Exclusive Interview: Giuseppe Ottaviani Talks New Tour Concept, New Album And U2

We may only be through one night of DreamState, but it’s already safe to assert that this festival will become a mecca of sorts for the trance community of North America. Insomniac Events more than delivered on their promise of organizing a massive that would cater more to long-time fans of the genre as evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive response from last night’s festivities, and tonight looks to be even more stacked, with world-class purveyors of psytrance, tech trance, Goa trance and traditional or “pure” trance on the bill.

You’ll need to wait for Day 2 of the festival to wrap up before reading our full coverage of the event, but in the meantime, you can soothe your DreamState FOMO by finding out what pure trance superstar Giuseppe Ottaviani had to say about the affair.

We caught up with him briefly before his set and he was nice enough to chat with us for a while, discussing the trance scene, what new music he’s got in the works and more.

Check it out below, and enjoy!

It seems like anytime somebody puts together a list of the biggest pure trance artists, you always find your way onto it. To what do you feel you owe your accolades?

Giuseppe Ottaviani: Well, the reason why the pure trance movement is growing so quickly is because years ago a pure trance movement would make no sense all. Trance was trance. Especially with this kind of music, everything changed; artists tended to move towards new directions but there are still many fans around the world looking for that kind of sound. That’s why Solarstone came out with this idea of creating a pure trance movement and I was one of the first guys to join the movement. So we just try to keep it up, and at least people know what to expect to hear when they come to a pure trance show.

How did you and Solarstone first meet, anyways?

GO: So obviously, I’ve known Solarstone since forever ‘cause he was always a star in the UK. I started my career years after him. He’s been around since 1993, and I’ve only been around since 2001, professionally speaking. One day, we ended up sharing the same manager with the same agency – Twenty4Seven Management – so that’s why we came up together and work a bit closer. It’s way easier to work together that way, it’s like a family.

There’s a really iconic video of Armin Van Buuren onstage explaining to his audience that trance is a feeling. As far as pure trance goes, if you had to really boil it down to some kind of abstract statement like that, how would you define it?

GO: It’s funny that you ask that – I’m not 100% “pure!” I obviously joined the pure trance movement because I love it and I play it but I’m not completely pure. I mean, I’m one of those guys who really likes to be influenced from other artists, even what’s coming out now. I follow all the evolutions. The point is that I try to get influenced; I try to get those elements that I like and bring them back to my kind of sound, while still trying to keep my identity intact. I wanna have people say, “Huh, I’m pretty sure this track comes from Giuseppe Ottaviani,” but you have to evolve so you don’t sound like ten years ago. I sound different than that, and I wanna sound more different next year – but not move to a completely different kind of music to where fans actually complain about it.

Alright, so outside of trance music altogether what do you find yourself listening to?

GO: I listen to everything. Sometimes I just turn on the radio and see whatever’s on, just like normal people. I drive a lot – I love driving, so I like to drive with the radio on. But trying to think about that music is none of my business. However, I’m a big fan of U2. I’ve always been a huge fan of them. It’s all about the melody for me, and they’re a very melodic band so they’ve been rocking my world since the ‘80s.

Do you think the success of an event like DreamState could prove to be a gateway for you and other trance artists to reach a new fan base in the U.S.?

GO: Yeah, I’m pretty sure. It’s not just a local thing, it’s a worldwide thing. With DreamState, everybody who likes trance has been talking about it since the announcement. It sold out so quickly that they’re doing another show in San Fransisco. It’s a good step, because everyone who’s playing here is a trance act, so they’re not looking only for big names; they’re looking for medium names, the guys who are keeping trance alive. It’s a great step for a brighter future for trance in the States.

Even though you say your professional career started in 2001, I’ve heard that you were involved in music much earlier in your life. Since this is a big point of contention in the trance community, what point in time do you consider to be the beginning of trance?

GO: Well, the thing is that my background is a huge mess (Laughs). I grew up with a totally different kind of music, classical music, and then I moved into rock music because of some famous Italian band, and then I got into Queen and U2 – and then techno, like German, Chris Liebing sort of stuff, and we also had Maro Picato in Italy – so it was all this big mess in my life, and I was really confused. At some point, I heard William Orbit’s “Barber’s Adagio for Strings.” I’m not talking about the Tiësto version; I’m talking about the William Orbit version. And I was like, okay, I think this is the sound I like, because I come from classical music but I’m also big into techno music so it’s kind of like a mix of both. It had the energy of dance music plus the classical melodies and feeling. “Adagio for Strings” was that for me. I knew nothing about trance music before that. I was just looking for something, and then I found it, and I was like, Oh, I like this sound, what is it called? And then it was ’97 or ’98 around the time that Paul Van Dyk had “For an Angel” that was my beginning into the trance music field.

I might have heard a rumor that you’ve got a new tour concept that you’re going to implement early next year. Can you tell me about it?

GO: I can’t talk much because we have the press going out soon, but I can tell you is that I’m gonna do a test tonight. So I have a new setup, it’s a new concept and I need a test drive so I decided to do it here. DreamState is a proper show. If you’re looking around, you’ll see me with some different gear and you’ll hear some different stuff. It’s just the next step into my live performance.

Well, do you have anything else that you’ve been keeping under wraps that you’d like to talk about?

GO: Yeah, I have great news apart from my live act. I’ve got a new album coming out. I’m a bit more than halfway done, and I’m probably gonna take January off from shows to try and focus on my music and deliver the album in the springtime, possibly summer. I really wanna try to make my deadlines because it’s already been two years since my previous album. I don’t have a title yet; I just make the music and when everything is done I figure out some title. It’s not about the title for me, it’s about the music first. I can tell you I’ve brought some new concepts into it, so it’s gonna be interesting.

This concludes the interview, but we would like to thank Giuseppe Ottaviani for his time. Make sure to check back for more interviews as well as our full coverage of DreamState after the event wraps up.