(Photo credit: PHOTO KANDI / https://www.facebook.com/photokandi)
Scott Bond, a name synonymous with pure classic trance music. An artist that has been in the profession since the late 80’s and gaining recognition with every passing year, never standing still and always pushing the boundaries of dance music with his essential selections in his DJ sets. When the mighty “Gatecrasher” opened its doors he was a driving force behind it as co-founder and as a resident DJ, putting it on the map and further cementing his reputation as a DJ across the land. It quickly became the place of worship for numerous trance fans in the UK and brought a wide assortment of international guest DJ’s, all showcasing their sound, driving the crowd to a screaming frenzy. Scott was easily selected to mix the first Gatecrasher mix compilation and it went on to become a worldwide success. The series became a must and it was eagerly sought out and snatched up by the trance aficionados. Needless to say each installment that was released followed suit to its predecessor and was collected religiously. He was even voted “World’s Finest Resident” by readers of “Mixmag“. Mixing no less than 15 DJ mix compilations and being invited to be a part of BBC Radio One’s “Essential Mix” four times in a row are amongst some of his many accomplishments. An artist that really lives and breathes for dance music, Scott has had the delight to see the world in style as he has played in forty different countries bringing his own personal touch of trance to the ends of the earth.
After years of listening to his music via mostly the “Gatecrasher” compilations and his “Rebooted” sets, which are filled with hidden gems and featured on “Soundcloud” I at last had the unique honor and joy to meet him in person at “Ministry of Sound” in London this October. Absolutely enjoyed his beautifully crafted “Trance Classics” set in the “103 room” in which I got to experience his and Charlie Walker’s massive remix of “Home” by “Coast 2 Coast feat.Discovery” played out in all its glory. (This remix has been recently released and has entered the Beatport Top 10 and has had premier “ASOT” support by non other than Armin Van Buuren himself.) After his set I got to sit down and have a chat with him. Here is his exclusive interview for Trancefix.nl.
First of all thanks for joining me for this exclusive interview for TranceFix.nl. Been a fan of your music for years and always enjoyed those special Gatecrasher compilations.
Many thanks for having me on Trancefix.nl!
Speaking of Gatecrasher, how did you gain your residency there and how were you selected to proudly mix the “Gatecrasher” DJ mix compilation?
Well I kinda started it with my partner Simon so I was always the resident from back in the day
Over the years I have been responsible for mixing 15 Trance albums. Most have been with Gatecrasher, including the ground-breaking “Black”, “Red”, “Wet” and “Disco-Tech” which helped position the sound of the club, both in terms of musical and artistic direction. These went from silver to platinum in less than a year, and boasted sales in excess of 1 million units worldwide.
How did you begin your career as a DJ and is it something you always dreamt of?
When I started to DJ, DJs weren’t famous and they didn’t get paid a lot of money – we did it purely for the love of the music and that’s why I still do it
You have been djing for years all over the UK and beyond. Which have been your three most special nights or events that remain carved in your memory and why?
I will always remember playing in Israel – they have a great party scene there. It was 1999, and I was playing at theOctopusin Tel Aviv. It was the first time I had played there and I had heard good reports, but everyone I know was saying “don’t go”, “you’re crazy” etc, as it was kind of a war zone at the time. Anyway I landed at the airport and came down the stairs from the plane and there waiting for me was a black Mercedes and a guy with a placard with my name. I was driven to immigration & rushed through and then back in the car and out toward the town. It was really one of those moments when I thought what a brilliant job we have.
I remember once we did a tour of Columbia, they picked me up at the airport with 3 people carriers, 8 armed guards all wired up to each other – 3 in the front car, 2 with me, 3 in the car behind, all with hand guns and automatic weapons. Personally, I thought that this was way over the top and they proceeded to stay with us for the whole trip, at every gig, hotel, even outside the room, in the VIP etc. I suppose that was one of those times.
And finally, the millennium 2000 GC, the party we threw at the end of 1999:- 25000 people in 1 Room; the world’s largest portable tented structure Tensile 1; and a cast to die for!
What are your thoughts on the current trance scene and do you think the time has come for trance to go back its roots somewhat revamping itself?
