[ARTIST SPOTLIGHT] Cosmic Gate: Groove Cruise Cabo Edition
Well here we are in Mid-September. Summer might be over but the fun is just getting started here on the West Coast. In just a few short weeks the Groove Cruise will set sail from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas and the only waves in its path will be those made by the legends themselves, Cosmic Gate.
Last week, West Coast EDM had the opportunity to catch up with Stefhan Bossems aka “Bossi” of the pair and talk about the current tour, DJing style, favorite German dishes, and the highly anticipated Groove Cruise Cabo - all during what we can only assume is a very hectic tour schedule. Check out the below and you’ll see why you definitely don’t want to be left in our wake.
West Coast EDM: You’re currently on a very exciting tour. We can assume the fans in each location are all equally as excited to be at your show but have you ever noticed any distinguishable differences of the fans in various locations you visit?
Bossi: We’re living in times of globalization. Now it’s totally different than it was 20+ years ago. People know a track on the day of the release… a big radio station plays it and boom people know it. Because of this, crowds are more the same and even looks are more the same… it’s really fascinating. But on the other hand, a crowd can still be different from one club to another and this is the interesting aspect of the job… we’ll come back to a club 12 months later and see a shift in the crowd, maybe a new promoter came in and things become totally different. Another thing we learned as resident DJs is that we’ll play a set on a Friday night and the biggest tracks aren’t necessarily the biggest tracks of the next night - just 24 hours later and it’s a totally different vibe. Maybe similar people but the music works differently and that’s the fun part of the job… every night is different. You have to rebuild a night differently, the vibe is different, YOU feel different, the crowd is different. It’s never a dull day in the office.
West Coast EDM: What is one of the most unique locations that you’ve performed?
Bossi: [Laughs] We have played at total dumps in basements for 200 people, which can be super fun when you’re very close to the crowd. It’s hot, it’s sweaty, very intimate. Then we’ve played all these big events like EDC, Tomorrowland so our scene is somewhere in between. Green Valley in Brazil is also really cool but maybe it’s due to the vibe and the people that make it so unique. We’ve played in the jungle in Mexico and been to the Full Moon party so lots of really cool events around the world.
West Coast EDM: From dumps in basements to the Tomorrowland main stage - that’s a pretty stark contrast.
Bossi: Oh yeah but if you’re playing the main stage every day you eventually start missing that intimate feel. But we all remember the bookshelf from the Tomorrowland main stage 5 or 6 years ago - it was the craziest thing we’ve ever seen and now all the festival main stages look a little bit like that so whatever was once unique will certainly have an influence on future festivals and turn it into a standard pretty quick. Same goes for producers though - you come up with a super unique sound and then suddenly everything sounds that way.
West Coast EDM: Do you have any pro tips or habits to help keep you grounded while adhering to a busy schedule on the road?
Bossi: In the end its a lot of fun but its a lot of work. Tip #1 is to enjoy what you do but you gotta work very hard with production and radio shows these days, all the social media that goes into it - you really need to build a good team around you. We’re just two guys that enjoyed writing music and we feel very blessed because we know how lucky we are. That’s what definitely keeps us grounded for sure.
West Coast EDM: That’s awesome. Do you guys have any pre-show rituals?
Bossi: [Laughs] We have a little bit of a running joke so 5-10 min prior to a show we look at each other and go “so what track are YOU gonna play today?” You know the question we get asked a lot is how do we prepare a set. Well, we prepare a set by having a playlist with 50, 60, 70 tracks that we think might fit the set but of course what we play in the end is based off of reading the crowd: how are they reacting? How’s the vibe? Do we have to build it up a little more? Was the DJ before a little too hard? Do we have to reset the vibe or kick it off right away? We feel that the longer we play the more we become one with the crowd and that’s how we learn the art of DJing - letting the energy flow back and forth. In our experience, he best nights are when there is a very natural vibe and connection between the DJ and the crowd.
West Coast EDM: Unfortunately not all DJs can say the same. Nothing worse than a pre-recorded set that doesn’t match with the vibe.
Bossi: Yeah you know, a DJ needs to have variety. When we’re in Scotland, we were playing on 124/125 beats per minute and just kept on from what the DJ was doing from before because it just felt right… it would have felt wrong to play from a typical Cosmic Gate set in that moment. And that was during our Materia album tour but we still felt the need to build it up differently. It has to make sense.
West Coast EDM: So what do you like to do on the road when you’re not performing?
