A name you may not have heard of but one you soon will. Chris Metcalfe's short production resume so far has impressed the likes of Paul van Dyk and Armin van Buuren and having a listen to his music you can see why...
After only two releases so far things are looking very rosy for the very talented trance career of Chris Metcalfe. His debut release 'First Encounter' got signed personally by Armin van Buuren for Armada and has been hot in the playlists of every major trance music jock you can think off. John O'Callgahan is a big fan of Chris work so far and put the track into his 'Subculture' compilation release late last year. He's been impressed with Chris production etiquette so much he put his second release 'Outback' on his very own 'Subculture' label, which is part of the Armada network of labels. Not bad for a second release when you get the likes of Giuseppe Ottaviani ripping it up for a remix either! His sound is as polished as even the most established trance producer and Chris has an ear for an uplifting track thatís for sure. He's a name who is sure to be pushing out tracks you can't get enough of later this year as more releases are in the pipeline.
As ever, i:Vibes went to find out more about just where this smoking hot new producer has perfecting his production sound and get you all the information you would want to know on just who is Chris Metcalfe?
i:Vibes: You have jumped on to the EDM scene with tracks like ďFirst EncounterĒ and ďOutbackĒ. How thrilling is life currently for you and have you been surprised how much support your music is currently getting?
Chris: Yes, life is great at the moment. Iíve been very surprised, the support has been amazing. I didnít expect so much support in so little time. To have my tracks played by DJs such as Armin van Buuren on his ďA State Of Trance" radio show and Paul van Dyk's "VONYC Sessions" is a dream come true for me as Iíve followed these guys for years. Itís even better to see my name on the back of so many compilations also. It was a great feeling when I heard my debut track ''First Encounter'' was going on John O'Callaghan's Subculture compilation. Heís took the trance scene by storm and itís amazing whats heís achieved the last few years, so to be part of that album is great. My second release ''Outback'' has followed in the same direction and has been just as successful as my first release. I was lucky enough to get it signed to Johns label and have the legendary Giuseppe Ottaviani remix it. Thatís also featured on numerous compilations.
i:Vibes: You are from Cleveland, Northeast United Kingdom. What was your childhood like?
Chris: I was brought up in a very small town called Yarm, Which surprisingly enough has the biggest club in the U.K here called Tall Trees, 7000 capacity. I started working there as a glass collector from the age of 15, I wasnít old enough to get in the club and wanted to see the big DJs so it was a perfect environment for me. I can remember one of the first nights I worked there. It was Judgment Sunday with Judge Jules, Mauro Picotto, Ferry Corsten & Fergie. Since then theyíve had Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Paul van Dyk etc. so Iíve been quite lucky to have a superclub on my doorstep. Itís most definitely played a big part in my life as Iíve got a lot of inspiration from there. I still go to this club today 9 years on.
i:Vibes: Who were your early musical inspirations growing up?
Chris: My musical taste has changed so much down the years, I used to love the likes of Mauro Picotto, Scot Project, PVD etc. When I first got into the scene, the main one that got me wanting to DJ seriously was Eddie Halliwell. I first saw him whilst working at Tall Trees and he blew me away every time I saw him. The older I got the more I became a big trance fan. Armin Van Buuren, John O'Callaghan, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Simon Patterson are big inspirations now.
i:Vibes: What was the deciding moment were you knew that you wanted to make music?
Chris: The way the music industry has gone played a big part in me wanting to make music because it has changed so much over the years and its got to a point where if you donít produce music itís very hard to be successful in the scene. Itís opened so many doors for me as a DJ as Iím getting gig offers coming in from places I would never of had the chance to play, its been a great way to get my name to a much bigger audience also as my tracks are getting played all over the world.
i:Vibes: When and how did you get into the EDM scene?
Chris: I was around 14 at the time, a lot of my older friends used to listen to trance around that time, they'd be playing all the CD's in the cars or partys ect, i got hooked on it after a few months. As mentioned above i got a job in a club as a glass collector a year later, i had to lie about my age as was to young to work there. I was fortunate enough to see world class DJ's week in week out at a very young age. I got my first set of decks at the age of 15 and everything has progressed from there.
i:Vibes: How would you describe your sound?
Chris: It all depends what time of the night I'm playing to what sound I play, but my preferred style is uplifting, euphoric, driving, energetic, melodic, banging, trance. You can find a bit of all mentioned in my DJ sets.
i:Vibes: What kind of a feeling was it hearing your music being played on a radio show like from Sean Tyas?
Chris: Seanís a good friend of mine and an inspiration when it comes to production. In my eyes he really has set the benchmark when it comes to solid powerful production. for my tracks to get played on his show was a great feeling. Even more so that "Outback" received the Tytanium track of the week. I couldnít quite believe it at first considering the massive names who have been selected over the radio shows history.
i:Vibes: Your first track ďFirst EncounterĒ was released on Armada. Do you remember what you were doing when you heard that your track had been signed to one of the top trance labels in the world?
Chris: Itís a moment Iíll never forget, I was in Ibiza and I went to check my emails in a internet cafe and I had a personal email off Armin van Buuren himself asking if ''First Encounter'' was still available to sign. I was with my brother and a good friend at the time and we all jumped out our seats. I couldnít quite believe it. It was definitely one of the proudest days of my life. It also got played twice in one night at Cream Amnesia the week I was there. To hear it in that club on that sound system was just amazing. Armin's been my favorite DJ for years. Iíve followed him around Europe and the UK from a young age and seen him grow to be the number 1 DJ in the world, so to be signed to his label is just a dream come true for me.
i:Vibes: Was ďFirst EncounterĒ a tough track to produce? What was the most difficult thing that you had to do in the studio to make the track perfect?