There is great trance out there – you just need the right ears! Everyone is playing the same tunes but for me it’s not about that. Charlie and I really go out of our way to produce exclusive material and playing it out always gives us an indication about how well the music will be received. I don’t want to play the same as the next DJ – I never have and I never will.
Who are your favorite “go to” producers right now?
James Dymond, Adam White and, of course, my production partner, Charlie Walker.
We have seen the return of “Rising Star” by Armin Van Buuren, Ferry Corsten bringing back “Gouryella” and Paul Oakenfold revamping the “Fluoro” sound of Perfecto. All signs that trance is alive and healthy. What do you think the next move will be and who would you like to see give rebirth to an alias?
To be fair it would be great to see Mash Up Matt – Matt Darey’s Trance pseudonym. He did some great tracks back in the day, some of my favourites. There was a time where none of my sets would be complete without a Matt Darey track!
We know you as a DJ, we got to know you as a producer as well. What other surprises do you hold for us and are there any plans for a Scott Bond artist album or another mix compilation in the near future?
Ok, well for surprises there is always a view to the future releases in my mixes! We always trial the tracks in the club first, then tweak and change them before we release. I have been repeatedly asked when John Lennon – Imagine (Scott Bond & Charlie Walker REBOOTED Remix) will be released, but of course it’s impossible, so we are seriously thinking of a free download on that one!
As for an artist album, we were only recently looking at how much unreleased material we have and there is nearly an album there so you never know…
Name five tracks that you consider all time classic dance tracks and why?
Your anthem along with Adam White “Exodus” is huge and I must admit I get chills when listening to it. How did your collab come about and can you share with us the story behind it?
Well I have known Adam for years, right back from when I was doing the Gatecrasher albums and he was doing the Euphoria albums here in the UK in the 90’s. We have been friends for many years, though we had lost touch for a while, and then Charlie Walker and I remixed Adam White – Ballerina. It was a massive hit and there was only 3 copies available, Adam and I had ours and Armin had the other. We appreciate the same styles etc, we had talked for years about collaborating and it just happened.
The closure of “Fabric”. A huge blow to London’s nightlife. So hard to see legendary clubs like that vanish into thin air. Do you think clubland in the UK is threatened?
Well as I took so long to do this interview, it is about to be opened again!
You just played a tremendous trance classics set at “Ministry of Sound”. What feelings did it evoke to be back there and will you be going back again soon?
It has been a while since I was at the Ministry of Sound; it’s a great club and vibe, but the best thing is how Trance is now being received in London!
Besides tearing up dancefloors around the world how do you like to spend your time? Any hobbies or other passions?
Well I am a family man – I have a wife and 2 kids, and a dog, so they certainly keep me busy! They also hate Trance and me (sometimes) lol!
You have been in the scene for years. Which has been your biggest high and which your biggest low?
Well it all boils down to when it’s good it’s GREAT, and when it’s not, it’s depressing, and there is nothing in the middle . In Trance like life, you have your highs and lows and when you get knocked down, you get back up.
What “daw” do you use when working on music and do you have any favorite “vsts” (virtual instruments) you love using?
We use a combination of DAW’s and VST plugins for our productions including: Ableton Live, FL Studio, Omnisphere, Native Instruments & Spire. We also record some of our own unique sounds to work with.
Vinyl vs. cd vs. digital. The progress of musical technology. How much has it helped or hurt the dance music scene in your opinion?
Well I did loads of interviews saying how CD’s & digital will never take off, and now I haven’t touched a Vinyl in over a decade! I love what Ableton and Pioneer are doing, and it really is moving it all forward in the right direction. I am unsure but we will see.
If you weren’t a DJ what would you see yourself doing?
I don’t quite know…..maybe a professional dancer!!! Have you not seen some of my moves in the booth!
I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to: James Alexander (Scott’s manager) and Karen for the valuable help and making me feel at home, Ministry of Sound, the Trancefix.nlteam (especially Kumara) for making my dream a reality and of course Scott Bond himself for the honor of hanging out with me and helping me create this exclusive interview for you all! 🙂