While in New York City for Electric Zoo I had the chance to see ATB perform for the first time. I had heard good things about him both as a DJ and as a producer. I even knew all the words to most of his hit songs. He was performing on main stage, and I was ready to see him spin. When he came up to the decks, I had no idea what to expect. He played during the day, and while there were still a lot of people there to dance I figured a DJ of his talents would have been better suited for a headlining position. Of course, I thought the same about Above & Beyond who performed on one of the other stages. Regardless, when ATB began performing I was simply blown away. His beats mixed with an overdose of lyrical use (which I am normally not a big fan of) just seemed to fit. In all honesty. I thought his set was one of the best sets of the entire event. But the buck doesn’t stop there. ATB is hitting the road and is coming to Indianapolis later this October. He will be performing at the Vogue Theater and will surely bring the same talents he brought to Randall’s Island to us all here. I recently had the chance to sit down with him to chat about the Zoo, his new disc, and his impending tour. Sit back and relax as I am happy to introduce ATB.
Your name really isn’t ATB. Tell us what your real name is and where you are originally from.
My real name is Andre Tanneberger. I was born in Freiberg, Germany, but since a couple of years ago I’ve lived in Bochum.
What do you do when you’re not performing all over the globe?
Speaking of performing, how long have you been a DJ?
My first gig was at the age of 20/21. I started performing as a live act under the name SQ1, but in the long run I was looking for possibilities to bring more variation into my performance. That’s why I started to perform as a DJ. It offers me the opportunity to be fancy-free when I perform, not being bound to just my own music. And, what is most important for me, I have much more of a chance to get in touch with the audience and to adjust the music to the moment.
You have performed all over the world. How many stamps do you have in your passport?
To be honest, I don’t know. I have two passports. One is for traveling and one is for my management agency that is constantly working on getting me new visa for all the countries I’m going to.
You put on one of the best sets at Electric Zoo. I was beyond impressed. What was it like performing to 30,000 screaming fans in New York City at Electric Zoo?
This year’s New York Electric Zoo was amazing. Of course it’s something special to play just in front of such a famous skyline like New York’s for such a sweeping audience. I’ve had tons of fun and it was definitely one of my favorite gigs this year.
But in general it doesn’t matter to me if I’m playing for 300 or for 30,000 people. For example, my best gig last year was in a very small club with just 300 people; it was totally unbelievable.
What is the biggest crowd you have ever played for? The smallest?
I think one of the biggest was in 2007 at Loveparade in Essen, Germany with more than 1 million people, but certainly at the beginning of my career when I also performed as live act I had some gigs just for maybe 50 – 60 people.
You have a show coming up in October at the Vogue here in Indianapolis, Indiana. Have you ever played in Indianapolis before?
Well, I’ve been regularly touring the US for more than ten years. I love to play in the US and to celebrate with the people here. My yearly US bus tour is always a highlight of my schedule. I’m traveling all across the US and of course it’s every year a new tour with other cities and another route. As you can imagine it’s as good as impossible to be touring through the US for more than ten years and not to come to such a beautiful city as Indianapolis. So I think it’s my second or third time here.
Tell me a little bit more about your new album Sunset Beach DJ Session.
With Sunset Beach DJ Session I wanted to give an exclusive insight into the music people can expect from me playing at a beach party. I selected music that creates emotions and feelings to produce an atmosphere of sun, beach and of course beach party. I think every track on the compilation provides the perfect soundtrack to such beautiful summer moments, and I hope that people will feel the same way when they listen to it.
I can’t get enough of your ATB the DJ 5 in the Mix. With all the work you have produced, is it possible for you to pick a favorite album?
Thank you very much for the compliment. I can definitely not say that I have a favorite album or mix compilation. It’s always the most recent production I’m working on which is my favorite, until I finished it and start working on the next one.
With all the work you do in electronic dance music, do you prefer producing or performing? Or is it possible to distinguish between the two? Perhaps you enjoy remixing more!
For me both – producing and performing – is very important. I wouldn’t be able to produce without having the close contact to the crowd during my gigs. Music is the way for me to communicate with the people, that’s why I love being very close to the people during my gigs. Producing and performing goes hand in hand for me.
What has been like working with Kontor Records?
Kontor Records is a fantastic record company and I love to work with the Kontor team around Jens Thele, who’s the head of Kontor. Of course for me as an international artist it’s very important that my music is available all around the world. Being affiliated with Napith Music, Edel and Armada Music, Kontor is one of THE global players for electronic music with best business contacts all around the globe. Do you need anything more as an artist?
When you head into the studio to record a new track, where does your inspiration come from?
The world is my inspiration. More precisely my fans from all over the world are my inspiration. Every time I come back home from touring I’m full of emotions and ideas that my fans give me. Using those emotions and idea I start working on new tracks. This is what makes every new production process unique.
Where do you see ATB in five years?
Of course once again on a US bus tour with new productions…
I always let the artist get the last word. Go.
Thank to all you guys for your tremendous support and your trust in me and my music during the last years! It’s always a pleasure touring through the US and I’m really looking forward to my gig at The Vogue, Indianapolis on the 14th of October.