Over the last 20 years, we have known Cosmic Gate to be one of the most powerful duos in the trance genre. On Friday, April 12th, myself and thousands of other guests followed Nic and Bossi to the Cosmic Gate and were taken for a ride through trance music, past and present.
Avant Gardner in Brooklyn was filled with good vibes and even better music. With support from Gabriel and Dresden, the music progressed from a chill atmosphere to an uplifting one. When Cosmic Gate took to the stage, the crowd went wild from front to back. We were even fortunate enough to have guest appearances from trance vocalists Emma Hewitt and Jes. Their angelic voices had the crowd immersed in encapsulating sound waves.
It was a long night of dancing and partying to our favorite trance duo, Cosmic Gate. The pair has been producing music for 20 years and have brought us classics like ‘Exploration of Space’ and ‘Fire Wire’. They were also recently nominated for a Grammy for their remix of Gabriel and Dresden’s ‘Only Road’. I was fortunate enough to be able to sit down with Nic and Bossi before their set and discussed all things trance and their upcoming ventures.
The following transcript has been edited for readability.
FMF: Hello, this is Nadine with Fresh Music Freaks. I’m sitting here with Nic and Bossi, aka Cosmic Gate. These two are absolute legends and I can’t lie, I’m fan-girling a little bit right now because these two are my favorite DJ duo and they’re actually recent Grammy nominees. There’s no wonder why, because they’ve been doing this for over 20 years. Speaking of ‘20 Years’, tell us a little bit more about your album and tour and how did you get the idea to do this?
Bossi: Well, first of all, she’s blushing indeed. When you’re on the road for 20 years, it’s not like something no one has thought about for the first time; to do like a celebration, a special tour.
Nic: Actually, it didn’t feel like 20 years. It was just one ongoing process enjoying producing music. But then obviously we realized, we’ve been doing this for 20 years. And then we thought this is kind of a milestone. We have to celebrate this. That’s why we’re doing this big tour. We try to play sets as long as we can, a minimum of three hours because there’s a long story to tell. Even at three hours, honestly, it’s a challenge to break it down and explain what those 20 years meant to us and obviously, we are also doing an album. The title of the album is ‘Forward Ever, Backward Never’, which means it’s about always thinking forward. The album is not a “best of” with our old tracks. It’s going to have new tracks, completely new tracks. It’s going to have remixes of our own tracks, but only a few, not many. It’s going to be women. It’s going to have remixes of tracks that meant something to us and that we really enjoyed over the years. So, that’s the ‘20 Years’ story.
I have to say, I love the remixes of the classics that you’ve been doing. Like you said, the ‘Need To Feel Loved’ remix and also the remix of ‘L.E.D. There Be Light’. So, I have to ask — classic trance or new trance?
Nic: Combination. Both.
Bossi: Nowadays we try to have a classic structure, a classic sound, but with a new modern dress. ‘L.E.D. There Be Light’ is a good example. It’s half classic, old school and we brought in modern beats and basslines.
Nic: That’s the thing. We’ve been asked so many times over the years to play a classic set for two or three hours and we don’t feel that because we have done that back in the day. Now, we want to do something new like remixing an old song and putting it into a new perspective. That’s what we want to do. That’s what we mean with combining it. We want to sound fresh, always forward. Not just playing old songs for the next 20 years.
So, not backward. Forward forever.
Bossi: Exactly! We can look backward and reminisce on old songs, but still work them in a new modern way because that’s how we are standing still in life and even more in music. It’s the first step of stepping back and that’s just how we are. That’s why that “forward ever, backward never” motto is what it is. It’s really about us, our music and what Cosmic Gate is.
I definitely appreciate that and I’m glad that you guys are doing what you’re doing now. But if it wasn’t for trance though, what career paths do you guys think you would have taken?
Nic: We get that question sometimes and honestly there is no answer for that. Right after college, that is the path we took. And luckily, it worked out.
Bossi: Nothing much more to say. When people struggle and ask, “Hey, what should I do?” I’m like, “Dude, I’m the wrong person to ask for advice” because I did my education and things like that. But, for us, it just fortunately happened in a time that DJing wasn’t as cool and not everyone wanted to be a DJ; like it’s been the last 10 years. When we were DJs, our friends would say, “What are you doing there? Why would you play the music? Come dance.” That’s where we are coming from. We just love it, we have a passion for it. It’s many hours. It’s a hard job, but it never feels like a job. It’s our love for music that drives us and has kept us for these 20 years.
We definitely feel that in the crowd. We feel your passion for sure. It’s awesome. We love it. You’ve obviously been doing this for a long time. You’ve been touring, you’ve played at clubs, festivals, whatever, you name it. What was the funniest moment that’s ever happened throughout your career?
Nic: The thing is, the moments that were really, really funny, we can’t possibly share those moments.
Bossi: But it’s true. Suddenly the funniest things are just these little moments that are an inside joke between Nic and I that no one else would possibly understand. We’ll just look at each other just start laughing. Like one time we were driving to get a new visa for the US, which for all the DJs that do not have a United States passport; it’s just a hassle. It fucking sucks. It’s a huge process. We were on the way there and had to get up at three in the morning for an early appointment and we were just tired. You know how it is. We just started giggling more and more and we came up with like the most stupid thing and we were just laughing. And we can’t share it because no one would understand what we’re even talking about it. Maybe you know it with a friend of yours. You can’t explain your jokes to anyone else. They’d think you’re stupid or crazy. We’re exactly the same.
I feel you there. There’s definitely moments that I’m with my friends at a show, we’ll just look at each other and laugh. We’re just on the same wavelength. So, I completely understand. You’ve got the album coming up, you’re touring right now and you have lots of festivals and shows happening this year. What else can we expect in the year 2019?
Nic: That is very easy because after this we want to focus on completely new music. This is a celebration of 20 years and from then on it’s forward with new music, a new album and new tracks. Yeah, because we are still loving it. We love the music, we love touring.
Awesome! My last question for you; who would win a dance off between the two of you?
Bossi: A dance off? We’re both pretty good.
I’ve seen you guys up there, so I’d agree.
Bossi: I’d say, I‘d win the sprint, but Nic would surely win the long run.
It’s been a pleasure talking with you guys. Thank you so much for taking the time with Fresh Music Freaks. This is Nadine signing out. Thank you.
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*Featured image via Chris Lavado*