Shangri-la-la Interview

Author: Vlado
Date: Jul 9, 2003
Views: 2310

Sam talks about Chaishops Present and Future and about Trance Culture in General

This Interview was made for Shangri-la-la Magazine, Issue Spring 2003. In the magazine the Interview was shortened severely. Here's the full version...

1 what's going on with chaishop in the moment?

Chaishop is in the most difficult phase of its history suffering of recession and crisis in the music market. 2003 will show if Chaishop can continue to exist. The good thing about this is that we’re currently trying new things out and reworking existing structures and targets.

Content-wise Chaishop is running quite well these days. We have lots of interesting articles coming up nearly every day. I’m pretty happy with what we accieved in the past six Years.

Instead of a Chaishop Tour 2003 we decided to organise single Chaishop Parties in cooperation with local organisers around the world. The concept has generally been lightened financially and also reg. the overhead work thus making us more flexible to local prerequisites.

And we started a new Service – Chaishop Media. Chaishop Media offers promotion of different medias (Mushroom, Intershroom, Shangri-la-la, Chaishop) & artists finetuned to trance companies needs from one hand. Furthermore we’re offering special package discounts.

Last but not least Chaishop Bazaar ( is now also appearing pysically on selected Festivals.

2 who's helping you in running it, the crew?

The Chaishop Crew consists of 26 people scattered around the globe. Some do more - some do less. And additionally of course we receive help from lots of other people. To get an overview check and . During the Years we build up very good contacts among the crew and also to other activists in the scene thus enabling us to move a lot.

3 you've been doing internet space on few festivals around the world,tell us something about those projects?

We started to organise Internet Connections and present Chaishop on Voov Experience many Years ago. At that time it was a real challenge to accomplish an connection with a mobile phone on a remote acre. The most well running Internet Café I ever organised was finally on Boom Festival 2002. We had four user computers and a server with a double isdn connection (if I remember right) installed inside a “mobile house”. After all I want to say two things: 1) It only makes sense on real international festivals to have an internet café; 2) An internet café on a festival will never finance itself by the money that users might pay – there must be a sponsorship either by the organiser or another party.

4 What do you think about the other web sites (there are loads of them) which in a way are your competition.Are they doing their job as you are doing it?

Of course not – wouldn’t it be boring if they would?

Nowadays there are really cool trance websites that I respect and appreciate a lot. Besides them there are also thousands of terrible ones but this is the nature of the internet and that’s ok. Having different concepts, structures and targets I think every website has a right to be and in the end the users will decide what they like.

5 What are the advantages on your site comparing to some others?

Our strength probably is the design, beeing very well connected with most activists in the scene, having a very wide range of activities and working with an international crew network.

6 How did you get involved in the scene?

I was doing a website called “Sam’s and André’s Trance Tips” before Chaishop. Just for fun and to learn to program HTML. One day I met Markus & Cynthia of Taifun Design and we decided to start Chaishop together. Mat of Mushroom Magazine joined about half a Year later.

7 A brief of your personal background,

I always loved music and listened to it most of the time of most Days. I didn’t like to study after highschool and tried to get a job on unusual paths. After skipping two apprenticeships I found one good one as an advertising salesman. Anyhow I didn’t sell advertisment then ;-> After this I moved from Hannover to Düsseldorf to work in the Internet Branch. I had a very cool start, changed company after one Year and started my own business after another. In the first Years of my business I was still doing lots of non-trance-jobs but this stopped with rising involvement in the trance scene.

8 when did you start dj'ing?

In 1998 by my DJ name – Lots of info about this is at

9 why did you start this web site project?

Because I love the music, the parties, the people and I’m that type of guy that needs to get active with things than just consuming.

10 your personal guess for the development of the trance scene?

I guess we still have some Years to go ;->

Well... I don’t think trance is the style that can become a mainstream culture in most places of the world like Rock, Rap, Pop, Heavy Metal, Techno, etc.. Probably the music is too Special, too Intelligent and too Alternative. So it’s the question if people will loose interest in it after some time...

If you want me to be more specific: There are different developments in different countries:
Mexico and Brasil are right now in the “Fashion Phase”. Trance is Fashion and interesting to nearly everyone who has the money and the guts. This Fashion Phase will not last. Rather the scene will become more “underground” again.
Germany (and UK?) are in the “Saturated Phase”. Trance has been going for a long time and parties are everywhere all the time. But the partypeople didn’t grew like the number of parties and some even lost interest. Still it’s a cool place to party but you have to choose your parties well. The result will be less (and better) parties again.
Israel even made Trance Mainstream. This probably has to do with the high pressure that is omnipresent in the country. Where is this going to? I don’t know!
Still there are countries that “got into trance” only very recently like Spain, Costa Rica, Argentina. The vibe here is like in Germany five Years ago: Fresh, euphoric, respectful, freaky, underground. If the scene gets bigger they are supposed to experience a similar development as in the “old trance countries” - just a bit faster.

11 and personal opinion for the development of the trance medias?

Medias are important for an organised scene. They inform people what’s going on, inform about backgrounds, give inspirations. People will contiue to use them.

It might be a bit of a problem to finance these medias whith the weakening scene but I guess we’ll make it somehow.

Concept-wise cooperations and internationality will grow, the magazines or websites will look more professional.

Thank you for this interview and good luck with Shangri-la-la!

all the best
Vlado & Shangri-la-la crew

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