Mario Willms aka Douglas Greed is coming from Jena, East Germany, the city where he spent many mornings in the club ”Kassablanca” as a DJ, Promoter, or beer taster.
Back in the day he was digging into Hip Hop and Drum & Bass sounds, but then he decided to make a fresh start under new moniker and soon after became one of the main artists at Freude Am Tanznen squad. In between you could hear him on labels such as International DeeJay Gigolo Records or Cocoon or see him play live with his buddies in crime Fabian Kuss and Michael Nagler.
He took control of the last 60 mintues on the radio last week with a splendid mix and now he is here for a chat. That’s almost ten years after the birth of Douglas Greed and just a few days before the release of his new album called ”Driven” that will be out on BPitch Control Records, one of the leading Berlin labels. I’m sure he is in a good mood, but let’s check.
Am I right Dougi? How are you?
I am quite alright – things are a bit hectic at the moment as my new album drops in a few days but I am kind of enjoying it.
How do you feel about that? Goosebumps?
Well it always feels a bit weird to let go of your music. Especially when it comes to an album on which I worked for almost 2 years. Now, as there is no way back, I just hope that my mum will like it.
In the time of your first LP “KRL” you said it kinda came from nowhere. Was it different with this one? Did you plan it for BPitch Control?
The first album just kind of happened. At some point there were just so many tracks that the album was basically there before I even had the idea of making it. With this one it was a bit different – I knew it was time to have a second album so I started working. Ellen asked me for an album which was a big motivation!
What was your envision while you were working on it?
I didn’t have a well thought through plan or something like that. This time I wanted to write the lyrics myself, which I did, besides that I just started making new beats until I had an album. It’s a bit strange for me to work like that but I learned that the more I try to plan things in advance the higher the possibility that they end up in the totally opposite direction. So I kind of drifted into music.
What was your favorite tool you used on it?
As I said the new experience for me on this album was to write the lyrics myself and then try to direct the vocalists. I really enjoyed that as it was a new experience for me and I learned a lot of stuff.
Your first album “KRL” featured collaborations with Dehlia, Pascal Bideau and Mooryc. Who was on your spotlight this time?
On „Driven „ I have my buddy Fabian Kuss who also is the singer when I play as a liveact. I did two tracks together with my dear friend Mooryc with whom I also have the electronica project „Eating Snow“. Anna Mueller from HVOB joined me for a track, which was an interesting special kind of work as we did everything 500 km apart from each other through the internet and exchanged thousands of mails and phonecalls. With my long-term partner Delhia I did an almost last minute track just a few days before the mastering deadline.
So it seems you like team work?
To be honest I just learned teamwork through this album, as I always used to make my stuff on my own. But I really enjoyed getting all that input and influences from those people who collaborated with me.
Beside “Further” that I played on the radio show, people can hear two more tunes from “Driven” on the Internet. “Sumerless” EP is out, including killer remixes (Tuff City Kids!), and you gave “This Time feat. Kuss” for free. What’s your next step, some remixes maybe?
The full album will be out on the 9th of May and early July there will be a remix selection with Seth Troxler, Cloé, Feadz, Marco Reesmann and Dbridge.
Your plan for summer, a tour or more music?
I do have a lot of DJ Gigs at the moment starting with September we will have a tour for the album with my live project featuring the singer Fabian Kuss and the Percussionist Michael Nagler – so I kind of got a band now.
Also, Dougi002 was released last month. It took you almost two years to come back to this cool off shoot Freude Am Tanzen label with your name on it. Why? Do you treat it in a special way?
The label is just for special stuff that I wanna release really quick. So the Dougi002 includes tracks that haven’t been released on vinyl yet (only digitally on BPitch) but I thought needed to be on vinyl.
That’s nice. Besides your favorite tunes that we could hear in the guest mix, what’s your favorite DJ Booth where you feel like you’re in you own living room?
Definetly at my hometown Jena. Its a place called Kassablanca. I kind of grew up there and organized a monthly night for many years.
And for the end, favorite tune that Hard Wax played to you over the phone? Such a funny way for a preview of the track. Lets shut the Internet down!
Oh that´s like ages ago. I think I bought Joey Beltram – The Beltram Re-Release 1989-1991 on Traxx Records that way.
Thanks for the words and sounds Mario.