Some new artists gradually work their way to the top, whereas others prefer to make an entrance. Adam Ellis didn’t so much as knock on the door, as blow it off it’s hinges when he stormed the Trance world to announce his arrival with his remix of Planet Perfecto’s classic hit ‘Bullet In The Gun‘, and has been in global demand ever since. His debut single ‘Napalm Poet‘ was released last year on Kearnage Recordings to acclaim from critics and fans alike, and went on to be awarded ‘Best Newcomer’ at the TrancePodium 2013 awards.
So we were really excited when Adam offered to have a chat with us recently about life in the studio and his plans for the summer:
TranceFixxed: Hi Adam. It’s great to meet you.
Adam: You too, thanks for taking the time to do this interview.
TranceFixxed: Last month, you performed at Journey’s 10th birthday celebrations for what I think may have been your first time performing in Cardiff? How was it?
Adam: It was a fun night at Journey. The promoters there are spot on and that really goes a long way in my opinion.
TranceFixxed: Demand for Trance music in Wales is growing at the moment, with Trance Atlantic launching a new Trance event in Cardiff and the impressive Delusion vs Lifeline arena at the inaugural Together Festival near Carmarthen. What are your thoughts on the 2014 Trance scene in the UK?
Adam: It’s strong at the moment; I hope it continues to grow. One good thing is that there are a lot of exciting UK based artists so there is also a big variety when it comes to line-ups. You don’t just get stuck with the same names performing, which has happened in the past. As far as the future goes, I think that the scene will continue to grow and just get bigger.
TranceFixxed: The global ‘EDM’ epidemic of recent years has split the opinion of long standing dance music fans, with strong opinions being voiced on either side. As an artist, but also as a fan of Trance music, what’s your brutally honest opinion about ‘EDM’?
Adam: My honest opinion is that I just don’t care! I’ve spent far too long in the past worrying about other things and letting my opinions distract me. These days I prefer to just concentrate on my self as far as music goes. As long as the people listening to EDM and going to these events enjoy the music, fair play to them. It’s not something I personally enjoy but each to their own.
Inside the Studio
TranceFixxed: I spoke to Menno de Jong recently about your new track ‘Solicitude’ which you produced with him. What was Menno like to work with?
Adam: Menno was a joy to work with. He is a musical genius as far as I am concerned. He is really professional, yet laid back and easy to work with. For our track ‘Solicitude’, Menno came up with the main break and I pieced the whole track together and made the music around his break. It was a true collaboration in the sense that we both had an equal share in the making of the track. It’s one I am very proud of.
TranceFixxed: What are the ‘tools of the trade’ that you use to produce music?
Adam: My main production software is Logic Pro 9. I tried Logic X for a track, but in the end I went back. I have used Logic 8/9 since 2008 so I know it inside out and to be honest I love it! Other than Logic, some of the main synths and processing tools I use are Spire, Sylenth 1, Zebra, Maag EQ 4, Fab Filter Pro Q / Saturn, Arts Acoustic Reverb etc.
TranceFixxed: Do you prefer to work openly and collaboratively with other people, to get their opinions on your work in progress ideas? Or do you prefer to lock yourself away on your own in a studio until you’ve finished?
Adam: I used to share my work at all stages of the production process due to my lack of confidence in the studio, not knowing if it sounded right. It’s a horrible stage to be at in your life as a producer because you are always relying on other people’s feedback, and that feedback tends to change depending on whom you are getting the feedback from.
Nowadays, I am much more confident and I know when something sounds right or wrong. I still show a few key people to get final opinions as fresh ears can always hear things tainted ears can’t. Sometimes people come up with some good ideas or feedback, which can really help. It’s just about choosing trusted people who make their own tracks and know what they are on about. A lot of people send their tracks to every DJ or Producer out there looking for feedback, and half of the people they are asking for feedback don’t even make there own tracks! So their feedback could be invalid and set them back in the long run.
Adam Ellis’ Trance Lead Tutorial
TranceFixxed: What are your thoughts about artists who use ghostwriters to produce the majority of their music?
Adam: When I was younger and just getting into the scene, starting to produce music and really struggling to get anywhere, you would see guys get plays on A State of Trance and get their tracks signed to big labels when you knew they either had it made for them or had the majority of the hard work done for them by another producer for an undisclosed fee. It used to really wind me up. I have had endless discussions, arguments and debates about the whole situation. The thing is though you can’t taint everyone with the same brush.
There are different levels of people using engineers. Some guys just get tracks made from them. Some go to an engineer and sit there saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and maybe bring a few things down with them like a melody etc. Other guys finish a track and simply get it mixed down by the engineer. The thing is though, a lot of the gossip going around about artists who use engineers is just Chinese whispers and 90% of the people talking about them probably don’t know the full truth. I don’t respect anyone that just gets a track made for them. Why would I? It’s a fake process and the people doing that are fake. The other situations are hard to judge because you don’t know the full story. Some guys may have tried for years to get that pro sound but just cant do it. It’s hard to judge people when you don’t know the full story.
