This week on the Journal, we sat down with the legendary Eddie Thoneick, a DJ & producer spanning an illustrious career of 20+ years. We talked about his introduction to electronic music, what makes a good producer & DJ and finally delve deeper into his studio setup.
1. How did you first get involved in the electronic music scene?
“It started in 1992 at the age of 14. I was able to sneak myself into a local club here in Germany together with my older brother and some friends. As I was always open to discovering to genres and was fascinated by the records the DJ played with the reactions of the people. There was so much energy. It was more Techno & Trance in Germany at that time, so that was the first electronic music genre I got into the zone with. Somehow I got my hands on a few old low budget record players from a friend with a bunch of 12“. After Djing at home and evolving my skills I started to go out more and went to a club in 1993 where I heard Mike Dunn spin.”
“I had never heard this kind of music before and instantly fell in love with it. The House-Music style was what I wanted to play. From there on in I started to buy records and Mike Dunn’s, God Made Me Phunky“ was my first ever purchase. In 1994 I won a DJ contest at the legendary Tribehouse in Düsseldorf and that was when my Dj career really started. In 1996 I got a small setup in the Attic of my parent’s house with an Atari ST, Akai S2000, Cubase, a Midi Keyboard and some effects.”
2. How have you evolved musically over the years?
“Standing still means going backwards, which was never an option for me. I’m a very motivated and inquisitive person so always searching for new skills and techniques. I started playing piano at the age of 4 and got myself into learning the drums, bass and guitar. Overall this helps a lot in the process of creating music, I think one of the most important things is thinking outside the box to get ahead of your time. Combining elements from different musical genres and putting them back together in Electronic music is always very exciting. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.”
“It’s necessary to stay true to what you love otherwise you can easily lose the fun in making music. When EDM took over a couple of years back the new young generation of clubbers wasn’t really interested in House Music anymore. That was quite a difficult time for me as I was a bit lost. So as a producer it’s always important to evolve musically and keep up with the pulse of time.”
3. We’ve seen you release some pretty huge records over the years, which ones are you most proud of?
“I think the milestones in my career definitely were: “Love Sensation“ in 2006, “Live Your Life“ & “Stronger“ with Erick Morillo & Shawnee Taylor, The Chant“ & House Music“ together with Kryder. But honestly, I´m really proud of all the tracks I have released.”
4. Can you tell us a little about your current studio setup?
“I’m running fully digital for couple of years. I´m working on a Mac Pro 2009, Focal SM9 Monitors, RME Babyface pro Soundcard, Coneq Apeq-2pro Equalizer for adjustment of frequencies in the studio, Mackie Big Knob, Axiom 61 midi Keyboard, Rode K2 Microphone, UA LA-610.
Software: Cubase 9 (always have been a Steinberg addict), Komplete Ultimate 8, Spire, Sylenth1, Synthmaster, Omnisphere, Trillian, Pinguine Audiometer Strobe2 to name a few.”
5. What advice would you offer to someone starting off in the electronic music scene in 2017, seeing how things have rapidly changed?
“You always pass failure on your way to success! This is key. It’s never been harder for producers to break through as the market is flooded. There simply are too many people doing it, as electronic music has taken over the world. If I were to start producing today I would recommend getting to know the history of Techno and House Music. How did it all start back then, what elements have they used and to hone in on specific styles. It will always be influenced by the origins of house music.”
6. Have there been any moments spanning your career where you’ve had to pinch yourself and say “is this happening?”
“Absolutely. My first show at Love Parade 1999 in front of 1.5 million people, My first release and first break through record. I could go on and on. There have been so many moments that have been like this.”
“I’m really thankful that i’ve been able to experience these moments. Everyone who has gained success in the industry and has the opportunity to play and tour all over the world should take a second and just realize how thankful they should be for what they have. It’s really for the fans. People who buy the music, go out to clubs, pay crazy ticket prices and support you on their socials. Nobody would have success without them.”