EXCLUSIVE Interview with GARETH EMERY New Years Eve 2019


Michael Perlman
Sr. Journalist – RaverMag

Photo Cred Rukes.com


When you think Trance Trendsetter, Gareth Emery definitely comes to mind.  This New Year’s Eve was no different when he introduced his new masterpiece: “OpenXClose”.  7 hours of trance, all Emery, from the moment the doors open to when the music stops and the lights turned on.


Emery brought a stacked supporting cast including Ashlie Walbridge, Emma Hewitt, and Jonathan Mendelsohn to help liven the crowd, and they sure did.  The night begin with a cold, dark and empty warehouse with Gareth playing light melodies and the fans poured in amidst torrential downpours.  It didn’t take long for the venue to become shoulder to shoulder with energy filling the room as the people did.

 “Saving Light” began to play as midnight approached and the whole crowd began to sing in harmony.  The new year was brought in with the Trance master at the helm and the real celebration began.  Ashlie Walbridge made his appearance playing “CVNT5” while an entertaining video was played in the backdrop.

With all the hype from the recent and highly anticipated collaboration between Emma Hewitt and Emery it was a true highlight when they performed their hit “Take Everything”.  Gareth really dug deep playing both tracks which fans knew and loved, so tracks rarely heard if ever; That’s exactly what OpenXClose is supposed to be about.

It’s rare to experience a headlining DJ perform a straight 7 hour set and Emery’s stamina and performance showed why he is one of the best.  His passion for music is what makes his fans so passionate in kind.  It was a night not soon forgotten and a unique show rarely seen.

Below is our interview with Gareth Emery. It’s truly amazing how he’s able to find time not only for his music, but for his fans and his family, then again that is what we are all called to do and be in life.


Q: It seems to be a less and less common theme to see extended sets from headliner DJ’s. What sparked the idea to do another OpenxClose Tour involving 6-7 hour sets like  you did a few years ago?

A:  One of my favorite ever sets was an all-night set I did at Terminal 5 in New York three years ago. For this NYE, we wanted to do a big New York show, but it didn’t make sense for a Laserface which didn’t really feel like a New Year’s Eve concept to us. So it felt like the perfect time to bring back an all night set, find a dope warehouse, stack it with guests and make it a proper party.

Q:  EDM has really expanded from just music to amazing visual productions. You seem to take pride in excelling in the visual department. Why do you feel it’s so important to enjoying your music and all music for that matter to the fullest?

A:  Having great production helps me to play the set I want. You know, my set’s aren’t as lit as most of the DJs you find in the United States. Most of the music is my own, I don’t stand on the decks, I play very few commercial hits and keep my mic usage somewhat minimum. Having fantastic production, be it amazing visuals or lasers (and fortunately, Anthony / Nice Lasers is great at both) allows my set to stay on the right musical track whilst still being super entertaining.


Q:  You finally collaborated with Emma Hewitt making “Take Everything”, and it’s such an amazing trance beauty. After 10 years what made you finally make this happen and are there any other collabs coming soon?

A:  We’d been talking about getting back in the studio for ages. We toured together in 2015 and chatted about it then… but it’s always hard to line up schedules. Anyway, Emma was in LA last year and we just said fuck it – let’s hit the studio and see if we can write something good from scratch. Being in the same room was pretty incredible – we just hit it off musically and had the chorus of Take Everything done in the first hour. It’s pretty amazing seeing people reacting to the song in the way they have.


Q:  There’s a strong connection between you and your fans and take a lot of time to read, comment and answer their questions. Have you always felt that’s important with your fan-base?

A:  It’s important for me to get that real-time feedback on what people are thinking, and also to have an outlet to give my thoughts, and social media’s great for that. It’s also important to step away. You can spend your whole life chatting to fans, but you then can end up neglecting the one thing you’re suppose to be doing: the music. So for me, it’s about balance. When I’m on tour, I’m sat in airports a lot holding my phone, so I tend to interact and read a lot. When I’m at home, studio time takes priority, so I’ll often schedule some pre-written posts then delete Instagram for a week or so. Sometimes I need that silence for music. Just trying to find the balance, I guess.

Q:  You seem to be very focused and driven in anything you put your mind to. What are your goals for 2019? Anything special lined up?

A:  We’re heading to Ibiza for the first four months of 2019 to experiment with island life… so getting a working command of Spanish is something I need to do. I’m trying to keep my goals relatively simple next year. No TV shows, new companies, or anything like that. Just going to spend the year trying to write the best music I possibly can, probably for a 4th artist album. Everything else can come second to that.