Chris: First Encounter was my first official release so it took a lot of time. Iím fortunate enough to have a great engineer who I worked on it with whoís a very talented guy.
i:Vibes: You also made a remix for Bryan Kearney for ďNext ChapterĒ. How much fun was it making this remix and what did you change from the original to give it the special CM touch?
Chris: It was great fun remixing this track. Bryan did a brilliant job in the first place so I added a mixture of the First Encounter and Outback sound to give it the Chris Metcalfe vibe. Simple, uplifting, but still packs a punch.
i:Vibes: ďOutbackĒ is a really beautiful track with a warm melody. What was your inspiration behind the track and why did you call it Outback?
Chris: The inspiration was to make a driving trance track something a bit different to my first release First Encounter. I called it Outback because I was in Australia at the time of naming it and I want all of my tracks to relate to something.
i:Vibes: Outback will be released on John O Callaghanís label Subculture. Is there a possibility that you two guys may do something together in the studio in the future?
Chris: It would be a dream come true to work with someone like John, heís a top guy and a amazing producer. Iím just really happy to be a part of his label which will surely be among the hottest of 2010.
I reckon it maybe a bit far fetched to make a track with him at the minute. I canít thank the guy enough, he has been brilliant over the last year, heís supported all my music since day one. I can always dream, one day it might come true :)
i:Vibes: ďOutbackĒ has been added to the Techno club Vol 32 CD that is compiled by Germanys finest trance producer Talla 2XLC. What is your impression of trance music made in Germany?
Chris: Ha-ha funnily enough thatís the first I've heard about it been on the compilation, thanks for letting me know though, thatís great news. Germany has made a very big impression in the trance scene for me, obviously the main man Paul van Dyk whoís been a real legend through the years. He's been a big inspiration to me. Roger Shah has also made a very big impression on me. I love all his work, heís released some of the biggest trance tracks of the last few years. Talla 2XLC is a German trance pioneer and heís been another legend, then thereís people like Cosmic gate, Ronski Speed, Stoneface & Terminal, Kyau & Albert who are all brilliant producers who's tracks always feature in my DJ sets.
i:Vibes: Italyís finest trance producer Giuseppe Ottaviani made a remix for ďOutbackĒ. If you were locked in the studio with him for 24 hours, what would be the biggest producing tip that you would like to get from him?
Chris: I think plain and simple, what does he do to get that amazing energy in his basslines and main grooves? I was such a big fan of all the Nu-NRG productions. Now heís going from strength to strength on his own. Giuseppe always brings something fresh and current to the table, heís a musical genius. 24 hours with himÖ. I think there'd be so much to learn off him in so little time.
i:Vibes: How would a Chris Metcalfe/Giuseppe Ottaviani track sound like?
Chris: Nice melody, uplifting, fat bassline.
i:Vibes: What releases can we await from you in the future?
Chris: Iím currently signed to Armada so expect plenty more releases on their label. Watch out for new Chris Metcalfe remixes also.
i:Vibes: What is your most prized possession in the studio?
Chris: My MacBook because it's on that where I form my ideas, no matter where I am. This gives me the freedom to jot down melodies and sounds I like and pull them all together when I am in the studio. So I think that is my prized possession.
i:Vibes: You are also a DJ. What could one await from you in a three hour DJ set?
Chris: Iíve never played a 3-hour DJ set but itís something Iíd really enjoy doing, I would start off with a more progressive sound around 132bpm and build it up to banging trance 140bpm. I always like to build my sets. I find there are a lot of new DJs coming into the scene that arenít bothered about a warm up set, they bang it out from start to finish. Iíve played second set numerous of times where the DJ before me is playing at 140bpm, which is so annoying.
i:Vibes: What has been your most crazy experience as a DJ?
Chris: Itís more embarrassing actually, but when I was just starting out a few of my friends thought it would be really funny to write Chris Metcalfe on some Bounty kitchen roll with a big black marker pen. I was devastated as they unraveled the Bounty surprise out on the dance floor. Iím pretty sure itís the saddest promotional material that I have ever laid eyes on but itís funny to look back on.
i:Vibes: What are your current five favorite tracks?
Chris: 1. Rafael Frost - Flashback
2. Chris Metcalfe - Outback
3. Ummet Ozcan - Trinity
4. Simon Patterson - Taxi
5. Rank 1 & Jochen Miller - The Great Escape
i:Vibes: What are your all-time five favourite tracks?
Chris: Only 5? Tough question, thereís to many so Iíll stick to the classics .
1. Armin van Buuren - Communication
2. Veracocha - Carte Blance
3. Energy 52 - Cafe Del Mar
4. System F - Out of the Blue
5. Gouryella - (Gouryella, Ligaya, Tenshi, Walhalla)
i:Vibes: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Chris: Hopefully carrying on from where I am and building a bigger reputation. Iím going to invest all of my time into my production so hopefully it will pay off. I am so lucky to be in the position I am with the support I have. So in five years from now you can expect to see a lot more massive productions, collaborating with a lot more producers and doing what I love Ė DJ'ing
i:Vibes: What are your hobbies?
Chris: I love football either playing or watching it. I'm a keen traveler so if I get chance to go away I like that also.
i:Vibes: If you had to play one last record in your last DJ set ever what would you play?
Chris: Tough question, Iíd probably go with my own track 'First Encounter'. Itís quite an emotional track and it was this track that gave me my big break and it still rocks the dance floor. Hopefully it will be a while yet before I have to make that decision.
i:Vibes: Thanks for the chat Chris! All the best in the future!
Chris: Thanks for your support, it was a pleasure talking to you.