Relentless Beats

Welcome Home Markus Schulz

Anyone that has been following electronic dance music in Phoenix knows the name Markus Schulz. Having been a resident at The Works for seven years, Markus basically discovered himself in the Valley of the Sun. On Friday night, Markus was back at Wild Knight for his Scream album tour.

Justin Michaels was spinning to a packed house when we walked in around 10:30. There were a few tickets still available at the door for $50, but by the looks of the club, it was going to fill up fast. We walked in, headed left, and could feel the music before we hit the dance floor. They had VIP tables everywhere, and bottle service was just about to begin. Speaking of Markus, he was recently named America’s Best DJ.

I had a chance to sit down with Markus before the show.

Ricky Lee Potts: You were just nominated America’s Best DJ. How cool is that?

Markus Schulz: It’s the fans’ voice. You know, those things where they vote. It’s always cool because it’s not the promoters or the editors or the critics who do this. It’s the fans. So it’s great anytime the fans give you that kind of support. I love what I do. I do it for the fans and for them to show the support back makes it even more special. 

RLP: You had a residency here in Phoenix for 7 years at The Works. Does coming back to the Valley to do shows at Wild Knight mean more to you?

MS: I always get messages on my Facebook and Twitter before I come to Phoenix from old Works people. I travel all over the world and people come up to me in San Francisco or LA and tell me how they used to go to The Works. There are people scattered all over the place that used to go to The Works. It brings back great memories any time I think about the place. It was the place where I mentally formed a lot of my strategies, philosophies, and style.

RLP: Tell me more about Scream.

MS: Scream is my new artist album, and I think it is probably my most diverse album I have ever put out. One thing I wanted to do with the album was make sure every song on the album I am able to play in my live sets. I don’t play the same types of venues every night; it had to be diverse. There are some tracks that are a little more cross over and have vocals and there are the typical unicorn sling Markus Schulz big room tracks on there as well. I am very proud of the album, and there are a total of 23 tracks. 12 vocals and 11 instrumentals. Like I said, it’s my most diverse album to date.

RLP: You are in the top 10 in the world according to DJ Mag. They are another fan-voted list. Is there a lot of competition up there, or are you guys all friends?

 MS: You’d be surprised. The people that I am friends with are not in the genre. You meet people on tour from all different types of genres. It’s another one of those fan voting lists, and it’s always cool to see some of the people you travel with do well. Good friends like Armin and Ferry Corsten, guys I have done a lot of shows with this year, I think it’s nice that the whole scene is very successful.

RLP: What makes you scream? 

MS: The crowds. I do this for the crowd. They feed me the energy to do this. It doesn’t matter, I could be completely jet lagged but once I get into the venue and feel the crowd, hear the crowd, and it excites and energizes me.

RLP: Do you like working with Relentless Beats?

MS: Yeah, Tommy and I have known each other for a long time. He’s been very supportive. I am the type of person that is very loyal. I like to be able to work with people like Tommy who have always been supportive to me and I like to be loyal and supportive back.

RLP: Do you have any New Year’s Eve plans?

 MS: New Year’s Eve I am playing at Avalon in Hollywood. What’s special about this show is we are playing an all night solo show. 10-12 hour set, not really sure. When the doors open I will start playing and then I will keep playing until the last person leaves. I am going to have a lot of my old friends coming out. My parents are coming out. It will be one of those memorable gigs for me

His new album is one of the best releases to drop all year, and this tour will be a great way to support it. The progression is perfect starting with tracks like “Loops & Tings” to club bangers like “Love Rain Down and “Tempted”. Everyone in the scene released an album this year, and while their work is still worth dancing to, Markus just puts a special touch on his tracks. He is a seasoned professional and his music speaks louder than words when it comes to the awards this man continues to win and the recognition that he continues to receive. He’s also humble, and is simply spinning records and getting people on their feet for the beat.

Turner & Heit at Wild Knight

Local beat makers Turner & Heit also opened up for Markus. These two are getting some massive exposure opening up for nearly every big name that comes to the Valley. I last saw them kick off the Paul Oakenfold pool party over at El Santo Cantina. I’ve since been listening to them and chatting with them via email. Look for interviews and features coming soon. They are simply too good to ignore.

When Markus showed up, they walked him straight to the DJ booth. Fans screamed as he walked by, and Markus just smiled. It’s obvious he belongs here. You can tell, by the way he reacts to his fans while on stage, that he is happy here. He is happy at the top of all these charts, and truly loves what he does. When I asked him about it being crowded and competitive at the top, he said the guys he hangs out with aren’t even in the scene. Of course, being friends with Armin van Buuren and Ferry Corsten ain’t too bad. I’m glad I got the chance to see him again, and to see him in such an intimate club.

This was my first time to Wild Knight. It won’t be my last. This place has some serious potential. Many reviews online are negative. I’m not sure why. We didn’t have any issues. I also don’t think Relentless Beats would work with a club that wasn’t top notch. I’ve only been in the Valley for a few months, but brands like this don’t mess around with shady business owners. Not brands as successful as Relentless Beats.

If you haven’t listened to “Scream” yet, you can download it from iTunes or you can sample some of it on his website. Markus is also active on Facebook and Twitter. For a guy that is making some of the most progressive sounds around right now, this album is a must. Come on people… SCREAM!!!

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