[Exclusive Interview] Mark Sherry Talks New Music, COVID-19 & More!
Last month, we had the opportunity to cover Montreal's Trance Unity Rave. During the event, we had the absolute pleasure of meeting Mark Sherry. His outgoing nature matched ours to the tee and his undeniable kindness is contagious! Inevitably, we exchanged our contact information so that we could keep in touch.
Shortly after the successful event, the coronavirus developed into a pandemic across the globe. As a direct result, it forced countless events, tours and festivals to be postponed and cancelled. Like many of you, we were devastated by these occurrences. Truthfully, it's still upsetting looking back at the events we've missed.
This got us thinking...we knew how we were feeling, but we wondered how artists were holding up during these unprecedented times. We decided to reach out to Mark Sherry to find out how he was coping. Being the ridiculously optimistic person that he is, he instantly transformed our mindset and made us look on the bright side.
In short, we discussed how this unexpected break has allowed him to move forward in a positive way. He's been able to spend more time in the studio, focus on his health, reevaluate some of his priorities, among much more! Just like our first interaction, we were blown away by his honesty and down-to-earth spirit. To further find out what he shared with us, check it out below!
1) How has the world’s current state positively affected your career and influence your daily routines?
The virus has taken a really tight grip in the UK, so it’s a very surreal and horrific time for us all. I’m still occasionally going to the studio to do some basic work - thankfully, there is no one else working in the complex at the moment. I’m also working from home, doing some mastering work. I have the exact same setup at home as I do in the studio; I consider myself very lucky. My gig diary has been decimated over the next few months; however, everyone else in this industry is in the same boat. It’s just very important that we all stay at home and get through all of this safe and well. Health is wealth, after all!
2) We’ve heard through the grapevine that you are considering starting to work on a new album. In addition to trance, will you be incorporating some techno as well?
Yeah, I love techno just as much as trance! I realize that a big percentage of my trance followers don’t like techno, so I don’t try to push it in people’s faces. I’ll definitely include some techno at the beginning of the album though, the same way that I did with Confirm Humanity. That way, people can skip past it if they don’t like techno, haha. The album is all very much a "pie in the sky" idea at the moment. That said, it's a bit premature to be planning that far ahead, to be honest. My last album took 2 years to produce and finalize, so I’m not in any rush with it.
3) When it comes to your techno collaboration with David Forbes, Thick As Thieves, do you have any immediate plans to release new music under this project or via your Techburst imprint? If so, when can we expect the fresh singles to drop?
Yeah, of course! We have some really cool new releases coming up on Techburst and also on one of the Armada labels. Luckily, before we all went into lockdown, I’d been working really hard with David. We actually have about 6 releases all finished and ready to drop. Our first EP of 2020 will be out in a few weeks. The key words to describe it are "hard" and "acid", haha. It’s a really crazy EP! I road-tested both tracks at the amazing Trance Unity Rave in Montreal, and they went OFF! We’re going to be pushing the Thieves project really hard this year, so we’re very excited about that. Stay tuned...
4) Juggling these various genres seems to be very challenging and is extremely impressive! When you’re in the studio, how do you approach the creation of a new track? Do you have a specific genre in mind, or does it come together when your creativity is in full swing?
I always have a plan in the back of my mind when I start a new track. It’s just usually something loose like, "okay, today I’m going to start a tech-trance banger", or "I’m going to make a techno track." Sometimes things don't go as planned and you end up going in a completely different tangent. Over the years, I've learned that it’s a lot better to just go with the creative flow, instead of fighting against it. So, if you start a "trancer", but end up with a really great techno track, then great! Who cares? As long as the end result is solid, that’s what really counts!
5) You’ve consistently proven to have a strong relationship with your followers. What have been some of your most memorable fan interactions, and why do they hold such a special place in your heart?
I can’t really recall any particular interaction, to be honest. I’ve always enjoyed going onto the dancefloor to jump around with everyone, at some point during my set! It always gets a surprise response from the crowd, haha. I enjoy talking to my followers online and getting direct feedback on my mixes, tracks, etc. It helps inspire me in the studio, when I know exactly what people think of my music. At the same time, I also know when it’s time to put my phone down and switch off for a few hours – it's so important to these days! You need to find a good balance between real life, and life on social media, they are 2 completely different things.
6) Have you given some thought as to how you will continue to keep your fans engaged, despite not being able to physically be there to interact with them?
I have to be honest, my music and career are not important to me right now. I have asthma and also 2 parents that are over 70 (as does my wife), so my main priority is my family. We all just want to get through this horrible pandemic in one piece. This might sound harsh, but my fans will still be there when we get through this – and the same goes for me with them. I might do a live mix of some sort online though.
7) We’re beyond thankful that Montreal’s Trance Unity Rave collided our worlds. What are some of the moments that stood out to you the most during the event, and how did playing in the Hell Room impact your overall experience?
I’ve played at Circus loads and loads of times over the last 9 years. It really does feel like home to me. This might sound cheesy, but when I play in Montreal, it’s like I'm playing in front of my family. I know exactly what kind of music gets them all going, and we feed off of each other's energy. I’ve played loads of Trance Unity events in the Hell Room. In fact, I’ve only missed the first one! I’ve never had a duff gig at Circus. It’s the absolute BOMB every time - this event was no exception! Ramy at Monkey BuzinezZ is a dear friend of mine. He does an amazing job along with Chris and Eric at Circus. They all make a fantastic team!
8) Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?
First of all, I just really want to say thanks a lot for the interview! I also want to wish everyone around the world the very best and to stay as safe as they can during these scary times. Let’s just all stay focused and think about how good our first party together is going to be after this "lockdown" period is over. There will be some SERIOUS fireworks that night, that’s for sure!!!
Stay safe guys!