patience and hard work on their part, and belief and having faith in them, on mine.
Q: Last year you did an amazing Techno track with Gene Karz. Do you have any other Techno artist you would like to collaborate with?
A: I’d like to do something else with Gene of course, but I’d really love to do a techno track with some of the techno legends like Len Faki, Adam Beyer and also Axel Karakasis – and also label residents Darmec, Alex Di Stefano, Chicago Loop and 2nd Phase, but it’s all down to time. The busier I get with my touring the less time I have to produce. It’s become a bit of a cliche in this business, but I really would love to be able to clone myself one of these days!
Q: Do you have any closing words or shoutouts you would like to say?
A: I’d just like to let you all know that my #Outburst500 double compilation album is out now. It has 2 discs on it, one of them is called ‘Future Fire’ and contains 21 brand new tracks and the other is called ‘Tech Gold’ and features 21 absolute classic tech-trance tracks. Thanks a lot for the interview Parker!
You can buy #Outburst500 here