Interview: Rachel Rixham Talks with John ’00’ Fleming & Bryan Kearney

One of the true legends of not only the UK, but world trance scene John ’00’ Fleming and one of its fastest rising stars and Passion resident Bryan Kearney to take the controls of Passion The Album – Volume Two.


Rachel Rixham: It’s a real pleasure to grab this interview with you guys today, let’s start with a brief artist introduction, tell us a little bit about yourselves.

John: I’m John 00 Fleming, the bloke that moans a lot about the trance scene!

Bryan: 28 years of age and I live in Dublin, Ireland. I specialize in energetic club driven music.

Rachel Rixham: John ‘OO’ Fleming admired by many, you’re by far one of the most solid and well-respected artists in our Trance scene to date, you’ve stuck to your guns and always delivered admirable talent and flawless productions skills throughout the years, can you tell us what Trance Musictruly means to you?

John: I discovered Trance music in 1990 and like to feel like I’ve dedicated my ultimate best to this genre that I dearly love. It’s this reason I like to stay true to the Ethos of trance music, because it seems to becoming a forgotten pastime these days. The true form of Trance music is the most powerful form of music I’ve ever experience in my life. Trance should do as it says on the tin, trance you out.

Rachel Rixham: Bryan Kearney a name quickly climbing the ranks, and showcasing an extraordinary talent, tell us where this musical quest began for you? and how you feel you have developed over the years.

Bryan: It began at the turn of the century when I became obsessed with dance music. I worked my way through pirate radio, into the clubs, into production, started playing nationally and then playing internationally. I’m still quite new to the industry so I believe that the journey is far from over.

Rachel Rixham: John you’ve always been one to air your honest thoughts and opinions and for that many value what you say, highly – including myself. Your latest blog entitled “Unsocial networking” goes on to mention that being original and spotted isn’t so simple – I have to agree, it seems as though for an artist to make something of themselves, all they have to do is pay for a huge marketing team to do all the work for them, as you also mentioned in your article….

Can you tell everyone at home, where you feel things started to go wrong in the Music Industry?

John: Greed and fame hunters. The scene used to be full of pioneering talented DJ’s and producers pushing musical boundaries, unfortunately these very same producers get overlooked and pushed aside by heavily marketed guys and are slowly disappearing. Promoters and clubs have stopped booking these very talents guys and are replaced by marketed superstars.

It’s a real shame, the best guys in this scene used to play the newest groundbreaking music, in today’s World they play all the well know tracks and produce pop hits.

Same question to you Bryan.

Bryan: To suggest that things went wrong is a bit of a subjective matter. Things evolve in certain ways and it’s up to people to adapt to these changes in order for yourself to progress as an artist. Obviously the issue of illegal downloading has always being a talking point with regard things going wrong. There is barely any money to be made from making music anymore, it’s mainly your gigs that brings income in. The music industry is as it is today and it’s up to you to make it work for you or against you. To offer resistance to it will only stop progression. Of course it can be difficult at times.

The economic downturn has had a major effect on the music industry in the same way as a lot of other industries. At the end of the day I’m involved in making and playing music for a living which is a dream come true. There are a lot of things within the scene that annoy me, the frauds, the shams, the politics. The way that certain artists masquerade themselves as musical geniuses when they have no idea about how to even make their own music. I feel sometimes that the business side has overtaken the musical side of the scene. This is just wrong. It should always be about the music. At the same time I try as much as I can to solely focus on myself, that’s the best way for me.

Rachel Rixham: In addition to the above, we have a question to you both, from one of our Beatsmedia readers, “Frederick Mathews” he asks: What’s the Future of EDM & Trance in your personal opinion?

John: Things need to split, this new form of pop Trance doesn’t sit with real Trance. They are two completely different scenes. Historically there have always been two scenes, commercial music and underground. We need those underground clubs back, the ones that support new talent.

Bryan: I honestly feel within my own heart that the true sound of trance is going to return in the next 12 – 18 months. I think people have had enough of the commercialism, of the bullshit marketing, the bullshit PR, the fake followers on Twitter, the fake YouTube hits, the fake Facebook fans. The sound will return to what made it amazing in the first place. The music.

Production & Methods

Rachel Rixham: Moving along, for those not acquainted with your prestigious Radio shows “Global Trance Grooves”, and “Kearnage” please tell the readers what they can expect from the shows and where they can catch the sessions live?