Bossi: I think we’re like everyone else. We just like to enjoy a good meal, good restaurants. We like to keep fit and do some cardio. We actually like to go clubbing still if there’s a good DJ from the techno / deep house genre. Also love a nice beach… nothing better than a day at the beach.
West Coast EDM: What events have you been most impressed with in terms of production?
Bossi: The stages at Tomorrowland and EDC really have that wow factor. You get there and you just say “oh my God.” That whole artistic aspect that insomniac brings for EDC - all the dancers, all the trucks driving around… your eyes are eating as well. You know, there has to be something for the eyes. Sometimes I wish I had a time capsule and could relive these festivals over and over. We love hanging out in the DJ village and catching up with old friends we haven’t seen in years.
West Coast EDM: So what’s Krefeld, Germany known for?
Bossi: Krefeld is actually a fashion city, known for producing different materials like cotton, etc. Nothing else though! No big sports team. Nothing special but a very nice place to live. My family still lives there - that’s actually a big perk of the job is getting to travel and seeing my family all the time so I don’t get homesick or miss certain foods.
West Coast EDM: What certain foods? What’s your go to German dish?
Bossi: It’s actually called Leberkäse. Leber is liver and Käse is cheese. It’s meatloaf with fried egg and potato salad. I’m more of a sushi kinda guy but that’s a traditional German meal - actually more South Germany like Bavaria.
West Coast EDM: What’s the strangest place someone recognized you both?
Bossi: It happens all around especially in California. In LA specifically people will recognize us pretty often. I’m surprised sometimes how that happens haha but we’ll go shopping in the mall and someone will say “Dude you look familiar!” And I’ll say I have a familiar face but then they realize they’ve seen us at Exchange.
West Coast EDM: What’s something about each of you that very few people know?
Bossi: I like fishing. The guy that goes clubbing and flies all around the world… yeah he likes fishing. I like to just be sitting there with a peaceful big lake around me.
West Coast EDM: So are you any good?
Bossi: Well let’s just say this - every day is a fishing day but not every fishing day is a catch day haha.
West Coast EDM: When was the last time you listed to “The Drums?”
Bossi: Funny that you ask about that - we actually played it in one or two of our shows in Australia last year. Funny thing is that we use the vocals and put it on another track right now and are starting our sets with it: “Come with me, follow me, come with me, follow me.” But yeah that’s how Nic and I first started. It was really a chance meeting because Nic and I had never been alone in the studio together but we just had this really fun session. We did not have any intention of coming up with another project because Nic was working on several and I was working on several… but that track went through the roof - EMI signed it, we needed a follow up, and the rest is history.
West Coast EDM: Favorite app?
Bossi: Simply WhatsApp. With the amount of travel, it’s how I easily keep in touch with all my friends around the world. That’s very important to me.
West Coast EDM: So you guys ever get sick of each other or what?!
Bossi: Of course. We’re basically like an old, married couple but the good thing is that we don’t live near each other and we don’t even sit next to each other on flights because we both prefer the window seat. What’s interesting is that Nic and I did not start out as friends like most guys that go to the studio together. Our friendship really grew over the years and that’s maybe why we’re out there 20 years later stronger than ever.
West Coast EDM: What’s in store for the rest of 2018 and 2019? Can we expect a Chapter 3?
Bossi: Well we just released that Rank 1 remix for “L.E.D. There Be Light,” which is doing really well. We have another remix for “Call to Arms” by Gareth Emery that is being received really well too. But for 2019, we got our start in early 1999 so if you’re good at math you know what that means - we’re doing something for our 20 year anniversary next Spring and we’ll be spreading the word pretty soon.
West Coast EDM: Who are you most looking forward to hanging out with on the Groove Cruise ship and what are you most looking forward to?
Bossi: I’m coming with a few friends, a little entourage if you will. That’s the good thing about Groove Cruise - you have DJs and fans and production crews and everyone just mixes together after awhile. People are just used to the DJs being around and you all just party together, playing blackjack together, eating together - it’s very fun. I like to day party somehow so when the music starts at 12PM by the pool and the weather is good I love to just dance around and meet new people, hang with my crew, have a drink, and get a free tan on top - what’s better than that?
And there you have it, folks. Cosmic Gate will be joined by Benny Benassi, Green Velvet, Laidback Luke, MK, Shiba San, and many more for a four day nonstop party in the Pacific. So reel in your tickets now and hop aboard!