Sonic Species first appeared on the Psytrance scene back in 2008 with the massive hit - Lost in Transmission. 'Bend the Future' was released in 2009 on Neurobiotic Records. Sonic Species debut EP 'Machina Terra' was finally released in the summer of 2010 on Alchemy Records and again proved popular
through the many re-releases of the self-named title track. With the departure of Alex Story, Sonic Species continues as the solo project of Joe Markendale, carving new epic paths through modern psychedelic trance. Having performed at some of the most heavyweight international psychedelic events, Sonic Species continues to storm dance floors with dynamic and powerful live sets. The debut album will be released in April 2012.
We caught up with Joe for a quick chat ahead of IllumiNaughty's Halloween Takeover event at Sankeys, Manchester on Friday 2nd November 2012.
(Buy tickets at www.illuminaughty.co.uk)
Hi Joe hows your day going, what you up to?
Just got up and am making this interview in my living room before I have some breakfast and walk through central Brighton to get to my studio where I am putting the finishing touches on the Sonic Species RMX of Techno Widows by Astrix.
Can you tell us a bit about how you first got involved in the scene?
I attended my first trance party in 2000 in countryside of Kent in the South of England. It was a Liquid Connective party and I had one of the most powerful dance floor experiences of my life. Following that period me and some friends from Kent formed Organized Kaos and made outdoor parties of our own for some years. It was in the Organized Kaos and later Liquid parties that I cut my teeth as a DJ and producer.
What music where you into before trance?
I was in a Punk band from 13-16, then I went to a few hard house parties, acid techno and drum and bass and began DJing those styles. Shortly after that I heard trance and fell in love. I have also had a live band for 10 years now called Bonze (www.bonze.co.uk
) - we are a Psychedelic Audio-Visual Dance band.
Your new album, 'Unleash the Beast' is an absolute stormer and has been a massive success. How do feel your sound has progressed since your last release?
The album is a combination of classic Sonic Species sound with some fresh new vibes and elements. I feel like the sound is tighter and more powerful than before with more impact than previous work. I think the Sonic Species sound is more defined than ever before.
You have had a pretty hectic touring schedule to say the least. What's been your favorite gig so far?
Favorite gig so far was closing the main stage or Ozora Festival 2012 on the second to last day. That was the best gig of my life.
With the decline in album sales over recent years, a lot of artists make their living playing live and some seem to get fed up of all the travel associated with this. Is this a part of the job you enjoy or has the novelty worn off?
The novelty has worn off most of the time but 2012 seems to be taking me to many places that I have never been before like Japan, Australia and Thailand so in those more exotic places things have more novelty value for sure. Other than that I still love touring and seeing the world but the thing I love the most is actually playing music to all the people around the world. That for me is still my no.1 passion.
Do you have any funny stories from party's or anecdotes you could share with us?
Haha yeah, I have quite a few of those as it goes. Most of them are pretty embarrassing to be honest. A quick recent one is getting very drunk on Saki in Japan a few weeks ago (and i don't like that stuff at the best of times) and then going to a big club night in Tokyo with my tour manager and some other artists and DJs. Kinetics, a South African DJ insisted that I have a shot of Tequila which I really really hate. I said "no, its not a good idea" and all that but somehow was persuaded into drinking the shot whilst standing at the crowded main bar of the venue. As soon as the Tequila hit my taste buds I was instantly sick, stopping it at the last minute with my hand. I then ran as fast as I could through the club with my hand on my mouth past all the confused Japanese party goers and burst through the exit and then through any service door and back entrance or exit I could find. I just remember thinking I better just keep on running as far as i can through as many doors as possible. Tron and Kinetics found me about an hour and a half later in a busy family bowling alley on the bottom floor of the building just hanging out with a soft drink in my hand and calmly filming the scene from my Galaxy S2.
Where would be your dream gig be if you could play anywhere?
England has always been at the forefront of the scene. Why do you think this is and how do you feel UK parties differ from those going on in the rest of the world?
I think the UK parties had some serious edge in the 2000 - 2004 period. I think this was because there was a lot of new cutting edge sounding trance coming from England at that time. Everything sounded fresh and modern as the sound evolved from Goa to Psy with bigger baselines and better production. I think this charged the UK scene with an energy like no other place in the world.
Which artist/producer would you say you admire most?
That's very hard to say as there are so many. I admire people like Simon Posford for his pure originality and skill as a producer and at the same time I admire equally many guys from around the world for making pure banging psytrance. To give you some clue, the producers coming up in the UK and Israel from 2000 - 2005 we some of my favorites for my DJ sets.
You go to a desert island and can only take three things with you. What would they be?
My Macbook Pro
My Galaxy 2 to tether internet to my Mac Book Pro
(no way i gonna stay on the island that long anyways!)
Whats your top 5 tracks of the moment?
Starlight - Intergalactic
Generation X - Sonic Species
Deep and Down - Waio + Pixel + Black and White
Amino Acid - Atomic Pulse
Into the New World - Avalon (Sonic Species RMX)
Check out Sonic Species Mixes here: http://www.sonicspecies.co.uk