John: Global Trance Grooves is heading into its 9th year, time flies! The format seems to be working, I play music I believe in and will never sell out. All the guests are DJ’s or producers that I have played alongside and that have impressed me, may they be known or unknown. The show is growing year by year, we have a massive amount of downloads each month!

Bryan: You can hear my radio show every month on Afterhours.Fm. The show takes place on the fourth Saturday each month at 17:00 G.M.T The show is also available as a Podcast from iTunes.

Rachel Rixham: John your label “JOOF” houses some very impressive talent, such as The Digital Blonde, Magnus, J. Michael Kober and many others. Can you tell us what you look for in an artist before signing them to your label, furthermore what we can expect from the label in 2012?

John: JOOF recording isn’t a label that releases hit records, it’s a platform to allow producers to spread their wings and experiment. I work closely with all the producers to ensure each release is well engineered, produced and a high quality product. At one point we never turn around and ask ‘will this sell’, all we care about is the quality of the music. The label will be 15 years old next year, so we’re doing something right.

Rachel Rixham: In regards to “JOOF” Chris Gough asks: When can we see “J00F Editions”, headlining Scotland?

John: I want to take JOOF Editions around the UK, so hopefully very soon. It’s just a matter of finding the clubs and promoters who understand the ethos behind our brand and making sure they can provide the right environment.

Rachel Rixham: John, In addition to the above question, would you like to tell us more about your feisty progressive track “Fight The Darkness”, which I’d like to mention features on the new compilation “Passion” Vol 2. What was it like working with Sascha Cooper and can we expect any more collaborations with Sascha in the future?

John: I found Sascha on Youtube! I loved the sound of her original work, so I approached her and asked if she wanted to be on one of my tracks. We’ll be doing more for sure.

Rachel Rixham: Bryan can tell us about your track “We’ll Never Die”, I notice a remix from Sebastian Brandt is due out on the 14th December 2011 and a feature on ASOT? How did the collaboration between you and “Jamie Walker” come about? and where does the inspiration come from for this big club banger?

Bryan: We’ll Never Die is a throwback to the classic trance sound of previous that seems to have being lost in a sea of commercialism and dwindling BPM’s. It’s a resilient message that this sound will not fade away and that my label will not succumb to the latest trend or fad. Jamie is an extremely talented young lad and has a massive future ahead of him and he was a pleasure to work with. I chose Sebastian Brandt to remix the track as he is an amazing producer and I love his sound. I was delighted that he agreed to remix the track and I was buzzing when it was featured on A State Of Trance. It’s a big honour and a massive achievement for a relatively new independent label like KEARNAGE to have stuff featured on the biggest trance show in the world. More of this stuff is on the way.

Rachel Rixham: Talking about future, another one of our readers “Dave Bell” would like to know when or if at all John, you will release a massive box set of all the CD’s you have released in the past? – avid fan!

John: Crikey, that would be a LOT! I wish I could, but CD’s are an old unwanted format these days. The World doesn’t have the infrastructure to sell CD’s these days with HMV, Virgin megastore closing their doors along with independent shops. It’s truly sad. There are a handful of online stores, but by the time you pay shipping etc, people get put off and download it online.

Rachel Rixham: Before we move on to the new compilation, two questions our readers especially enjoy. Can you walk us around your studio, what can we expect to see there? and what equipment will you be purchasing next? (That question is for you both)

John: As things stand, it’s a building site! I’m halfway though having a new studio built. I’m having the floors, walls all insulated, acoustically treated. At the end it will be a top notch pro studio, and I cant wait! I’m pretty much doing everything in the computer these days, but I still spend a lot of money on the most important tools in the studio, monitors. I wouldn’t live without my Dynaudio and Pioneer monitors.

Bryan: Haha you won’t see very much. It’s a very simple set up that I have just recently upgraded. I have just ordered a custom built 16 gig PC which will be run by an i7 processor. I have a set of KRK Rokit 5’s which I use as monitors. I don’t use any hardware. I use Cubase 3.2 at the moment but I will be upgrading to 5 soon. It’s a simple set up beside my bed.

Passion The Album – Mixed by John “OO” Fleming & Bryan Kearney 

Rachel Rixham: The first question would have to be, how did you both come to the agreement to mix this new compilation together?

John:: We’re both DJ’s that play regularly at Passion, so it seemed a natural choice from the big bosses at Passion.

