His mother knows him as Andre Tanneberger, but dance-music lovers have called him ATB for the past 15 years. And the German trance superstar, who’s best known for the hit “9 pm (Till I Come)” and is ranked the No. 11 DJ in the world by DJ Magazine, spins at SET in Miami Beach at 11 p.m. Friday in support of his new album, “Distant Earth.” Don’t miss this one!
Q: Will we hear most of " Distant Earth" at your gig?
A: Well, it’s hard to say, because I never plan my sets in advance. Of course I will have one or the other track from “Distant Earth” in my DJ case, but how my set will develop through the evening mainly depends on the audience. I always try to get in direct contact with the audience while I’m playing, catch the feedback they’re giving to me with every single track, and the mood at the club. Depending on this I decide what track will be the next. It’s a give and take, an interaction. And also before my set I always study the audience and how they react to the music the DJ before is playing. This always helps me to get involved with the audience.
Q: What else can we expect to hear?
A: I think it will be a great mixture of good quality music. I received a lot of great tracks over the past months, which have accompanied me on my tour. And of course I have also one or two secret music weapons in my DJ case which the people will maybe hear for the first time.
Q: What inspired the album title?
A: I want to give people the opportunity to forget the things that orbit our thoughts day by day for a short time. For me it's always like an extension of my view. Right now, you stand at any point in the world, but then when you hear this music, you mentally lift from this point, until you see the whole world and forget about all the things that happened right around you.
When people hear the album tracks at the gigs, they just close their eyes, enter the dance floor and forget about everything around them; then I have achieved my aim.
Q: Your music has always been very piano-driven and melodic. Why did you choose that specific instrument?
A: In my mind there is no other universal and emotional instrument quite like the piano. To play a melody on the piano can prompt intense emotions that make you feel one of the happiest or saddest people on Earth, from one second to another. It
doesn’t matter if it’s for dance or any other kind of musical styles; a well-tuned piano is like gold.
Q: How do you choose your guest vocalists?
A: It has to be very unique. But, the most important thing is that I have to feel this specific positive feeling, which touches me in my heart when I listen to it. For me, it isn’t important if this voice is from a world star or from someone next door. When I get that feeling, I just know that it fits.
Q: How often do you get to Miami, and what do you think of the city?
A: Well I’m in Miami approximately two to three times a year, for the Ultra Music Festival or club gigs at my regular U.S. tours. I really like Miami. The people know how to celebrate a good party and so I’m looking forward to a great event at SET.