In the end, I stay away from the whole subject because it is surrounded by negativity and that’s something I try my very best to get away from. It’s the last thing you need in your life when you are trying to make it in a scene full of ridiculous talent. My best advice to people coming through the scene is to not get dragged into these conversations because it takes up a lot of time, brings negativity about and can make you look bad if your opinions come across the wrong way.
Peering into the Void
TranceFixxed: Some artists release music in different styles / genres under different aliases. Mike Dierickx (aka MIKE Push) is a hugely prolific producer with over 50 aliases for example. Do you think that you will be tempted into experimenting under a different alias in the future?
Adam: Maybe in the future. I like a lot of different styles of music and I will experiment, but for now I think it’s really important to build the ‘Adam Ellis’ name. If anything, I will do an album like Aly & Fila and include some different styles of music on there.
TranceFixxed: You have a monthly radioshow entitled ‘The Void’. Where did the name come from?
Adam: It came from picking a bunch of random names and ‘The Void’ was the most suitable for what I wanted. To be honest, I am going to be changing the name at some point because I am going to moving forward with a brand for the future. I am a long way off, but the game plan is to start a label, club nights etc and I need a solid brand name. Anyway, all that is a long way off and at the moment I am enjoying running ‘The Void’.
TranceFixxed: When and where can we hear the show online?
Adam: The show can be heard on Afterhours.fm every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 15:00 UK time / 16:00 CET!
Behind the Decks
TranceFixxed: In April you played a B2B set with Ian Standerwick at Godskitchen’s ‘Clash of Gods’. What is your opinion of playing B2B sets compared to performing on your own?
Adam: I really enjoyed that B2B and I am playing another one with Jordan Suckley at the Luminosity After Party. The only thing that I don’t like about them is the time. They need to be longer than an hour for it to be worth it for me.
TranceFixxed: Which club that have you performed at has had the best sound-system or had the best crowd?
Adam: The best crowd is Mandarine Club in Argentina. Unreal crowd. Another unreal gig was Sun Kissed Festival in Fresno. One of the best crowds I have ever played to. The best sound-system would be Exchange LA. Amazing club.
TranceFixxed: Where can we expect to hear your performing this summer?
Adam: I have some really exciting dates coming up. I am pleased to be playing 3 dates in Ibiza this summer with Cream, Amnesia and Gatecrasher in Ibiza. I am really pleased to be playing the best Trance nights in Ibiza this summer and I am proud that I am getting these kind of these gigs. It’s taken years of hard work and dedication and it’s great to see it paying off. I also have a lot more dates to add to my diary. More info on those soon!
TranceFixxed: Apart from ‘Solicitude’, any other new releases coming up?
Adam: So much new stuff coming. Here is a list of the finished tracks:
Menno De Jong & Adam Ellis – Solicitude [In Trance We Trust]
Adam Ellis – Agent Orange [Kearnage]
Adam Ellis – Culture Vulture [ID]
Mark Sherry Pres. ‘Outburst’ – A Star Within A Star (Adam Ellis Remix) [High Contrast]
Lange feat. Susana – Risk Worth Taking (Adam Ellis Remix) [Lange Recordings]
ID – ID – (Adam Ellis Remix) [Pure Trance]
I am also working hard on a Tech Trance original, a vocal original and a remix of one of Jordan Suckley’s new tracks, plus more that I can’t say yet.
TranceFixxed: Final question – Who’s your tip to win the football World Cup in Brazil?
Adam: I am going to say Netherlands. They look strong.
TranceFixxed: Thank you for your time, we look forward to hearing more from you very soon.
Adam: Thanks guys
Adam Ellis Tutorials
Adam Ellis’ Trance Lead Tutorial – www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYYcIY7TUxc
Adam Ellis’ Trance Tutorial (Part 1) – www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUXpEM74f00
Adam Ellis’ Trance Tutorial (Part 2) – www.youtube.com/watch?v=0noP-AfFO4I
Adam Ellis – Napalm Poet (Magdelayna Chilled Remake):
Adam Ellis Website – www.adam-ellis.com
Adam Ellis Facebook – facebook.com/adamellisuk
Adam Ellis Twitter – @AdamEllisDJ
Adam Ellis Soundcloud – soundcloud.com/AdamEllisDJ
‘The Void’ Radioshow Cues – cuenation.com/?page=cues&folder=thevoid
TranceFixxed Meets DANIEL SKYVER
TranceFixxed Meets IAN STANDERWICK
TranceFixxed Meets KIRSTY HAWKSHAW
TranceFixxed Meets MARCIE JOY
TranceFixxed Meets MARK SHERRY
TranceFixxed Meets MENNO DE JONG
TranceFixxed Meets SANTERNA