Bryan: The agreement wasn’t between myself and John, we were both asked by Enhanced Music and UK Superclub Passion to compile the CD.

Rachel Rixham: When two artists are behind putting together a new compilation, I can imagine the disagreements are plentiful? Or were you both very well behaved throughout the process?

John: Musically we’re both different, so luckily we didn’t clash with tracks…..good job too because I forgot to check Bryan’s tracklisting before I missed mine!

Bryan: To be honest myself and John didn’t really have much communication in the process of putting the CD together so there were no disagreements between us. We just worked away by ourselves. We were, as always, well behaved 😉

Rachel Rixham: A predictable question but a must, how long did it take you to complete “Passion The Album”? And are you both truly satisfied with the results?

John: I must have around 30 compilations under my belt now, so I starting to get a dab hand at them. I programmed the mix on a flight back from LA, then mixed it when I get home.

Bryan: It took me about 3 days in total to complete the actual mix which includes both sequencing and mastering. I drew up a draft of about 35-40 tracks for which I received clearance to use. Unfortunately not all labels were so forthcoming with their tracks. I was also limited by certain labels so it was difficult in that aspect.

Rachel Rixham: Passion The Album features a plethora of high-quality producers, such as John “O” Callaghan, Lee Haslam, Daniel Kandi, TrancEye, Airwave, and John Dopping to name a few, not to mention “JOOF” residents E-Clip, Cosmithex, and The Digital Blonde. How did you go about selecting which artists would feature in the new album? Or was it a case of that track delivers the correct vibe for the album, so yeah let’s go with that?

John: I don’t look at the artists involved, I chose the music as a tool for me to unfold the musically story, that dictates what gets used or not. The progression of the mix is the most important thing to me.

Bryan: I looked through my tracks, got the key of each track and started piecing things together track by track. I really wanted to bring as much of a journey aspect to my CD as possible so I start off quite techy and then into the full on trance stuff. It is a quite diverse mix. There are probably parts that won’t appeal to everyone but that’s the music that I like and that was the message I was trying to convey. If I’ve opened up a new type of music to one person for the first time I’ll consider it a success. I’m happy with how it turned out and look forward to compiling another. I really love mixing up tracks as much as I am an extremely creative person.

Rachel Rixham: John what did you hope to achieve with your mix in Disc One? And what 3 tracks from your mix do you feel best represents the overall sound?

John: I hate listening to albums where I skip certain moments or tracks, so I try and avoid that with my albums. I treat every mix as if it were one long remix so each track vibe blends seamlessly to the next one, before you know it, 78 minutes has gone by and the mix has ended. You have no idea where the time went? To me, that’s a good mix.

Bryan: I wanted to bring a mix that was bursting with energy whilst remaining interesting to the listener at the same time. It’s full on at times but also has the more melodic parts to give you a break before smacking you in the face and off we go again. The three tracks that represent the mix best would be David Moleon – Tinitu (my techno side), Ridiculous (my tech-trance side) and the Jamie Walker Remix of Lost In You (my trance side).

Rachel Rixham: So the album came out on the “14th November 2011” on the Enhanced and Assured labels, and has already garnered much praise from the masses. To finish off, can we expect a further collaboration in the future from you two?

John: The combination of the two styles seems to work, so why not!

Bryan: Never say never.

Rachel Rixham: Finally, with the compilation now complete, what are your plans next? A much needed rest perhaps? Or do you have anything pencilled in that we should know about?

John: I wish….I’ve been non stop touring and have much more to come. Now that my artist album is out of the way, it’s time for me to release some serious dark heads down Trancers. Oh and I mustn’t forget my JOOF Editions events, we’re bringing the serious underground vibe of clubbing back.

Bryan: I’m currently on tour in Australia and about to travel to New Zealand for my debut over there before returning to play in Melbourne. I’ll then be flying home to Ireland for Christmas to spend time with loved ones and thankfully I won’t be seeing an airport for a while as I’ll be playing right across Ireland during the festive period. I’m looking forward to it.

After the huge success of thefirst Passion album mixed by Lange & Genix we are pleased to bring you the second edition from the UK Superclub.

This time, one of the true legends of not only the UK, but world trance scene John ’00’ Fleming and one of its fastest rising stars and Passion resident Bryan Kearney to take the controls of Volume Two.

Buy CD: