Cosmic Gate is on the move, both literally and figuratively. The German trance duo is about to begin the California leg of a North American bus tour supporting their recently released full-length, Start to Feel, and they’ll be bringing vocalists Eric Lumiere (“Falling Back” and “Run Away”) and Kristina Antuna (“Alone”) along with them on select dates. Throw young gun Andrew Rayel into the mix in Oakland, L.A., Chicago and DC, and you’ve got a super bill sure to entice trance family members all across America. We caught up with Nic and Bossi—fresh off Germany’s epic World Cup win—to discuss life on the road, the German trance tradition, and the importance of packing the right frequent flyer card in your wallet before your hit the airport.
When it comes to our music, we always will follow our heart.
Cosmic Gate tours relentlessly. Is that marathon lifestyle something you enjoy?
We’ve been touring for the last 15 years more or less non-stop, so touring is definitely a big part of our normal life, as crazy as it may sound. Of course, there will be even more shows than normal with our bus tour in August, but even with all the extra hours this will bring, we simply love our job! Exhausted or not, we love what we do, and will give all we have to party with our fans on every single show.
As seasoned travel veterans, what are your must-have items while in transit?
Noise reduction headphones, eyeshades, sunglasses, and hopefully the right frequent flyer card to get access to a lounge before a flight.
Do you find any time to write or remix tracks while on the road?
Most of our writing is indeed done at home in the studio, but it’s definitely possible to continue productions on the road [or] work on arrangements. Otherwise, we would have never finished our album. Time at home is simply too rare.
You’re coming to Los Angeles on August 1. Do you have any special memories connected to shows you’ve done here?
We have so many good memories with L.A. shows. We were the first to play for you guys at Exchange, our shows going back to 2010 supporting Above & Beyond, and now we are extremely looking forward to kick off the tour at the Palladium. We could not wish for a better place to share Start to Feel than doing it in a city and venue we are so close with.
The scene in L.A. has grown significantly since Cosmic Gate blew up. How has Cosmic Gate grown in the 13 years since “Fire Wire?”
That is really so long ago. The whole dance music scene has changed dramatically since then. Production processes are totally different, social media is way more important now, basically everything is different than it was. With all the changes, though, we still try be ourselves and just release music that is us—not follow styles or trends blindly. When it comes to our music, we always will follow our heart.
Do you feel a distinct connection with the German trance tradition? Does it manifest itself in creative influences, or is it simply a feeling of being historically connected?
To be honest, our connection to the trance scene in Holland was actually always closer than to the German scene. With us growing up only 20 minutes from the Dutch border, it is maybe not so unusual. In general, we do not think in borders or nationalities anyway. Music is so universal; we just produce music that we feel.
The Wake Your Mind podcast is still fairly new. Do you have a mission statement when it comes to the musical selection?
Our show plays everything from house to progressive to trance styles. As much as we are open in what we play in our sets, we are open in our show’s music selection as well. The name “Wake Your Mind” is not only our program, but a statement from our side as well.
How much did you freak out when Germany won the World Cup? Did you celebrate in an austere and orderly fashion?
As huge football fans, we were completely freaking out with Germany winning the World Cup! We had to be onstage for a big show in Europe 20 minutes after the end of the match. It was a fantastic night for us that we will not soon forget.
Exactly how fast have each of you driven on the Autobahn?
Over 300 km/h. We Germans love the Autobahn and take advantage of it for sure.
Finally, there are those who maintain that the Germans famously have no sense of humor. My last name is Schantz, and I disagree. Break this stereotype and give us a joke!
We have a lot of dirty German rhymes in our mind working with your name, but unfortunately no one here would understand them, plus the first one that comes to mind is pretty dirty! We totally disagree, too. Some Germans at least have a great sense of humor.