It’s been five years since the trance maven last released a studio album. It’s fair to say though that his hands have been plenty busy meantime. (Two record labels launched, a hundred releases between ‘em, ‘Electronic Architecture’ continued, formation of a trance supergroup, yadda, yadda, Oh, and the not exactly trifling matter of a scene-wide mobilization and the 60+ Pure Trance events and 5 Pure Trance mix-comps that stemmed from it).

Hello Rich, always a pleasure to have you on Trance Hub. You did really surprise us with an abrupt announcement of your album. Was it planned in such a way?

Happy to be back! It wasn’t planned exactly like you suggest – as a surprise –  but I do prefer to just get on with things and tell the world when they are ready, rather than drip feeding information in advance.  I don’t see the point in sharing the planning and ‘what is next’ information with the public, it’s more exciting to me for projects to arrive with a bang!

To add to that, there is such a mystery behind the actual name of the album. C’mon tell us what is the album title all about?

Ah-ha, well that would spoil the whole mystery around the project wouldn’t it? Using morse in the design , art and campaign for the album is to focus the attention on the music and visual elements, rather than anything else. Personally I always found the sleeve notes, little details etc of an album fascinating, and anyone who follows the Electronic Architecture series already knows that. This is just my way of bringing another dimension to the release.

In our old interview in 2015, you mentioned you had already completed the album and was slated to release in 2016, what took longer?

I have a great many tracks in a halfway-state, but back then in 2015 I was still not 100% on how I wanted the album to ‘feel’, hence I didn’t complete the tracks. Once I had that little moment of inspiration it all started to fit together. Releasing a new album was not of huge importance for the first few years after ‘Pure’ – there was so much other stuff to be getting on with.

Only 8 tracks in your album, while your contemporaries usually pack albums with 15-16 tracks, could we see a part 2 of .- – – –   Soon?

I’m not elaborating on that one ?

How was it working with the phenomenally talented Meredith Call on ‘I Found You’?

She is a real Pro, very easy to work with and she sent me all these wonderful layers of harmonies, canons and other vocal parts to work with – a real delight. She wrote the song over a very simple demo I sent her, I’ll upload it some day so fans can see where it came from, it’s quite interesting when you compare those early demos with the finished song!

After the release of the album, how will your future tours change? Will you leave behind Pure Trance and assimilate .- – – –   in your tours?

No, not at all. Pure Trance is my focus and I can’t see that changing. .- – – –   is an album of Solarstone music, but Pure Trance is a movement which is growing all the time, it’s my passion because it is the summing up of everything I love about Trance.

Trance has made a dramatic comeback to major festivals in 2017, what is your take on the resurgence of the genre?

We’re in a very different place to 5 years ago before Pure Trance, that’s for sure. I’m really happy that things are heading in the right direction. I like the fact that there are so many new, young producers popping up with a love of this music.

Pure Trance is one of the most successful campaigns in the modern day dance music scene, what next for the franchise?

Well firstly it’s not a ‘franchise’! It’s 100% me & my colleagues powering this thing. We want to do some larger events this year – but we don’t want to change the nature of the events. By that I mean that we want to do some shows for a larger number of people but we don’t want to compromise on the production or artistic values. My events are about the musical journey, the integrity of the DJs, understated production – I don’t want or intend to compete with other scenes which focus on confetti-drops, explosions and enormous stages with fireworks! Pure Trance is an underground movement and I’m happy for it to stay that way, rather than have some temporary commercial super stardom.

On a lighter note, we counted atleast 15 bald men in the trance music scene. Can you decode the connection between being bald and making great trance music?

I’m not even bloody bald! I started shaving my head when I was 21 – when I got the eyebrow piercing, but it was being mentioned as a ‘bald Dj’ that made me decide to grow my hair – to see if I still could! It’s a little bit thin but there’s plenty of it – so bollocks to that question ?

After releasing your first track in 1993, did you ever think you would make a full fledged career in trance music spanning over 20 years?

My first record was called ‘Life’s Not Real’ in 1993, in fact my entire discography is here on my website if anyone wants to check it out. – but my first trance release was probably ‘Dolphin’ from the ‘Aquanaut EP’ in 1995. I really had no presumptions or expectations about a ‘career’ – growing up I was told that I should get a ‘proper job’ by people rather than want to get into ‘pop music’ – but my Mother always told me to go for whatever I wanted to do, she listened to my first ideas and gave me encouragement, she read my crappy lyrics and poems and was patient & kind – without her I wouldn’t be doing this now. A ‘career’ in music is tough, it’s constant ups & downs, no guarantees, sometimes you don’t get paid, sometimes you are broke and there seems to be no future in it, other times you are flavour-of-the-month.  Only do it if you truly love your art.

Apart from a few pockets like UK, Netherlands, Australia, US we don’t really see young producers making trance anymore. How do you think Trance will survive the next generation especially in Asia?

I don’t agree – if you saw the amount of demos I get every week from all over the world you’d be surprised! Agreed I don’t get many demos from Asia – but I never did, it’s never been a hotbed of trance producers – those places you mentioned have always been the main sources of trance music. There has always been a lot of talent in Scandinavia and that is still true.

Give us 3 reasons why you are proud of your new album .- – – – 

That’s a funny question & a strange word with which I’ve always had a bit of a problem; I don’t feel ‘proud’ of my music, I like it, I like creating it and I’m happy that people like it… but I was brought up with the phrase ‘pride comes before a fall’ so I’ve always avoided expressing that emotion, probably wrongly but hey, it’s worked for me so far! I just get on with it.

Original Article: Trance Hub