Text :Valentino Barrioseta for Amnesia Magazine /June 2011 - Photography Daniel Woeler
At first glance, you fall for Sven Väth’s charisma. I’d go as far as saying that this is what has turned him into a music icon. Known by many as ‘der Papa ’ –Da d in English- of electronic music, he’s an emblematic character in Ibiza. Indeed, he brought the underground to the island and continues to do so 12 years on, with all his heroes and a family behind him. We look into his most personal side in this interview and, of course, we ask him about the new season at Amnesia.
In what ways did your life change during the last year?
Well, little Tiga was born in Vienna in July, so we are a family since then. We spent quite some time with him in Ibiza after he was born. Discovering the world with him and his mother – and she is such a great mother – is something very special.
Why did you call him Tiga?
DJ Tiga is a good friend of mine and I always liked the name. While we were in Thailand on holidays, we learned that we will have a little baby boy, and the name came to me spontaneously. I called Tiga (the DJ) to tell him and he said: “He won’t need to work. He has already achieved everything”.
How do you combine your life as a DJ and as a dad?
My life has definitely changed. I always try to find some time to spend with my family when I perform around the world. I want to be with my son and see how he is growing up. I’m normally at home during the week, and from June on, when we stay in Ibiza, we spend a lot of time together. Soon, at the end of my tour, Nina is going to join me for the last two dates in New York and in Detroit, at the DMF, and this is also a little holiday for us, we are really excited. So, we are leaving the boy with his grandmother for the first time.
What did your wife Nina do to steal your heart?
Well, it’s our tenth anniversary this year. We met at a private party in my house in Ibiza ten years ago, and I was totally fascinated by her charm and her aura, right from the start.
You have a house in Ibiza, is this right?
Yes, we both always knew that we wanted to live in Ibiza – if not all the year round, so at least for six to eight months. And now we have a house in the countryside, like we always dreamt of.
Despite what many people may think of Sven Väth, we know that you are a very methodical person. How does Sven Väth’s routine look like, on a normal day?
When I wake up, I start by having breakfast with my wife and we plan our day, we talk about what’s new for this day and we have our own diary each. Of course, sports is also part of my everyday life. I usually have meetings at my office and I’m listening to new music there. With spending so much time travelling, this office time is necessary for me, necessary to meet with my team and to review the plans for the coming months. And now I also have to consider that I have to be there for my son, he needs his playing time, and my wife also needs some time for herself. It is still difficult for her to be separated from Tiga, although we have a nanny, but this is of course totally normal. Nina likes cooking a lot, and we like enjoying our home, especially now that we can’t go out very much for dinner, because of Tiga. When we are in Ibiza, things change a bit. We also have a dog there that needs to be walked three times a day, and I usually go out running with him in the woods. I also like swimming and any other sport, in order to keep fit for my travels around the world.
Can you say something about this year’s motto Cocoon Heroes?
As you know, this is our twelfth season and we had so many slogans… The basic idea we wanted to transmit is that we are all ‘Cocoon Heroes’. Everybody can be a hero for one night – everyone who works with us, the dancers, artists, the production team, basically everybody involved in the party’s success is a hero. And, most of all, our audience! All the fans are our heroes! We have portrayed all the people who make up Cocoon around the World, in Australia, in Japan or at the Time Warp Festival, just the way they are, without make-up or styling. And I think that the result feels fresh and dynamic, especially because the people can feel that they are an important part of the campaign.
How did you come up with this idea?
Well, we wanted to do something where the portrayed people can use these photos and feel that they are really a part of the Cocoon family. Some fans who haven’t been photographed were even copying the style of the photos and are now using the photos as their Facebook profile picture. I think it’s going to be a really amazing summer, because the slogan appeals to everyone, those who live Cocoon, who feel Cocoon, who love Cocoon. It tells something to everybody We’re all Cocoon heroes
What is new at Cocoon Ibiza this year?
This year, we will be presenting – believe it or not – eleven new artists: Pulshar, Pan Pot, Maetrik and Christian Burkhardt (all of them playing live!). Also, shooting stars from the likes of Nina Kraviz or Detroit wunderkind Kyle Hall will be celebrating their ‘first time’ at Cocoon Ibiza, as well as many of my current favourites, for instance Matt John, DJ Koze, Jamie Jones or Dan Ghenacia. And with Stacey Pullen, we were not only able to get just an outstanding Detroit Techno DJ, but also of one of the true heroes from past times. Richie is rigging up his legendary setup four times, and with Adam (Beyer) and Josh (Wink), we have two big house and techno names on board. We could get Marco Carola for five performances this season, and, on top of this, we are very proud to have the remix grandmaster and Detroit House hero Carl Craig joining us, adding to a top-class line up that will cause quite a stir, I’m pretty sure about that. As if this wasn’t already enough: Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts and Martin Buttrich will be presenting their current live sets and, of course, many of the Cocoon artists will be there, too. This year, we have Cassy, Jacek Sienkewicz (live), Dinky, Ilario Alicante, Sascha Dive, Onur Özer, Tobi Neumann and André Galluzzi. Frank Lorber, Markus Fix, C-Rock, Roman Flügel and Dorian Paic are coming from Frankfurt and the most extensive line up in the history of Cocoon Ibiza is completed by Guti, Livio & Roby, Raresh and Zip from Berlin. Oh, and I will be performing thirteen times, Ricardo Villalobos seven and Loco Dice six performances, just to mention the resident dj’s (laughs).
We know that you have performed at the Coachella Festival for the fi rst time this year. What was your experience like at one of the largest festivals worldwide?
Coachella is indeed a special festival, due to its location right in the middle of the desert in Palm Springs. It’s done in a very tasteful way, only a few brands are present, integrated in the surroundings. However, it’s a bit strange that there is no alcohol available, only in the VIP area, and a VIP ticket was very expensive. It was definitely interesting, but also very ‘American’, as the people didn’t really go crazy or so, they danced, they glanced, but not like it is in Europe. I played at the Sahara tent and, although there was more of a party there and the LED show was truly amazing, it’s not like playing in Europe.
What would you recommend in Ibiza?
The best place for me in Ibiza is Mondays at Amnesia (laughs). Of course, there are many beautiful places in Ibiza. However, I always say that it is the best if the people discover the island on their own and fi nd their personal spots.
What do you think of the death of Osama Bin Laden?
I think that all the revolutions that are now taking place in the Arab countries show that the people there want to live in democracy, in peace, have a job and be happy. The Al-Qaeda model is outdated, and I don’t think that the extremist governments in Somalia and other countries have much of a future.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Well, we expect all you heroes to be at Amnesia on Mondays! We have new décor, the styling is brand-new and there are a lot of new artists and a highly motivated team. Johannes is on top of the things, and the residents Marco, Dice, Ricardo, Rich and myself are ready. We’re all very excited about the new season!